Whether you recently purchased a new pickup or are looking to upgrade your current truck bed, a tonneau cover is your answer. These covers are accessible in a variety of types and can be purchased in specific models. In this article, we will outline how to install a tonneau cover that are designed for a universal fit.
Generally, soft covers can be installed with ease compared to hardcovers. These covers can easily be installed within an hour even if you are not a professional. Hardcovers are weighty and a challenge to install. You might need help from a friend to install it.
What is a Tonneau Cover?
Before diving into how to install a tonneau cover, it’s imperative to understand what a tonneau cover is and why do truck owners invest in it. A tonneau cover is a famous pickup truck attachment that covers the top of a truck bed. You can purchase it in either a flush-lying or a top mounting cover that is positioned over the bed of your truck. It can be attached with a locking or a clamping mechanism. An additional rail system can also be used to affix the cover.
The materials used to build a tonneau cover vary from the hard and soft varieties. Typically, a soft cover is constructed with strong leather-grained vinyl material, crossbars, and a steel or aluminum frame. On the other hand, a hard tonneau cover comprises of a thick frame and heavy-duty panels constructed with steel, aluminum, or fiberglass.
Tonneau covers ensure that your pickup bed is protected. Even though the market is full of options when it comes to tonneau covers; however, all of them fulfill the same purpose. Pickup truck owners invest in these covers for a variety of reasons. It helps them secure their cargo, keeps their truck looking sleek, and protects the truck bed from snow and rain.
How to Install a Tonneau Cover?
Installing a tonneau cover is fairly easy. However, you will need some basic tools to make the process easy. These tools incorporate tape measure, wrenches, scissors, and extra clamps. Begin by cleaning the bed because you do not want to install a tonneau cover on a dusty bed.
Given that, here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a tonneau cover.
Step 1: Check Tonneau Cover Compatibility
Take out all the components of the tonneau cover you have purchased and place them in front of you. Typically, the parts of this cover should include side support brackets, roll bar covers, rails, snaps or clips. An incompatible cover does not fit properly and you will just waste time trying to install it, which is why you must confirm if the tonneau is compatible with your truck.
Step 2: Attach the rails
After you have identified the tonneau cover rails from the components, align them and attach them to the truck bed. To ensure that everything is evenly in place and centered, position the rails and secure them with the provided hand clamps. The bed liner might come in the way of the clamps. If that happens, cut notches in your bed liner to allow smooth installation.
Step 3: Install Tonneau Cover Seals
Some tonneau covers do not have attached seals. If this is the case, it is essential to install the seals before moving forward. These seals will be attached on the tailgate and along the bulkhead of your truck. Installing the seal is imperative because they make a cover weatherproof and stops water from leaking inside the truck. Prior to installing the seal, clean the surface with alcohol so it sticks properly.
Ensure that the length of the seal is straight and faultlessly pressed down. Using scissors, cut off the unused ends of the seal.
Step 4: Install the Cover
Carefully place the tonneau cover on the rails. Certify that the cover is correctly aligned with the rails. Before moving to the next step, make adjustments if needed. Check out the installation instructions to proceed with the process because you might need to use bolts or snap the cover into position. At this point, install tonneau cover adjusters.
Step 5: Attach Tonneau Cover Additional Components
Some tonneau covers come with drainage tubes, struts, shocks, or bump stops along with several other parts. If you have purchased from a brand that has separate components, then attach these extras as per the directions on the package.
That’s it. Hope we have answered how to install a tonneau cover in simple words to smoothen out the installation process.
Beneficial Tips on How to Install a Tonneau Cover
Installing a tonneau cover is generally a straightforward process. You are unlikely to run into problems unless the cover is heavy or hardcover. You are now aware of the steps that explain how to install a tonneau cover, making these tips even more beneficial:
- Check the guidelines on the instruction manual if you require additional installation steps for your truck’s model.
- Tighten all the tonneau cover mounting hardware to ensure that it is secure. It will avoid the hassle of dealing with loose covers during high-speed turns.
- Ensure that you have bought the right tonneau cover. There are numerous kinds accessible in the market, and some of these covers are designed for a particular model.
- You must ensure that the tonneau cover is installed parallel to the length of your truck bed so it does not slant to one side as it will hamper aerodynamic capabilities.
To wrap it up!
If you have a truck bed, then investing in a truck bed cover is wise. It will safeguard your cargo from harsh weather conditions and will also save the items from vandals and thieves. Tonneau covers are not only useful but, they also come in diverse designs to fit your requirements and preferences. Now that you know how to install a tonneau cover, you only need to purchase the correct one for your truck’s model.