What is Tonneau Cover and Does Tonneau Cover Save Gas

I remember when I first brought my truck, one of my friends introduced me to a tonneau cover. Ironically, I didn’t have the slightest idea about that, and I was more puzzled when he said tonneau cover could save gas!

Is it even real? I was smelling something fishy then.

But later, I found out what tonneau cover really is and how it actually saves gas. In fact, some people claim that it can boost up your gas mileage!

Either way, I think there’s more tea to spill. That’s why today I am going to tell you what is a tonneau cover and how does it save gas!

Read on!

What is a Tonneau Cover?

You might have a misconception about tonneau cover as many of us assume that tonneau cover is a particular automobile tool, but in reality, tonneau has its specific meaning.

So, what does tonneau stand for? Basically, tonneau is a particular area of an open car or truck where no rear windows are installed.

As the area remains open and directly faces the solar light, it requires a protection shield. Thus, the automobile community has discovered advanced tonneau covers to safeguard the external and internal contents of the payload.

Well, there is a huge range of tonneau covers available in the market. However, on trucks or cars, you’re going to see either a soft tonneau cover or a hard one.

Soft ones open by folding and hard ones generally open by rolling. Mostly they are installed over a passenger or cargo space.

People who have Toyota Tundra seem very satisfied with tonneau for safety and improving gas mileage.

Still, you aren’t prone to use a tonneau cover for saving gas, because previously, it didn’t have this sort of claim and facilities. It was then used for the security of the pickup load’s content.

Yes, it’s not a modern invention. Tonneau was always there, but with bit modification, it gathered all the attention.

In fact, some of the tonneau covers are waterproof. Hence even in boats, you will get to see tonneau covers.

And the reason is no different. Open surfaces are prone to get damaged; thus, vehicles that contain open areas on top are likely to use these covers.

In addition, some people use it to protect their personal belongings while there are in cargo.

Varieties of Tonneau Cover?

As I said earlier, the tonneau cover has a wide range of varieties. They are chosen according to the truck type, size, material, and obviously the user’s requirements. Also, while installing a tonneau cover, you better determine the core aspect behind that.

Because people nowadays are being lunatic and applying these covers for saving gas. In this regard, you need to think a lot and also make some comparisons to ensure whether it’s working or not.

Anyways there are usually 5 types of tonneau covers, and they are specified according to their material type.

So, in these 5 types, we have roll-up tonneau covers, folding tonneau covers, retractable tonneau covers, hinged tonneau covers, and lastly, snap tonneau covers.

And as I said, all of them are categorized according to particular materials. Let’s know the types briefly!

Roll-up Tonneau Covers

These covers are made of cloths or vinyl. The reason why we call them roll-up covers is they are opened by rolling near the cab of the truck or car.

Usually, people tend to be more satisfied with roll-up tonneau covers than others. Because these actually offer the highest security and bear more versatility, even the installation is effortless.

Generally, they come in two types. Hard roll-up and soft roll-up; people who admire comfort before anything else and expect portability choose the soft ones.

On the contrary, if you want tough security, maximum durability, and high-volume coverage, then hard roll-ups are the best!

In addition, hard roll-up covers are relatively firmer than soft roll-up ones. And as they are made of hard aluminum slats, they can carry up to 400 pounds on the countertop of that!

Folding Tonneau Covers

Ever since tonneau covers have emerged, the demand for folding covers didn’t decrease. These tonneau covers are the most flexible ones.

In fact, this one is the most prominent one popping around the world for its easy use and outcomes. There are many reasons that can surpass others in terms of features.

These covers can be folded in any way you want. For instance, if you want to tri-fold or bi-fold it, you can do it without any hassle or additional tools. And the construction of these covers is also gentle and very basic.

Some manufacturers tailor them in metal construction, whereas some made them out of fabrics.

If you arent expecting any support for heavy loads or storage, then folding covers can do the math. Otherwise, they aren’t ideal for carrying heavy loads.

