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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for a tonneau cover....on a budget. I am constantly looking on the local Craigslist and have even drawn up a few rough preliminary sketches to build my own. Ideally I would love a hard cover that sets flush (or semi-flush) with the bed. Has anyone fabricated their own that can share some insight with their build? Has anyone bought an ugly or blemished bed cover and vinyl wrapped it to make it look better? Any suggestions, ideas, or experiences would be welcome.
 

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Curious, what's your budget? There is a vendor that I use that sells Truxedo products and I'd be confident that you could get a new Truxport for $300 or less.
 

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I just ordered the Access TonnoSport from Tonneau Covers World and paid $208.85 with free shipping. There was a 2-day, 42% off sale and by doing the transaction in the little chat window, I got an additional 10% off. I haven't installed the cover yet, but the reviews weren't bad and the install looks easy in the YouTube videos. I was also shopping with on a small budget so there are deals out there if you shop around.

Laura
 

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Amazon is always an option too
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Curious, what's your budget? There is a vendor that I use that sells Truxedo products and I'd be confident that you could get a new Truxport for $300 or less.
Before anyone laughs at me, my immediate budget (that I would pull the trigger on, right now) is $200 for a hard cover and $100 or less for a soft cover. In a perfect world I would LOVE to purchase a Bak Revolver X2, but that would take me some serious dedication and penny pinchin' for close to 2 years to save up that kind of money.
 

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Before anyone laughs at me, my immediate budget (that I would pull the trigger on, right now) is $200 for a hard cover and $100 or less for a soft cover. In a perfect world I would LOVE to purchase a Bak Revolver X2, but that would take me some serious dedication and penny pinchin' for close to 2 years to save up that kind of money.
The Truxport is $299 on Amazon and I have a feeling my contact could do much better. If you want that info, send me a PM.
 

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Pardon my ignorance, but is the Truxport a hard cover?
No sir, soft roller. Had one on my '06 for the 3.5 years I owned it and I liked it very much for a budget friendly cover. It kept the elements out very nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
OK, I'm back to contemplating my want for a rigid tonneau cover. I went to Lowes on my lunch break and even carried some materials around to 'test fit' them all together. In my head, this is a fairly easy task and should be obtainable for less than $100 and a few hours of labor. All I'm looking for is a good, flush look for aesthetics, a smidge of aerodynamics, and a bit of water resistance. And it would be lightweight and removable by simply sliding the foam out of the channels.
Here is my thought process of materials (pictures below for visual reference) and construction to run past yall and see if yall think it is a feasible idea and also to ask how to address my fastening question;

Insulating foam board (3/4" x 4' x 8' -$12)
Aluminum c-channel (two sections of 3/4" x 8' -$23)
latex rubber weather stripping. ($5)
silver automotive vinyl wrap (5' x 8' - $28)

My idea is to run a length of c-channel down each inner section of the bed rails.
I will measure (3 times & cut once) the inner dimensions of the bed and cut the foam board accordingly.
Vinyl wrap the foam board in silver for looks and waterproofing
Add strips of the rubber latex weather stripping to the front, leading edge and the rear edge of the wrapped foam board
Slide the foam board into the c-channels and the pressure of the closed tailgate will seal the weather stripping against the bed and gate








NOW....here is my conundrum; How do I attach the c-channel to the inside of the bed rails securely without screws? I plan on keeping my truck for a long time and will drill if necessary but would love to install without drilling or inserting screws.
 

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That will not last. That foam board will NOT be rigid enough.
First trip down the road and it'll come out and disappear.

Not trying to be a Debby Downer, just being honest.
I use that 3/4" foil faced foam board all the time to insulate my windows at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That will not last. That foam board will NOT be rigid enough.
First trip down the road and it'll come out and disappear.

Not trying to be a Debby Downer, just being honest.
I use that 3/4" foil faced foam board all the time to insulate my windows at home.
What if I reinforced the underside with some aluminum rods???
 

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I'm going to get creative here... I would think if you're not trying to make a cover that will support a person's weight or any cargo at all, you would be better off using a couple of sheets of thin plywood or even scrap wood. Yes, I know they are only 4x8' but if you get creative and layer two thinner pieces of plywood, or even masonite or a similar material... say the top layer is split in half along the length of the bed, and the bottom layer is split in half along the width of the bed, then you use glue and a bunch of weight to hold them together while it cures (or even glue + rivets or something), then wrap that, you have something that is much more impact and abrasion. Of course, if it gets wet then you're SOL. So... I'd recommend sealing all surfaces with a resin or epoxy, then covering it how you want to in order to make it look good.

Also keep in mind, it may not slide super easily in the C-channel. You'd have a lot of contact points and I feel like the vinyl may tend to stick rather than glide in the channel like you'd want. If you used some sort of nylon bushing at a few points along the sides it would slide much easier.

For that matter, you could just build a # shaped frame out of 2x4s with big nylon bushings screwed on the ends of the 2x4s, and cover the top and bottom with masonite, then wrap that in vinyl.

But I think if you want it to look good you're going to have a hard time making something durable that really keeps the elements out and is easy to use... Good luck and let us know what you come up with!
 
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What if I reinforced the underside with some aluminum rods???
I won't say it's impossible to do, but maybe not so effectively. It's just not that great of a material without a 'hard shell'
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I won't say it's impossible to do, but maybe not so effectively. It's just not that great of a material without a 'hard shell'
Bummer. But thanks to you an Fastenova for your insight. Y'all made me think of a couple of aspects that I wasn't considering. :(
Back to the drawing board.......
 

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Back in college one of my friends built his own out of plywood and covered it in pleather. It hinged at the front and had struts to help raise and lower. He had a padlock, although I am not sure how he built that part of the system.
 
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