Access TonnoSport Tonneau Cover: Ultimate Installation Guide

Simply put, a tonneau cover is a bed cover for a pickup truck that comes in a hard or soft version.

In the earlier days of the modern pickup truck, a bulky custom-fitted cap or ‘topper’ was the common way to add extra protection to your truck bed. This has evolved to the smooth, sleek tonneau cover.

Installing your tonneau cover may seem like a daunting task. But with a user-friendly installation kit and no drilling, the process is doable for someone with a basic acumen for the tools and equipment needed.

Today, we are going to discuss the simple steps to installing an Access TonnoSport Tonneau cover. There are five steps that get your bed from being open and exposed to closed and comfortable, and the process can be finished before you can say ‘aerodynamic awesomeness.’

One of the best characteristics of an Access TonnoSport is it can virtually be used universally. The installation instructions below can be applied to whatever you vehicle you drive, Ford F150, Ford F250, Chevy Silverado, Dodge RAM, and the list goes on…

The TonnoSport installation kit includes:

  • Two side rails (left/right)
  • Two adjusters or tensioners
  • Six side rail clamps (three per side)
  • Two bolts and flat washers
  • Two half-inch bolts and nuts

Additional tools you may need include:

  • Two ‘C’ Clamps or spring clamps
  • One half-inch wrench
  • Two 9/16 wrenches
  • Impact wrench or ratchet
  • (No drill!)

Step 1: Install the side rails

Before installing side rails, a few things to remember… Be sure the side rail weatherstrip is facing the inside lip of the truck bed. The striker should be in the back of the box, and the two holes in the side rail go in the front.

Set up the rail along the inside edge and put your ‘C’ clamps or spring clamps on the inside (front and back). Once the side rail is secure, then install the tonneau clamps from the kit. Make sure the clamp grooves line up with side rail grooves. The first should go eight inches from the front. The next clamp should go in the center, then the back (8 inches). As you go through this process, be sure your side rail is at an even height along the side of the truck bed.

 Repeat this step on the other side of the truck bed.

Step 2: Install tensioners onto the cover

The tensioners ensure your tonneau cover has a tight, secure fit that’s customized to your truck bed.

 The tensioners are labeled with an ‘L’ and ‘R’ to indicate right and left side. Take the two bolts and two washers. Run them through the tensioners and tighten with your hand (not too tight).

Step 3: Set cover on top of rails from the front

In this step, you’ll begin by continuing to work with the tensioners. Grab the tensioners and slide them over to the edges of the bed so the holes are flush with the holes in the side rail. With the tensioner at the center of the hole, secure the bolt and nut from the installation kit. Repeat this step on the other side. At this point, you can also tighten the bolts where the tensioner goes onto the front bar.

Step 4: Roll cover open

Your tonneau cover is now securely fastened to the the truck bed. Roll it open and line it up so it goes into the strikes. If one or both sides is too tight, you need to adjust tensioners back so cover is not so tight. If it is not completely snug when going into the strikes, tighten tensioners to create a snug fit. Also, check your tailgate to ensure it closes properly when tonneau cover is secured.

Step 5: Seal the sides

Securing the sides of your tonneau cover is a final step that can be overlooked, but is critical. If you don’t run your hands along the sides to ensure a tight seal, you can lose the aerodynamic benefits of your cover, and you can also risk leaks. Check tailgate to ensure it closes.

 Want to drive with your tonneau cover open? Simply roll it open and use the buckle to ensure it doesn’t fly away as you cruise down the road.

 Once you’ve completed these five steps, your tonneau cover is ready for years of protection for your truck bed. 

Any questions? SharpTruck understands your desire to provide premium protection for the most vulnerable areas of your vehicle. is manned with customer service experts standing by Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm CT to answer your questions about grille guards, bull bars, and bumpers, simply call us at 800-218-0609.

Leave your comment

Contact Us
Our experts are ready to help you.