How To Fix A Leaking Tonneau Cover

Going on road trips together with my family and friends are on the top of my list of favorite things to do. Sitting behind the wheel and hearing the engine rev as I turn it on gives me a feeling of satisfaction. The best vehicle to use during road trips is a pickup truck. It could withstand long-distance drives and rocky roads with utmost comfortability inside the car. I can place all of my stuff on the cargo bed, protected by the Tonneau cover.

However, when it rains, I cannot help but look at the rearview mirror and glance at the cargo bed. Are all the things safe at the back? Did the water get inside the cargo bed? Is the Tonneau cover leaking? Our truck needs high-quality accessories for our sake.

This is because vehicles are investments used every day. If you do not monitor them, you will suffer the consequences; after all, you are the one using it.

You cannot help it if some things go sideways and you find your Tonneau cover with leaks and your cargo bed with water. You do not have to worry about spending so much on auto shops for repair. With the right tools and hard work, you can do the steps on how to fix your Tonneau cover at your very own garage!

leak of tonneau cover
How to fix a leaking tonneau cover

How do you fix the leaks on your Tonneau cover?

If you wonder why your stuff gets soaked behind the truck when it rains, that is because most of the time, there are gaps between the top of the bed rail and the Tonneau cover. Even with their provided seals, water will seep through eventually. To solve this, you have to stop water from entering by covering these gaps. There are different options on the type of material in fixing your Tonneau cover to choose from.

Water Pipe Insulation

One of the most used standard solutions for this problem is insulating water pipes. If this is what you want to do, then you will not have problems finding it because it is just in your nearby local hardware stores since its material is rubber. Aside from that, this proves as the most used material for plumbing problems. Water pipe insulation can help you save money because of its easy installation and low price.

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Usually, they already have slits and adhesives at the sides for immediate covering. You have to place and adjust them where the gaps are or at the bottom of the Tonneau cover where the leak comes from. The moment you cover the cargo bed, you can immediately see that the Tonneau covers have a firm and secure seal with the pipes.

Extra Seals​​​​

If the leaks are kept to a minimum, then additional seals are the one for you! With it being affordable and easy-to-find, it sure is another best way to cover your leaks. Buy Tonneau cover seals in your nearest hardware stores, pick the size that fits in covering your leak and add it to where the leak is. Although it comes in various sizes, significant holes are a no for this because it moves the seals around, leading to more leaks for your Tonneau cover.

Bed Seal Kits

Another way of fixing leaks is by installing bed seal kits, which is by far the best option. These keep your cargo bed conditioned. It does not only protect your Tonneau cover from rain but also from snow and dust due to the extra seals and foam blocks with the kit. Installation of your bed seal kit is fast and easy, and it finishes in minutes.

Applying this may seem effortless, but the effort goes in finding this one. Other than that, it is pricier than the other two. However, none of your efforts will go to waste since you will not need anything else. Besides that, some of these kits may include a drainage system that keeps water from gathering behind your truck. Rest assured that your money spent would keep your cargo bed dry and serve its means.

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Read more: Best Retractable tonneau cover

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Step by step procedures on how to fix your leaks

You have to be very thorough in fixing the leaks in your Tonneau cover because if you do not, then you have to do the process all over again and spend more. Here are steps for you to follow in fixing your leaks.

  1. Together with the help of someone else, you can either put cardboard on the lining of your cargo bed or have someone inside with a flashlight to see where the leaks are coming from.
  2. Completely cover the cargo bed entirely and use a garden hose to sprinkle over the cover as makeshift rain.
  3. After that, open the cover and find where the leaks are. Once you are done, mark those leaking spots with a tape or a marker.
  4. Measure the sizes of the spots for you to find out what type of material you should use.
  5. Use your preferred material and use it to cover those leaks and use the instructional material as a guide in avoiding mistakes.
  6. Once all the leaks are covered, cover the cargo bed and test it out.
  7. Repeat the process if needed.

Tests you can do to make sure that your Tonneau cover is completely sealed

Testing if what you did is right is a very vital part in fixing the leaks in your Tonneau cover because if you did otherwise, it would be very costly and a waste of time. In testing, it is just the same as what you did on the first step in finding the leaks.

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You either line the cargo bed with cardboard since they are water-absorbent and you could easily see the wet patches where the leaks are coming from. Another option is to have someone inside the covered cargo bed with a flashlight to see if there are parts in your cover that has leaks. Spray water from the hose in an upward manner so that water may come down naturally like the rain. Once you see that there are still leaks, repeat the process of fixing your Tonneau cover.

However, if you see that your cargo bed is squeaky dry and clean, then kudos to you for taking matters into your own hands.

Here is a video more guidance:


Water in your cargo bed may lead to rust or ruin and you surely do not want that to happen. It is best to have waterproof Tonneau covers due to different reasons such as bags not getting wet. Remember, I have only are only tips and suggestions for you to follow that could help you save. Others even use various materials for extra protection. However, if the leaks are too big and severe, then you surely need help from a professional. Until next time!

Maybe you will find this interesting: Top 5 Best Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Covers Reviews

16 thoughts on “How To Fix A Leaking Tonneau Cover

  1. Brandy says:

    After contacting Retrax I was told this top has a lifetime warranty and that the panels are defective on this cover so they would send me a replacement. I just put the new cover on a few days ago and after one rain there was no leaking in the center, but still along the rails. We shall see. I asked if the top was defective or if it was just a poor design that was not waterproof. I told them that I need a waterproof cover and maybe this is not the right cover for me. They told me once again that the top should not leak between those panels and the panels were defective if it was leaking through them.
    I agree with you that it is probably a faulty design and will eventually leak again.

    • Long Hairstyles says:

      I’m still learning from you, while I’m making my way to the top as well. I absolutely liked reading all that is written on your site.Keep the information coming. I enjoyed it!

    • Salvia says:

      Same issue with me. Leaking in the middle. For $1800 you would think these would be waterproof. My warrantied cover does the same thing. Should of gotten the cheaper plastic retrax that doesnt have the slats that leak in it. So pist about this. I keep my police gear inside and everything gets soaked

    • Ada Taborda says:

      Hey, Im having the same issue, not sire if I screwed up the install or what but do you have any fix for the leaking?

    • baccarat says:

      It has been a long tortuous journey, fraying at your resolve year after year as you dealt with the incompetent ‘engineering’ of your tonneau cover. But I know the truth. You’ve admitted defeat- routed your heater ducting into the back and everything under the cover is actually meticulous, cleverly shaped desiccant packs! Heh. Great job actually weatherproofing your truck, I hope other Avalanche owners find your solution very useful. GB

    • Roscoe Piceno says:

      Same problem you had and I am getting ready to do the same silicone sealing. I figured that would do it, and it’s good to see that it worked for you. I’ll post back, if I remember, with the results so others can know…

  2. George says:

    Same problems here! I put it in last night and came out to a wet bed. I came on here to see if I did anything wrong and saw your vid.

    • Dave says:

      Whilst we are not providing this type of support on our website, it may help other users if we know what brand of tonneau cover you have…

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