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How to Choose a Bed Cover for Your F-250

If you didn’t need a big bed, you wouldn’t have an F-250. Tools, building materials, equipment, toys, and even groceries will all make their way back there. The problem for many is the bed is wide open. Because a cap impedes immediate access to the bed, it’s not always the optimal answer. This leaves one other solution – a bed cover.2011-2019-f250-with-a-single-panel-bed-cover.JPG

Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of a Bed Cover
  2. Considerations When Picking a Cover
  3. Soft Cover Types
  4. Hard Covers Types
  5. Length of Your Bed
  6. Tool Box Compatibility
Shop F250 Bed Covers

Bed covers are one of the top truck utility items. Offerings your F250's bed both protection and privacy, there are endless varieties to fit your truck's purpose. F250s with a tool box can utilize specially formed covers, and there are also metal covers for the best in theft prevention.

F250 Bed Covers

Benefits of a Bed Cover

There are many reasons to install a bed cover on your F-250. A bed cover does multiple duties, including keeping rain and leaves from polluting the cargo area, and deterring thieves from viewing and then snatching valuable gear. A cover also steers attention away from whatever mess you may have going on during the family cookout.

Considerations When Picking a Cover

You’re going to come across a ton of options while shopping for a bed cover. You may only need the cover to do one simple job such as keep your cargo hidden, but other factors such as work and your residence will help decide what type of features you’ll need in a cover. This is why it’s important to balance your lifestyle with the features available on the market.

Security: Security should be your first concern – especially if you live in an area where crime is high. You’ll want to make sure you find yourself a locking bed cover. Hard covers are also better for security as determined thieves can simply cut through soft vinyl covers.

Color: Bed covers are traditionally sold in a black finish. Some tilting hard covers can be painted to match the cabin. This, of course, will be an additional cost but is very aesthetically appealing.

Climate: Climate is a big factor to consider. You can use any bed cover in areas with mild weather, but snow will cause some added weight and additional considerations.

Truck Height: Being able to access the bed once a cover is installed is a major concern. Having to flip up a hard cover on a lifted truck may be a difficult task and should be taken into consideration when shopping.

Budget: Bed covers will vary in price. Soft rolling covers are usually the cheapest moving up to different storage systems, and materials used will raise the price. Of course, these options will need to be factored into your choice.

Soft Cover Types

Not all soft covers are the same. Most all will be constructed of soft vinyl material and how they secure to the bed will vary. There is one primary difference to take into consideration which is how the cover is pulled away from the bed.

Roll Up: Because of their affordability, soft rolling covers are the most common type of bed cover you will come across. These covers use a vinyl sheet that spans over the bed from front to back and will be rolled up towards the cabin for bed access. These covers use bows that run the width of the bed to set tension much like a convertible top.

Folding: A soft folding cover is constructed of the same material as a rolling cover, but folds into two to four sections to quickly gain bed access. These are the next most affordable bed cover options and will be fairly common.

Hard Covers Types

Hard covers are the go-to choice for those concerned with durability and security. Using a hard material gives manufacturers a wide range of configurations to use as a base of cover’s makeup. This boils down to F-250 owners having quite the selection to work with.

Hinged: Hinged hard covers are constructed of a solid piece of material (typically fiberglass) that covers the bed. To access the cargo area, the cover is tilted up with the aid of lift assists. These are the covers that can be painted to match the truck.

Folding: Folding hard covers are just like folding soft covers because each section allows access to the bed. The main difference is these covers can be constructed from a variety of hard materials.

Retractable Covers: Retractable hard covers store away into a canister mounted in the bed. These are made of dozens of small sections which make it possible for them to store away. The canister is located beneath the bed and rails are used for the cover to slide through which helps them mount flush with the bed sides.

Roll Up: Like retractable covers, hard folding covers are constructed of a bunch of small sections made of hard materials. These covers roll up and out of the way just like a soft cover.

Length of Your Bed

To select the correct bed cover for an F-250, the bed size will need to be accounted for. Ford only lists the F-250 with two bed lengths, but one may still be unsure of their bed size. To further add to the confusion, unlike the F-150, the cab length does not directly affect the bed size.

The two primary bed lengths are 81.6 inches or 98.4 inches. To find out what you have, you will need to take a measurement starting from the inside of the tailgate to the inside of the bulkhead. Because most bed cover manufacturers work on feet instead of inches, you will want to convert your measurement to foot value. The 81.6-inch measurement is 6.8 feet in length, and the 98.4-inch to 8.2 feet. A round number will likely be used, so 6.8 feet will be rounded up to 7 feet and 8.2 feet rounded down to 8 feet.

Tool Box Compatibility

If the F-250 in question is fitted with a toolbox, you may be concerned you will no longer be able to use your toolbox should you opt for a bed cover. This is not the case; many popular cover series will be offered in a configuration designed to accommodate a bed-mounted toolbox. You’ll need to know the width of the toolbox, so you can buy the appropriate length cover.

Fitment includes: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited