I suppose I didn't explain well enough. When you manually close either the front or back lids, you have to first push down on them so that the seals seal against the rails and tailgate and the locking mechanism bar will fit beneath the rails. So, that's why you won't be able to add any sort of automatic lock. If you adjust the locking bars too loosely, you may get water leaks.
Gator doesn't make any covers, they are all rebadged covers. Yours is probably either a Bakflip Fibermax or an Undercover Flex. Your cover has FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) panels. I highly recommend that you keep some sort of UV light blocking conditioner on it. If you don't then the sun will eventually erode the black topcoat and it won't be covered under warranty. The picture shows what can happen to FRP after a few years without conditioner.
Regarding the Armor Flex, the last panel (below the rear window) is NOT coated with LINE-X and has a 5-year warranty which is pretty good, but the LXP has a lifetime warranty. Here's a Youtube vid on the LXP cover:
I have a few problems with those steps. Looks like they have plastic end caps, it's best to have welded end caps. It's chromed something. If it's chromed steel, you'll probably start seeing rust dots in the chrome in a couple of years. They have a 12-month warranty which is horrible. Most aftermarket steps have a three to lifetime warranty.
The Armor Flex is not totally coated with LINE-X. The panel closest to the cab is not coated. Armor Flex has a 5-year warranty. The Truck Gear (by LINE-X) cover has all of the panels coated with LINE-X and comes with a lifetime warranty.
If it was super shiny, it's probably made with FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) panels which is probably not the most desired these days. Aluminum panels with the LINE-X coating (Truck Gear LXP) is probably the best followed by aluminum panels with a paint powder coat.
The LOMAX is a fairly new cover and you probably won't be able to find a ton of feedback yet. The Ultra Flex has been around longer and more feedback is probably available. I don't think Weathertech makes any of their covers, they are all rebranded which is a common thing to do these days.
Well, the Sentry CT won't really provide any security for your golf clubs if someone decide to slice it open. However, if someone want in, they will get in no matter if you have a hard or soft cover. Question is, how hard to you want to make it for the thief? My opinion on hard covers that are around your budget amount: Best warranty - Truck Gear (by LINE-X) Stealth and LXP covers, lifetime warranty. Most durable - Probably Truck Gear LXP and Undercover Armor Flex, both are new covers, so it's rather unproven. But, both have a LINE-X costing which is probably more durable than a powder coat. Best looking - Undercover Ultra Flex or Access LOMAX, really nice powder coats.
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