Daily Archives: January 22, 2008

Decisions between Gaylord and Undercover Hard Bed Covers

When I wanted a new truck bed cover for my 99 Sierra, I ran across quite a dilemma. Do I save a few bucks and buy the Undercover Tonneau Cover my buddy has? Or, do I blow his truck away with a custom painted truck bed cover from Gaylord’s? The internal struggle was quite wrenching.

A guy at the local truck parts place once told me that I was wasting my cash and time by buying a tonneau cover. His theory was that nobody west of the Rockies needed to cover their bed, because snow was the only thing worth keeping out of the payload. He figured that water would get past a cover anyways, and probably dry out fast. Knowing he was a fool, I bought one anyways—a cheap, soft one. So, when I went through a round of having pieces of my vinyl tonneau stolen about a month later, I returned to grill the same idiot again. After all, if nobody needed one here, and nobody wanted one here, then why was my cover worth treating like a Sprint in the salvage yard? He had no reply, just a stupid grunt.

My next step had two parts: 1. find a new truck parts shop with fewer blowhards (after all, I could just go to Kragen for that kind of entertainment), and 2. Pick a cover without loose, accessible or soft parts that could be picked clean like strands of meat dangling from a hot wing. I arrived at a hard truck bed lid as my best option. They cost considerably more than the vinyl designs, but I discovered that you really get what you pay for. On the flipside of the price tag, they also look many times better and are infinitely more secure—which was now my de-facto area of greatest need.

The first one I looked at was getting a custom Gaylord truck bed cover. There are many brands out there making a truck bed cover in this style: fiberglass construction, gas strut lifts, keyed opening, and custom paint matching. There’s no question that a lid like Gaylord’s makes is quite impressive; the price is just a bit tough to tackle—roughly 6 times higher than the softy cover I was replacing. And, it’s heavy, which means a few drawbacks for hauling a large load. First, you have to lift off the truck after undoing the struts and hinges. It’s a two-man job for certain. Then, there’s finding a place to hang the lid where the paint won’t get jacked up. I had such a place to hang the cover, and a wife who loves to prove she can handle lifting from time to time. All I had to do was get comfortable with the price.

I decided to take a look at my friend’s bed cover. He found his receipt for it so that he could tell me the brand (it was a gift, so he didn’t really know it himself). It was called an Undercover tonneau cover, and it’s much different than the Gaylord’s, despite initial similarities. First, the Undercover wasn’t smoothly painted to match; it was actually kind of rough to the touch. No big deal, I thought, because the black surface would look fine with my dark blue GMC, and it has to cut several bills off the price tag. It’s also not fiberglass, but a lighter plastic material, making removal a one-man gig. That’s another bonus, but it also contributes to the cover looking a little flimsier, and a lot less like a custom, professionally crafted item. The price tag on the Undercover (about half of the Gaylord cover) started to look nicer and nicer.

I thought about how I used my truck, which didn’t provide many answers. While I don’t carry big stuff that often, and my bed isn’t usually full, I do like being able to use my truck like a real truck when I need to. That means not worrying about scratching my lid the way I worry about the rest of the paint. Speaking of paint, I wasn’t sure how I felt about looks. I like to keep my truck sharp, but it’s hardly one of those decked-out rigs with $20K in extra work done that makes you either whip your head around or just shake it. So, a custom painted cover isn’t a must, but it wouldn’t look that bad.

Ultimately, I picked the Gaylord truck bed cover, and I did it for two reasons. First, I couldn’t get the same thing as my buddy has. Second, I was due for a prostate exam later that week, and figured I’d treat myself to the nicer lid if I survived.
Picking between Gaylord truck bed covers and the Undercover tonneau cover was quite a dilemma, but ultimately I ended up happy (and still kind of sore).

Stay Cool with Cold Air Intakes

Wanna know the easy way to get to the top? You gotta stay cool. This goes for your demeanor, your attitude, your look and most importantly, your automobile’s engine. The best way to squeeze extra power from your engine and propel yourself to the head of the cool class is to install a performance cold air intake system.

It’s not as easy as it looks to stay as cool as I am. I mean, following the fashion trends alone is like running on a hamster’s wheel. You gotta know the right people, read the right magazines and have the right friends on your My Space account. Staying abreast of the coolest restaurants, nightspots and after-hours clubs can seem like full-time job. But, when staying cool is what you do, it’s worth the cost.

