Are tri-fold tonneau covers waterproof?

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Tri-fold tonneau covers are widely used and liked by truck users because of the several benefits that they bring with them. They are versatile, enhance security, easy to install, and give ease of access to the truck’s bed. But one thing that is of great concern to most tonneau cover buyers is whether or not are tri-fold tonneau cover waterproof.

So, is it really waterproof? Or better yet, is there a tonneau cover that can be described as waterproof?

No. The trifold tonneau cover is not waterproof, and anyone that will tell you that there is a truck bed cover that’s fully waterproof will be lying to you. But this does not mean that the tri-fold tonneau covers freely allow water to seep into the truck of your truck.

The tri-fold may not be waterproof, but it has excellent water resistance properties. Therefore, your shipment will still be protected from water. But if a water-resistant material is able to block entry of water, then what difference does it have with a waterproof material?

Waterproof vs. Water resistance

If something is referred to as waterproof, it means that it can keep 100% of the moisture out. On the side, one that’s water-resistant may occasionally allow the entry of some moisture, but not in high amounts.

Although the leaks that get into the tri-fold tonneau covers are minor, they have the potential to destroy your cargo if not dealt with. It is important to note that it is not easy to identify where the leaks are coming from with a trifold tonneau cover, which makes it a challenge to seal them.

In most cases, leaking occurs in the following areas:

Between the tri-fold front edge and the truck. The spaces in this area, and you may not notice them with your naked eyes.

At the tailgate. You will notice that in most trucks, the tailgate is usually loosely connected, and if there is strong wind or rain, there is a high chance of water getting into the truck bed. If this water is allowed to settle over a long time, it can cause damage to the cargo.

How can you test for leaking areas?

Although the tri-fold is only water-resistant, there are measures that you can take to increase its resistance. But first, you have to begin by finding the areas that are leaking so that you can seal them.

There are several tests that you can carry out to ensure that there are no spaces that allow water to leak into your truck bed. The two most common and effective tests are:

  1. The first test involves you getting inside the truck bed under the cover on a bright sunny day. Have the tailgate fully closed so that no sunlight can get in. Once there is total darkness, you will be able to see areas where beams of light are coming in from. Mark those gaps and seal them.
  1. The second test involves the use of water. Get inside the cover and have someone pour water over the cover using a hosepipe to imitate rainfall. You will be able to notice where the water is coming in through. When using this technique, do not pressurize the water so much as the cover may be unable to hold it.

Increasing your tri-fold’s water resistance ability

To this point, it is clear that there is no way that you can have a waterproof tri-fold tonneau. However, you can increase the resistance that it has to water. Depending on the manufacturer of your tri-fold tonneau cover, you may find some with seals or rubbers to help improve increase water resistance.

Nonetheless, these seals are usually not enough. That is why we’ve looked at some other ways through which you can help increase your trifold’s resistance to water to protect your cargo better.

Install extra seals

Depending on the amount of water that’s getting into the bed, adding some seals will do the work. When there is a minimal amount of water getting into the bed, you can buy extra seals and install them on the crevices in your trifold tonneau cover.

The seals are available in different shapes and sizes, be sure to buy those that will fit into your cover.

Using bed seal kits

Seal kits are more efficient compared to only installing the seals. The seal kit comes with everything you need including the seals and foam blocks to cover large spaces. The kits also have a drainage system that helps to remove any water that might still enter your truck’s bed, ensuring total dryness.

The only con is that they are a bit expensive to acquire. But compared to the damage water can do to your cargo and the resulting losses, you will find it inexpensive to acquire the bed seal kit.

However, you do not have to use this method unless there is a high magnitude of water entering your truck bed or if you are transporting valuable cargo.

Water pipe insulation

The use of water pipe insulation is the most inexpensive method to increase your tri-fold’s water resistance. The process is quite easy, and pipes needed are readily available.

The rubber pipes used are usually slit into halves, and your work is only to install them on the truck bed. Fit them to leaking areas, and you are good to go.


It is clear that tri-fold tonneau covers are not waterproof. But if you are looking for a way to protect your cargo from moisture, you should not hesitate to install one. As you have learned, there are ways through which you can make them more resistant to water.

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