Retractable Tonneau Covers

Well, these covers are made of stronger composition than others. Vinyl, aluminum, or plastics are the core substitute used in these covers. Thus, they are extensively solid and work better than folding and roll-up ones.

Interestingly, this one also can be used as roll-up covers. You just need to wrap the top of your truck by rolling the cover on the overall material.

They are specifically mounted on the front and sides of your truck.

However, the installation of these covers is relatively tough. Still, they are worth buying as they provide sufficient protection and lock.

Come on! By all accounts, we actually want ample safety of the contents, and with retractable units, you can acquire that without any loss.

Yet, if you want to hide several things at once, this can be a deal-breaker as with that, you can only lock one particular stuff according to your preference.

Hinged Tonneau Covers

These are also available in two types – soft or hard. You need to purchase them, considering your requirements.

And one thing you need to keep in mind while choosing them is that these covers can only be used in a hung position. For instance, you can say, bed covers hanging towards the back of your truck.

Note: Don’t use them as roll-up or folding tonneau covers.

Snap Tonneau Covers

The biggest advantage of using these covers is you can hide as many things as you want.

Although people in the automobile terminology don’t prefer using that because they require drilling and intense adhesives.

Apart from this fact, some people actually seem satisfied with snap tonneau covers. No wonder, these are superbly flexible.

Alright! That was some brief information about tonneau cover types. I hope it will be easier for you to choose your suitable ones.

Read More: How to Jack Up a Semi Truck

Perks of Getting a Tonneau Cover

There are plenty of reasons why you should get a tonneau cover. As you know that the recent hype of the automobile industry is that tonneau covers increase gas mileage. But this isn’t just the reason why you install these covers.

In fact, in the real world, some people don’t even believe that it actually saves gas! Anyway, let’s check out the perks of getting a tonneau cover!


A tonneau cover works tremendously as a lid of your pickup truck bed. It not only protects your truck’s content but also safeguards your essentials from damage.

Also, it keeps your cargo from being blown out and at the same time, encounters possible accidents from behind. Luckily some tonneau covers provide a hard roll-up lock that comprehensively protects your cargo.

In addition, tonneau covers also protect your cargo from unfavorable climate changes such as heavy rain and snow. The majority of the truck bed comes with weather seals.

The manufacturers strategically place them to create a barrier between the truck and tonneau cover to protect your cargo from water.

If you want to keep your cargo away from residues and debris, then getting these covers wrapped around your cargo will be the right choice!


Most truck owners get tonneau covers because these keep your cargo in the bed completely covered. Literally, no one from the outside can see through that.

Hence you are safe from creeps and thieves. You can leave your truck without having a fear of robbery.

In fact, some tonneau covers have an auto-lock system, which boosts up the security even more!

Easy Transportability

Tonneau covers lock your cargo with ample strength. You don’t need to worry about a broken street or spooky areas where your stuff usually tends to fall down. With these covers, you are going to have safe transport.

Gladly, all sorts of tonneau cover provide easy transport facilities. But if you want to hide more than one item, then you better use snap tonneau covers.

Boost-up Gas Mileage

Now, we are talking about the recent hype! Well, yeah! Tonneau covers do save gas mileage but not drastically.

According to many truck owners and experts, an excellent way to boost your fuel efficiency is to add a tonneau cover. Basically, these covers help to reduce aerodynamic drag and can improve gas mileage.

I won’t brag; neither any expert would exaggerate that tonneau covers save gas mileage massively.

But yeah, it makes slight differences which shouldn’t be less appreciated!

Full Bed Usage

When you are willing to carry large items in your truck, be aware if you are using covers that bear full bed coverage or not. Because some of the tonneau covers require prior removal by a two-person team.

However, a tonneau cover that offers full bed usage is capable of carrying larger items at once without any loss.

So this could be a huge advantage for you as carrying large items by professionals, or bigger cargos claim a lot of expenses. Thus, it’s surely a good deal to get a tonneau cover with full bed usage!


