Tonneau Cover with a 5.0 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-03-2012, 03:34 AM   #1
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Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

So we pick up our new 5.0 in a little more than a week... very exciting!

In preparation, I've removed my 1-peice hard tonneau cover (which is great but not with the 5) and replaced it with a snap-on, soft cover. It'll keep the hitch dry when I'm not towing. and roll out of the way or can be removed and stored when I am. The snaps are not convenient, but allow access to the front of the box.

But here's the thing, what if want to cut a hole (and maybe a slit) so that I can leave the cover in place while I'm towing? The goal is to keep stuff in the back of the truck from blowing around in the wind, and maybe a little dry. My friends with "real" 5th wheels (I say behemoths) have got me believing there will be gale force winds back there. I figure it couldn't hurt gas mileage either.

I'm looking for ideas, suggestions, or better still, what you did or would do next time from someone that tried it.

Thanks to anyone that can help.

John
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Hi John,

I can't recall seeing anyone trying what you have described. The kingpin box will need to pivot during turns so that means the hole in the cover has to be sizeable. And you may get wind turbulance due to that hole. I think before I ruined the cover I would take a cheap poly tarp with the hole needed and try it first. Somehow you would need to secure the cheap tarp down over the sides with straps and duck tape. Then take it for a test at hiway speeds.

I can tell you this by experience. When driving the 2400 miles in July to Chilliwack for delivery, we fought to keep our
stuff dry and covered in back nearly all the way. When I left home I thought I had it very secure over the bed sides. Wind just gets up under it until things come loose.

Personally I would fool with it. Just use the soft cover when not hitched. I use a cross box and keep the rest low and clear of the kingpin box.

Congratulations on your 5.0! I think you are going to love it John. They pull great and it's size gives you parking options your big behemoth friends won't have. I can hand push my rig on flat concrete around home with pivot wheels on the jack legs. I have some of those friends too who drool over my 5.0 but are stuck with their Texas size 5er.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:55 PM   #3
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Hi: JohnE3... I've had 2 trucks with 2 diff. tonneaus. The Nissan has a 3 fold forward cover. Someone warned me not to keep it on during towing but so far after 1000's of miles it's still there.
Our GMC had a snap down cover and I used to roll one of the rails in the cover and velcro round it leaving the snaps shut across the front of the box. Both worked fine!!!
Someone I know had two zippers, spaced about a foot apart, installed in his soft cover from the hitch plate back Alf
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:54 AM   #4
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Some great ideas! ... and some dire warnings.

I'll try a tarp, somehow secure it, before I cut the tonneau cover, but if I mess up the cover, it's not a fortune to replace. In the meantime, I can use the suggestion to roll it up with one of the cross-bars; there's velcro already attached.

The cover's fairly well sealed around the edge now, but I don't know with a hole in it. I can place a cross bar to allow securing the trailing edge of the hole (snaps or velcro), and another for the front edge if needed. A little water ingress is ok (I'll only store what can handle it in the box), but if enough wind gets under it, I'm sunk! Yep, probably best to experiment with a tarp first.

We're taking the trailer on a month long trip East, so maybe I'll enlist the help of friends and family along the way. There's a few with the skills to fabricate something if I can make it a challenge... maybe a contest... a case of beer to the winner!

If I find something that works, I'll post it. If not, forget I even mentioned it.


Cheers
John


I wonder if my kayak skirt could figure into this... I'll pack it just in case.

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Old 09-04-2012, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Ushually any air under the soft box covers means they are flaping all over the place. I think a trial run would be a good idea.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Your ides caught my attention. Perhaps something like a kayak spray skirt around the kingpin to keep the whole bed dry. Don't know how it would work at highway speeds, however.

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Old 09-04-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Wouldn't Rubbermaid containers be easier and more flexible?

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:55 AM   #8
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

To reply to some of the comments:

Right now, without a hole for the pin box, the soft cover is very stable at highway speeds; What will happen with a hole... I'll find out... but yes, perhaps in a trial with a tarp first.

I'm doubtful about the skirt as well. It's small though; just a little bigger than the pin box. It would be sacrificed to the cause in order to make it the right size and attach it.

And Rubbermaid containers?! There's no challenge or sense of accomplishment in that. Easier maybe, but not as much fun.

In the end, I may just end up with a ruined tonneau cover and be too embarrassed to post the result. But that's what duct tape is for.


Cheers,
John
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:05 AM   #9
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Hi John,

I might add that I too experienced different wind turbulance while towing the 5.0.
On my journey home, I lost my homemade insulated cover off my ice chest.
It has rode in my truck bed for thousands of miles before the new 5.0.

Show us some pics of your new rig when get back to "home 20".

David
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:02 AM   #10
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Re: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

At the risk of seeming mundane, I've been very happy with a couple of Rubbermaid boxes tied down in front of the hitch while towing.

I was surprised with the amount of turbulence back there with the tailgate in place. The airflow smoothed out a bit once I removed the tailgate, but it was still sufficient to produce dancing chocks. They were simply looped around the hitch and became literally knotted around the hitch before I corrected the problem.

One thing has become apparent in the almost 2 years we've been camping in the Escape. There is plenty of storage space in the trailer itself. I only carry one Rubbermaid container (the "Hardware" box), a milk crate filled with spare propane canisters and (when dry camping) an extra battery in the truck bed these days. Everything else is packed away in the trailer. We still have empty cabinets!

Dave
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