Make Your Truck Family-Friendly With the DECKED Drawer System and a Retractable Tonneau Cover

Three person family including a mom, boy, and a dad sitting in the front seat of a pick-up truck

Make Your Truck Family-Friendly With the DECKED Drawer System and a Retractable Tonneau Cover

Written By Patty Owens

You're not imagining things, you are definitely seeing a lot more pick-up trucks on city streets, in school parking lots, outside office buildings, and in many suburban driveways. Families are choosing trucks over SUVs or minivans in greater numbers. With trucks becoming more popular, the market for truck accessories is booming. To compete with the popular benefits of a typical family SUV or minivan, aftermarket manufacturers are finding comparable solutions to the interior storage provided by SUVs and minivans.


My fellow truck enthusiasts, obviously you know what a tonneau cover is. If you’re not familiar with the name, or how to say it, you’ve definitely seen them on the road. If you're in the market for a new tonneau cover or you need to level-up your truck-bed-organization to make it more family-friendly, let me tell you something that’s going to blow your mind. The DECKED Drawer System and a tonneau cover are the perfect combination.


I’ll admit, minivans provide some attractive space when the seats are collapsed, but just imagine having that space all the time and not having to collapse or remove a bench of seating. The DECKED Drawer System adds functionality to your truck without sacrificing bed space or cab space. The horizontal ergonomic storage is space saving and easy to access. If your pick-up is going to be a primary or secondary family car, you want to make sure it’s not a junk show.


Bed of a white pick-up truck with DECKED Drawer System and a tonneau.


Better Together

Let’s pretend you're in the market for a family car and your options are a minivan, a SUV, and a pickup truck. I’m giving you permission to go with your heart and not just your head. Pick what's going to work for you and your family. All three options will take you from point A to point B. Only one is going to fulfill your dreams. Let me tell you how you can drive the truck of your dreams while still making a practical buying decision.


I know you’re wondering if you can combine a tonneau cover with the awesome DECKED Drawer System to reach optimal organization and minivan-like practicality while looking sharp and cool. The answer is absolutey yes. If you already have a Gator Retractable Tonneau Cover, a Trident Fasttrack Retractable Tonneau Cover, a Pace Edwards Switchblade Retractable Tonneau cover, or an Embark ls Retractable Tonneau Cover, they all will work with the DECKED Drawer System to make your truck secure, safe and uber-organized. But remember, the best retractable tonneau cover is one that fits your budget, your needs, and your style.

What is a tonneau cover?

Tonneau covers were designed to protect and cover rear open-air passenger seats.

Bedsheets, canvas, leather, or the like were the materials of choice. While practical then, today’s tonneau covers are highly engineered, aesthetically pleasing, and come in an array of colors and materials. While some claim a tonneau cover will help with fuel efficiency, in reality the benefit of these covers is the safety, security and style it provides to your truck.


With trucks holding the top three spots of Car and Driver’s 2021 top car rankings it’s no surprise that tonneau covers have become a must-have truck accessory.


A tonneau cover is your first line of defense to protect your cargo and truck bed. Most tonneau covers will offer varying degrees of safety and security while providing a sleek look to your truck. In my humble opinion, the best combination that’s going to get you that enviable minivan-type interior storage without sacrificing bed space when you need it, is the retractable tonneau and the DECKED Drawer System.

Types of Tonneau Covers


Let’s briefly explore the different types of hard, soft, retractable, folding, or one piece tonneau covers. What works for your brother’s next door neighbor’s cousin, might not be the best option for your needs. With pick-up trucks on average making up 15 percent of the passenger vehicles on the road, the truck’s function as a hauler and a tower of cargo is changing to a hauler of kids and a tower of their toys.


Soft roll-up tonneau covers are made of fabric covers and roll-up when closed. They are easy to use and are a good price point but provide limited security.


Hard roll-up tonneau covers are constructed of aluminum slats and commercial grade vinyl. They are a step up from the soft roll-up tonneau and are easy to install with no drill necessary. This type of tonneau is capable of supporting up to 400 pounds of evenly distributed weight, but when rolled-up the bulk may obscure your rear vision and take up more bed space.


