How to Keep Luggage Dry in a Truck Bed
When it’s time to hit the road for your next camping adventure or road trip your truck bed always fills up with gear quickly. Truck beds are great because they offer lots of room, but the downside is how do you keep all your equipment, gear and luggage safe, secure and dry?
We all know that struggle of strapping down equipment before a trip. Packing the bed like a Tetris game, zig-zagging straps all over it and hoping nothing blows out while we’re driving or gets wet like mentioned.
Truck beds are super convenient because they offer plenty of room for suitcases, duffel bags, and other miscellaneous items, freeing up room for you to relax inside the cab of the pickup.
Of course, the one downside is that the truck bed is open to all sorts of weather, which means if you’re not prepared, you could end up with wet luggage upon arrival.
Luckily, if you want to know how to keep things dry in a truck bed, there are several good ways to do it …
1. Truck Bag
There are several truck bag products on the market today that do a decent job of keeping your luggage and other bags dry in your truck bed.
These bags are typically made of high-quality, non-breathable PVC and feel nearly airtight when stuffed with luggage. When everything is zipped up, you don’t have to worry about your bags getting wet.
And when you arrive at your destination, truck bags fold up nicely, allowing you to store them away until you need to pack up and leave, just make sure to dry it out before storage.
These bags aren’t perfect, though.
For starters, because they’re so airtight, it can be difficult to load up your luggage and zip the bag shut. You need to leave some slack, or you’re going to have a difficult time closing it. If you overfill the bag with your luggage, you could risk breaking the zipper and then having to deal with a repair.
Additionally, if it rains hard, little puddles can form on top of the bag, making it easy for water to spill on your luggage while you’re unzipping the bag. These bags can also leave excess fabric flapping in the wind which can make for a noisy ride.
2. Alternative: Contractor Bags and Duct Tape
If you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a durable bag, placing your luggage inside a 3mm 55-gallon contractor bag – extra-large, extra-thick trash bags – is a solid, if time-intensive alternative. After placing your luggage in the bag, use some duct tape or a cable zip tie to seal it. Each trash bag can fit about two carry-on size bags. You can purchase these bags at your local hardware store in rolls of 50 for about $30.
This alternative option is much less expensive, but it’s not a guarantee. Plus, now you’re the family packing your stuff into garbage bags. Has it really come to this? Contractor bags can rip and leak and you might be lucky to get a few uses out of one, so make sure to pack extra for the return trip.
3. Tonneau Cover
A tonneau cover is a great permanent solution for keeping your luggage dry, safe and secure. They’re nice because tonneau covers have locks so you don’t have to worry about your stuff being taken while you’re taking a pit stop for lunch. Ever seen something blow out of a truck bed? With a tonneau cover you don’t have to worry about that.
Tonneau covers come in either soft- or hard-shell options that roll or fold in to provide you with quick access to the bed, in addition to a range of protective features.
An example is the Truck Gear by LINE-X TG97100 LXP Hard Folding Tonneau Cover. The cover is reinforced with LINE-X-coated aluminum for top-notch protection from the elements and thieves. The cover is also UV stable, which means it won’t fade over time.
It also looks really nice on a truck bed because LINE-X panels are flush-mounted for a low-profile design.
Of course, that low-profile design could be an issue depending on the height of your truck bed and the size of your luggage. There isn’t any “give” when it comes to tonneau covers, so make sure your bags can fit in the bed without popping above the height of the bed. Most truck beds are 21 inches in height.
4. Truck Bed Topper
For those who need a little more vertical space while keeping everything nice and dry, a truck bed topper is the best option.
The LINE-X Elite Topper features a seamless design, making it naturally appear like part of your truck as opposed to an extra accessory. In addition to that custom-fit design that guarantees a dry interior, the roof is insulated for extra thermal efficiency.
The one downside is that when you don’t want it on, the truck topper takes up a lot of room in storage.
If you’re interested in learning more about your truck topper options, you can request a quote here.
If you’re in a pinch, a tarp and some bungees is better than nothing!
So, what’s the best way to tarp a truck bed?
Follow these steps:
- Unfold and lay the tarp down in the empty truck bed.
- Place your luggage in the middle of the tarp.
- Wrap the tarp around your bags.
- If you have a bungee, run it under the luggage that’s now covered by the tarp and pull it tightly over top to keep the tarp secure.
Obviously, tarps aren’t a perfect solution. Unless you plan on duct-taping the tarp around your bags repeatedly, there’s always a chance that rain or snow can get to your luggage.
Contact Your Local LINE-X Store
If you want a long-term solution to keep your truck bed dry, reach out to your local LINE-X store to learn more about your options.
To keep your stuff dry in a truck bed, the most popular options are either a tonneau cover or a truck topper. Your local LINE-X dealer can help you find the option and the model that best fits your truck and your budget. Contact us today, and be absolutely ready for that next road trip.