Gator Recoil Review

The Gator Recoil is a retractable truck bed cover known for its sturdy material and versatile design. It features durable aluminum slats, which effectively prevent water and debris from entering the truck bed. Its standout feature is the excellent balance of affordability and high quality, coupled with enhanced durability.

Gator Recoil- Retractable tonneau cover
Gator Recoil- a Retractable Truckbed cover

The cover offers enhanced security, locking securely to protect against theft and harsh weather.

It also has a low-profile, scratch-resistant matte finish, enhancing the truck’s appearance while offering durability.

Additionally, it includes a water management system with built-in drain tubes, ensuring the cargo space remains dry and protected.

What else more it offers? You’re about to find out.

The Gator Recoil Retractable cover is a high-quality tonneau cover, and I’m quite satisfied with its performance. It is made of sturdy aluminum slats, it fits well and provides secure storage when the tailgate is locked. It occupies minimal bed space and effectively handles heavy rain, keeping the bed mostly dry. For its price, this cover offers good value and functionality, earning a solid 4 out of 5 rating from me.

After thorough use of the Gator Recoil Retractable Tonneau Cover on trucks like the Ford F-150 and Chevy Colorado ZR2, I’ve noticed several key aspects.

  • Strong Weather Protection: Handles light to moderate rain effectively, keeping the truck bed mostly dry.
  • Robust Build: The cover’s strong construction ensures its long lasting durability.
  • Security: The cover is tough and can only be unlocked by opening the tailgate, thereby providing security for your cargo.
  • User-friendly Installation: Installation is generally straightforward, often not requiring professional help. But the manual was awful.
  • Adaptable for Various Needs: It can be locked at every 3 inches, covering the truck bed partially for larger items.
  • Improved Aesthetics: It’s design is ultra low profile, they called it “no profile”, sits flush on the truck bed.
  • Budget friendly: This the the most affordable good quality cover in the market.
  • Fitment Issues: Certain truck models, like the 2017 F150, may face difficulties in achieving a flush fit.
  • Durability Under Extreme Conditions: Received units might be damaged, and the cover can get hot in warm climates.
  • Water seepage in Heavy Rain: While effective in light rain, some water might seep through during heavy storms.
  • Installation Instructions: The manual they provided was horrible. I had to watch a YouTube video.

Here’s the table of specs.

Specification/FeatureGator Recoil Tonneau Cover
FinishMatte Black
Drive SystemMulti-use latching system
Locking PositionEvery 3 inches
Open & CloseQuick release handle
Weather ProtectionFull perimeter seal
InstallationNo-drill, bolt-on installation
Weight CapacityNot specified on the provided page
Warranty2 Years
Canister SizeCompact canister with dimensions of about 10-11″ (depth) and 11″ (height)
Canister MaterialSturdy construction using durable metals and heavy-duty plastics
Seal DesignBristles on the canister protect the cover from scratching
Gator Recoil – Table of specs

Design and Material

Gator Recoil Truckbed Cover
Gator Recoil Retractable Tonneau Cover

Let’s dig into the Gator Recoil, an awesome entry-level retractable cover that’s worth checking out. Not only does it offer a sleek appearance, but it also packs in some practical features.

This cover is all about that low-profile look, blending seamlessly with your truck’s style. It’s built tough with aluminum slats, and these guys are coated in a matte-black finish.

A canister comes with the cover which is supposed to be installed inside the truck bed near the cabin. It’s the spot where the cover rolls into when you slide it open.

It’s typically made from a combination of durable metals or heavy-duty plastics, built to withstand the outdoor elements and the regular use of rolling the cover in and out.

This smart design keeps the cover protected when it’s not in use and helps maintain that clean look you want for your truck. You can have complete access to your truck bed without blocking the rearview.

This finish is textured, which not only adds a touch of style but also keeps maintenance on the down-low.

When it comes to how it works, the Gator Recoil keeps it simple. There’s no spring mechanism in sight. Instead, it rolls smoothly with a seal ball-bearing roller design, and you can do the retracting yourself.

Now, let’s talk locking. This cover is all about security. It locks in place with a grip lock and gives you three positions to choose from over your truck bed.

Need the cover halfway closed? No problem. Plus, they’ve got you covered with a protective canister cover to keep dirt away.

Everything you need comes in the package – rails, kit, and even drain tubes. You can set up latch tops at different spots to control how much the cover opens.

Just remember, after installation, you can adjust the 2nd latch top to fine-tune its position.

So, opening it up? Easy peasy. Pop your tailgate open, pull the strap to disengage the latch, and push the cover forward to reveal your truck bed.

And guess what, they’ve put grip latches on both sides, so you can do this from wherever you want around your truck.

Oh, and did I mention it’s made in the USA? They offer free shipping in the lower 48 states.

Gator Recoil Tonneau Cover
Retractable Tonneau Cover by Gator

DIY Installation – Gator Recoil

First off, unpack that cover and give it a good once-over to make sure you’ve got all the bits and pieces as the manual says. Trust me, missing parts can be a real buzzkill later on.

Next, grab those side rails and lay them down on the truck bed. These rails are like the foundation for the cover, so make sure they’re all lined up properly.

Now, it’s cover time! Gently plop that bad boy onto the rails. It should slide in pretty snugly, like a puzzle piece falling into place.

Time to lock things down. Those clamps they’ve given you? Yeah, you’re gonna use ’em to secure the cover to those side rails. No wobbling allowed here!

Oh, and if your Gator Recoil came with a canister, pay attention. You’ll want to set it up somewhere inside the truck bed near the cabin. It’s like the cover’s cozy hiding spot when you’re not using it.

