Throughout the years, Tonneau covers have increased in popularity within truck users, and for a good reason.
These bed covers will not only protect whatever you are carrying on the truck's bed, but they will also help you save a few bucks since they reduce drag and optimize your truck’s gas consumption.
Because of how versatile and useful these covers are, we decided to make a complete guide on how to install a Tonneau cover.
We also included a few tips for a more natural and quicker process. This way you know exactly what to do in each step, even if the manual included is not that clear.
So, what are we waiting for?
Let’s begin with the installation of your brand new Tonneau cover!
How Do I Install the Tonneau Cover?
First thing first! Make sure that you possess all the parts necessary and that they are designed to fit your truck model.
After all, you don't want to feel interrupted while working because you found out that the rails that you are installing don’t fit your truck’s bed.
Next, grab the two rails that come inside the box.
In case there are no rails included, it means that the rails are already mounted on the cover. If this is the case, these rails will already have clamps that you can use to fasten it to the bed.
If this is not your case, open the tailgate and adjust the rails to the side of the bed’s rails.
Now, take a clamp (or your assistant’s hand) and hold it in place. These clamps should also be inside the shipping box.
Grab another clamp and position it under the rail. Make sure that once the clamp is tightened, it will hold to the truck's rails and the rails that you are installing.
Once you do, tighten it a bit more (not entirely) and move on to the next clamp.
Make sure if your friend is holding the rail firmly against the truck's rail.
Most kits come with four clamps per rail, so you would have to tighten up eight clamps in total.
Double check that there are no spaces between the rails and the truck, since these may cause water leakage. If there are, you may have to add shims or shim brackets.
These shims should also be included within your kit, but if they are not, you can find them in any hardware store.
Find where the gap is and stick the shims so that there are no gaps.
Once you are finished with adding shims to both rails, make sure that both rails are at the same height and the same flat angle.
This is why you should not fully tighten the clamps.
If you notice any errors or mistakes, you can simply move the rails around until they are in the right position.
Once they are at the same level, you can begin to tighten the clamps as far as they go. Soon as the clamps are secure, you can start working on installing the cover on top of the rails.
First of all, make sure that you waterproof the cover as much as you can.
If the cover is advertised as waterproof, there should be a few rubber seals to cover the space between the rails and the cover.
To adjust them you should only remove the adhesive strip on the back of it and secure where the rails and the cover meet.
If you are installing a metal cover, you may need more than one person (or a machine if you wish to do it by yourself) to do this.
Carry the cover and position it over the rails. Once it is centered, let it go and see that if it fits perfectly onto the rails.
You should be extremely careful with the Tonneau cover.
These are extremely heavy, and if it falls on your foot or you catch your fingers between the cover and the truck, you may be in trouble.
Some covers need to be fastened by clamps or screwed down to make sure that it does not move.
If there are no extra clamps or screws in the kit, you have to make sure that the cover fits perfectly into the rails.
This way it won't go flying while you are driving.
Finally, make sure that everything is secure, and that the rails are not bent. If they are, they may not support the weight of the cover.
If they are not, congratulations! You just finished installing your Tonneau Cover!
Almost nothing compares to that feeling of knowing that you have accomplished something by yourself.
This is precisely what you’ll feel once you see the Tonneau cover on top of the truck’s bed! Also, if you ever change your mind and want to remvoe your tonneau cover, here's our guide for it.
We assume that you found this guide useful since our goal is to give you all you need to know and more!