Tonneau covers come in all different styles. There are roll-up tonneau covers, tri-fold tonneau covers, retracting tonneau covers, bed toppers, and even single-piece carbon fiber tonneau covers. Which tonneau cover is best though? The simple answer is the one that makes the most sense for you. For my 2018 Ram 2500, the Gatortrax tonneau cover from RealTruck looked like it checked all the boxes.
I wanted a retractable tonneau cover that locked, and provided a very good seal so my cargo would stay dry. Retractable covers are also much easier to open or close. They still let you use almost your entire bed should you need to store something large and tall. Retractable Covers come in two variations, electronically controlled retracting covers and manually operated covers. I’m a fan of simplicity and function. The manually operated retracting tonneau cover seemed like a no-brainer to me.
Installing the GatorTrax Bed Cover
Installing the GatorTrax tonneau cover was a breeze. The whole process only took about half an hour. It’s important to know ahead of time that the installation is a two person job. Once you attach the rails to the case that holds the cover with a couple of bolts, and assemble everything according to the install instructions, you simply lift the assembled cover into the bed. It’s really important to make sure you get the gasket that sits cabin-side to sit flush for a waterproof seal!
Be sure to use the drain lines found on the bottom of the GatorTrax tonneau cover. Drain lines mount to the bottom of the casing and then exit the truck through bed drain holes. My truck had two plastic caps covering outlets for draining water. You want to stick the drain lines into these holes and mess with the hoses to make sure they drain properly! I think the fact that they incorporated these drains is brilliant. When it rains or when you pull the cover into the casing, the water enters. These drain lines keep water from accumulating and help ensure extended product life.
After driving my 2018 Ram 2500 over 2,000 miles on the trip to The Ultimate Callout Challenge 2019, Im ready to report everything I like and dislike about the GatorTrax tonneau cover. I really had the opportunity to gauge just how good this tonneau cover is at keeping cargo dry as it rained the entire weekend in Indianapolis for the event. Here is my full GatorTrax Tonneau Cover review.
MY FINAL RULING ON THE GatorTrax Tonneau Cover
Overall, I'm very happy I purchased the GatorTrax Tonneau Cover. The installation was simple and straightforward. All of the components and hardware came without any damage. The tonneau cover does a tremendous job at keeping cargo dry. I was really impressed with the durability of the actual cover. It's made using polycarbonate and it can support up to 300 lbs. If you are looking for a high quality, retracting tonneau cover, the GatorTrax cover should be considered.
Quality is really important to me. I wanted a product that was made in America and used quality components. Interestingly enough, Gator Covers is based out of Ocala, Florida which just so happens to be the birthplace of Diesel Resource.
It really seems like Gator Covers thought of everything with this tonneau cover. All of the components arrived clean and without any damage. The cover itself is surprisingly durable and solid for a retractable cover. The one area we think improvements could be made is the ease of locking the tonneau cover in positions other than the closed position. While it’s still relatively easy for me to push the latch into place and lock it in place, it could be difficult for others. I’m hoping once it wears in a little that it is no longer an issue.
The GatorTrax tonneau cover performs its primary functions very well. It keeps cargo very dry. If any leaks occur, it is probably from the drain hoses! You have to make sure they’re angled properly for the best drainage.
The cover slides very easily in and out for easy access to the cargo in the bed. One advantage of a tonneau cover is they create less wind resistance while driving highway speeds. I’ve always found I’ve received slightly better gas mileage than normal when I’ve had a tonneau cover installed. With other tonneau covers I’ve noticed that sometimes they can be noisy. The Gatortrax, because it is mounted firmly, doesn’t add any noise.
One question you need to consider is the length of the cargo you’re going to place in your bed. This tonneau cover retracts into a canister that is approximately 11”x11". Because of this canister, this cover slightly reduces your capacity to carry long items. The canister does sit off of the floor though so you can still place several sheets of plywood or 2x4s underneath it. If you are frequently carrying really larger items that take up your entire bed, a retracting tonneau cover may not be your best option.
The GatorTrax tonneau cover is definitely a premium-priced product at $1,269.00. However, this is a common price as far as retractable tonneau covers go. You really won’t find anything for less than $1,000. If you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, consider looking at roll-up tonneau covers or a tri-fold cover. Though it definitely isn't cheap, $1,269.00 is a fair price to pay for a quality tonneau cover. Similar high quality retracting covers from Retraxx or other well known companies will cost even more. What you get for your money is a quality, reliable retracting cover.
Gator Covers did a good job when it comes to design of the GatorTrax tonneau cover. Weatherproof seals were placed both cabin-side and tailgate side to help keep cargo safe. The mounting system also keeps the tonneau cover in place very well. 4 adjustable clamps are used, two in the front, and two in the rear. These clamps allowed me to install two UnderCover Swing Case Tool Boxes without any issues!
The GatorTrax tonneau cover also provides a low profile look. The cover is barely visible when looking at the sides of your truck. This and the fact that you can lock and unlock the tonneau cover and actually slide it in and out without opening the tailgate is a huge plus. Many covers like tri-fold covers or the one piece fiberglass tonneau covers force you to open the tailgate to both unlock the cover or to access your bed. This cover doesn't require you opening your tailgate.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors for me choosing this cover is the fact that the tonneau cover can be locked in any position. Most tonneau covers, even retractable ones, can only lock in 3, 4, or 5 positions. The GatorTrax is super versatile and allows you to lock the tonneau cover in any position you want. According to Gator Covers, this tonneau cover can be used with most 5th wheel hitches because its ability to lock in any position!
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