How To Install Tonneau Cover Easily? (Step By Step Process)

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Written By Ahnaf

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Tonneau covers are an efficient and economical way to protect your truck bed. It’s a good idea to know how to install a tonneau cover on your own vehicle. You’ll be able to take care of it in case something happens while you’re out driving.

There are many different types of tonneau covers. Some are more difficult than others to install. Here we will go over the process step-by-step so you can have a hassle-free installation in different tonneau covers!

Some of the best easy to install tonneau cover you can find here!

How To Install Tonneau Cover?

How To Install Tonneau Cover Easily? (Step By Step Process)

There are different ways to install different types of tonneau covers. This is because most tonneau covers are made up of differing materials, designs, and shapes. They also vary in the way they can be installed onto your pickup truck bed.

There are four main steps involved in installing a tonneau cover:

  1. Open the tailgate
  2. Remove any existing bed liner
  3. Position and attach the front edge of the Tonneau Cover
  4. Close the tailgate and enjoy your tonneau.

Before you get started, make sure the bed is clean because it will be difficult to work on anything that isn’t completely dry. You also should plan your layout before beginning installation. Mark where the holes for fasteners go and use a tape measure to determine the length needed to cut.

Tools Needed:

  1. Measuring Tape
  2. A Pencil
  3. Masking Tape / Electrical Tape
  4. Utility Knife / Scissors
  5. Spray Bottle & Water (if tonneau is pre-assembled)
  6. 10mm Socket & Wrench/Ratchet and a Ratcheting Wrench, if needed for removal of old cover or installation of new cover.
  7. 3/8″ Socket & Wrench / Ratchet and a Ratcheting Wrench, for installation of tailgate compression seal (if applicable)

#1. How To Install Tri Fold Tonneau Cover?

The tri-fold tonneau cover installation process is a bit more complex than the roll-up and single panel model. The main reason for this is because of the added flexibility that these types of Tonneau covers provide, allowing them to fit around extra cargo, tall items or bulky objects.

How To Install Tri Fold Tonneau Cover

Because of this flexibility, tri-fold models need to be a bit more carefully placed to ensure they don’t get in the way or scratch the tailgate of your pickup truck. Here are the steps of installing a tri-fold tonneau cover:

1. Remove The Old Cover From Your Truck:

Remove The Old Cover From Your Truck

You should remove the old cover before installing the new one. Remove the screws that hold the tailgate of your truck shade, and then remove the tonneau from its place. Now if you don’t want to throw it away, you can sell it on eBay or craigslist.

2. Install Metal Brackets For Secure Fit:

Install Metal Brackets For Secure Fit

If you already have the cover, now it’s time to install it. Put the new metal brackets in their exact place where the old one was.

3. Install bars:

Install bars

Place bars somewhere on the truck bed for securing the cover, and then tighten them with screws. Bars also help you to lock cover with locks for a secure fit. if you don’t want your truck bed to get scratches, so place these bars properly.

4. Install cover:

Install Tonneau Cover

Now time to install the new tonneau cover on your truck bed. Fit them exactly in their place and then tighten all screws. If you have bought a tri-fold style, it will take more time than a single fold or roll-up model for installing. After installing the cover, it’s time to check if everything is installed properly.

5. Fitting Up The Tailgate:

Fitting Up The Tailgate

Now, you should install your tailgate exactly in its place and then tighten all screws. If you have bought a tri-fold style, it will take more time than a single fold or roll-up model for installing. After installing the cover, it’s time to check if everything is installed properly.

6. enjoy your truck bed:

Now, you can start using your tonneau cover without any worry about theft or dust. More security and style are the benefits of using this useful tool. If you took more time for installing this product, don’t be upset, just relax and do your job carefully.

After installing this cover, you will get more space to keep items on your truck bed.

Now time to stop worrying about thieves while parking or driving with your truck, and enjoy the benefits of a new tonneau cover.

Video: Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover Installation

Read More: How To Install Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner?

#2. How To Install Hard Tonneau Cover?

