Why Is It Called A Tonneau Cover

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Tonneau – where did it come from?? Why is it called that? Has your mind called out for questions like this? And have you ever wondered about it?? It turns out, that it is called this, because of its origin.

Tonneau, the word, in French means a container, or a barrel. It is also interesting to know that Tonneau was present even before the trucks were invented. The French used a tarp to cover any of their storage and protect it from bad weather and prying eyes. The modern-day Tonneau is known as the soft or hard truck bed cover.

So, how did some random French word occupy a place in the all-American truck? To know this, we have to turn the pages dating back to the olden days. The carmakers in the 20th century came up with their designs and configurations with the popular one being a Tonneau.

The term “Tonneau”, initially was used to refer to a compartment for rear passengers. These compartments are typically round like a barrel. The Tonneau’s also had coverings made of leather to protect it while not in use.

Recent day Tonneau

Tonneau covers these days are used for plenty of reasons. They are used for the benefits like security, style, to keep things dry, etc. The Tonneau covers are today an industry by itself. Tonneau covers come in plenty of styles and designs. You may add some shine to your vehicle or plan to upgrade it or add some function to it.

Why what and how of Tonneau

Irrespective of the route you take, a good tonneau is said to provide protection from bad weather, storage facilities, enhanced security, uplifted functionality, and fuel efficiency. A tonneau cover seals everything at the back of your truck and any storage items down there. Most tonneau comes with weatherproof to keep those elements at bay. Now, you can relax and you don’t need to often think of clearing your truck bed of the snow, leaves, or dirt.

The aerodynamic drag is turned down by tonneau. This reduction in drag may result in increased fuel efficiency. The effectiveness of fuel efficiency will be based on the type and model.

Tonneau’s come with different configurations. They have sliding toolboxes to wheel hump pockets. These options stop the gear from sliding around. Some truck covers also come with an alluring payload. They have snowmobiles, ATVs, racks for bikes or motorcycles.

Tons of difference choices

Remember, the Tonneau is an industry by itself? Yes, there are plenty of choices out there and it really becomes difficult to make a choice. So, when you are ready to choose a tonneau see that you consider the environment first. Choose where you are parking the truck. The weather in which it is parked, etc.,

There are wide range of tonneau covers. The simplest of the covers come with a vinyl- fabric that is soft. They are secured with Velcro straps. Superior vinyl-fabric tonneau covers are weather-resistant. If you have the habit of using your truck cover to store tools at the cost of security, then buying a high-end tonneau would be a better choice.

They also come in many different types of covers themselves, such as tri-fold and roll up.

Reasons why you should upgrade your vehicle with a tonneau cover

The first reason why you should use a tonneau cover is the enhanced security it provides. If you are transporting prized possessions then a tonneau cover will provide the needed security. Tonneau covers hide the entire item you are transporting and this reduces the chances for potential theft. Most tonneaus are hard to break in and they also come with a lock system. It also protects the items from damage.

Better mileage is the next big advantage while using a tonneau cover. It prevents aerodynamic drag, thereby providing better mileage.

The next advantage is that the tonneau holds things in place. It is very likely that articles move places while in motion. They sometimes even fly away. The chances of any article flying away from the truck are prevented by the use of a tonneau.

Installing a tonneau cover can up the value of your vehicle. Firstly, you would have saved a good amount through reduced fuel consumption. Also, the vehicle remains in a good condition with the installation of a tonneau cover. This also means a better resale value.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pronounce the word Tonneau?

According to the Webster’s Dictionary it is said like tä-ˌnō, with the no, sounding like “know”.

Do Tonneau covers keep water out?

Yes, tonneau covers with weatherproof build will keep out rainwater. Thankfully most of these covers are built with this consturction, meaning you should be able to keep water out of your bed no problem with a tonneau cover. I personally have one on my truck and does a great job with this.

Do Tonneau covers improve MPG?

The tonneau cover provides reduced aerodynamic drag. This is one of the tonneau cover’s main function, but it also offers a ton of other benefits as well. Some tonneaus are actually made to increase MPG by not capturing air in the bed of the truck, and instead gives a smooth surface for the air to move quickly over top of, instead of creating a vortex.


Regardless of where the word came from, or even how it is said, the tonneau cover is here to stay as long as we have trucks that have open beds on them. I mean, even cars are getting beds these days!

Tonneaus are designed for easy access to the bed of the truck and ease of use. Also tonneau covers improve MPG, lower gas consumption and help in reducing aerodynamic drag. Good tonneau cover can also assist in protecting your cargo from theft or damage which leads to better resale value .

You may get tonneau cover for the price as low as $100, but in most cases you would have to spend over $250. This will depend upon the tonneau type you choose to buy. It is a good idea to take time and find out about tonneaus before buying one. Know your purpose of use and know weather