One of the most common questions we get here at Overland Racks Ontario is - "Will that overland rack fit with my tonneau cover?" or "Do tonneau covers and bed racks work together?"
The answer although not always simple, always starts off with, "It depends on the rack as well as the cover."
In case you couldn't tell, here comes a shameless plug for our Modular Bed Rack
In our experience, the best tonneau cover available, when considering a bed rack is the Truxedo Pro x15.
No, we do not have any affiliation with Truxedo.
If you want all the reasons and consideration for why that is our choice, then keep reading!
There are some obvious limitations when it comes to tonneau covers and bed racks.
One of the most popular tonneau cover styles out there today are tri-fold covers. Unfortunately, these popular covers are some of the most challenging to fit with a bed rack.
We have trifold brackets available to help overcome this issue. However, the tonneau cover will not be able to flip open while the rack is mounted.
It's a great option if you've recently invested in the tonneau cover and don't want to swap it out for something new, however it is definitely a compromise and as such, we tend to recommend looking at alternative tonneau solutions before buying an expensive add-on from us. Our goal isn't to just up-sell you to the tonneau bracket option because it makes us money. We want you to have the best setup for your truck possible in both looks and function.
If you are set on keeping a tri-fold cover and need to be able to flip it open, we do have some solutions for anyone able to pickup locally. We have made custom, round tube racks that allow enough clearance to flip open the tonneau cover.
These are much more bulky than a typical bed rack, however we do bend the tube to match the lines of the truck, so it still looks like it belongs.
Shown here on a Silverado with a Bakflip tonneau cover installed.
Before getting back to our recommendation, we figured we'd be sure to mention that we have not worked with every tonneau cover out there.
There are others that could definitely work, including some of the retractable covers.
The main concern to look at when pairing a tonneau cover with one of our overland racks, is the less bed rail it covers, the better.
These are the best tonneau covers to work with when considering one of our overland racks due to the mounting system and the low profile roll-up function.
Our vote goes to the Pro x15 rather than the Lo Pro, simply because of the premium material used on the Pro x15, that is more resistant to UV rays than the standard vinyl used on the Lo Pro.
The mounting system for both covers mounts inside the rails, covering none of the bed rail in a lot of cases, or covering approximately 1/2" of the bed rail in other cases depending on the truck model.
Both of these covers will provide a good fit and function with one of our overland bed racks.
Installation of the Bed Rack and Tonneau Cover
We will create another blog post near the end of June with step-by-step details on the install process when we install a Truxedo Pro x15 and a Modular Bed Rack on our 2020 Ford Ranger.
Until then, here's some general information for you if you're considering a one of our overland bed racks and want to be able to keep your gear secured and dry.
The tonneau cover installs AFTER the bed rack and the weather-stripping on the tonneau rails typically has enough expansion to seal right around the rack mounts when new.
If you have had the tonneau mounted for a while already, you may need to add some peel and stick foam weather-stripping to help seal up the gaps.
As you can see, the tonneau cover is fully closed with the rack in place.
This particular example had the tonneau cover pre-existing, so some weather-stripping will need to be added still in order to seal out water perfectly.
The cover maintains full function, being able to roll all the way to the cab. The roll gets a bit snug between the front uprights, but can still be rolled through without much effort and secured with the straps up against the cab.
Thanks for reading and as always, hit us up with any questions you may have through our contact page!