Tonneau covers, while excellent for shielding cargo from weather and theft, often struggle with water drainage. This can lead to water pooling in the truck bed, potentially damaging cargo and the bed itself. The challenge lies in designing a drainage system that effectively channels water away without compromising the integrity of the truck.
Custom Solutions from Truck Enthusiasts
Enhanced Drainage Techniques:
- Frustrations with standard drainage tubes that often kink and leak led some truck owners to seek alternative solutions. A notable modification involved using Pex-A Expansion Elbows, which not only improved efficiency but also enhanced the truck’s appearance.
- To secure these elbows, some users recommended black zip-ties, leveraging the expansion barbs for a firm hold.
Optimizing Existing Structures:
- A savvy approach includes utilizing pre-existing holes in the truck bed. This method involves removing grommets and fitting the drainage tubing directly into these holes, providing a secure fit and negating the need for additional drilling.
Creative Modifications and Installations
Advanced Retractable Cover Modifications:
A distinct method shared by a user involved a RetraxOne retractable cover. They utilized elbow hose barbs and orbit couplers for a sturdier drainage system. This process involved drilling and fitting the components precisely, followed by sealing with electrical tape for added durability.
Utilizing Compact Bed Holes:
Some truck models, like certain Honda versions, come with small bed drain holes. A creative adaptation discussed in a forum involved resizing drain tubes to fit these pre-made holes. This technique effectively prevents water entry post-car wash without requiring any drilling into the bed.
This process involves a series of hoses, gradually decreasing in size, to fit into the existing drain holes. This method is particularly beneficial as it avoids drilling new holes and potential damage to underlying structures.
Innovative Techniques for Tonneau Cover Drainage
Upgrading Retractable Covers for Enhanced Drainage
For owners of retractable tonneau covers, such as the RetraxOne, an effective modification involves incorporating elbow hose barbs and orbit couplers. This technique enhances the sturdiness of the drainage system. The key steps include:
- Precise Drilling: Creating accurate openings for the fittings is crucial for a leak-proof system.
- Component Fitting: Carefully inserting the hose barbs and couplers ensures a snug and effective fit.
- Sealing for Durability: Finalizing the installation with electrical tape around the joints adds an extra layer of protection and durability.
Adapting to Compact Bed Drain Holes
Trucks equipped with small bed drain holes, especially some Honda models, offer unique opportunities for drainage solutions without additional modifications. This method revolves around adapting the drain tubes to these existing holes, avoiding the need for drilling new ones. Key aspects include:
- Tube Resizing: Adjusting the size of the drain tubes to align with the pre-existing holes is crucial. This might involve cutting or using tubes of varying diameters.
- Preventing Water Entry: Properly fitted tubes ensure that water does not enter the truck bed, especially after exposure to elements like a car wash.
- Sequential Hose Fitting: Implementing a series of hoses that gradually decrease in size allows for a seamless fit into the existing drain holes, preserving the truck’s original structure and aesthetics.
Practical Steps: Creating Your Own Tonneau Drain System
- Begin by evaluating your truck bed and tonneau cover to understand the drainage needs and available space.
- Identify existing drain holes or potential locations for new ones.
- Materials Needed:
- Drain tubes or hoses (size dependent on your specific cover and truck model).
- Expansion elbows or hose barbs for a secure fit.
- Zip-ties or clamps for securing the tubes.
- Drill and bits (if necessary for creating new holes).
- Rubber gaskets and electrical tape for sealing.
- Installation Steps:
- If drilling new holes, carefully choose the location to avoid damaging the truck’s structure or existing wiring.
- For pre-existing holes, measure and cut the drain tubes to fit snugly.
- Attach the tubes to the tonneau cover using the elbows or barbs.
- Secure everything in place with zip-ties or clamps.
- Test the system by running water over the cover to ensure proper drainage.
DIY tonneau drain solutions are not only practical but also offer a sense of accomplishment and customization. By following these steps and taking inspiration from fellow truck enthusiasts, you can create a tailored solution that enhances your vehicle’s functionality and longevity.