How do you seal a truck topper?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you seal a truck topper? We will discuss whether it is necessary to seal a truck topper in the first place and how to keep it in perfect condition all year round. 

How do you seal a truck topper?

Many drivers will wonder how to seal their pick-up truck topper quickly and efficiently. Actually, the sealing technique is very simple and does not require special knowledge. 

  1. Before starting to seal a truck topper, it is necessary to clean it with a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and then wash it (better by hand and not with a pressure washer) with water and specific soap for a truck topper. 
  1. Once the truck topper is clean and dry, apply one layer of sealant with the help of a clean new brush or sponge. 
  1. It is recommended to start the application from the central part of the truck topper and spread the product as quickly as possible towards the front, rear and sides. 
  1. After applying the treatment, the truck topper will be allowed to dry for approximately three hours. However, the drying time will depend on the environmental conditions: on hot days the sealant will dry faster than on days with high humidity. 
  1. For greater protection of the truck topper, it is recommended to apply two coats of sealant, allowing them to dry well between each application. In the same way, the product can be applied to the inside of the truck topper.

Is it really necessary to seal the truck topper?

To keep a pick-up in good condition, you must take maximum care of its truck topper, without forgetting periodic sealing treatments. 

While it is true that pick-up trucks leave the factory with sealed truck toppers, over time, and due to inclement weather, this treatment loses its effectiveness and gradually disappears, leaving the truck topper without any protection against the sun, rain, dust, tree resin, bird droppings, liquids or any other kind of dirt that can damage it.

To avoid all these damages, it is necessary to apply a suitable sealing treatment at least once a year.

This makes the truck topper water repellent again, resists mould and again achieves efficient ultraviolet protection against discolouration caused by the sun, which is essential for long life and impeccable aesthetics of both the truck topper and the car in general. 

Manufacturers typically offer their own sealing products, which until recently were available in easy-to-apply spray formats. However, due to their high contamination, it is increasingly difficult to find them in the form of aerosols and easier in the form of solutions that are diluted in water. 

How to keep the truck topper in perfect all year round

In pick-ups, we can basically find two types of truck toppers, the hard retractable ones – which can be metallic or composite – or the soft ones, which are usually made of fabric or vinyl. 

The advantages of the soft ones are their simplicity, low weight, faster operation and, for many, their greater beauty compared to a hardtop. Among its disadvantages, the main one is its delicacy, which requires certain care if we want to keep them on the first day.

In practice, very few users take special care of them and, therefore, it is not unusual to see cars in circulation with the top in poor condition due to dirt, mould, loss of elasticity, discolouration….

  • Cleaning: The most normal thing is to wash them with the same soap used for the pick-up truck, which is not contraindicated unless its composition contains oils, ammonia and/or detergents. However, it is better to use a specific soap, with a soft bristle brush, after having sucked up any dirt from joints and recesses and having moistened it. 

If we then dry it with a microfiber cloth it will look even better. With excrement or oil stains, we will act the same as on paint, removing them as soon as possible. A damp cloth or a truck topper cleaner – notably 303 pick-ups Top Cleaner – are the best solution.

  • Waterproofing: Also, from time to time, when we see that the drops of water do not slide properly, we will have to apply a waterproofing treatment; Good results are achieved with the Ultra Proofer from Renovo

With the vinyl truck toppers, waterproofing is not so necessary, as they are completely waterproof, although it is highly recommended, since these products protect from pollutants as well as from the sun’s rays, but in the fabric ones it is essential if we do not want water to end up leaking into the passenger compartment. 

These products create a protective barrier against UV rays, acid rain, tree resin, mould, oxidation, bird droppings and other types of stains. They repel moisture and discolouration caused by the sun.

  • Tinting: Another step, when the truck topper is already discoloured by the sun, is to apply a tint to restore its original appearance. Before it will have to be cleaned well, once it has dried spread the product, usually with a brush. A simple task, but it takes time, especially if it is badly damaged and requires more than one layer to be applied. With the Renovo Soft Top Reviver, the results are amazing.
  • Fixing the truck topper plastic windows: On the rear window, if it is glass, we can use glass cleaner, but if it is plastic, under no circumstances. In this case, you must use a specific product that polishes it to eliminate the stripes and the darkened or yellowish areas that appear over time. 

As a result, after polishing, it is not very damaged, which will make more than one thing if the moon is new. In specialized stores we can find a good variety of specific products as well as others valid for all types of transparent, rigid or flexible plastics, capable of restoring the original clarity, eliminating chemical degradation, oxidation, light scratches and all kinds of stains.

More tips to maintain a truck topper 

  • Avoid washing the pick-up in a tunnel of rollers, over time the pressure of the rollers can damage the linkage of its structure, apart from the fact that it is easy for water to enter the cabin.
  • In the case of pressurized water machines, it is better if they are not used, but if there is no other option, we will increase the distance and not apply the jet directly on the joints.
  • After washing, it should not be folded until it dries completely.
  • We must never store outside a truck topper at temperatures close to freezing or below since it loses part of its elasticity so it can crack; especially in the case of vinyl and even more so in those with a plastic rear window.
  • Keeping all the rubber gaskets clean and hydrated will guarantee airtightness.
  • Take it for a ride from time to time, also in winter; if the temperatures are not too low.
  • If you have a garage, never leave the truck topper folded for several days. Some toppers can take a bad shape, accumulate dirt that is difficult to remove and even a joint or bead can be damaged.
  • As you care for your pick-up, immediately remove any stains from your truck topper. 

The bottom line

Sealing, cleaning, waterproofing, fixing and maintaining your truck topper is as essential as caring for your pick-up truck. 

While it is true that pick-up trucks leave the factory with sealed truck toppers, over time, and due to inclement weather, this treatment loses its effectiveness and gradually disappears, leaving the truck topper without any protection against the sun, rain, dust, tree resin, bird droppings, liquids or any other kind of dirt that can damage it. 

As you’ve seen, sealing and weatherizing a truck topper is an easy task that almost anyone can do by themselves.  Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on How do you seal a truck topper?

Are camper shells useful?

Yes, camper shells can be useful. They offer extra space to store your equipment and also protect the truck bed when driving. There are different types and sizes of camper shells, so make sure you choose the one that fits your needs best. 

How much does a truck cap weigh?

On average, a short bed truck cap weighs 170 lbs, while a long bed truck cap weighs 200 lbs. As for other measures, truck caps have height and length variations depending on the type of pick up where they will be installed.

Do camper shells improve gas mileage?

No, camper shells do not improve gas mileage. In fact, for what it’s worth, camper shells lower your mph due to the extra weight. Another fact that we must address here is that camper shells do not improve your truck’s aerodynamics.


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