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Are Tri Fold Tonneau Covers Waterproof?

Are Tri Fold Tonneau Covers Waterproof?

By PattyKay Lilley

When it comes to choosing the right tonneau cover for your pickup truck, you may be wondering if a tri fold tonneau cover is waterproof. With these covers being extremely popular due to their sleek design and affordability, this is an important factor to keep in mind when shopping around.

Furthermore, there are many factors that can impact the waterproofing capabilities of these covers – from quality of materials used in manufacturing to how they’re installed on your vehicle. Read on as we take a closer look at whether tri fold tonneau covers are truly waterproof or not.

What Is Tri Fold Tonneau Cover?

What Is Tri Fold Tonneau Cover?

A tri fold tonneau cover is a type of truck bed cover that folds into three sections, hence the name. This design allows for easy access to the truck bed while providing a secure covering when needed. It’s an extremely versatile choice, highly favored by truck owners for its efficiency and practicality.

The main materials used for the construction of tri fold tonneau covers are aluminum and vinyl. Aluminum frames are robust and durable, offering a strong support structure. Then, the vinyl sheeting that wraps around the frame provides a sleek finish, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal of the tonneau cover.

One of the key selling points for the tri fold tonneau covers is the ease of installation. They come pre-assembled, meaning all you have to do is place the cover on the bed of your truck, align it properly, and secure it using the clamps provided. This simplicity not only saves time but also ensures a proper fit, which is crucial for optimal waterproofing.

Are Tri Fold Tonneau Covers Waterproof?

While tri fold tonneau covers are designed to protect your truck bed from different weather conditions, their waterproofing capabilities can vary. It’s crucial to understand that while many of these covers are marketed as ‘waterproof’, they are more accurately ‘water-resistant’.

They do an excellent job of keeping the majority of water out, especially during a typical rain shower. However, they might not be 100% watertight in torrential rain or when directly exposed to high-pressure water jets.

The level of waterproofing largely depends on the quality of materials used and the precision of the installation. High-quality tri fold tonneau covers often have seals running along the edges, designed to keep water from seeping into your truck bed.

These seals, coupled with a well-installed cover, can enhance the water-resistant properties significantly. On the other hand, cheaper models may lack these additional features, affecting their effectiveness in keeping your truck bed completely dry.

Furthermore, the design of a tri fold tonneau cover can also influence its water resistance. Some models have a flush design, lying flat with the truck bed, which provides a smooth surface for water runoff.

Others might have a raised design that could potentially trap water, leading to possible leakage spots. Regardless of the design, ensuring a snug fit along the edges of the truck bed is crucial to preventing water ingress.

In conclusion, while tri fold tonneau covers may not guarantee absolute waterproofing, they do offer substantial protection against most weather elements. For complete waterproofing, truck owners may need to consider additional measures like using tailgate seals or upgrading to premium models with enhanced water-resistant features.

Remember, the goal is to choose a cover that suits your specific needs, and sometimes weather resistance may need to be balanced with other factors such as security, ease of use, and aesthetics.

See more: Are Tyger Tonneau Covers Good?

How to Install Tri Fold Tonneau Covers

Installing a tri fold tonneau cover is typically straightforward, thanks to the pre-assembled nature of these covers. To start, you’ll need to position the cover on your truck bed. Ensure it’s properly aligned from the front (closest to the cab) to the back (tailgate). This step is critical in ensuring a good fit, which directly impacts the cover’s waterproof capabilities.

Once the cover is aligned, you’ll need to clamp it down. Most tri fold tonneau covers come with clamps that can be easily attached without any special tools. Ensure the clamps are secure, but avoid over-tightening as this might cause damage. The cover should be snug against the truck bed, with no visible gaps where water might seep in.

After securing the front section, you can unfold the cover towards the tailgate. Every fold should lie flat, with nothing protruding that could create potential water entry points. Once the cover is completely unfolded, secure it at the tailgate with the provided rear clamps. Again, avoid over-tightening; the cover should be secure but not overly strained.

Now it’s time to check your installation. Take a step back and inspect the cover from different angles. It should be lying flat and smooth all the way from the cab to the tailgate. Ensure that the edges are properly sealed against the truck bed railings. This is critical in preventing water ingress.

Remember, while the installation process of tri fold tonneau covers is relatively easy, it does require a keen eye and attention to detail for optimal waterproofing. It’s always a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional help if you’re unsure. Regular maintenance, including checking the seals and adjusting the fit as needed, can also help in maintaining the water-resistant properties of your cover.


When it comes to choosing and installing a tri fold tonneau cover, we realize that you may have a few questions. Here, we provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about tri fold tonneau covers.

Can I drive with my tri fold tonneau cover open?

Yes, you can drive with your tri fold tonneau cover in the open position. Most models come with straps or buckles that allow you to securely fasten the cover in an open position.

This way, you can safely drive without worrying about the cover flapping or causing any distraction. However, you should always ensure it is securely fastened to avoid any potential damage or security issues.

How do I maintain my tri fold tonneau cover?

Maintaining your tri fold tonneau cover is critical to its longevity and effectiveness. Regular cleaning with mild soap and water is recommended to keep the cover looking good and functioning properly.

For the seals and hinges, silicone-based lubricants can help maintain their flexibility and prevent cracking. It’s also beneficial to regularly check the cover for any signs of wear or damage. If detected early, many issues can be fixed easily, ensuring your cover continues to perform at its best.

Do tri fold tonneau covers save on gas?

Tri fold tonneau covers can potentially save on gas. By covering the truck bed, they reduce aerodynamic drag, which in turn can lead to less fuel consumption. However, the actual savings can vary depending on several factors such as driving habits, speed, and the specific design of the tonneau cover. While the fuel savings may not be substantial, every little bit helps, especially considering the rising costs of fuel.

Can I use a tri fold tonneau cover with a truck bed liner?

Yes, most tri fold tonneau covers can be used with a truck bed liner. However, the type of liner may affect the installation process. For instance, drop-in liners may require minor modifications for clamp placement, while spray-on or roll-on liners usually do not interfere with the installation process. It’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a professional if you’re unsure.

Final Thought

Investing in a tri fold tonneau cover can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your pickup truck. While these covers might not be 100% waterproof, they do offer significant protection against the elements, which is beneficial in maintaining the quality and longevity of your truck bed.

Remember, the key to achieving optimal waterproofing lies in proper installation and regular maintenance. Ensuring a snug fit, regularly checking the seals, and keeping the cover clean are all steps you can take to maximize its water-resistant properties.

Ultimately, a tri fold tonneau cover is more than just a protective accessory. It can also improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and provide secure storage for your cargo. When selecting a cover, it’s important to balance its waterproof capabilities with other factors such as ease of use, durability, and aesthetics.

In conclusion, while absolute waterproofing may not be guaranteed, a well-maintained tri fold tonneau cover can certainly provide a high level of protection, making it an invaluable addition for any truck owner.

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