Did you know that the addition of a tonneau cover seems to be the most popular aftermarket upgrade among truck owners?
That shouldn’t come as a shock, though:
When chosen wisely, a tonneau cover can do wonders to protect your luggage and other cargo – and the bed of your truck itself – all while maintaining the original style and lines of your vehicle.
But while they all offer a combination of style and security, you should know that not all tonneau covers are made equal.
Read on and find out what’s the best tonneau cover for RAM 1500!
Top Rated 5 Best Tonneau Cover for RAM 1500
1. Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold
The Tyger Auto T3 tri-fold tonneau cover was considered one of the best truck bed covers of 2020, and I’m yet to find a model that could go neck-to-neck with it in terms of security, functionality, and ease of access.
And while you’ll probably notice that there are quite a few options out there that seem to imitate its highly reputable design. What they don’t have, though, is the pocket-friendly price tag. And that’s what sets this tonneau cover apart from the competition!
Although it’s a soft folding cover, it still boasts features that will ensure minimized truck bed access and maximized security:
First, there’s the tear-resistant, dual-coated, marine-grade vinyl sitting on top of an aluminum frame, which is held in place with stainless steel rods for an added element of security.
Then, there’s the weather-tight sealing going along the edges of the tonneau cover, protecting your cargo from the sun, wind, rain – and whatever else may come.
Most importantly, though, none of these things affected the overall ease of access – the folding panels can give you access to one- to two-thirds of the truck’s bed. And when you open it up all the way, you have handy safety buckles that will secure the folded cover in place, too.
On that note, I’m not entirely sure that driving with the cover folded up partially would be a smart move.
I’m still shocked by how affordable it is, though, considering that it is, by far, the best tonneau cover for RAM 1500!
- The frame feels durable and well-made, yet lightweight
- The seals around the cover’s edges are weather-tight
- The tri-fold design ensures partial or full access to the truck’s bed
- The stainless steel rods ensure a secure fit
- Can’t be locked in a semi-open position
2. Bakflip MX4 Tonneau Cover
The BAKFlip MX4 is one of those rare hard truck bed covers that strike the perfect balance between convenience and protection. By implementing a tri-fold design, durable aluminum panel sections, and clamp-on installation, it works to ensure accessibility, functionality, and security in all conditions.
It’s not only a reliable option for the RAM 1500 but holds the title of the high-quality tonneau cover for Chevy Silverado, as well!
The minimalistic, yet the highly secure design is, by far, the most talked-about feature of the MX4, as it essentially gives you the best of both worlds:
It is constructed out of highly durable, aircraft-grade aluminum – which ensures rigidity and sturdiness – with tri-fold panel sections that allow you quick access to the truck’s bed. At the same time, the cover offers reliable, all-season weather and damage protection with an integrated rubber seal system.
On that note, built-in drains are running along the edges to minimize the chance of leaks, even during heavy rainfalls. It’s not 100-percent waterproof, but it doesn’t claim to be, either, so I’m willing to let it slide.
You can open the cover without putting the tailgate down, and you’re free to uncover as much – or as little – of the truck’s bed. That depends on the cargo you’re hauling.
Plus, it features integrated buckles on each of the partial folds and a safety strap to secure the cover when it’s fully folded.
The installation process is rather straightforward, too, although I’d recommend getting an extra pair of hands to help you out with lifting and positioning the cover.
- Straightforward, clamp-on installation
- Tri-fold panel sections can be folded and secured individually
- Flush-fit and simple, minimalistic design
- Sturdy, aluminum construction offers weather and damage protection
- It looks like it would develop dents easily
3. Tonno Pro HF-250 Black Hard Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The next option worth considering if you’re in the market for a hard fold tonneau cover compatible with 2002 to 2018 RAM 1500 models is the Tonno Pro HF-250. It’s the latest addition to their line-up of products – and one that boasts a robust, impact-resistant design and maximum security.
This tonneau cover features an all-aluminum underbody frame with sub-panels and support beams, combined with a dual-coated, marine-grade vinyl top. The two working together give it a sturdy and durable feel that doesn’t develop dents as quickly and can withstand the toughest of environments.
Ease of use is another essential part of its design, starting with the no-assembly, no-drilling installation, which reportedly takes no more than ten minutes. Furthermore, it only requires you to unclamp the E-Z lock handles, and then fold the cover forward.
When it’s in an open position, it can be safely secured with nylon straps.
The best part is that all Tonno Pro tonneau covers come with a few handy accessories that’ll make your life a lot easier. You’ll get a pair of gloves, a specially designed cover cleaner with UV protection, a tailgate seal, and a compact, detachable LED light.
I’ve noticed that it doesn’t sit completely flat at the corners, though, which makes quite a bit of noise at higher speeds, as it seems to catch the wind. It made me question how secure, and tight the pickup truck bed fit is on more than one occasion.
- The construction combines an all-aluminum frame and dual-coated vinyl
- It’s impact-resistant and doesn’t develop dents easily
- No-assembly, no-drilling installation
- Comes with several handy accessories, including a detachable LED light
- The corners won’t lay completely flat
- Makes flapping noises at higher speeds
4. TruXedo TruXport
Roll-up tonneau covers have long been the go-to option for quick and easy – and even partial – access to the truck’s bed.
