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

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Written By Ahnaf

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Installing a tonneau cover with a bed liner is surely a good decision for increased protection, but it needs to follow some steps. If you don’t know how to install a tonneau cover with a bed liner, then you are just a little ahead of it.

We have presented a step-by-step, easy and effective way of installing a tonneau cover. Despite the guide includes some tonneau cover maintenance tips and relevant FAQs.

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

How To Install Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner?

Necessary Tools

This installation process starts with collecting the required tools essential for the installation of the tonneau cover with bed liner. It may require plenty of tools, but these are mostly available, quite inexpensive, and easier to use. The required equipment is:

Times Required

The time required to install a tonneau cover with a bed liner can vary depending on the skill of the operator and the type of the tonneau cover. For instance, installing a hard tonneau requires more than its soft counterparts. But installing a tonneau cover with a bed liner usually requires about 30 minutes for non-expert enthusiasts. 

##Bed Liner Installation

It is safer and better to open the tailgate to prevent any issues with tonneau cover installation. Conversely, a closed tailgate won’t offer you the required access. Let’s learn how to install a bed liner:

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 by installing a liner on the dirt surface to encourage rust and leave moisture. You can apply a mix of soft detergent and hot water to wash the truck bed properly.

Read More: How To Cut Bed Liner For Tonneau Cover?

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.

Fix the bed liner 

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

##Install the Side Rail

Once you have installed the bed liner, your next is to install the side rail. The process is:

Prepare the rail

Many tonneau covers have two side rails, including 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. Now attach the side rail with the clamp and the canister at a distance.

Clamp the side rail 

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

Place 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.

Adjust the rail

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

##Install the Tonneau Cover 

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

Step 5 Install The Tonneau Cover On Your Truck Bed And Enjoy!

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 any gap 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 a helper to 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. Properly investigate whether you have applied the provided components or not. Lastly, push the cover if it comes out of its place.

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

Most of the tonneau covers can be performed with spray-on bed liners and under the rail without creating any problems. But, sometimes it needs 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 perform as a fastening position for a 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 doesn’t have both a tonneau cover and 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 and check its fastening parts regularly.
  • If you face issues or are confused about installing the tonneau cover with a bed liner, ask an expert.


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

Some bed liners include a top hole cut out. You can try to cut it from the backside of the liner as it will be easier. Despite this, make sure 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. Even this type of bed liner comes with plenty of colors 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.

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, make sure you have maintained the serial; liner, side rail, and tonneau cover for a successful experience.

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