Are you wondering how to install a tonneau cover on your truck? Tonneau covers are available to fit many different models of pickup trucks. Below is a universal summary of simple steps to installing a tonneau truck bed cover. Most soft roll-up tonno covers are much easy to install and can usually be installed by a novice in about an hour.
Confirm that your cover is compatible with other parts like bed liners, bed rail caps or other additions that may be incompatible with some covers. If a bed liner gets in the way during installation, cut a notch out of the liner where you need to fit a clamp.
With the tailgate open, position a side rail loosely onto the bed rail. Most roll-up covers come with two side rails, which are installed onto the sides of the truck box rails. Placing a rail flush with the front of the pickup bed rail, hold it in place temporarily with a spring clamp or c-clamp.
Once the rails are in place, clamp the side rail next to the cab with the provided clamps from your tonneau cover manufacturer. Tighten the bed rail clamps into place with just enough pressure to feel it pressing against the bed rail. Do not overtighten as this may cause the rails to not line up properly.
If there are any gaps between the truck, place shims evenly along the bed rail to close the gap. These are plastic or rubber spacers that stick directly onto the bed rail.
Once the bedrails are adjusted and lined up properly, place any additional clamps (most bed covers include 6 or 8 clamps). Attach the remaining clamps in the same way you did with the first clamp, spacing them evenly along the rails.
Check that the rails are centered and flat to the top of your bed rails. The two rails should be perfectly in line with the bed rails and as far toward the cab as they can go. If necessary, loosen the clamps and slightly move the rails for adjustment.
Install rubber seals if they are included with your tonneau cover. Refer to specific instructions since some tonnos come with additional seals for the sides and tailgate.
Position the bed cover over the rails, you may need someone to assist with this step. The covers should fit perfectly onto the rails, center them onto the side rails before you continue. Unroll the cover and shut the tailgate to test the fit. You can now make small adjustments to the fit if needed, adjust rails for best fitment.
Once aligned, you can bolt the cover onto the rails. Follow the manufacturer’s directions, but most covers are bolted together at the point where the side rails and front rail meet. Align the bolt holes on the cover with the bolt holes on the side rails, and secure with the included hardware with your cover.
Now that your install is almost complete, check the tightness of all clamps and other bolts being sure to check all attachment points to be sure the cover is firmly in place.
If your cover has additional accessories, you can now install those items. These steps are a simple summary of how easy it is to install a tonneau cover on your truck. Always review the included instructions with your bed cover, most covers install in similar fashion, but there are some slight variations between products.
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