How Long Does a Tonneau Cover Last?

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A quality tonneau cover will last upwards of 10 years. However, the longevity of the cover will depend on different factors.

How well you maintain your truck cover, its quality, and the installation procedure will influence its life span.

Throughout this guide, you will find all the answers and tips to boost its durability.

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Hard Vs. Soft Tonneau Covers – How Long do They Last?

You have two choices, hard or soft tonneau cover choices. The hard tonneau cover will last longer and is much more substantial.

Hard plastic, fiberglass, and aluminum are common materials used for making hard tonneau covers. On the other hand, canvas and vinyl are famous for soft tonneau covers.

A soft cover is flexible and will roll up easily but not protect your cargo as well as a hard tonneau cover. Plus, a hard cover will provide extra security as they can be locked.

Clear your doubt by looking at different soft or hard tonneau truck covers.

which tonneau cover should i buy

Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

A soft roll-up tonneau cover can last seven to ten years. How you use can care for your soft covers will determine how long they will last.

If you maintain and care for your cover regularly, it can last longer than ten years, provided you purchased a top-quality tonneau cover.

Where and when you drive your truck can play a role in the durability of the covers; harsher environments, whether you live in extremely hot or cold climates or not, will deteriorate the materials quicker.

Never carry heavy stuff on a soft cover. The surface is quite pliable, and damage can easily occur by the load.

Is it safe to take a vinyl tonneau cover through a car wash?

Hard roll up tonneau cover on a silver ford raptor at the beach

Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Covers 

Hard roll-up covers have similar features to their counterparts. However, they can last more than ten years, thanks to their more rugged nature.

They stand out in terms of durability, and the added layer of protection makes it easy to use them in different climatic conditions. 

It is wise to correctly install your cover and ensure it is working as expected. Proper maintenance is imperative to enhance the longevity of your hard roll-up tonneau cover.

  • Ensure it has been installed correctly.
  • Always secure the cover in a closed position before entering a car wash.
  • Use clean water and mild soap to clean it regularly.
  • Park in the shade when possible.
Tonno Pro

Soft Folding Tonneau Covers 

With good care and regular maintenance, a soft-folding tonneau cover can last at least five to seven years.

  • Lubricate latches and the locking mechanism every season or more if you live in a harsh environment
  • When cleaning a tonneau cover, use a cleaner and mild soapy water.
tonneau cover with a toolbox under it

Hard Folding Tonneau Covers

Hard folding covers can last seven to ten years.

The aluminum and composite panels offer extra strength and durability and increase the life span. 

They tend to have more substantial hardware, so the hinges last longer than soft covers.

Maintenance is integral for the folding tonneau cover’s longevity. Regular cleaning will keep the rust away and subsequent damage.

Lubricating all the metal parts of the tonneau cover regularly will extend the lifespan and save you from replacing the locking mechanism.

I also wrote an in-depth review of the BAKFlip tonneau cover.

Best Retractable Tonneau Covers

Retractable Tonneau Covers

A retractable tonneau cover can last five to seven years. 

To maintain the retractable covers’ luxurious look, you always have to keep them in good condition by cleaning them regularly with the manufacturer’s appropriate detergents. 

How you install your retractable tonneau cover determines how long it lasts; it will wear out faster if it’s not tight enough, too tight, or at an angle. Therefore, always ensure the cover is set up perfectly so as not to cause any damage. 

Read more about the best retractable covers here.

Undercover vs LEER Tonneau Covers grey dodge ram with grey undercover one piece tonneau cover

One-Piece Tonneau Covers 

There are rugged designs that will last the life of your truck. And, as with any product, how you care for it will determine its life span.

They are solid enough to endure day-to-day use regardless of the weather conditions. Because these one-piece tonneau covers open and close like a trunk, there’s no friction between pannels, and with only one hinge, there’s less that can go wrong.

General maintenance of the cover is crucial. So make sure you clean the cover regularly. Wash it with the same soapy water you use on your truck’s paint.

Wax at the same interval you would wax your truck’s paint as well, and you’ll give your cover a long life.

pace edwards retractable tonneau cover

Factors That Impact How Long a Tonneau Cover Will Last

A quality tonneau cover can last a lifetime. But then again, some factors will influence the durability of the covers you choose.

Have a look:

Material of the Tonneau Cover

The durability of truck bed covers is linked to the material used. Besides how long the cover will last, the type of tonneau cover material will impact its cost, lifespan, and usability.

Popular choices include:


Vinyl is a distinctive material that offers several characteristics. The vinyl cover is waterproof and will protect your truck bed against other harsh elements.


Aluminum is a strong material, and your covers will last longer. The added vinyl layer will also improve the cover aesthetics.


A fiberglass tonneau cover is excellent for snowy days or driving off-road. The cover will protect the truck and cargo against flying debris.

Hard Plastic 

ABS plastic is used in plastic tonneau covers, making them long-lasting, sturdy, yet lightweight.

Maintenance of Tonneau Covers

Your tonneau cover will last will also depend on its general maintenance and handling. Here are maintenance tips to follow:

  • You have to perform regular inspections.
  • Ensure it is securely fastened and closed up all the time.
  • Have to use proper cleaning methods. Ensure the soap is soft and compatible with the covers.
  • Check for rust or damage during your cleaning routines.
  • Lubricate hinges and latches regularly.


There are a lot of factors that will affect the life span of a tonneau cover, such as environment, maintenance, and the design and materials used in its construction.

Proper care and maintenance will increase your life span regardless of which tonneau cover you choose.

I hope this article answered your “question how long does a tonneau cover last?” If you enjoyed it and would like to read more; may I suggest these articles for your reading pleasure:

Best Truck Bed Cover for Winter – Which One Will Last?

What is The Best Tonneau Cover For Your Money?

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