Tonneau covers are some of the most popular aftermarket truck upgrades. They not only upgrade the look of your truck, but they serve a very important purpose locking down the contents of your truck bed as well as protecting them from the environment. We were able to install a retractable Peragon aluminum tonneau cover on a 2015 Ford F-150 and wanted the opportunity to describe the installation process as well as our thoughts on using it on our work truck for the past several weeks.
Peragon Aluminum Tonneau Cover Features
Before anything else, it’s important to note that the Peragon tonneau cover is an aluminum product that folds up (retracts) like an accordion towards the cab-side of the truck bed. It’s also removable, and you can very quickly retract it and pull it out of the bed simply by releasing a single catch and lifting it up and out. Because the retractable cover folds up like an accordion, Peragon includes rubber bumpers to protect the cover as it collapses together—critical if you don’t want to mar the aluminum surface. We ordered our Peragon tonneau cover in Classic Black, but it’s also available in Arctic White and Mossy Oak (camo)—plus they can Paint Match the cover to blend in perfectly with your existing truck color.
It’s hard to talk about features without mentioning options, and there are several with the Peragon tonneau cover:
- Stainless Steel Hardware – This is a necessary upgrade if you intend to use the truck for a long time and want hardware that won’t oxidize on you. The stainless hardware includes…
- Dual Locking Bar – The standard lock on the Peragon tonneau cover locks the driver side only, but the dual locking bar upgrade uses the same keyed lock to also pin the passenger side. This does a great job of preventing the tonneau cover from being forced open from the “weak” side when it’s locked.
- Tailgate Seal – This seal is a simple product that lets you get a better seal that keeps out water form encroaching rom the sides and bottom of the tailgate. It definitely helps reduce the amount of water that can work its way into the truck bed when the tonneau cover is in place.
- LED Light – This small LED light puck can be affixed to the side of the truck bed, giving you some much-needed interior light when using the tonneau cover in the closed position.
- Paint Match – Give Peragon the color code from the inside of your door panel, and they can match the color of your tonneau cover to your truck.
The Peragon retractable aluminum tonneau cover is unique in that it doesn’t take up a ton of space when in use. Some covers roll up into a canister, leaving you with a foot of wasted space at the cab end of your truck. Hard covers are equally difficult, taking up a large space when you need to remove them for storage. Peragon’s solution gives you the full use of your truck bed at all times. If the cover is being used, your inside storage goes the full length of the bed. When you don’t need the cover you can just retract it and pull it out. For security, the locking system is reliable and easy to use, and a single key takes care of everything. The entire system is really low profile and doesn’t disrupt the natural look or stance of your truck. Finally, it’s worth noting that the Peragon tonneau cover is one of those Made in the USA products—straight out of Wisconsin.
Peragon Aluminum Tonneau Cover Installation
I have to be honest, I hate IKEA furniture—but I love their instructions. If you’re a visual learner, having a map that shows you how all the parts go together is bliss. Peragon does one better, giving its customers a string of step-by-step easy-to-understand videos that detail ever part of the installation process. Then, they match those videos up to a well-written installation manual with lots of visuals.
We followed the steps exactly as outlined, and only had minor issues along the way (likely due to the design of the unusual aluminum bed design of the 2015 Ford F-150 truck. The key components include the two aluminum side rails under which the tonneau cover slides, the brackets and hardware to secure the rails, and the hardware to guide the cover in both directions. One of the difficulties came in understanding how tightly to fasten each of the bolts. We found that you’ll want to monitor just how much torque you apply so that you don’t begin to dig your interior retaining nut into the side rails, or worse, snap a bolt. Another oddity was the way the right side ramp was positioned. We found that moving the pneumatic pistons to the secondary position was required in order to keep the aluminum tonneau cover from catching on them. Aside from these minor issues, the Peragon tonneau cover installation was actually quite easy—and rather quick.
Peragon sells a weather-resistant LED puck light kit, so if you want to illuminate the interior of your bed when the cover is closed, this is a nice option. The Peragon Infinity LED light installs on the last section of the cover (next to the tailgate) via 3M tape and can be removed from its magnetic base as needed. It has several modes (flash/front/back/full/dim) and operates on three AAA batteries. Run time is over 10 hours in the full-use mode, so it’s a good solution for making sure you can see what you’re doing at night.
Using the Peragon Tonneau Cover
Once installed, we tested the operation of the Peragon aluminum tonneau cover and found it to have a very short break-in period. After opening and closing it a couple times it began to operate flawlessly (In fact, we’re not sure, but we may have been the ones requiring the break-in period). The way it works is that you unlock the cover via the integrated keyed lock, press down between the first two folding panels to start the retracting accordion action. This works against the two gas struts which hold the cover in place. You then gradually continue to allow the panels to fold closed and secure them with a strap (if desired). If you’re not careful, the retracting action can slam your fingers in between the folding aluminum sections, so be sure to control the retraction speed by starting the process and then feeding the cover slowly.
To open the cover, you just pull firmly and consistently on the included strap which remains attached to the bottom of the retracted cover. This brings the retracted tonneau cover towards you, unfolding it along the way. It gets a little more difficult to pull the further you go, but that’s just the resistance of the system building across the surface area of the rails. At the end, you’ll see the final fold straighten out—that’s the reverse purpose of those gas struts. The action is very smooth, a fact we can likely attribute to the use of sealed ball bearing rollers.
Removing the cover completely is equally simple. You just retract the cover, disengage and remove the gas struts, and then press on the quick release lever on the right side of the tonneau cover. Swing the right side towards the tailgate, and you’ll find that the left side comes right out. Since the entire tonneau cover weighs less than 40 pounds, it’s simple to remove and store neatly across the inside of your Super Crew cab (or anywhere else for that matter). Try that with a hard cover!
Tonneau Cover Security
A single key lock is standard, but Peragon offers an optional dual deadbolt system that includes an additional 3/8″ heat treated steel passenger-side deadbolt which is operated via the same single key lock. You don’t have to use the keyed lock to operate the cover, but it’s so simple to operate that it makes sense to maintain the additional security. I tend to local and unlock the cover each time I use it. Since our 2015 Ford F-150 Super Crew has a locking tailgate, you truck bed contents are secure once you lock the tonneau cover—there’s no easy way into the bed at that point. If your tailgate doesn’t lock, you might want to look into an inexpensive third-party locking solution to give you better options for securing your tools and other items in the bed.
Using a TracRac SR Ladder Rack with the Peragon Tonneau Cover
When you go with a traditional tonneau cover, you end up with a product that typically covers the bed rails. Whether your cover rolls up, folds up, or lifts up completely from the top of the truck bed, it’s unlikely you can add accessories like a ladder rack. Because the Peragon aluminum tonneau cover uses side rails that actually attach primarily inside of the truck bed, you can still add a compatible ladder rack. We went with the TracRac SR sliding truck rack, and it installed perfectly on top of the Peragon tonneau cover side rails, giving us the best of both accessories.
The Peragon aluminum tonneau cover is a great system that really works—and looks like it will continue to work for many years to come. It’s a relatively simple install (love the videos!), has durable components, and it made in the USA. It gives you more space and more flexibility than most other tonneau cover solutions we’ve seen. About the only recommendation we’d make would be the inclusion of some sort of integrated fastening system to secure the folded tonneau cover when you need the bed opened up. I opted to use an open-ended bungee cord that was simple to slide in place and which didn’t present an abrasion risk for the cover.