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Keeping your truck bed covered is an excellent way to ensure that your cargo remains safe and dry, especially during harsh weather conditions.
Tonneau covers are a popular choice for truck owners as they provide an easy and effective way to protect the contents of your truck bed.
However, not all tonneau covers are created equal, especially when it comes to dealing with extreme conditions such as those experienced during a car wash.
In this list, we have only included tonneau covers where the manufacturer has confirmed that the cover is safe to go through a car wash and that the warranty won’t be invalidated upon doing so.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks for best tonneau cover for car wash.
What to Consider
If you like to keep your truck clean easily and conveniently, we all know that going through a car wash can’t be beaten.
However, many tonneau covers cannot be taken through a car wash without voiding the warranty, so it’s super important to purchase one that is manufacturer approved for car washes.
For more information, check out our guide “can you take a tonneau cover through a car wash?“, it goes into everything you need to know to safely use a car wash.
But, to summarize, it’s important to keep some things in mind when purchasing a tonneau cover for use in a car wash:
- Manufacturer approved: Many manufacturers will void your warranty for using a car wash unless they specifically state that it is okay to do so.
- High-quality materials: Look for a tonneau cover made from durable and weather-resistant materials such as vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass. These materials can withstand exposure to water, sunlight, and other environmental factors, ensuring that your tonneau cover lasts for years to come.
- Best weatherproofing: Opt for a tonneau cover with effective weatherproofing features such as a tight seal around the edges, adjustable tension control, and drainage systems.
- Extra weather stripping: Adding extra weather stripping around the edges and corners of the tonneau cover will provide additional protection against water intake.
- Tonneau protectant: After going through a car wash, apply a tonneau protectant to the cover to ensure that it stays in top condition. Make sure to wait until the cover is thoroughly dry before applying the protectant, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
Best Tonneau Cover for Car Wash
1. Best Overall: RetraxONE XR Retractable Tonneau Cover
The RetraxONE XR Retractable Tonneau Cover is one of the best tonneau covers for going through a car wash.
It is one of the most weatherproof options we have ever found and is able to keep out almost all water, even during torrential rain and thunderstorms.
All RetraxONE covers are able to go through car washes without voiding the warranty. And while they actually recommend simply washing your tonneau cover with mild soap and water, the cover can handle a car wash and most importantly won’t void the warranty.
However, it’s important to note that Retrax recommends not using any plastic cleaners, protectants, or strong chemicals on the cover. Wax is fine, as long as you don’t purchase the ONE MX or PRO MX (matte) cover.
It’s also important to note that after going through a car wash, soapy residue may build up on the inside of the rails. To prevent this buildup from causing any problems, they recommend wiping down the inside of your rails from time to time.
This will help keep your RetraxONE XR in good condition and ensure that it continues to function properly.
Overall, if you’re looking for a tonneau cover that can stand up to the rigors of going through car washes, the RetraxONE XR Retractable Tonneau Cover is an excellent choice. Its weatherproof design, manufacturer approval for car washes, and easy maintenance make it our top pick.
2. Best Budget: TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover
The TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover is our favorite budget option for going through car washes.
The TruXedo FAQ page highlights that it is safe for use in any safe car wash of your choice, so you don’t have to worry about removing your cover beforehand or voiding your warranty.
However, they do state to “never clean (your) cover with petroleum or citrus-based products, and avoid silicone based protectants”. So, in order to ensure you don’t invalidate your warranty please double check with the car wash that none of these ingredients feature in their products.
Besides being okay to go be taken through a car wash, it also does a fantastic job of keeping water out during one. Considering its budget price tag, we were astounded at just how little water made its way into the bed during a high-pressure touchless clean.
The TruXedo TruXport Tonneau Cover is an excellent choice if you want the convenience of an automated car wash without the hassle of having to remove your cover or voiding warranties.
The BAKFlip MX4 is a high-quality tonneau cover that offers exceptional protection for your truck bed, even during car washes.
While water may penetrate the cover more than it would under normal circumstances, BAK has, albeit very casually, confirmed that it is safe to go through a car wash with the cover installed, without risk of damage or voiding the warranty in this Q&A here.
To maximize protection against water penetration during a car wash and just in general, we recommend adding weather stripping, particularly around the tailgate. This will help to prevent water from seeping into the truck bed during high-pressure car washes.
The BAKFlip MX4 is constructed with high-quality materials, including aircraft-grade aluminum panels and a matte black finish that looks great on any truck. The cover is easy to install, with no drilling required, and can be easily opened or closed with one hand. When fully opened, the cover provides complete access to your truck bed, making it easy to load and unload cargo.
Overall, the BAKFlip MX4 is a top-quality tonneau cover that is suitable for use in a car wash. While water may penetrate the cover more than it would under normal circumstances, it is safe to go through a car wash with the cover installed. For optimal protection against water, adding weather stripping to the tailgate is recommended.
The UnderCover Lux One Piece Tonneau Cover features minimal parts and is made from ABS material, making it one of the most durable covers to take through a car wash.
However, it is important to note that due to the painted surface of the Lux, UnderCover recommend you only take it through a touchless, high-pressure car wash. This ensures that the paint will not be damaged or scratched, which can often happen with regular touch car washes that use brushes.
On top of its ability to go through car washes with no problems to the cover itself, its one-piece construction also makes it super water-resistant. There are no nooks and crannies for water to find its way through, keeping your cargo dry during every wash.
The Undercover Lux One Piece Tonneau Cover is an excellent choice for truck owners who prioritize durability, ease of maintenance, and protection for their cargo. Its minimal parts, ABS material, and one-piece construction make it ideal for car wash use.
The TruXedo Sentry CT is an exceptional hard rolling tonneau cover that offers truck owners the perfect balance of functionality, durability, and style.
It is designed to provide a sleek and attractive look to your truck while offering excellent protection to your cargo.
As with all Truxedo tonneau covers, it is designed to withstand car wash use and is specifically recommended as an option for washing your tonneau cover here. It has been engineered to be almost completely waterproof with only minimal water penetration during car washing, which, if you apply weather stripping around the tailgate can be practically eliminated.
The Sentry CT offers quick and easy access to your truck bed when you need it. It comes with an easy-to-use latch that allows you to open and close the cover with just one hand making it super convenient at all times.
The TruXedo Sentry CT is an excellent tonneau cover option that prevents almost all water penetration and is 100% safe to use in car washes. For its price, it also offers superior functionality, durability and security.