Luckily, I’ve found one way to stay cool that happens to be way off the hipster radar. I’m talking about a performance cold air intake kit for your vehicle. I mean these things make your engine cool, literally. Now, a cold air intake may not be a great fashion statement or get you across the velvet rope, but they are very cool.

By sucking in great gulps of cool, fresh air, a performance cold air intake system delivers a cool boost of power to your engine. The systems open up the passage to your throttle body which makes a cool sound when you romp on it. Plus, you’ll feel the extra power sucking you into your seat while burning rubber out of your night spot’s parking lot. The local movers and shakers will certainly take notice when you roll by, looking hip and sucking in all that cool air.

It may not be your scene, but gear heads and car guys love performance cold air intakes. In their world, popping your ride’s hood to reveal a polished or anodized intake tube is about as cool as it gets. You can roll down to your town’s Wal Mart parking lot, or wherever the local hot-rod haunt happens to be and get all kinds of accolades and thumbs up from these guys. Now, that’s not saying much as far as hipster clout goes, but motorheads are pretty cool, none the less.

The coolest thing about a performance cold air intake system is the fuel savings. Now, I know it may not be cool to talk about saving money, but it is cool, way cool—in a green sort of way—to save gas. You know, Al Gore and all those celebs yakking on and on about global warming. Since your engine will be running so much more efficiently with the cold air system, it uses less gas—simple. Now you can take that gas money you saved and drop it on some overpriced drinks for the Goth chick you’ve been eyeballing at the Danceteria.

There you are; a few cool tips from the coolest guy you know. The best way to keep your engine running top notch and looking cool is with a performance cold air intake system. As far as keeping yourself cool, log onto my My Space page and check out my entire list of “How to be Cool” tips. Stay cool, dudes.

Cool, cold air intake systems are made for most vehicles on the road, especially later model vehicles. The list of intake brands is a long one, but a good place to start is with K&N, Volant and the coolest brand of ‘em all, the Airaid intake system.

Laugh in the face of Nature with a car cover

It seems like no matter how much you pamper and coddle Mother Nature, it’s never enough to pacify her mood swings. That’s why you have to take the proper measures to protect your investment from her wrath. You’ve got to water-seal your deck, tie a hefty anchor to the bow of your double-wide, and sheath your auto in a car cover. Here’s why.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a petulant planet. It just seems like Mother Nature has been acting up lately, and I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve her fury. I recycle. I drive a low-emissions sedan. And I stopped burying my old motor oil in the backyard. In short, I’m doing my part. Why is it then that the Jolly Green Giant’s mom wants to dump all over me and mine with storms on a scale not seen since the Old Testament? Not but three weeks ago, a twister came whipping through our neck of the woods with more ferocity than a starved tiger in a nursery. By the time it blew away, fifteen of my neighbors were on their way to Oz. Of course, a lot of their foundations had been compromised by the flood that sloshed through town a month before that.

As I see things, Earth has a big bug up her keister. Some people think it’s due to all the pollutants we’re dumping into the atmosphere and ocean. But I have a feeling that it’s got to be something bigger than a couple cans of Aquanet and some Chaulpa wrappers bobbing around in the Pacific. In my heart of hearts, I believe that Mother Nature is annoyed that we’re pretending to be as powerful as she is. All that genetic engineering, scalping of mountain tops, and dam building is seriously cramping her style. The Greeks called it hubris, and the gods would exact harsh retribution in return. But in my mind, it’s not hubris at all—it’s progress. All we’re doing is outsourcing Nature so that it can work more efficiently for our ends. Besides, we can do it better, and it creates plenty of jobs for decent folk all over.

The only trouble with our development is that Nature is pushing back to try and recapture her old role as cock of the walk. But I refuse to be muscled around by some mythical, fig-leaf-wearing being. It’s just not in my red, white and blue blood to bow down to anything. I won’t back off, but I will take precautions to keep what’s mine safe from the backlash. For example, I picked up a couple of all-weather car covers for my Chevy and my wife’s Honda. Hers is a Covercraft, but I went with a Coverking because, well, I’m the king of my castle. Both of them are great for fending off anything that the heavens can throw my way.

You hear that, Demeter! You can’t push this man around with a little water, lightning and earthquakes. I’ve got my car covers, and I’m not afraid of you.

To protect your ride from rain, sun and the general riff-raff of ol’ Mother Nature try Covercraft or Coverking car covers. They won’t stop hail from denting your hood or the odd tree crashin’ down but they’ll help with just about all the rest.