And while a lot of such models featured somewhat unreliable and cumbersome construction, the TruXedo TruXport changed the game with its easy-to-use, no-drill installation, and highly functional design.
Furthermore, these covers were designed to cater to RAM 1500 models specifically, coming in a wide variety of fitting sizes, which is why it’s generally considered the best tonneau cover for Dodge RAM 1500 with RamBox.
It was designed to provide a secure fit and cover the entirety of the truck’s bed, ensuring weather-tight protection to your luggage and belongings. It has a top-mounted design, and while it doesn’t sit completely flush, it’s a mere 1.5 inches above the edges of the truck’s bed.
It offers a reliable and tight fit, thanks to the simple yet efficient design that locks into place whenever the tailgate itself is closed. Plus, it rolls up – and out of the way – when it’s not in use, and can be locked in place when it’s open, too.
The cover has a leather-grain look, and although it’s soft, it sports a premium-quality fabric that is durable enough to withstand harsh weather:
The manual tension controls allow you to prevent sags and keep the cover nice and tight, while the extra-wide Velcro straps that run along the edges ensure that water doesn’t find its way into the truck’s bed.
You might still experience some leaks on the rear tailgate seal, though.
- Quick-release and roll-up with dual latch system
- Hassle-free installation that doesn’t require drilling or cutting
- Relatively low, 1.5-inch profile
- Comes with manual tension controls to maintain a tight and secure fit
- The rear tailgate seal might be prone to minor leaks
5. BAK Revolver X4
The BAK Revolver X4 has an attractive, durable design, and holds the title of the most secure tonneau cover out there. It’s a bit more expensive than what you’ve seen so far, though.
Each section of this tonneau cover consists of individual aluminum slats combined with a vinyl overlay – and a rather attractive, matte black finish and a flush fit. Furthermore, it features an easy-to-use roll-up mechanism with a pull-cable release that can be accessed from either side of the bed.
The one-hand operation is one of the main reasons why it’s such a popular choice among truck owners, despite its not-so-affordable price tag.
You can open the cover with ease and secure it with buckle straps – without it affecting the visibility of your rearview mirror – and then cover the cargo when necessary.
This tonneau cover also employs the BAK Rotational Locking Rails feature – a simple, yet effective means of keeping your cargo secure:
The side rails engage the latches on each end of the aluminum slats automatically whenever the cover is fully closed.
You can lock it in place when the tailgate is shut for added security, too.
The protective aspects of the cover don’t end there, though. It also features a protective vinyl overlay that gives it a one-piece design, preventing debris and moisture from finding their way inside the truck’s bed through the aluminum slats.
Plus, it comes with weather-resistant seals that go along the sides of the cover.
- Durable construction with aluminum slats and a vinyl overlay
- Creates seals along the edges and ensures weather-resistant protection
- Can handle up to 400 pounds of equally distributed weight
- Doesn’t disrupt rearview mirror visibility in an open position
- No-drill installation and one-hand operation
- It’s rather expensive
What Is a Tonneau Cover?
You’ve probably heard the term “tonneau cover” before – especially if you or someone you know owns a truck, so I’m guessing that most of you have some previous knowledge on the matter.
Still, I figured that it might be a good idea to start with the most basic of questions:
What is a tonneau cover?
The word “tonneau” comes from the French language and roughly translates to “cask” or “barrel.” It goes back to the early 20th century when car manufacturers first introduced new configurations for their models. One highly popular option was the tonneau:
It was a rear passenger compartment that was completely open and rounded like a barrel, and typically had a soft leather cover that protected the compartment when it wasn’t in use.
Later on, a lot of drivers adopted these tonneau covers as a means of covering up the open areas to reduce wind drag, and give their cars an aerodynamic edge over their competition during races.
So, in the simplest of terms, a tonneau cover is either a hard or soft cover used to protect the open area of the vehicle.
For example, in a convertible, a tonneau cover would be used to protect the unoccupied passenger seats. And in this particular case, when we’re talking about the RAM 1500, it would serve as a truck bed cover.
Covering your truck’s bed with a tonneau cover can have a plethora of different benefits, not only for your precious cargo but for the vehicle itself, too. I’ll talk about these benefits in detail later on, but for now, I’d like you to keep in mind that the main idea behind tonneau covers is a rather simple one:
Protection against weather changes, UV rays, accidental damage, theft – to an extent – and improved gas mileage.
How Does a Tonneau Cover Work?
Despite their rather humble beginnings – the ones I’ve talked about previously – tonneau covers have become an entirely separate industry, and a growing one, at that. If anything, that should promise you quite a bit of versatility in terms of materials, folding styles, truck bed access, and several other factors.
I already told you that the best tonneau cover could provide improved fuel efficiency, weather protection, better storage, added security, and functionality.
The main idea here, though, is to attach it to the vehicle with virtually no disruptions to the existing body lines of your truck. If it’s not sitting flush to the truck bed’s walls – or least maintaining a relatively low profile – it won’t provide the element of improved aerodynamics.
