Tonneau covers are the ultimate accessories for pick-up trucks if you want to transport your items without worrying about damage or getting stolen when you stop on the road.
Before you opt for tonneau cover installation, make sure that you thoroughly clean the truck. It would be good to have someone support you with the process, especially if the tonneau cover is a hinge variant. Here is a brief guide to help you with the installation.
Before installing a tonneau cover, make sure it is compatible with the truck bed liner you have chosen, or it could get in the way. That will make it difficult for you to get adequate space while fitting the clamps.
It would help if you placed the side rail on the truck bed liner. If the cover does have side rails, you can use side clamps. Ask your helper to hold it in place. Position your retractable tonneau cover and align it properly before attaching the rails. Position the canister that has the retractable cord.
Connect the clamps to the cover below the side rails. Attach the first clamp to the rail’s end and tighten it. If the clamps have teeth, they should be aligned with the groves. Once you are sure of the position, use a socket wrench till you feel the pressure on the truck bed rail.
Fix all the remaining clamps like the first one, choosing clamps compatible with your truck bed size. The rails should run parallel to each other and should be straight up. Use a socket wrench to tighten all the clamps fully.
If your cover came with a rubber seal, you should install it now. It provides weather protection, and you can attach them with seals that come with some tonneau covers. You can also use other sealants but remember to cut off any extra parts.
If you are installing a hard or hinged tonneau cover, you will require some help as it can be heavy to hold it up alone while working with it. However, you can manage with retractable or folding covers all by yourself. Place the tonneau over the rails and adjust it so that it snugly fits in.
Adjust the end of the cover right till the tailgate and close it. The cover should fit in at both ends, without the hinges creaking or any other issue near the tailgate or the cab end.
Depending on the kind of tonneau cover you have, use the bolts to fasten it on the rails. You can also use additional clamps and levers to attach them to the truck bed. The cover can be raised or lowered with the help of lever arms.
Lastly, double-check if all the bolts and screws are tightened. Depending on the variant, the cover might also come with storage straps and prop rods, and they all should be firmly placed. If the tonneau cover has tubes to drain rainwater, ensure it will be up to the task.
You can, of course, hire professional help for tonneau cover installation, and that way, you wouldn’t have to worry at all about the correct installation procedure.