How To Cover Truck Bed With Tarp? Mastering the Technique

Are you looking to protect your truck bed from the elements? Covering it with a tarp is a simple and effective solution.

But how do you ensure a secure fit and maximum coverage? 

In this article, we’ll explore the steps to cover your truck bed with a tarp, providing you with valuable tips and insights. 

How To Cover Truck Bed With Tarp

How To Cover Truck Bed With Tarp?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cover a truck bed with a tarp:

Choose the right tarp:

When covering a truck bed with a tarp, it’s essential to select the right tarp for the job.

Look for a tarp that is specifically designed for truck beds and large enough to cover the entire area.

Consider the size and dimensions of your truck bed to ensure the tarp will provide adequate coverage.

Additionally, opt for a heavy-duty tarp made of waterproof material to ensure durability and protection against the elements.

Prepare the truck bed:

Before installing the tarp, it’s important to prepare the truck bed properly.

Start by cleaning the truck bed thoroughly to remove any debris, dirt, or loose items that may interfere with the tarp installation.

Use a broom or brush to sweep away dirt, and consider using a hose or pressure washer to wash the bed if necessary.

Allow the bed to dry completely before proceeding to ensure proper adhesion of the tarp.

Position the tarp:

Once the truck bed is clean and dry, it’s time to position the tarp.

Unfold the tarp and place it over the truck bed, making sure it is centered and aligned with the edges of the bed.

Ensure that the tarp covers the entire bed, leaving enough overhang on all sides to provide adequate coverage.

Take your time to adjust the tarp as needed to achieve proper alignment.

Secure the tarp:

To secure the tarp to the truck bed, start from one end and fold the excess tarp over the sides of the truck.

This will help prevent the wind from catching the tarp and causing it to flap or come loose.

Use bungee cords, heavy-duty straps, or ratchet straps to secure the tarp in place.

Attach the cords or straps to the designated anchor points on the truck bed, such as hooks or tie-downs.

Make sure the cords or straps are tightened securely to hold the tarp in place.

Tighten the tarp:

Once the tarp is secured, it’s important to check for any sagging or loose areas and tighten them as necessary.

This step is crucial to prevent flapping of the tarp during transit and ensure a snug fit.

However, be cautious not to overtighten the tarp, as it may lead to damage or strain on the securing points.

Adjust the tension evenly across the tarp to maintain a balanced and secure cover.

Check for coverage and security:

After tightening the tarp, take a walk around the truck to inspect the coverage and security of the tarp.

Ensure that the tarp adequately covers the entire truck bed without any gaps or loose areas.

Pay attention to the sides, corners, and tailgate to confirm that they are properly secured. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure a tight and secure fit.

Test the tarp:

If possible, it’s recommended to take a short test drive to ensure that the tarp remains securely in place during transit.

This will help identify any potential issues such as excessive flapping or loosening of the tarp.

While driving, pay attention to any signs of the tarp coming loose or shifting.

If needed, stop and readjust the tension or secure any loose areas to ensure the tarp stays in place throughout the journey.

8 Benefits of Tarp Truck Bed Covers

Here are the benefits of Tarp Truck Bed Covers:

8 Benefits of Tarp Truck Bed Covers

Enhanced Cargo Protection

When you use a tarp truck bed cover, you experience a significant boost in cargo protection.

The cover acts as a shield, safeguarding your items from various elements such as rain, snow, dust, and UV rays. 

It prevents moisture from seeping into the truck bed and damaging your goods, keeping them secure and intact during transportation.

With this added protection, you can confidently transport delicate or valuable items without worrying about potential damage.

Improved Fuel Efficiency

Tarp truck bed covers contribute to improved fuel efficiency, which can positively impact your bottom line.

By minimizing air drag caused by an exposed truck bed, these covers reduce the resistance encountered while driving. 

As a result, your vehicle requires less energy to move forward, leading to increased fuel economy.

This not only saves you money on fuel expenses but also reduces your carbon footprint by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Increased Security

One of the key advantages of using tarp truck bed covers is the heightened security they provide.

These covers act as a deterrent to theft and unauthorized access, keeping your cargo safe from prying eyes and potential thieves. 

By concealing your truck bed contents, they prevent opportunistic theft and discourage individuals from targeting your vehicle.

This added layer of security offers peace of mind, especially when parking in public areas or overnight stops.

Weather Resistance

Benefits of Tarp Truck Bed Covers Weather Resistance

Tarp truck bed covers are designed to withstand various weather conditions, making them an excellent choice for all-season use.

They are typically made from durable and weather-resistant materials such as vinyl or heavy-duty fabrics, providing reliable protection against rain, snow, and wind. 

Additionally, some covers come with built-in features like adjustable tension systems and reinforced seams to further enhance their weather resistance. 

With a weather-resistant tarp cover, you can confidently transport your goods regardless of the forecast.

Versatility and Convenience

Tarp truck bed covers offer exceptional versatility and convenience, making them a valuable addition to any truck.

They are available in various designs, such as roll-up, folding, or retractable covers, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your needs. 

Furthermore, these covers are typically easy to install and remove, requiring minimal effort and time.

Their lightweight and compact nature also enables you to store them conveniently when not in use. 

Whether you need to transport large items or protect your cargo from the elements, tarp truck bed covers offer the flexibility and convenience you require.

Improved Aerodynamics

By reducing air drag, tarp truck bed covers significantly improve the aerodynamics of your vehicle.

The streamlined design of these covers helps the air flow smoothly over the truck bed, minimizing turbulence and drag that can slow down your vehicle. 