It works by covering the truck’s bed with either soft or hard materials and is typically held in its place by a system of clamps and fasteners that go along the edges of the bed’s walls. And depending on the actual model, it can be moved, rolled up, or manipulated in a variety of other ways.
Although most models rely on the closed tailgate as a means of locking the cover in place, some come with an independent locking mechanism – something worth looking into if security is your primary concern.
If you’re looking to protect the truck’s bed or add some function to it, prevent the elements from reaching your cargo – and keep your stuff safe and secure – a tonneau cover is your best bet.
Benefits of a Tonneau Cover
One might argue that it’s a whole lot more convenient to leave your truck bed open than to cover it up with a tonneau cover.
The main argument here seems to be that, in this way, all the areas of the truck’s bed are more easily accessed. Another common reason why some truck owners opt to go cover-free is that they consider it a bit limiting for hauling taller cargo that wouldn’t necessarily fit under it.
Still, the popularity of tonneau covers seems to be on the rise as truck owners are searching for a reliable way to secure and protect the contents of the bed – and the truck bed itself – without taking away from the truck’s original design lines and aesthetics.
Of course, the numerous benefits of having a tonneau cover go way beyond the mere aesthetic aspect.
I’ll go over some of the essential benefits of tonneau covers below and give you a few more reasons why every truck owner should consider buying one.
- Protecting Your Tools and Luggage – The most apparent benefit of having a tonneau cover is being able to protect whatever you’re hauling from sudden weather changes, be it work-related tools, luggage, or sports equipment.
Whether it’s rain, snow, hail, or direct exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, the addition of a truck bed cover will keep all your valuable cargo safe from the harsh elements and unexpected weather changes.
- Increased Security – Speaking of protecting your cargo, another noteworthy benefit you should consider here is the increased security it brings to the table. Again, your tools, equipment, and luggage won’t be left out in the open, which could prevent thieves from walking away with your property.
For this reason, a lot of tonneau covers for RAM 1500 come with a key or electronic locks, while others may utilize a steel cable that locks down much like a bike lock. Either way, adding a locking mechanism into the mix will keep whatever you’re hauling in the bed of your truck safe and sound.
- Truck Value Retention – Besides protecting your things, a tonneau cover can work wonders for protecting the truck’s bed, too, and prevent severe damage and wear and tear from occurring. If you think about it, all these harsh conditions we’ve talked about affect your truck’s bed as much as your cargo, and can often lead to rust and sun damage.
That can lead to expensive repairs or affect your truck’s resale value negatively down the road. That’s why I would recommend a tonneau cover as a smart investment for any truck owner reading this.
- Better Gas Mileage – The last benefit I’d like to talk about today is also the one that’s most often overlooked by truck owners – but that doesn’t make it any less critical. When you add a tonneau cover to the bed of your truck, you decrease the wind resistance, as your truck’s bed generates less air drag.
That, in turn, increases your gas mileage by up to 5 percent – or more, in some cases – compared to an open truck bed. It can result in significant enough savings, so much so that, after some time, your tonneau cover for RAM 1500 might eventually pay for itself.
Tonneau Cover – Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve already gone through some of the frequently asked questions you might have regarding tonneau covers for RAM 1500.
However, there are a few more to go before we can bring this guide to an end – so, let’s get to it!
What is the best tonneau cover for RAM 1500?
With so many options available on the market, it all comes down to the design and level of protection you’re most comfortable with having.
The Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold is, for example, a reliable – and budget-friendly – option that is highly recommended by RAM 1500 owners, I included.
On the other hand, if you’re not afraid of spending a bit more, and you prefer a roll-up cover rather than a folding one, the BAK Revolver X4 could be the way to go.
How long do tonneau covers last?
If you’re wondering about the average lifespan of a tonneau cover, the first thing you should know is that it depends on several different factors.
Most tonneau covers for RAM 1500 will come with a warranty of at least three to five years – and lifetime warranties will even cover some models. And while that doesn’t mean that you won’t see any signs of wear and tear on the truck bed cover, complete failure is improbable to happen.
So, yes, you can expect your tonneau cover to last for years to come.
Is a tonneau cover easy to install?
There might have been a time when installing a tonneau cover on your RAM 1500’s truck bed might have called for professional help. However, as their popularity grew, their design became more straightforward to install.
These days, it would probably take you 30 minutes to an hour to install one yourself – even less if you get a friend to help!
The tonneau covers for RAM 1500 you’ve seen today all rely on temporary or semi-permanent clamping to keep them in place. And as long as you choose one that fits your truck, follow a few general guidelines and manufacturer’s instructions, you should be able to install it without any complications.
There’s no single best tonneau cover for RAM 1500 – it all comes down to how a specific product meets your particular needs. Still, that doesn’t mean that I can’t have a personal favorite, one that I believe is worth recommending to fellow truck owners, too.
This time around, it’s the Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold that takes the cake. Even though there are similar options on the market, this is the one that provides the right value-to-money ratio – and one that’s tough to beat convenience, functionality, and protection-wise.
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I am Dave McCurdy I am the content developer on the ecodrivingusa.com website. I have 3 years of experience in marketing.