Skip to Content

Are Truck Bed Covers Waterproof: Top Tonneau Questions

Are Truck Bed Covers Waterproof: Top Tonneau Questions

Are you thinking about getting a bed cover for your truck but wondering if it’s waterproof? If so, you’re not alone in asking this very common question!

Truck bed covers are water-resistant, however, they are not waterproof. This means that while they may keep out the majority of water, you can expect some water to seep into the bed during heavy precipitation.

While they may not be 100% waterproof, truck bed covers (also referred to as tonneau covers) are still a great asset for your truck! Let’s dive in a bit further to see what else you should take into consideration for the “waterproof” nature of truck bed covers.

Materials Matter When It Comes to Truck Bed Cover Waterproofing

Truck bed covers are perfect for covering unused space on trucks, convertibles, and pickups. Still, they may not be entirely as waterproof as most vendors and manufacturers would want us to believe. But why do I say that?

Usually, the material is a blend of cloth and vinyl, which may not hold up to a massive storm. Even with hardcovers such as those made from fiberglass, water will still find its way inside.

Water always seems to creep into the bed cover from gaps that we cannot see, such as across the front. I usually notice a small space at the corners of the bed and around the tailgate.

Talking of gaps, the tailgate seams are especially notorious for allowing dust and water through. That is unless you use the tailgate seal kits!

Well, an utterly waterproof truck bed is only possible by welding the tailgate and the truck bed shut with a large metal plate. The only shortcoming is that getting inside or accessing the truck bed would be an exercise in futility.

But that does not mean truck bed covers will not fulfill the need to keep things dry.

A good number of them are water-resistant, and that somehow gives me some confidence to carry some electrical equipment from one place to the other. If a water-resistant bed cover does the job, do you need a waterproof one?

How do I Protect my Truck Bed from Rain?

A storm can damage the truck bed, and there is a need to protect it. The first thing that comes to mind is using a water-resistant truck bed cover.

There are some truck bed covers I have come across with better water resistance than others, and therefore a better choice.

I have always been careful not to believe the manufacturer’s words at face value. At a minimum, I always make it a point to go through customer reviews to know if the product is worth the investment.

A little bit of research goes a long way when purchasing specific products!

In particular, the one-piece painted cover is a wonderful choice and an ingenious way of increasing water resistance. Some tonneau covers have a single piece of ABS plastic or fiberglass to keep water away from the truck bed.

Hard folding or hard roll-up are other great choices with better water resistance. Nonetheless, I cannot say the same for the soft roll-up or soft holding covers. I cannot recommend the soft covers if the goal is to keep the water out.

What is a Best Truck Bed Cover?

The best truck bed cover depends on various factors, such as the purpose for which you needed.

If I am looking for something to provide extra security at the parking lot, then a hard truck bed cover such as those made from ABS or fiberglass will come in handy.

It is a different case if I want my pickup truck to look cool on the highway. If my interest is only making my vehicle stand out in the crowd, then a standard soft truck bed cover will do just fine.

Soft covers are inexpensive, come in a variety of colors, and are easy to install.

Choose a truck bed cover that suits your needs, and don’t settle for something cheap. I must admit that there is some temptation to choose something that doesn’t cost us too much.

That is especially true if you are looking for a truck bed cover that only provides some necessary protection.

In my opinion, get the best bang for your buck by choosing quality!

I always go with a reputable brand, which is a safe bet when purchasing some equipment or products.

Can I go through a Carwash with a Truck Bed Cover?

In normal conditions, the truck bed cover will keep your valuables dry between 98% – 99% of the time. Of course, nothing in life is 100%, right?

The only remedy is to get a truck bed cover that is as close as possible to fulfilling your needs.

Going through a carwash with a truck bed cover may produce different results, mostly dependent on the type of bed cover. For example, if I have a softcover, I would have to forget about keeping the truck bed dry for the time being.

If there are some chemicals or products that will be ruined by water exposure, then I’d recommend considering postponing your trip to the carwash.

There are decent covers that seal along the edges to deflect most of the water, which I would get. However, the truck bed covers do not guarantee to keep your truck bed dry when going through a carwash or driving down the highway in heavy torrential rains.

Even though the cover designs handle essential elements such as vertical rain, they cannot keep high-pressure water like the one used in the car wash.

That means there is a better chance of having better results with a truck bed cover out there in the rain than in the car wash.

Do I need a Truck Bed Cover?

The truck bed cover has a handful of uses that include extra space. I primarily use the cover to protect some valuables on the truck bed. In that case, it would be an excellent idea if the bed cover is waterproof or at least water-resistant

The extra cargo space is excellent for delivering particular products or hauling sports equipment. However, I recommend that you be extra careful as there are risks involved.

For starters, anything that I put on the bed cover is at the mercy of weather conditions. Of course, weather can be quite unpredictable, and a surprise downpour can ruin expensive equipment in a snap.

It is then relatively easy for some things to bounce out of the truck bed cover unless I tie them down securely.

The truck bed cover is quite useful in protecting important stuff from dust, ice, and snow. The freedom that comes with having a good quality bed cover somehow enhances the driving experience.

For more information on determining whether or not tonneau covers are worth it, make sure to take a look at my dedicated article here.

How to Increase the Water Resistance of Bed Covers

However much you would want to make the bed cover waterproof, it is not possible. But the good news is that we can still increase the water resistance in several ways.

That means it is possible to keep the truck bed dry by doing a few modifications to the bed cover.

1. Using Seals

I discovered that it is possible to get extra seals from the local hardware store, based on the cover’s size. Keep in mind that the largest is not always the best!

The bed seal kits are quite handy in solving the water-resistance problem. Purchasing a bed seal kit also means getting everything I need to protect the truck bed, such as foam, blocks, and seals.

If some water manages to penetrate the bed cover, the drainage system will do the rest of the work to remove it.

My only problem with the bed seal kit is the price tag, which may be a bit over some people’s heads. But since when did good quality cost pocket change? There is a need to loosen the purse strings to get the best.

2. Water Pipe Insulation

Using water pipe insulation is an inexpensive method, and it can be quite useful. It appears that the installation process is quite simple, and sourcing the water pipe insulation is not an uphill task.

The primary material is rubber, which does an excellent job of making the bed cover water-resistant!

In a nutshell, truck bed covers are not waterproof. Nevertheless, there are a handful of ways to increase water resistance. I have mentioned two of them above.

Before you go, make sure to also check out these other awesome truck-related resources!

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!