How To Install Hard Tonneau Cover

Here is the step by step guide to installing a hard tonneau cover:

Step 1:

Before installing your hard tonneau cover, you need to measure the length of the truck bed where you would like to install it. Then, buy a vinyl-coated metal frame. There are two types of frames; one with holes and the other without holes.

The frame with no hole can be installed by drilling holes into your truck bed. The other one with holes comes out of the box with pre-drilled holes.

Step 2:

A hard tonneau cover comes in a vinyl coated metal frame along with screws, nuts and locks. Now attach these parts to the truck bed you would like to install it on. Once attached, use some clamps to keep them together.

Drill holes and install the cover onto its frame, using screws and nuts. Now fix the locks to keep the cover intact.

Read More: 10 Best Hard Tonneau Cover For Jeep Gladiator

Step 3:

Now you need to wait for some time so that cover could get attached to the truck bed. Once done, if it doesn’t have a flap to open and close. You will need to remove it from the truck bed and install its support bar at the rear side of your truck bed. Then use a spring latch to fasten the flap on the support bar.

Next, remove it from the truck bed.

There is another kind of flap which you can install separately. It stays closed and opens automatically when the cover is opened. This one adds more convenience to using your tonneau cover.

Now take all these parts inside your truck so that you could fix them to the truck bed from underneath in some other time.

Step 4:

If your cover doesn’t have a tailgate support bar, then install the tailgate. This will give more stability to cover. Fix its hinge on the truck bed and lower it down.

Now you need to fix the flap of the tonneau cover onto this support bar using latches or hook and loop fasteners. You can now enjoy the tonneau cover you have installed.

Step 5:

There is a third style of the flap which stays closed and opens automatically when the cover is opened. This one adds more convenience to using your tonneau cover. Now take all these parts inside your truck so that you could fix them to the truck bed from underneath in some other time.

Now attach the tailgate to the truck bed with a hinge. You can now enjoy the tonneau cover you have installed.

Hard Tonneau Cover Installation Video

Read More: Which Bakflip Cover Is Best?

#3. How To Install Soft Tonneau Cover?

How To Install Soft Tonneau Cover

Here is the step by step guide to installing a soft tonneau cover:

1. Measure your truck bed length and width.

2. Purchase the soft tonneau cover which is designed according to your truck bed size.

3. Select a location for the mounting of the tonneau cover, make sure it is within easy reach, behind the cab or on top of it. You can find some bulkhead rail kits here.

4. Unroll the cover and lay it on the truck bed and make sure its position is correct.

5. Drill mounting holes for the tonneau cover in the selected location, check with your manual to find out how many holes are required.

6. Install short bolts or screws to secure each end of the rail at a time then move forward to the next short bolt location.

7. Keep installing the rail with short bolts or screws until all rail sections are secured to each other and positioned correctly against the cover.

8. Mounting hardware for your tonneau cover is provided; use these nuts and bolts to secure the mounting bracket of the rail kit to truck bed rails, run bolts through holes of bed rails and nuts from inside, and tighten bolts on the outside.

9. Attach the tonneau cover to the mounting brackets of the rail kit by using the provided bolts or screws. Make sure bolts have a strong grip over the tonneau cover so that it does not fall off when you make sharp turns or bumps.

10. Your soft tonneau cover is installed. Now you can secure your truck bed items with the cover, and it will also protect them from getting wet in case of rain or snow.

Read More: 10 Best Hard Tonneau Cover For F150

Soft Tonneau Cover Installation Video

#4. How To Install Retractable Tonneau Cover?

How To Install Retractable Tonneau Cover

Here is the step by step guide:

1. Ensure that the floor of your vehicle is covered with plastic, it will ensure that you won’t be scratch.

2. If there is no layer of plastic on the floor of your car then you can use an old towel or something like that.

3. Remove and loose all screws from the existing cover so that they won’t damage the cover when you are installing it.

4. Slide the cover over the top of your pickup truck where there is no cover.

5. Secure the hook from the underside of the tonneau with a screw.

6. Scan all screws again to ensure they are properly tightened and try testing it by lifting up a little bit then dropping it down, if everything works well then you are all finished.

