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Are Retractable Tonneau Covers Noisy?

Are Retractable Tonneau Covers Noisy?

By PattyKay Lilley

Are you considering investing in a retractable tonneau cover for your pickup truck? If so, it is essential to understand the pros and cons of this increasingly popular product. With a retractable tonneau cover, there are many advantages such as better security, improved fuel economy, and sleek aesthetics.

However, one of the most common questions people have about these covers is whether or not they’re noisy. In today’s blog post we’ll explore the question: are retractable tonneau covers noisy? We’ll look at what causes noise – if any – from these types of covers and discuss how to reduce those sounds should they become an issue.

Are Retractable Tonneau Covers Noisy?

The truth is, the level of noise produced by retractable tonneau covers can vary depending on several factors. The primary contributing factor is the design and quality of the cover itself. High-quality covers are typically designed to minimize noise during operation and while the vehicle is in motion.

However, some lower quality models or older, worn-out covers may produce a noticeable rattling or flapping sound, especially at high speeds. This noise tends to be more noticeable in retractable covers compared to other types such as roll-up, hinged, or folding covers.

Another influencing factor is the installation of the cover. If the tonneau cover is not correctly installed, it might produce noise. A loose fit or improper alignment can cause it to flap, especially when driving at high speeds. Regular maintenance and proper fitting of the cover can largely mitigate this issue.

Lastly, the truck’s driving conditions play a significant role. Rough terrains or high-speed highways may create more opportunities for noise generation, especially if the cover has any loose parts.

So, how can you prevent or reduce noise from retractable tonneau covers? Firstly, invest in a high-quality cover from a reputable manufacturer.

These covers are usually designed with noise reduction in mind. Secondly, ensure the cover is correctly installed and maintained. Lastly, consider the driving conditions; slower speeds and smoother terrains can help reduce any potential noise.

See more: Are Roll Up Tonneau Covers Good?

Benefits of Using Tonneau Covers

Benefits of Using Tonneau Covers

Despite the potential for noise, the benefits of using retractable tonneau covers are numerous. One of the primary advantages is the enhanced security they offer. Tonneau covers provide a hard shell for the bed of your truck, protecting your cargo from the elements and from potential thieves.

Beyond security, retractable tonneau covers can also contribute to improved fuel economy. The streamlined design reduces wind resistance, which can help to slightly increase your miles per gallon. Although this increase might seem minor, it can add up over time, leading to significant savings on fuel costs.

In addition to functional benefits, retractable tonneau covers enhance the aesthetics of your truck. These covers provide a sleek, polished look that can enhance the overall appearance of your vehicle. Depending on your personal style, you can choose from a range of colors and finishes to match your truck.

Lastly, retractable tonneau covers add to your vehicle’s resale value. A well-maintained cover indicates that the truck’s owner takes good care of their vehicle, a factor that can be very appealing to potential buyers. It’s an investment that can pay off in the long run, especially when it’s time to sell or trade in your truck.

What Size Retractable Tonneau Cover Do I Need?

The size of the retractable tonneau cover you’ll need depends largely on the make and model of your truck. Tonneau covers are designed to fit specific truck bed sizes, and getting the right fit is vital to ensure the cover’s effectiveness and to minimize noise. Before purchasing a cover, you should measure the length, width, and bulkhead-to-tailgate length of your truck bed.

Different manufacturers offer a wide range of sizes to accommodate various truck models. Whether you have a compact, mid-size, or full-size truck, there’s likely a tonneau cover designed to fit perfectly. Remember, an improper fit doesn’t just risk increased noise — it can also compromise the cover’s functionality and aesthetics.

When considering the size, also think about how you use your truck bed. If you frequently haul large items, you might want a cover that can be easily rolled up and out of the way. Conversely, if you’re mainly using your truck for smaller items or for general transport, a full-size cover might be more suitable.

Choosing the right tonneau cover involves balancing the need for security, aesthetics, noise reduction, and usability. With the right fit and quality, a retractable tonneau cover could be a valuable addition to your vehicle. However, always ensure that your chosen cover aligns with your truck’s size and your specific needs.


In this section, we aim to address some of the common queries and concerns related to retractable tonneau covers. From noise issues to maintenance tips, we’ve got you covered.

Does the material of the tonneau cover contribute to the noise?

Absolutely, the material of the tonneau cover can indeed contribute to the noise. Different materials have different levels of resistance to vibration which can cause noise.

While hard materials like aluminum or fiberglass are generally more sturdy and less prone to flapping or vibrating, they may transmit more road noise than softer materials like vinyl. However, the design and quality of the cover are often more important than the material itself in determining the noise level.

How often should I maintain my retractable tonneau cover to minimize noise?

Regular maintenance is key to the longevity and performance of your retractable tonneau cover. Although there are no hard rules about how often you should maintain your cover, a general recommendation is to check it every three months.

Ensure the rails are clean and free of debris, and all moving parts are well-lubricated. Regular checks and maintenance can help to minimize noise and extend the lifespan of your cover.

Can weather conditions affect the noise level of my retractable tonneau cover?

Yes, weather conditions can potentially affect the noise level of your retractable tonneau cover. In windy conditions, a tonneau cover can flap or vibrate, leading to noise.

Similarly, in colder temperatures, materials may contract which could lead to a looser fit and increased noise. It’s important to ensure your cover is well-fitted and regularly maintained to minimize these potential noise issues.

Is it possible to replace a noisy retractable tonneau cover with a quieter one?

Yes, if noise is a consistent issue with your current retractable tonneau cover, it could be worth considering a replacement. Noise levels can vary significantly between different models and manufacturers.

Opt for a high-quality cover from a reputable manufacturer, as these are often designed with noise reduction measures. Additionally, ensure the new cover is correctly installed and fits your truck bed properly to minimize any potential noise.

Final Thought

Retractable tonneau covers can provide a range of benefits, from enhancing your truck’s security to contributing to better fuel economy. While some models might produce noise due to factors like design, material, or improper fit, not all retractable tonneau covers are inherently noisy.

Investing in a high-quality tonneau cover from a reputable manufacturer can help mitigate noise issues. It’s critical to ensure the cover fits your truck bed correctly as an improper fit could increase the potential for noise. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any issues will also help keep noise to a minimum.

Considering the broad range of benefits they provide, retractable tonneau covers are generally a worthwhile investment for most truck owners. From improved security and aesthetics to increased resale value, these benefits can greatly outweigh the minor inconvenience of occasional noise.

Remember, the key is to identify your specific needs and find a cover that aligns with those needs. By doing so, you’ll maximize the value you get from your retractable tonneau cover and enjoy a quieter, more secure, and more efficient truck ownership experience.

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