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Homemade tonneau cover #5428799 11/18/14 05:26 PM
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BigPig Offline OP
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Has anybody made a tonneau cover for their truck? Im needing a secure and dry way to store my guns while traveling. It seems that every trip to the lease now invlolves my dad, my wife, and my dog. Thats a full cab and leaves the guns sitting in the bed along with our clothes. I'm thinking of building one out of 1 1/2 inch square tubing for the cross braces and 2x2x1/8 inch angle for the sides and 1/8 inch sheet on the top and spraying the whole thing with bedliner. Post any pics if you have done something similar. Also going to put flush mount tie downs incase I need to strap a cooler or something to the top.

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5429534 11/18/14 09:38 PM
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Going to be heavy, but sounds more solid than some I have seen on the road. I have seen quite a few that looked to made with woo and cover with outdoor carpet, even on newer model trucks.

My brother bought one that was electric, aluminum iirc. Rolled op like a shop door behind the cab and was slick. I have had the soft GM Tonneau cover and use it to cover the wife's grill now LOL

I believe this is what he had
http://www.retrax.com/


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Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5431368 11/19/14 06:15 PM
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I can relate ... I have thought about building one that is much shorter (height) to still have truck bed space.

A friend is a cabinet maker and he built one for his truck that I like pretty well, all wood (glued & screwed, then polyurethane coated) . The top is the same height as the fender tops in the bed (10-12 inches tall???), vertical wall down the center front to back for stability that he installed extra long drawer rails and the bottom pieces pulled out like a big drawers. one side was full length for rifles/shotguns and the other side had separators like drawer dividers. His had one full length door with hasps for locking/latching closed. Larger stuff, ie ice chests, duffle bags, etc. could still be put on top but secure with the bed sides/tailgate to keep them from sliding out. He made it to fit a full size Chevy short bed and had a cross the bed toolbox that it slide under. gave him a whole lot of additional dry storage but yet left him a truck bed.


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Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5432641 11/20/14 05:56 AM
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Yeah my thought was to build it to suit my needs, it would sit flush with the top of the bed rails, and needs to be easy to remove since I still use my bed a lot

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5434718 11/21/14 06:29 AM
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That kind of weight + taking it off often is going to get tiresome. Then there will be the one time nobody else is around, and you just gotta get it done, and wind up with some character marks on the bedside.

I've had the tri-fold ones, worked pretty decent, the hard fiberglass ones (see above: character marks) but my favorite was the undercover hard plastic. Manageable for one to remove carefully, super easy with two. They can hold a couple grown men standing on it, so your idea to use tie downs for coolers would be well within the working load. Really more secure than one might think, but for a little added protection a mercury tilt switch wired into your truck's alarm. If you don't have an alarm, I built one for a guy that pulled power from the trailer harness, to an on/off switch I mounted in the fuel filler cavity, to the tilt switch, to a timer relay, to a siren under the truck. Completely stand-alone unit for less than a hundo in parts. You could do it with a pin switch, but this way was more reliable, and with one clip, the alarm trigger comes off with the cover.

Do a search on craigslist auto parts every so often for "undercover F250" (or Ram, Silverado, whatever) A lot of times they go cheap enough that you can get one to try out for a while, and if it's not for you, put it back up and get your money back out of it.

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5436240 11/22/14 02:27 AM
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I have a Bak Flip on my wife's truck. Overall I like it. I have a Diamondback (3 major pieces, all aluminum so fairly light weight) on my work truck that I love. Pricey but I got the HD version and can put 1600 lbs on top. They are designed to put ATV's on top. I've seen bad thing with the roll up kind. When something heavy slides into the canister and dents it and when you unroll it it scratches or bends the cover.

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5436296 11/22/14 03:00 AM
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I went full Grandpa and put a camper shell on my F150. Just another option for you.


Rick

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5436375 11/22/14 03:45 AM
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The four tie downs would also be hoisting points, I have an overhead electric hoist in my garage. I had a Undercover and hated it, it left "character" marks every time I opened it. I also had the roll up cover and you are right, if you dent the tin can box you pretty much ruined the cover. Fiberglass is out along with a camper shell, I need security that my guns will be out of eyesight and hard to get too. I had a fiberglass cover broken into, a few hits to the locks and that shoved the locks into the bed and just like that they stole over $5000 in tools.

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5439897 11/24/14 05:34 AM
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Really? I haven't owned one personally, just had a buddy that had one on his Dodge that I rolled around with a lot. I hadn't heard any complaints about them.

Where did it mark up the truck?

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5440531 11/24/14 05:11 PM
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It marked the truck at the front of the bed, when you would raise the cover the front corners would scratch the paint. I fixed it by installing shorter strust, but then it made it very hard to get items out of.

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5441208 11/24/14 11:57 PM
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Go buy all of those parts but in aluminum. Cut them, and bring them to me, and I will TIG weld them for you. It will cost more money, but would be 60% lighter.

But if you do want to build it out of steel don't use the 1/8". That's 11 gauge and you don't need it to be that thick. 14 gauge will do that job without a problem. Heck the skin on the body of the truck isn't even 14 gauge.


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Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5441305 11/25/14 01:05 AM
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I vote for reclaimed barn tin!

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: FiremanJG] #5442907 11/25/14 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ramball36
I vote for reclaimed barn tin!


Lol, that's what my dad suggested too
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Go buy all of those parts but in aluminum. Cut them, and bring them to me, and I will TIG weld them for you. It will cost more money, but would be 60% lighter.

But if you do want to build it out of steel don't use the 1/8". That's 11 gauge and you don't need it to be that thick. 14 gauge will do that job without a problem. Heck the skin on the body of the truck isn't even 14 gauge.


I may take you up on this. What grade aluminum would you suggest?

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5443004 11/25/14 09:48 PM
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This isn't a cover, but several years back I was faced with similar problem, along with chain saws and cameras and binos. I opted for one of the Jobsite style toolboxes. Seems I always needed to stop several times, TSC, Cabela's, etc and always felt like my equipment was safe for several hours.

Plus when I changed trucks it was easy to move the box and bolt it down, plus easy to let others borrow it. Hate buying custom fit items which can only be used for one vehicle.


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Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5443117 11/25/14 10:50 PM
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blackcoal... Ive got a job box that I used for the same thing, it just wont hold my rifles. So it found itself bolted to my trailer

I need someting strong enough to put bags of corn on and that i can stand on to fill feeders also

Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5443367 11/26/14 01:33 AM
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For this job, what ever is the cheapest. Don't need T6061 since we're not making stressed components.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness when tackling an aluminum weld.

Last edited by FiremanJG; 11/26/14 01:34 AM. Reason: added

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Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5443698 11/26/14 03:55 AM
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BP, I'm trying to imagine how long your barrels are, I could lay Beretta with 28" barrel in mine, plus all my rifles with 22-24" barrels. But that doesn't matter if it won't hold your equipment. As I aged I started looking for tools that I could use and transfer, hence the heavy pro boxes.


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Re: Homemade tonneau cover [Re: BigPig] #5443847 11/26/14 05:29 AM
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We must be talking about different boxes, mine 36 or so inches wide by about 24 deep and 30 tall. If it were wider it would make an excellent lock box for my guns. As it sits right now, the key is locked inside it and there is a broken drill bit in the lock bang

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