Read More: 5 Best Retractable Tonneau Cover For Ram 1500

Retractable Tonneau Cover Installation Video

#5. How To Install Electric Tonneau Cover?

How To Install Electric Tonneau Cover

Here is the step by step guide to installing an electric tonneau cover:

1. The first step is to put the tonneau cover on the bed. You have to remove the tailgate before doing this.

2. Next, you will need a drill with a half-inch bit and an extension cord long enough to reach from one end of your truck bed to the other. The idea here is to mark half-inch holes at both ends of the bed. You will need to install clamps in these holes, one at each end of the truck bed.

3. The next step is to cut out a rectangular portion of your truck bed liner using a utility knife or sharp shears. This rectangle has to be about 24 X 48 inches (roughly 60 x 120 centimeters) in size and will be used to cover up the clamps. The exact dimensions of this rectangle are not very important as long as it covers the clamps, which have to remain hidden from view.

4. Next, you want to notch out a hole on each side of your truck bed for the electric cable that powers the tonneau cover. The hole should be big enough to accommodate the electric cable.

5. After you have created a hole on each side of your bed, position the electric cable through it and then secure the clamps in place using self-tapping screws or t-nuts. You will need to attach a heavy-duty battery or 12V power source for this electric cable to work.

6. Next, you need to attach the switch for the electric cover at a convenient location on your truck. The switch has to be mounted in such a way that it is easy for you to turn it on and off. But is not so easily accessible that someone can just steal it.

7. Finally, connect the electric cable to the cover and position it on your truck bed. The objective here is to attach the cable to the hinge of the tonneau cover so that when you flip the switch. It will activate a motor which would automatically open or close the cover.

Electric Tonneau Cover Installation Video

#6. How To Install Roll Up Tonneau Cover?

How To Install  Roll Up Tonneau Cover

Here is the step by step guide:

1. First of all, you need to lay the tonneau cover down on its back. Then, find and mark a starting place for the first grommet using a ballpoint pen or chalk pencil. Make sure that there is about 1/2 inch between each row from one end to another. The grommets should be placed every 6 inches, or so.

2. Next thing, you can take the drill and start to create holes by drilling with a 3/8-inch drill bit until it is snug on the back side of the cover. Afterward, remove the bit from your drill and then insert them into each hole. Make sure that they are going in straight and not at an angle.

3. After that, you can screw the washer and nut onto each row of grommets to make sure that they are tightly in place. Once that is done, roll up your piece of cover, slide it into the rails on either side of your truck bed, and then secure it so that it is in place.

4. If you want to, you can drill holes into your bed rails if they are not there already and then secure the rail into place using a bolt or a screw for each one. Make sure that they are not too tight or too loose.

5. Then, you can install the cover on your truck bed with the rings and then tighten them down so that they are all secure in place. The roll-up tonneau covers usually come with a lock to keep people from taking it off and stealing your stuff inside.

6. If you want to lock the tonneau cover, you can use that lock and then secure it so that no one can take it off without a key.

Once you are done, now your roll-up truck bed cover is ready to be used.

Remember, always read the installation instructions before installing a tonneau cover on your truck bed. Good luck!

Read More: 11 Best Roll Up Tonneau Cover For F150

Roll Up Tonneau Cover Installation Video

FAQs About Tonneau Cover Installation

1. Can A Tonneau Cover Be Installed On A Truck With A Bed Liner Already On It?

Yes! Many tonneau covers are designed to be installed over existing liners.

2. Is It Easy To Install A Tonneau Cover?

It’s not rocket science to install a tonneau cover. Anyone can do it, but it does help to have some mechanical skills and a step-by-step guide.

3. How Long Does It Take To Install Tonneau Cover?

It takes us about 1 hour to install our Softop/Hardtop Combo on a pickup truck. This includes the time for making sure that everything is set up correctly and securely, as well as any troubleshooting.

Final Words

Installing your Tonneau Cover correctly is important because it will help protect the cargo in your truck bed. The cover should be installed such that it covers all of the side rails and extends over the edges to provide a tight seal with no gaps or openings. If you are not sure if you have properly installed your tonneau cover, take a minute to look for any tears or cracks around its perimeter.

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