Put Olympic stain and sealant on the plywood which was already sanded and primed from Lowes. The brackets are only attached to one piece of plywood, top and bottom, and the other piece of plywood fits it sandwich style. The plywood piece near the back window has an I bolt in it, to allow me to wiggle it up and down a little to get it into the C channel at the back.
This will not be on the truck all the time, only for trips and when needed for tool security. May not be completely water proof but that does not mater. I have 3 plastic/rubber truck boxes, about the size of footlockers, that fit under the plywood and several rubber made type totes.
Had a nice color matched A.R.E tonneau on my 2004, but did not want to cough up the coin for another on my 2015. Also wanted easy on/off and simple storage in the garage when not on the truck .
Had to sand the piece closest to the tailgate so it would close a little easier. Also noticed during a highway test that the tailgate section flexed and rattled a little in the C channel. Not crazy, but way more than I want for a 3k mile trip. Will be using some form of bracing at the backend (under the plywood) and rubber strips to fill the gaps between the plywood and the top of the C channels to prevent movement up and down from the wind at highway speed.
Was thinking 2x4 across the back, underneath the plywood, side to side, near the tailgate. Would attach thin metal strips (wide mending bracing) to the 2x4 where it goes into the C channel. The 2x4 should not flex at all and the metal brace would slide right under the plywood in the C channel.
The other option is a single piece of metal that goes all the way under the back end of the plywood. But probably more expensive. Any thoughts?
Turns out a 62 inch 2x4 fits nice in the slot under the plywood and wedges in between the C channel and the tail gate very nicely. 62 & 1/2 would be even better, but 62 is good. No movement at the tailgate now. Little rubber pieces fit under the plywood in the utilitrac rails and make for a nice quiet, cushioned surface.
1/2 inch, but you could go 3/4 for sure, maybe 1 inch.
I am still going to make a brace for the middle section. 2x4 with mending brace attached to the ends and slid into the utilitrac rails.
I could also just lay a 2x4, on it's edge, across the top of the 2 Contico SUV Tuff Bins (they fit under the plywood), and it braces the plywood just perfect. But cargo shifting might cancel that out unless secured with my ratcheting cargo bar.
Actually it's been around for awhile, but I just found it recently during a search. If you have the utilitrac rails it's really easy, but I have seen on other truck sites where Ford, Chevy, and Dodge guys made a 2x4 framework in the bed, instead of utilitrac system, that worked for them.
I gonna try another hwy test today and see how it works as well as my new AVS bugflector. It's the one that does not have the wrap around wings, it is only as wide as the wind deflector over the sun roof. Wanted them to match up when you look at the truck from the front.
No rattle, 800 miles plus, at highway speed, no vibration either. The center brace & rear brace make it where you could stand on it, and almost no wiggle room of the plywood in the channels. The rubber strips I push in between the top of the plywood and the C channels make it completely quiet with no vibration at all. With back window down, not a sound. I used long strips of rubber garage floor matting, cut to where you can barely see it when pushed in. Will take better pics today.
Made 2 test runs on the highway to learn I needed braces and then rubber strips. Thicker plywood would eliminate a lot of the up/down vibration, which is minor. The 2x4 braces eliminate the plywood flex as air pushes down on it, which was way more concerning. Could hear it rattle with windows up.
The stain/sealant took awhile to dry but it works great. Would have gone with black or charcoal tinted but the line to have it done was crazy. Kinda like the look now though and is really water proof / resistant.