The key difference between a tri-fold tonneau cover, such as the Extang Encore or Advantage Hard Hat, and a tonneau cover with a 4 panel design, like both our G4 Elite and LS Series Fold-a-Cover, is the amount of the truck bed they allow access to when the cover is fully stacked up behind the cab of your truck.
Because the 4 panel design of our Fold-a-Cover products divides the cover into 4 panels of equal length, along with its unique accordion style folding pattern, you have access to 75% of your truck bed when the cover is fully stacked behind the cab of your truck.
Tri-fold tonneau covers, like the Encore, Solid Fold or Hard Hat, divide the cover into 3 panels of unequal length because of their standard “flip over” hinge design. The folding method requires each panel to be folded on top of the next; this means the last panel must be larger than the other two. As a result the covers take up 40% of your truck bed, leaving you with only 60% access when the cover is fully stacked behind the cab of your truck.
Aside from the obvious benefit of having more room to haul larger cargo items with a 4 panel tonneau cover, having more access to the truck bed has many other benefits. Fold-a-Cover products work seamlessly with fifth wheel applications as well as gooseneck trailers. It is not uncommon for some tri-fold tonneau covers to have clearance issues with these types of applications. Another thing to note is that when the Fold-a-Cover is fully stacked it still utilizes four attachment points to your tuck bed, while many tri-fold models will only have 2 points of attachment when stacked behind the cab.