How To Install Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner? (Step By Step)

Last Updated on
Photo of author
Written By Waylon Joe

Hey, It’s Waylon “Joe” Kite here. I am a West Virginia native and a die-hard pickup truck fan. My story with trucks started with my dad’s 1989 Ford F-150, and it's still going on. I'll share all my trucking experiences (both great and gross ones) with you. I have a garage full of tools to fix and renovate trucks and a freezer full of ales. Do you want to join me?

If you’re looking for extra protection on your truck bed, then a tonneau cover with a bed liner is a savior. Both would give extra protection to your cargo. This is especially when you regularly carry items that can easily be damaged by rain or scratches. 

And installing a tonneau cover with a bed liner is easy. You don’t need any prior experience. 

This article will share a step-by-step guide to help you install the tonneau cover with bed liner on yourself.

How To Install Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner

Tools Needed to Install A Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner 

The key to getting the job done well is having the right tools. And this is why you must start by getting the right tools to help you get the job done. The following are the top tools that would be needed to install a tonneau cover with bed liner. 

  • Scissors (Finder 10” Hard Material Cutter)
  • Spring clamps (HORUSDY Heavy Duty Metal Spring Clamps)
  • Drill machine (BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill)
  • Rubber seal (Neoprene Solid Rubber Sheet)
  • Wrenches (JAEGER 24pc IN/MM TIGHTSPOT Ratcheting Wrench)
  • Screwdriver (CRAFTSMAN Screwdriver Set)
  • Cover installation kits
  • Hand tightened screws
  • Cleaning spray or rubbing alcohol

How Long Will It Take to Install a Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner? 

Before you get started, it’s also critical to understand how long it would take to install the tonneau cover with bed liner. The time can vary depending on the type of tonneau cover you install. 

But if it’s your first time installing a tonneau cover with bed liner, spare about 30 minutes. It won’t take more than that to install it. 

Simple Steps To Install Tonneau Cover with Bed Liner 

Step 1: Remove obstructions 

Remove all the handles and screws from the surface of the truck bed to get better access. More importantly, clean the bed surface. You can wash the truck bed and leave it to dry. Ensure you scrap any rust or dirt that could have piled over your truck bed. 

Step 2: Check for holes. 

Most of the pick-up truck beds have holes to allow you to secure the liner with a screw. If you find any, use it to secure the liner. But if your truck bed doesn’t have one, then use a power drill to drill through a small hole.

Step 3: Fix the bed liner 

Now set the bed liner on the vehicle bed, fasten the handle and screws in the drilled holes, and cover these with a cap. Repeat the process with the tailgate.

Step 4: Install the Side Rail

Once you have installed the bed liner, you must install the side rail. The process is as follows:

First: Prepare the rail

Many tonneau covers have two side rails: a clamp and a canister. If your cover has two, support the rail gently using a temporary spring clump. You can get aid from someone to do the job. Then attach the side rail with the clamp and the canister at a distance.

Secondly: Clamp the side rail 

At this stage, fit a toothed clamp under the side rail but close to the cab. Tighten the toothed clamp firmly with a wrench. Add a chip to seal the gap between the rail side and the trunk.

Thirdly: Place an additional clamp 

A Tonneau cover may have 8 or 6 clamps. Attach and space the clamps properly along the rails and follow the same method on the 2nd rail.

Fourthly: Adjust the rail

To make the center of the rail parallel and flat, adjust the rail by loosening and tightening the clamps.

Step 5: Install the Tonneau Cover 

Now you are one step closer to completing the tonneau cover installation with bed liner. Let’s finish it:

Install the rubber seal

Firstly, rub the tonneau cover and the cab using alcohol. Then apply the rubber seals to the tonneau cover to make it waterproof and prevent gaps between the rails and the cap. It will keep the cover protected from extreme weather like snow and rain.

Fit the tonneau cover

You may need someone to help fit the tonneau cover properly over the rail close to the cab.

Unfold the cover 

Before unfolding the cover-up to the tailgate, close it. If you feel the tonneau requires some adjustment, use the hand-tightened screw to do so.

Finish the job

Finally, check the cover before fastening all the clamps. Inspect whether you have applied the provided components or not. Lastly, push the cover if it comes out of its place.

Installing Tonneau Cover With Drop-In Bed Liner

Is it possible to install a tonneau cover on a truck bed where the bed liner was previously installed?

Most tonneau covers can be performed with spray-on bed liners and under the rail. But, sometimes, you might need to trim the liner at the bulkhead to install retractable covers. Not only is that, attaching a tonneau cover to an over-the-rail bed liner a time-consuming and a bit tough job.

Usually, bed lip liners fasten the tonneau cover. Thus, it is required to cut a little relief in the attaching area of the cover clamp to ensure proper installation. If your vehicle has neither a tonneau cover nor a bed liner, you should install the liner first.

Safety tips to follow

Remember these safety tips while using a tonneau cover with a bed liner:

  • Don’t sit or stand on a tonneau cover or its framework.
  • Wrap the tonneau cover prebiotically to keep it clean from dust and moisture.
  • Secure the tonneau using a manual slide lock while driving the car. If it is windy, use safety straps to protect the tonneau.
  • Don’t leave the tonneau under bright sunlight; check its fastening parts regularly.
  • Ask an expert if you face issues or are confused about installing the tonneau cover with a bed liner.

Final words

Hopefully, you have learned how to install a tonneau cover with a bed liner. A combination of tonneau cover and liner ensures powerful protection for both the truck bed and its loads.

So, whether it shields the cargo from loss, theft, or harsh weather, this combination is the perfect performer. Finally, ensure you have maintained the serial; liner, side rail, and tonneau cover for a successful experience.

Read also: Best Weather Stripping For Tonneau Cover


1. How To Trim A Bed Liner For A Tonneau Cover?

Some bed liners include a top hole cut out. You can try cutting it from the liner’s backside. This will be easier. Despite this, ensure you cut the front lip off and the tailgate lip to install a tonneau cover.

2. Which Is Better: Spray Or Roll Bed Liner?

Roll-on bed liners are more affordable than spray liners and are easier to install. So if you are on a tight budget, you should use a roll-up bed liner. Besides, this bed liner comes with color varieties to choose from.

3. Can I Paint Spray On The Bed Liner?

Yes, you can paint the truck bed liner. But you have to clean the surface before painting, and you can’t mix any paint color into the vehicle bed coating before using it.

Read also: How To Keep Dust Out Of Tonneau Cover?

Save Upto 15% on Your Tonneau Cover Order!

As we know in this era tonneau cover is a must-have tool for every truck owner, that's why we came up with up to 15% discount for our readers on Amazon. If you click on the button below, we will take you to their exclusive discount page!