'06 F150 Short bed 5'6", with a nice truck box, single door that opens from the rear side... Bed Liner, and I've added some tie down cleats on the inner edges of the bed near the 4 corners... The open space is 56"x62"...Like to cover it, not particularly for weather, just keep stuff out of sight, make a smoother surface, maybe help mileage... Debating making a solid, wood cover, but then what, paint? Maintenance I don't need... Maybe just have one made or make one by cutting one down, use bungees... But knowing that the wind may cause it to flap, buzz, maybe not so good.. I'm thinking I need a front support rod, some way to secure that, then bungee to the tailgate or eyes on the tailgate.. All the commercial tonneau covers I see don't get along with a truck box, other than one also included their own box... weco
PU Bed CoverFirst reaction--do the wash!Second--One RV blogger I follow had a custom truck bed cover made to go around his 5th wheel hitch, so I guess custom is an option. The blogger is Howard Payne, the blog is RV-Dreams.
Maybe talk to a local canvas guy... has to be a way... Awning canvas, UV would be handles better... Thx...
You can pick up a heavy duty canvas drop cloth at Home Depot or Lowes and cut it to size yourself. A grommet kit will allow you to out fasteners anywhere you want for another couple bucks. I wouldn't bother with the metal road along the front, just put one of the factory seamed edges there, and another down one side, machine sew the other two sides to your custom dimensions, then put grommets there as well. I'd use more grommets at the front edge than anywhere else, but otherwise those bungee-balls will hold it down tight. Whole thing probably cost you $50, and be a lot easier to put on and take off than something made of wood. Folds up, too, when you have an oversize load to deal with.
You can pick up a heavy duty canvas drop cloth at Home Depot or Lowes and cut it to size yourself. A grommet kit will allow you to out fasteners anywhere you want for another couple bucks. I wouldn't bother with the metal road along the front, just put one of the factory seamed edges there, and another down one side, machine sew the other two sides to your custom dimensions, then put grommets there as well. I'd use more grommets at the front edge than anywhere else, but otherwise those bungee-balls will hold it down tight. Whole thing probably cost you $50, and be a lot easier to put on and take off than something made of wood. Folds up, too, when you have an oversize load to deal with.Metal rod across the front might keep it from billowing up, lifting the back end off the road!! What I don't have is a heavy duty sewing machine... The grommets, yes, maybe have the tool somewhere, but might be easier to buy a new kit... My tiedowns aren't at the corners, so I'll have to add a loop or small eyebolt.. bigger headache is that I have a bed liner, but what I did for my tiedowns was slip a 1" square tube up under the lip of the bed, construction adhesive held the short pieces, then I used self drilling screws to secure the tiedowns.. very strong.. So something like that, close as I can get to the corners... I do have some tarps in the garage, one is a bright yellow, really heavy, tho.. Another is old, very old, oiled canvas, likely from the '30s, hate to cut it as it was Dad's... I may have to look for someone that has a HD Sewing machine.. Wondering if it will flap at highway speeds... just have to see what works I guess... thanks...
wecoguy:I ran a canvas/upholstery division at my marine company and my advice is, if it is important to you, get it done by a marine canvas company. Reason one is you don’t have the tools yourself to make what is essentially a tonneau cover. Also you don’t have a supplier who can give you the material that’s rain/sun proof (doesn’t fade or rot). Do not use a drop cloth or old tarps: wrong material.Snaps or grommets? Snaps. Reason is tightness of fit at vehicle speed. Same reason for not having tie-downs: air gets in an causes the cover to balloon and pulls heavily on other grommet areas which are, essentially, weak points.Go to a marine canvas place and ask for samples of Sunbrella or similar. Lots of color choices and grades. To make a good fit a pattern is made and the material cut to that pattern. Then it is sewn using HD sewing machines (specify sewing be done with automotive/marine grade thread that won’t rot in the sun) and the fit should be perfect.Small point but obvious: making your own tonneau cover is like fixing a room in the house: your second room is always better than the first. When I hired our head seamstress who had a long experience in commercial work but not marine, it took her a month to turn out something that didn’t need redoing one way or another. She now can re-upholster and re-canvas a whole boat in a day or so and its experience that allows that. And, yes, she does covers for pickups. She was the one who told me some of the stuff above.Price varies. Most canvas shops are $50-60 an hour and material at about $20 a square foot (depending on the canvas). It should take, roughly, five-six hours to pattern, cut, sew, install female snaps on the material, and drill the pickup for male snaps. MichaelR
Hi Michael,Yes, I recall your background, and what you said makes a ton of sense, long term, do it once, do it right... When I first had this thought, I had hoped there was a finished product out there around $200 or so, I didn't find anything.. So from that I dropped back to a homespun idea, maybe something I could do myself.. But i do have visions of the thing billowing up, flapping all over the place, maybe leaving little dings all over the sides or tailgate... So Thanks for you jerk back to reality, I think I'm going to have to slide this in a file drawer for now, too many other things going onm kids, grandkids, vacations, it's just not in the cards for now... Thanks again...
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