Not only does it keep your cargo safe and secure, but also it gives your truck a smart and elegant look. In fact, you will get colorful tonneau covers available in the market.

You can choose your own style and texture. So customizing your truck with a quality tonneau cover can surely give your truck an aesthetic vibe!

Rather than having a bland exposed truck bed, installing a tonneau cover surely can enhance the appearance! So that was all regarding why you should get a tonneau cover!

Does Tonneau Cover Save Gas?

Many of us have that question on our minds regarding tonneau covers. Is that even for real?

Some people claim that tonneau cover doesn’t save gas at all; some, on the other hand, say they do save gas but not drastically.

Well, in reality, tonneau cover saves gas. The main reason for increasing fuel economy is the aerodynamic drag. And in that sense, the tonneau cover helps to reduce the drag.

Hence, surely, it does save gas and improve the gas mileage up to 10%.

But some things just don’t feel right when people say it saves gas more than 10% at a time.

Because even with an advanced truck-like Toyota tundra, which is cherished for venting less fuel, it couldn’t save more than 10% fuel in a recent test run.

However, the long term of using tonneau covers will surely yield a great return constantly!

Also, in recent days, SEMA (Speciality Equipped Market Association) has come to the conclusion that tonneau covers actually save gas for your truck.

On the contrary, you also need to keep in mind that some trucks are different in structure and also in terms of venting fuel.

So in that regard, some tonneau covers might not stand on your expectation if you don’t choose the cover type accordingly.

Moreover, looking at your factory mileage before getting tonneau covers, you will eventually witness the difference in your gas mileage rate.

Is It Worth Buying?

When it comes to getting a tonneau cover for your truck, you might have a conflict on your mind whether to buy it or not because a good quality tonneau cover does claim a good amount of money.

So investing your bucks over something needs thorough consideration.

Well, in this regard, you have much reason to prove that tonneau covers do worth every penny.

First thing’s first; these covers are helpful regardless of saving gas, such as protection, security, appearance, easy transport, etc.

In fact, these are the core aspects of getting tonneau covers. Hence you cant deny the effectiveness of these covers in every prospect!

They will surely bring enough value to your truck life. Thus, I would say tonneau covers are worth your money!

With Tonneau Cover vs. Without Tonneau Cover

The perfect way to determine the differences between something is to make a comparison. Therefore, I am presenting a small chart regarding the different scenarios that might happen with or without tonneau cover! Check it out!

With Tonneau Cover Without Tonneau Cover
1. It gives your truck an attractive look. 1. The truck looks bland without any roof on top of it.
2. This safeguards your cargo. 2. Without getting a cover, your cargo remains unsafe as it’s exposed to potential thieves.
3. Some tonneau covers are water-resistant, so your cargo remains safe from water and further possible harm. 3. Due to climate change like rain or heavy snowfall, your cargo will surely get damaged if there’s no shield to protect them.
4. It improves your truck’s mileage up to 10%. 4. A plain truck without a cover doesn’t provide much benefit at all.
5. Tonneau covers can save up to a hundred dollars every year. 5. It doesn’t save your money. In fact, due to the possible damage to your cargo, you may need to invest more money or face a huge loss.
6. It provides ample privacy to your belongings as some tonneau covers adequately hide your cargo. 6. Trucks without tonneau cover don’t make any change in privacy. Besides, all your stuff remains exposed.

So looking at the chart, we can surely determine the downsides of not having a tonneau cover. Now you can easily decide whether to get a tonneau cover or not!

Final Words

Getting a tonneau cover is definitely a smart choice. But one thing to clear all the smokes is that it’s hard to claim that tonneau covers improve gas mileage in every kind of truck without a real test!

So before getting a tonneau cover, make sure it does work on saving gas.

Maybe you aren’t getting the right one, or your truck needs some changes. You never know the consequences.

Hence, before jumping to a conclusion, you better test them practically according to your preference.

Otherwise, if you aren’t really expecting your cover to save gas, then you are ready to go with any suitable tonneau covers.

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