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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a tarp?

Mostly because, in most states, it's a law that if you're carrying something in the back of a truck—whether it's a pick-up or a semi—the load has to be covered. But there are plenty of other good reasons. A tarp will:

  • keep your load intact until it gets where it's going.
  • prevent damage or injury to others due to something falling or blowing out of your truck. (Truck accidents are one of lawyers' most lucrative claims.)
  • eliminates the risk of heavy fines or penalties for creating a road hazard.
  • prevent damage to your load from sun, rain, wind, and other adverse weather conditions.
  • improve your gas mileage and fuel efficiency.
  • allow you to focus on driving and not worry about what's in the back of the truck.

Even if your state doesn't require the use of a tarp, we recommend them simply because of contribution toward protection and efficiency.

Will a tarp improve my gas mileage?

Absolutely! Covering your load improves the aerodynamic performance of your vehicle and reduces drag and wind resistance. According to some research studies, using a tarp can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%. That's a significant savings at today's fuel prices!

How can I make my tarp last longer?

Make sure your tarp properly fits your truck or your load. It should fit tightly without stretching. Loose tarps that flap and flutter don't protect your load properly and are subject to extra wear and tear. Storing your tarp properly, when it's not in use, will also help extend its life. Keep it away from sun and rain so it's not subject to unnecessary heat or dampness.

What's the best type of material to use for an asphalt tarp?

Industrial fabrics expert Juli Case says it's a matter of preference. "Vinyl materials offer better environmental protection, but the asphalt can stick to it." Fabrics specifically designed for high heat situations, such as Lumite or Hot Top, work well because they're lightweight, won't stick to the asphalt, and won't melt. They aren't 100% waterproof, though, and some D.O.T. officials take issue with that. We recommend you try several different fabrics and see which one you like best.

What size tarp should I order?

Generally speaking, you want a tarp that is the exact width or a little less of your truck bed, and at least two feet longer. If your bed is 85" wide and 12' long, a 7' x 14' should work well for you.

What does "cut size" mean?

Cut size is the tarp industry term for a general standard measurement. Actual size for a 10' x 20' "cut size" tarp might be anywhere from 9'8" x 19'10.5" to 10'1-3/4" x 20'2". It's better to err on the side of safety and allow a little bit more, rather than less, so always round up your measurements to the next whole number.

What is a mil?

A mil is a unit of measurement equal to 0.001 of an inch (0.0254 mm). Mil is used to determine the thickness of a tarp. Generally speaking, the greater the mil, the better the tarp quality.

What if my order is damaged or lost in shipping?

If, upon receipt of your order, you notice that boxes or items are damaged, either refuse the shipment or have the driver make note of the specific damage; either way, notify us immediately—and it's a good idea to take pictures so we can file those with your claim. We cannot replace damaged or lost merchandise if the packages are signed for as complete and damage free.

What if my merchandise has a defect?

If you discover a manufacturing defect in your order, please call us immediately. We will ask you to email us a picture of the defective item and describe the nature of the defect. After reviewing that information, if we agree that your product does indeed have a manufacturing defect, we will ask you to package the item back in its original box and wait for a call tag. The defective item will be picked up and a new one will be shipped to you, at our expense. All defective merchandise must be reported to us no later than 10 days after the original invoice date.

How do I return one of your products?

Returns must be authorized by Carolina Tarps prior to shipping and acceptance. Custom tarps are not returnable. Stock items may be returned within 10 days of delivery. The item/items must be in their original packaging and in resalable condition. Once we receive your returned item and it is inspected, credit will be issued, minus a 15% restocking fee, within 48 hours.

Do you offer quantity discounts?

Generally speaking, depending on the item, if you order at least 5 of any item, we can offer a quantity discount of 5% - 10%.