3 Easy Steps on How to Install a Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Are you having difficulties on how to install a truck bed Tonneau cover? If yes, then keep reading and learn how to mount it efficiently to upgrade your vehicle. With the right steps and guide, setting up truck bed covers will be a piece of cake! Installing Tonneau covers could be a challenge, especially for newbies. In this article, I will discuss three easy steps on how to install truck bed Tonneau covers to save you from stress. 

How to install a truck bed tonneau cover
How to install a truck bed tonneau cover

What are the advantages of using a Tonneau cover? Which Tonneau covers should I buy? Which is more efficient and advantageous? We will tackle all about it, but before anything else, let us talk about what Tonneau cover is all about. 

A Tonneau cover is a protective layer of soft or hard protection for your truck bed. The natural material is of steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or vinyl. Installing Tonneau covers protects your truck bed from harsh weather; it will also give you additional security on your valuables, inside the truck bed.

Before buying your truck bed covers, you should first consider what suits your truck more. Moreover, you also need to think about your budget and the savings you get from not buying additional tools. There are some options to choose from when shopping for your truck bed covers. First is to consider your personal preferences. What do you need? 

Below are the types of Tonneau covers that you can choose from, provided with a brief description and their differences. 

  • Tri-Fold: A bed cover that latches on your tailgate to prevent anyone from accessing your Tonneau. By folding it, you can access your truck bed and belongings inside. There are soft and hard variations of a tri-fold Tonneau cover. If you want medium to maximum protection and security, then I suggest for the hard fold Tonneau cover. 
  • Roll-up: An affordable alternative that offers medium security over your belongings. It is effortless to install. It is usually made of vinyl material. Accessible only if the tailgate is open. Removing and putting back the cover is easy, as you only need to roll and unroll it up. A Velcro attached to it helps to hold and keep it from flying open when driving. 
  • Retractable: A bed cover which mounts under your truck’s bed rails. It has its pair of rails where you install your Tonneau cover and is accessible by pulling and pushing it in.
  • Hinged: One of the most expensive Tonneau bed covers and is one of the most popular. It is usually just a single piece of fiber like a door that hinges up when accessed. 
  • Heavy-Duty: This type is the most substantial weight of the truck bed covers. The material is usually of steel and alloy, which provides maximum protection and security. Similar to the hinged, the difference is that its opening could be on the rear, sides, or top. 
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Now that we know the type of Tonneau covers, let us start learning how to install a truck bed Tonneau cover! What I chose as personal preference on my truck was the tri-fold cover. 

How to install a truck bed Tonneau cover? 

Before you start installing, check if all parts are available according to the manual. Now, let us begin!

Installation of the seal:

  • Before installing the seal, make sure that the surface area is clean; you can use isopropyl alcohol after washing it with soap and water. 
  • Choose where you want to mount your seal, whether on the bulkhead or the tailgate. 
  • Start at a corner part of one side, and slowly remove the back tape and press it down firmly. 
  • After reaching the end, using scissors, trim the excess seal.

 Installation of the cover rails:

  • Attach the first cover rail on the side you prefer first. Make sure the metal bracket is facing forwards the center of the truck bed. 
  • Using the provided clamps, install and securely tighten the clamp on both ends and at the centermost point (if there is any). Ensure that the teeth’s on the clamps align and is firmly holding onto the rail. The cover rail should be installed securely, flat, and secure on the bed. Use your tools to aid you in establishing your cover rails such as vice grips, wrench, and a socket. 
  • Using the same procedures, do the same with the second side. 
  • After installing the cover rails, get your prop rods and attach each end to the bolt mounts on the rails.
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Read more: How to keep luggage dry in truck bed

Installation of the bed cover:

  • After installing your prop rods place your bed cover inside your rails and align the small panels along with the mounting slots on the metal brackets. 
  • Next is to attach the end of the buckle to the pre-drilled holes of the small panels using the machine screws and threaded post. 
  • After installing the buckle, take the cab bumpers and attach one on each end of the first fold panel, then add another one to the center of the cover, at the back window frame of the cab.
  • Take the two flat bolts with its rubber washer and insert it to the small panels where the metal bracket is. 
  • Take the two knobs with the flat washer on the bolt before doing the same to the lock washer. Loosely tighten each knob on the bolt. 
  • Unfold the cover and adjust it so that it would fit the edge of the tailgate. Once the cover is set and aligns properly, unfold the cover again and finish tightening the knob on the bolt. 
  • Lastly, you install the drain hoses. With a drill, make a hole in each rubber plug, near the bottom of the bulkhead. Next, insert the end of the drain hose at the fitting on the rail, placing the other end of the hose into the hole that you drilled. 
  • Repeat the same procedure on the second drain hole.

Check out this video to help you more while doing the installation.

You may also be interested to read on  Best Tonneau Cover for GMC Sierra - The Perfect Solution to Protect Your Precious Cargo

Alas! The installation of your truck bed Tonneau cover is finally complete. This tutorial is based on personal preference; as to how to install a truck bed Tonneau cover; since I do not want to pay extra for the labor, why not do it myself?

It will probably just take you more or less than an hour. Equipped with experience of doing it yourself, and the right equipment that can be found in your household; the next time you want to install another Tonneau cover, it will be a simple matter that you, yourself can do. 

Let me know your thoughts by dropping your comments and share this article if it helped you!

Maybe you will find this interesting: Top 5 Best Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Covers Reviews

22 thoughts on “3 Easy Steps on How to Install a Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

  1. Quiz2 says:

    On the truck in way less than an hour. Looks great. Only thing that I didn’t think about and I am a little concerned about now, is I live in South Texas. Hot Hot Hot. Not 15 minutes after I installed it, I touched the top and it felt scorching already. I hope it lasts a while.

    • Frankgeage says:

      Great! In the perfect world. There was no mention of the variables. Like why one side is super tight compared to the other side. And how to adjust it.

  2. hzMydaySmoda says:

    The Weathertech bed cover is very similar but a much lower profile. That Truxedo cover sits on top of box, covers that are flush or less than than an inch above the box look much cleaner. Pretty decent price though.

  3. Trevor Hall says:

    I really like the idea of having a tri-fold system so that I can expose different areas of the bed without taking the entire cover off. My partner and I just got a new truck so that we can haul things and tow our trailer up the mountains. But I have noticed that it’s been raining a lot so the items I store in the back our getting wet all the time, and I don’t want to use a tarp because it looks unprofessional.

  4. Cassey Ferrarini says:

    Love this site so muchhh!. Can’t believe how those 3 steps will help me with my installing. For sure I will try those tips at home to intstall my truck bed tonneau cover easilier.

  5. Braden Bills says:

    I’m going to be using my truck to haul some tools up the mountain, but I’m worried that it will rain and end up damaging the tools. It makes sense that getting a cover for my truck bed would be a good move! I think a retractable cover would be good, since they seem nice and sturdy.

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