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Can You Use a Truck Tent With a Tonneau Cover?

Trucks are the best companion for camping trips for you and your fellow campers. But, can you use a truck tent with a tonneau cover?

Yes, you can use a truck tent with a tonneau cover, but there are a few factors you need to get right to do so. 

In the guide, I will describe all of those factors. Go through all the sections, and you will understand everything about using a truck tent when you have a tonneau cover.


Do All Tonneau Covers Work With Truck Tents?

No, if you are planning to use truck tents, then not all tonneau covers work properly with truck tents. In my experience, the best type of tonneau cover for truck tents is the retractable tonneau cover.

Rolled-up tonneau covers can also work, but you need them to be lower than six inches in height.

Hinged or folding tonneau covers aren’t really compatible, and I recommend avoiding truck tents if you have these types of tonneau covers.

Soft Vs. Hard Tonneau Covers

Now, if you plan on putting truck tents right on top of your tonneau cover, then the soft ones are out of the question. Hard tonneau cover holds a chance but do keep in mind that they were meant to protect the content inside the truck bed, not above.

So, unless your hard tonneau cover is extremely durable, there is a chance that you might end up with a broken tonneau cover if you are not careful enough.

While that is true, there are covers that are as hard as a rock. So, you won’t have any problem with those. 

A quick way to check whether your tonneau cover can hold truck tents above itself is to check the manufacturer’s website and see its maximum weight holding capability.

That being said, I recommend that if you are going with truck tents, don’t put them above your tonneau cover.


Do All Truck Tents Work With Tonneau Covers?

Yes, almost all truck tents work with tonneau covers. But for the best result, I recommend going with light tents because the truck bed isn’t that big and you need as much space as possible.

Along with truck tents, you can also use rooftop tents as truck tents. Setting them up is also quite simple. Start by parking your truck on even ground, roll up the tonneau cover, and set up the tent. 

Different tents have different setup options, they are not that difficult, and you can figure it out by checking the manuals once or twice.


Should You Use a Truck Tent With a Tonneau Cover?

This is a debatable question, and it all comes down to personal preference and the number of people who will be using the tent. 

For example, you can easily use a truck tent with a tonneau cover if it is for a single person. Whether you are placing your tent right upon your tonneau cover (if it’s a hard one) or retracing, it won’t be much of an issue.

For more than one person, it is not safe, nor do I recommend it. This is because even if the tonneau cover can hold the weight of multiple, it will be quite cramped, making a very uncomfortable living condition.

But if you have no other options, then a truck tent with a tonneau cover could be a viable choice.


What Should You Do If Your Tonneau Cover Doesn’t Support Truck Tent? 

Now, if you have a light tonneau cover and it is not retractable or roll-up, then you can pick two options for using truck tents:

  1. Take out the tonneau cover 
  2. Set up a tent outside

If your tonneau cover doesn’t support a truck tent, but you have to use the truck bed to set up the tent, then you have no other option but to take out the tonneau cover. Afterwards, you set up the tent.

This can be pretty difficult. And I recommend taking the help of another person when taking out the tonneau cover as they can be quite heavy, even the light tonneau covers.

On the other hand, if you have the option to set up your truck tent in a decent spot, then you should do that instead of a force set up on your tonneau cover. 

If you really want camping on a truck tent with tonneau cover experience and your cover doesn’t support it, then you have no other option but to pick a tonneau cover that can work with truck tents.

A few popular truck tents that you can check out are:

  • Napier Backroadz
  • FOFANA Truck Bed Tent
  • Guide Gear Truck Tent

There are other viable options out there. But in my research and from customers’ reviews, I have found that these are the best on the market.

That being said, you should always double-check before purchasing.

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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