Alright, let’s put this baby to the test. Open it, close it, open it again – give that cover a workout. It should move smoothly and click into place like a champ.

Now, if your version lets you play with latch tops, go for it. You can control how much that cover opens. Just peek into that manual to know how to fine-tune those settings.

Oh, and that tailgate seal? Don’t forget it if it came with the package. It’s like the cover’s BFF, making sure no rain or sneaky dust gets in.

Look for those water drainage tubes too, if they’re part of the deal. They help kick water away from the truck bed like a pro.

Lastly, before you call it a day, do a final check. Make sure everything’s in line, the cover’s sealed up tight, and there are no sneaky gaps.

Gator Recoil’s Weather Performance

The Gator Recoil Tonneau Cover is built to keep your truck bed safe from different weather conditions. Its full perimeter seal helps to block out water and debris, especially during rain and snow.

It handles light rain quite well, but in heavy storms, a bit of water may seep in. It kept my truck bed dry most of the time, though I did notice some moisture after leaving my truck parked in a storm overnight.

Gator Recoil retractable cover in Rain
Gator Recoil Cover in Rain

By the way, have you ever wondered why do all tonneau covers leak? To find out read our detailed article here

When it comes to protecting your cargo from moisture, it’s good in moderate rain, but during a heavy downpour, it might struggle a bit.

When it comes to snow, this cover is like a shield for your truck bed. It can handle light to moderate snowfall quite well, keeping your gear safe and dry. But during heavy snowstorms, there’s a chance that some snow might find its way in.

As for hail, the cover’s aluminum construction offers decent protection against smaller hailstones. It acts as a barrier, reducing the impact on your truck bed.

However, during severe hailstorms with larger hailstones, there’s a possibility that some damage might occur.

About sandstorms? No worries, it fights off dust and grit, though it’s not totally airtight.

Now, remember, no cover is 100% leak-proof due to how truck beds are designed. The Gator Recoil offers solid protection, but in really bad storms, some moisture might sneak in.

The cover’s aluminum build and matte black finish also shield against UV rays, hail, and other weather damages.

Just keep an eye on the seals and maintain them regularly for the best protection. Just to be on the safe side don’t park your truck in heavy rain and hail storms.

A Word on Security of Gator Recoil

Let’s get real about the security of the Gator Recoil Tonneau Cover.

Gator Recoil cover half open
Gator Recoil Partially Open

So, can you unlock the cover without popping open the tailgate? Nah, this cover follows a “tailgate locked, cover locked” kind of rule.

This means that the cover’s security is tied to the tailgate being locked. So, you generally cannot unlock the cover without unlocking or opening the tailgate.

Now, what about weapons, like knives? Well, this cover is pretty tough, but it’s not like those superhero movie shields. So, a determined person with a sharp tool might find a way.

Peeping into the truck bed when it’s locked? Well, the cover does its best, but it’s not a vault. If someone’s nosy enough, they might get a sneak peek.

I never faced this situation, nor did I find any negative comments or reviews in this regard. However, it is always a good practice to check the clamps and seals before leaving your truck in a public parking space.

To keep sneaky folks away, you can lock your tailgate, use extra locks if needed, and be smart about where you park.

Gator Recoil’s Ease of Usage

Sliding the Gator Recoil Cover open is a smooth and hassle-free process. It’s designed for ease of use, so you won’t find yourself struggling with complicated mechanisms.

This simple action allows you to access your truck bed effortlessly, whether you need to load or unload cargo.

Let’s talk about the impact Gator Recoil has on your daily routine. Need to haul groceries, tools, or outdoor gear? With the Gator Recoil, you won’t have to fuss around with latches or locks.

Just slide it open, grab what you need, and you’re good to go. This convenience saves you time and energy, turning what used to be a chore into a quick and easy task.

Beyond the practical benefits, the Gator Recoil’s user-friendly nature has a ripple effect on your overall driving experience.

Its aerodynamic design minimizes wind resistance, potentially boosting your truck’s fuel efficiency. This means more money stays in your pocket, making those daily commutes or road trips easier on your wallet.

You improve the functionality of your truck bed by adding a tonneau cover that protects your cargo, keeps it safe and dry, and looks good at the same time. Gator Recoil fulfills all your expectations.

Gator Recoil Cover is engineered with the everyday truck owner in mind. Its straightforward operation means you don’t have to be a tonneau cover expert to enjoy its benefits.

Whether you’re tech-savvy or just looking for simplicity, the Gator Recoil’s design caters to both preferences.

In a nutshell, the Gator Recoil Tonneau Cover isn’t just a truck accessory – it’s a daily companion that streamlines your tasks and enhances your driving experience.

Its user-friendly design and hassle-free operation mean you can focus on what matters most: making the most of your day, without any unnecessary fuss.

Is Gator Recoil worth the money?

Let’s talk about money here. It comes at a price of $999.00, this cover offers a budget-friendly option without compromising quality. It’s like getting that perfect balance between your wallet and your truck’s protection.

Now, the 2-year warranty is a sign that Gator stands by its creation. They’re saying, “Hey, we’ve built this to last, and we’re here to back it up.”

And speaking of assurance, that 30-day cash-back guarantee is a pretty bold move. You have 30 days to decide whether you want to keep it or not.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, the Gator Recoil Tonneau Cover stands out as one of the most budget-friendly retractable covers I’ve encountered.

Its durability is unquestionable, and Gator has a solid track record of delivering top-notch quality. Comparing it with other options in the market, it’s clear that you’re getting the same level of quality without the hefty price tag.

For me, it’s a practical and cost-effective choice that not only fulfills your needs but also adds a stylish touch to your truck. If you’re looking for an affordable yet high-quality cover, the Gator Recoil is a solid contender.