Soft folding tonneau covers are constructed of high grade vinyl stretched on an aluminum frame. Installation is simple and requires no tools. When the tonneau is folded your view may be obscured. To access the entire bed, you must remove the cover.


Hard folding tonneau covers typically have a tri-fold design constructed of aluminum or composite panels and allow for significant payload capacity. But like the soft folding tonneau covers, are easily removed to fully accommodate your entire cargo area. More durable and expensive than a soft folding cover, hard folding tonneau can handle significant payload including heavy snow.


Retractable tonneau covers are a bit more high-tech than the other tonneau covers. Retractable tonneau covers slide away in seconds to provide full access to your truck bed with the enhanced security and protection of a hard top. It provides better protection from the elements than rolling covers. Installation is a little more involved and the purchase price is higher.


One-piece solid covers, also called painted covers, are one solid piece of material. They are rigid, prove great security and coverage from bad weather. Since they open up at a hinge that’s found behind the cab,hauling capabilities are limited because of the one piece design. Hauling anything taller than the height of the bed rail will require the owner to totally remove the cover.

Why Purchase a Retractable Hard Tonneau Cover

Motortrend gives a simple explanation of the pros and cons of this popular truck accessory in a retractable tonneau cover review. While the focus of this review is on the aftermarket, you can also purchase a brand-specific retractable tonneau cover. Tacoma makes a retractable hard tonneau cover for their trucks. The Ford retractable tonneau cover and the Jeep Gladiator retractable tonneau cover are also good choices for the brand-loyal truck enthusiant.The back-end of a gray pickup truck with a tonneau cover.

Retractable Tonneau Cover Pros & Cons


  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use, one-hand operation
  • Built for durability, tamper resistant, weather resistant (exception for severe weather)
  • Minimal maintenance necessary
  • Secure, lockable in all positions
  • Stylish
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Integrated locking system


  • Not totally weatherproof
  • Only provides a cover, no organization
  • Heavy
  • May require bed modification (cutting)
  • Expensive

Why DECKED and a Retractable Tonneau?


All DECKED Drawer Systems include a Desert Tan D-Box & Crossbox, DRAWERGANIZER™, and a set of (2) Wide Drawer Dividers at no extra charge. DECKED accessories ship free as well.


  • Cargo stays bone-dry
  • All your stuff will have a place with organized storage
  • Full bed use.
  • Secure your items and keep them safe
  • Customizable


Red pickup truck with DECKED Drawer System that is pulled open. Drawers contain very colorful gear boxes and bags.


The DECKED Drawer System and a retractable tonneau cover are brothers from another mother. We’re talking Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowsk type of magic. Great on their own, near perfection together.


Where a tonneau cover provides the business in the front, the DECKED Drawer System gives you the party in the back. The tonneau cover will be your first line of defense to protect cargo from the elements. It provides a layer of safety and prevents drag and looks sharp.


While the retractable tonneau cover has its shortcomings, which are few and far between, the DECKED Drawer System makes up for it and vice versa, giving you everything in its place, bone dry, and safe from prying eyes or sticky fingers.


Creating a Truck for the Way You Live


Once you install the DECKED Drawer System in your truck, you’ve transformed it from day-time to play-time. Wherever your day takes you, this system provides customizable organization so you can confidently pivot from work-mode to family-mode without skipping a beat.


Coaching your kid’s pre-K soccer team. No problem. Store your bag of practice balls under the retractable tonneau and keep the juice boxes and pretzels safely stored in the drawers. Need to help a buddy after work with a quick home project. We got you. Just keep your tools safe, secure, and bone dry all day long in the locked drawer system. Your sister needs to borrow your pop-up tent for a party. That’s fine. That six foot tent fits nicely as well in the truck bed. And don’t forget. It’s your turn to drive carpool to batting practice. You got everything covered, literally because your pickup truck is working for the life you live.