How Are Pickup Truck Tonneau Covers Installed?

Pickup truck with tonneau cover installedIf you’ve purchased a new pickup truck or are looking for a way to upgrade your truck bed, a tonneau cover may be the answer. We are here to teach you how to do it. Let’s learn what tonneau covers are and how to install them easily.

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Is it hard to install a Tonneau cover?

No, it is very easy and quick to install a tonneau cover on your pickup truck.  The first step of the installation is to start unpacking your tonneau cover parts and placing them on a clean surface like your driveway or garage floor.  Your empty truck bed will work fine too. You will need to gather some necessary tools, an adjustable wrench, tape measure, and a Philips screwdriver.  Installation can be done in six easy steps and you can do it on your own. A tri-fold design of tonneau cover is great as it can fold back with the cabin of your truck to provide you open space if needed. Let’s look at its six steps.

  1. Mount the side rails to the truck bed. The side rails clamp into place with a bracket.  Generally, there are three brackets per side with one bolt or nut in each bracket.  The side rails have a flat plate with a hole thru it on the end that mounts closest to the cab of the truck.
  2. Clean the bulk head of the truck with an alcohol pad and peel and stick the front seal over the bulkhead (part of the bed closest to the cab)
  3. Place folded bed tonneau cover onto the rails at the point closest to the front of the cab. The cover is not very heavy.  One person can do it, but due to their size, they can be awkward to handle.
  4. Place the two bolts thru the cover and thru the plates that are on the rails in the area closest to the cab. Hand tighten.
  5. Unfold the tonneau cover completely, latching each panel in place. Wiggle it from side to side to get it properly centered between the bed rails.
  6. Tighten down the two hand nuts on the bolts that go thru the cover.

How are Tonneau Covers attached?

They are basically clamped into place.  There is no drilling required to install a folding hard tonneau bed cover.  Side clamps are properly attached with side rails, adjusted with the front of the box, and attached to the underside of the bed rails. The first clamps are attached toward the front of the box, the second ones at the midway point, and the third set of clamps, are mounted as close to the tailgate as possible. Then sides are mounted with the side rails to finish the installation.

For the tri-fold tonneau covers, cover assembly is spread across the bed, aligning it with the bedrails, with 1-inch exposed on each side. The cover is unfolded and secured with bedrails properly to make it flat from the front of the box until the tailgate. All four adjustable clamps are attached to the bedrails. Two clamps are attached to the cab, and one each to the sides of the tailgate. They are super easy and quick to install. They all come with simple to follow instructions specific to the cover you purchased.

Can Tonneau Covers be removed?

Tonneau covers are easy to remove with side rails being left in place or also removed alongside the cover. If you don’t remove the side rails, it would be easy to re-install the tonneau covers later. This is super easy and could be done in three steps.

  1. Fold the tonneau cover completely towards the cab of the truck.F150 Tonneau cover folded
  2. Remove the hand nuts that hold on the section closest to the cab of the truck.
  3. Lift up and remove the cover, leaving the side rails in place for easy installation when ready.

With these steps performed, you’re done removing the cover.