How To Install A Tonneau Cover

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Last Updated on October 18, 2021

A tonneau cover protects your truck bed from bad weather and any other obstacles that affect your carrying belongings. Installing a tonneau cover is not that hard. All you have to know is what are the types of tonneaus and their installation process. Tonneau covers come in a variety of designs and materials. You may need help from one or two of your friends if you are installing a hard type cover.

How To Install A Tonneau Cover

Let’s have a look at the installation process you need to follow:

Tools you will need:

  1. Tonneau cover installation kit
  2. Scissors
  3. Wrenches
  4. Spring clamps
  5. Measure Tape
  6. Protective eyewear

Firstly, unpack all the components and place them on a clean surface. Then collect all the tools you may require to install the cover perfectly.

The installation process is divided into two basic parts. They are:

Part -1: Attaching the Rails

Before installation, you have to make sure that you are fully prepared for the installation. All you have to do is follow the instructions carefully mentioned below.

Step -1: Compatibility check

Check all the components if they are compatible with the cover. Sometimes, some components like bed lines and bed rail caps, are not compatible with your type of cover. Check the user manual that came with the cover from the manufacturer or you can follow these rules.

  • Simply point out where you want to attach the clamp if the bed rails come into your way while installing the cover.
  • Your tonneau cover should lie above the bed liner, if it isn’t then these two parts may not fit into your truck.

If any of the components are not compatible with your tonneau cover, then replace them with compatible ones.

Step -2: Open the tailgate

You must open the tailgate. If you don’t, it may affect the installation process.

Step -3: Position the side rail onto the bed rail

Some tonneau covers offer two side rails to fit them onto the top of the truck bed rail or side of the truck bed rail. With the front side of the bed rail put the side rail in place next to the cab. Use a spring clamp to hold the cover in place. If you have a cover without rails then it must have clamps that move back and forth down from the downside. Before putting the cover in place, you have to position it first, if you are installing a retractable tonneau cover.

Step -4: Clamp the side rail and place it next to the cab

Toothed clamps are included with the installation kit. So, take one of them and attach it to the side rail. Place the button at the end of the rail to attach. Make sure the teeth and the groove are aligned. Use a wrench to tighten the teeth onto the bed rail.

Do the same for the rest of the clamps following the same procedure.

Part -2: Installing the cover

Now, follow these procedures step by step to finalize the installation process.

Step -1: Install rubber seals

Rubber seals are mandatory if you want your tonneau cover to be weather resistant. Use isopropyl alcohol to clean the area for a good bonding surface.

Step -2: Tightening the cover

Tighten the cover using screws to its suitable strength. It should not be too tight or too loose.

Step -3: Position the cover and attach it over the rails

If you have a hard type cover, you may need help from your friend. Now, place the cover on the end of the rail next to the cab. If your cover came with screws, use those to attach them to the rails. Some covers do not come with screws, for those, use clamps or levers.

Now, unfold the cover and close the tailgate. Adjust the hood at both ends. Some tonneau covers offer built-in drainage pipes to drain the water.

If this doesn’t work properly, you can read our individual article about installing a roll-up tonneau cover and installing a tri-fold tonneau cover.


Installing a tonneau cover can provide you with many facilities like it can make your truck look better. It will provide security against threats like bad weather, thieve, or other obstacles that cause harm to the belongings you are carrying. Following the above procedure, you can easily install your preferred tonneau cover for your truck bed. If you want to save some money, you can DIY (do-it-yourself) a tonneau cover.

Read Also:
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Charles King

The author, Charles King is an automotive enthusiast with a keen interest in the latest technologies and products. He likes to educate himself and help other car lovers by sharing his knowledge. This website is a place for him to share his thoughts and expertise.

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