This improved aerodynamic efficiency translates into better overall performance, allowing for smoother and more efficient driving. 

Whether you’re traveling long distances or simply commuting around town, the enhanced aerodynamics provided by a tarp truck bed cover can make a noticeable difference.

Protection Against UV Damage

Extended exposure to sunlight can cause significant damage to your cargo, especially items that are sensitive to UV rays.

Tarp truck bed covers offer an effective solution by providing a barrier against harmful ultraviolet radiation. 

The materials used in these covers have UV-resistant properties, preventing the sun’s rays from reaching and potentially fading or degrading your cargo. 

This UV protection ensures that your goods remain in excellent condition, even during long journeys under the scorching sun.

Enhanced Truck Bed Longevity

Using a tarp truck bed cover contributes to the longevity of your truck bed itself.

The cover acts as a shield, protecting the bed from scratches, dents, and other forms of damage that can occur during transportation. 

By preventing direct contact between your cargo and the truck bed, these covers help maintain its original condition, preserving

Tips on Choosing a Tarp For Your Truck Bed

Tips on Choosing a Tarp For Your Truck Bed

Here are some tips on choosing a tarp for your truck bed:

Determine Your Needs and Requirements

Before embarking on your tarp-buying journey, take a moment to assess your needs and requirements.

Ask yourself: What will you be using the tarp for? Will it primarily shield your truck bed from rain, snow, or sunlight? 

Do you need a tarp that can withstand heavy-duty use? Understanding your specific needs will narrow down your options and ensure you select a tarp that meets your expectations.

Consider the Material

Tarp materials vary in terms of strength, durability, and suitability for different weather conditions.

The most common materials include polyethylene, vinyl, and canvas.

Polyethylene tarps are lightweight, waterproof, and resistant to UV rays, making them a popular choice for everyday use. 

Vinyl tarps are known for their exceptional durability and resistance to tearing and abrasion, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications. 

Canvas tarps are highly breathable and provide reliable protection against moisture, making them suitable for extended outdoor storage.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each material to make an informed decision.

Choose the Right Size

Now that you know your needs and have an idea about the material, it’s time to determine the right size for your truck bed.

Measure the dimensions of your bed carefully, accounting for any protrusions such as toolboxes or rails. 

Remember to leave a bit of extra room on each side to ensure the tarp can be securely fastened.

Selecting the correct size will ensure a snug fit and maximum coverage, protecting your cargo effectively.

Opt for Reinforced Edges and Grommets

To ensure your tarp stays securely in place, look for reinforced edges and grommets.

Reinforced edges provide additional strength and durability, preventing the tarp from fraying or tearing easily. 

Grommets, usually made of metal or heavy-duty plastic, offer convenient attachment points for ropes, bungee cords, or hooks. 

They enable you to secure the tarp tightly to your truck bed, ensuring it doesn’t shift or become loose during transit.

Consider Additional Features

When choosing a tarp, consider any additional features that may enhance its functionality.

Some tarps come with built-in UV protection to shield your cargo from harmful sun rays. 

Others have mildew and mold resistance, making them suitable for humid climates.

If you often transport items with sharp edges or corners, consider tarps with added tear resistance to prevent punctures. 

Reflect on your specific requirements and select a tarp with features that align with your needs.

Read Customer Reviews and Ratings

Before making a final decision, take the time to read customer reviews and ratings.

These can provide valuable insights into the tarp’s performance, durability, and overall satisfaction of previous buyers. P

ay attention to feedback regarding quality, ease of use, and longevity.

Real-world experiences from other truck owners can help you gauge the reliability and effectiveness of the tarp you are considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Cover A Truck Bed With A Tarp?

The best way to cover a truck bed with a tarp is to first measure your bed size, choose a tarp that matches those dimensions, and then secure it tightly using ropes or bungee cords.

Can Any Type Of Tarp Be Used To Cover A Truck Bed?

Yes, you can use different types of tarps to cover a truck bed, such as polyethylene, vinyl, or canvas.

Choose a tarp based on your specific needs and the level of durability required.

How Do I Secure The Tarp To My Truck Bed?

To secure the tarp to your truck bed, utilize the reinforced edges and grommets of the tarp.

Attach ropes, bungee cords, or hooks through the grommets and secure them to your truck’s anchor points or tie-downs.

What Size Tarp Should I Get For My Truck Bed?

Measure your truck bed’s length and width, accounting for any protrusions.

Select a tarp that matches these dimensions, leaving some extra room on each side for a secure fit.

Can I Drive With The Tarp Covering My Truck Bed?

Yes, you can drive with the tarp covering your truck bed, but ensure it is securely fastened to avoid flapping or coming loose during transit.

Check the tarp regularly to ensure it remains in place.

How Do I Protect My Cargo From Rain When Using A Tarp?

To protect your cargo from rain, ensure the tarp completely covers the truck bed and is securely fastened.

Consider using a waterproof tarp or adding additional protection, such as plastic sheets, under the tarp for added water resistance.

How Can I Prevent The Tarp From Tearing Or Wearing Out Quickly?

Choose a tarp made of durable materials like vinyl or canvas, as they are more resistant to tears and abrasions.

Opt for tarps with reinforced edges, and avoid dragging heavy or sharp objects across the tarp to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.


Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge and tips on how to cover your truck bed with a tarp, you can confidently protect your cargo from the elements. 

By choosing the right size, and material, and securing it tightly, you’ll ensure maximum coverage and durability.

So, go ahead and invest in a high-quality tarp that suits your needs. 

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