Four Truck Cap Care Tips

A truck cap increases the usefulness of your truck's bed, since it provides a weatherproof and theft-resistant storage and transport area. A cap is an investment, so you want to make sure you care for it properly so it continues to work well and look good. Most caps are made of fiberglass or aluminum, which is then painted with an automotive paint. For this reason, care requirements are similar for most types of caps.

Tip #1: Park Wisely

The same things that damage the paint on your truck can also damage the cap. Avoid parking underneath trees where sap and bird droppings can etch and damage the paint. This can be a challenge, since repeated exposure to bright sunlight can also fade or oxidize paint. The best parking spot is inside a garage or beneath a canopy that provides shade without the danger of bird droppings. If those aren't available, parking on the shaded side of a building or fence can provide some protection.

Tip #2: Keep It Clean

A clean cap is less likely to suffer permanent paint damage. Wash the cap with soapy water and a large, non-abrasive sponge. Rinse it with clear water and then dry it with a large, soft towel. Skip any abrasive cleaners and never wipe a dry cap with a dry towel – this can lead to scratches on the finish. Either the towel or the cap should be wet any time you are wiping the surface.

Tip #3: Manage Snow Properly

Caps aren't equipped with windshield wipers or defrosting heaters, so you will need to scrape the snow and ice off by hand. When doing so, only scrape the windows and only use an actual ice scraper. Do not scrape ice or snow off the painted portions of the cap, since this can cause scratches. If you must remove a build up of snow from the roof of the cap, use a large broom or a snow brush to gently knock it off.

Tip #4: Maintain the Hardware

Keep the locks and hinges on the truck cap lubricated, and check them for rust regularly. You can simply spray a small amount of a mechanical lubricant, such as a lithium grease, into the lock or hinge, and then move it back and forth a couple of time so the lubricant works its way inside. Make sure any lubricant you use is recommended for locks, otherwise it may gum them up. It's also a good idea to inspect the tie downs and bolts that hold the cap in place periodically, just to make sure they aren't rusting or coming loose.

You can talk to professionals or sales representatives at auto accessory shops, such as J & C Campers, for more maintenance information to keep your truck cap looking nice for as long as possible.