Sometimes it seems like trucks and Jeep couldn’t be more different, even though they’re two of the most popular vehicles purchases for off-roading. And it’s true that certain parts that you buy for a truck you would never even consider for a Jeep, and vice versa. Two such parts are Jeep tops and tonneau covers. They seem like they couldn’t be more different, but if you look closer you’ll find there are actually quite a few similarities between the two.
First of all, both Jeep tops and tonneau covers are designed to protect against the ill effects of Mother Nature. Jeep tops enclose the cab, and often backseat, of the vehicle so that the driver, passengers, and cargo remain dry and free from wind, rain, snow, and anything else the weather hurls at them. Obviously, trucks have a built in cab so they don’t need anything extra to protect them there, but the truck bed is wide open, leaving any cargo that’s stored there vulnerable. When a tonneau cover is closed, it will keep everything within dry. Some tonneau covers even have special drains to direct excess water away from the truck bed. So in their own ways, both Jeep tops and tonneau covers make sure the weather stays on the outside, where it belongs.
Another thing that tonneau covers and Jeep tops keep out is potential thieves. Tonneau covers are especially great at that because many of them lock into position when the tailgate is closed, leaving the truck bed almost impenetrable. If the tonneau cover weren’t installed, any cargo in the truck bed would be open to whoever wanted to come along and snatch it. The same goes for Jeep tops. If a Jeep top isn’t installed on the vehicle, there’s nothing standing between the passerby and the cargo inside. While neither of these can prevent theft altogether, they’re both a great tool for making it much less likely that you’ll be a victim of robbery.
And lastly, both Jeep tops and tonneau covers come in “soft” and “hard” versions, pretty much for the same reasons. If you live in the high desert where you only get rain a couple times a year, you’re probably going to need much less protection than someone who lives in snow- and ice-covered Alaska. So why would you want to shell out extra money for a heavy-duty Jeep top or tonneau cover that offers more protection than you need? Both Jeep top and tonneau cover manufacturers recognize the need for variable choices in their products, so you can get the type that is suited for your individual situation.
So even though on the surface Jeep tops and tonneau covers are nothing alike, it turns out that their purposes and development actually have a lot of things in common. It’s just one more way that off-roaders can bond together over a mutual interest, no matter which type of vehicle they drive.