Jim was right. The maker of the newest accessory for his GMC truck really did think of everything, right down to the nitty-gritty details of fishing a bolt through a blind hole and including a trick little tool to make it easier. That’s not always the case when installing an accessory. Often times it can be a frustrating matter of trial, error, rework and refit. Not this time! The ACCESS ORIGINAL SLANTBACK Roll-Up Cover was all access right down to the smallest details.
Truck covers are all about protection, both for your truck, and for whatever you are hauling in it. Nobody cares about the load of deck lumber or dirty riding gear you’re hauling home, but many a roving eye would take a liking to your toolbox left so temptingly out in the open. A cover for the rear of your truck can protect them from both Mother Nature’s elements, and the ne-r-do-well elements of the world equally well. It should also look great doing it. When Jim rolled up in a new GMC recently it was a great opportunity to put a new cover to the test, and since we had great luck with our last ACCESS cover it was a natural choice to install one this time. The features that have made the Access Original Roll-Up Cover so popular are:
- Extruded aluminum frame for excellent fit against bed rails. Powder-coated black for good looks and corrosion protection
- Textured, double coated commercial grade vinyl fabric is highly durable and reinforced at seams with integrated seals at front and rear
- Vinyl fabric is UV protected
- Tension adjuster at front helps keep cover tight and requires no tools for adjustment
- Autolatch dual locking system at rear keeps cover closed and secure
- Storage straps at the front keep cover out of the way when hauling objects taller than bed rails.
- Five year limited warranty
Inside the ACCESS box was everything needed for an easy installation job, including very detailed instructions. All we needed was a couple wrenches to tighten bolts on the bed rail clamps. As with an accessory you are installing, attention to detail, alignment, and fit makes a big difference in how the end product turns out. It’s pretty intuitive to determine where everything goes with the ACCESS cover kit, but the instructions are handy for details and setup tips and we were in no hurry. We actually had to consult the instructions for one odd part included though. Looking every bit like a spring, it turns out the twisted metal coil was actually a tool to help you fish a bolt through the stake pockets in the truck bed rail. Great idea, and kudos to ACCESS for even considering this! It shows their attention to detail.
First to be installed were the extruded aluminum top rails, and one tip we suggest is to align them with the truck bed rails, and then use a C-clamp to help hold them in place as you fasten the clamps included with the kit. ACCESS provides rubber backing strips to help fill any gaps between the stamped edges of the truck bed rails and the clamps, and we used a couple to help keep everything aligned and centered under the clamps. It makes a nice, neat, secure job that way. The extruded rails feel beefy while the inside ledge provides a solid foundation for the cover, and an edge preventing water from creeping into the truck bed. With the aluminum top rails in place we rolled out the cover.
There are no secrets to how the cover is installed. Bolt on the tensioning wheels at the front, install the front weather seal, and roll the cover towards the tailgate. Aluminum stiffening ribs ride on the newly installed extruded bed rails and help keep the cover taut. At the rear an easy to use latch snaps the cover down securely. Once the bed rails were bolted down and our cover was laid on top there was little adjustment needed to get it perfectly placed. By dialing the front adjuster wheels we were able to draw it in perfectly along both sides and with just enough tension to keep it tight. You want the cover tight enough to fit securely and smoothly, but not so tight that the rear is difficult to snap in place over the tailgate. Velcro strips along each side help fasten it down even more. We didn’t stop there though.
Dusty roads find a way to leak into the truck bed, but ACCESS had a rear seal kit to take up any gap between the tailgate and truck bed. The Tailgate Seal Kit is really an extruded rubber tube with a sticky backing on one side. All you need to do is stick it between the tailgate and box and your leaking dust and rain problems are pretty much solved. It you were really careful with how you applied the new seal you may be able to turn your truck into a rolling swimming pool.
We also preferred a little more light in our truck bed, especially when fishing out grocery bags or tools at night. ACCESS again has you covered with a handy LED light. The LED Light Kit is a nifty strip of LED lights with a sticky backing strip, and a small battery / switch pod about the size of your cell phone. Simply stick the light strip where it will do the most good, and locate the switch pod where it will be easy to reach, but not likely to be hit with anything you will be hauling. It’s simple, quick, and it makes a great accessory for nighttime use. Finally, the ACCESS RETRIEVER tool makes grabbing anything that rolled to the front of your bed much easier, and unlike a kid who could do the same, this retriever won’t whine for nuggets and clutter up your back seat when not in use.
READY TO ROLL
We’ve tossed gear in the back of our truck, strapped it to our ATVs or Side x Side, and loaded down our trailer, but you always have that nagging wonder if it will arrive safe and dry. Not anymore. The ACCESS Original cover has our gear protected. When it comes time to haul our ATV, mower, or anything taller than the truck bed we roll up the cover and snap it safely out of the way. Total installation time was about 45 minutes and required a minimum of tools and effort, and it looks great. If it’s half as durable as our last ACCESS cover we’ll be fully protected for many years to come!
www.accesscover.com toll free: 877-708-4787
Original Slantback Roll-Up Cover msrp: $535.00
EZ-RETRIEVER Cargo Reaching Tool msrp: $19.95
Peel and Stick LED Light Kit msrp: $39.95