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How to Install a Tonneau Cover: A Guide to Truck Bed Cover Installations

By Mike Cote - November 22, 2018

Installing Truck Bed Covers

Whether you want to protect your payload or improve your ride’s aerodynamic qualities, a tonneau cover is a valuable addition to your truck. But, if you have to pay a fortune to have the local auto shop complete the tonneau cover installation, the price adds up quickly. Here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know how to install a tonneau cover yourself.

Tonneau Covers Installation Steps

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is select the tonneau cover that’s the best fit for your needs and for your truck. See below for more info about which tonneau is best for you
  2. Attach the rails that came with your tonneau cover to your bed. If using an over-the-bed rail liner, you may have to cut notches in it for the tonneau’s clamps to poke through
  3. Align the tonneau cover’s rails and tighten all mounting hardware until it loosely holds the rails in place. Re-check rail alignment and if ok, fully tighten the mounting hardware
  4. Install any tailgate or cab-side seals if they were included with your cover
  5. Set the top on the tonneau rails and check that the tonneau sits evenly along the perimeter. If it doesn’t, recheck your rail alignment and adjust as necessary
  6. Inspect all sealing surfaces for visible gaps or bulging. Again, if the tonneau isn’t sitting flush on the gasket without excessively compressing it, make the necessary adjustments to the rail’s position
  7. If your tonneau cover came with drainage tubes you’ll want to connect them and route them to the corners of the bed

Popular Tonneau Covers

  • TonnoPro TonnoFold Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
  • TruXedo TruXport Roll-Up Tonneau Cover
  • American Tonneau Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
  • BAK BAKFlip G2 Tonneau Cover
  • TonnoPro LoRoll Tonneau Cover
  • Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Tonneau Cover
  • BAK BAKFlip F1 Tonneau Cover
  • TonnoPro HardFold Tri Fold Tonneau Cover


Installing a tonneau cover on your truck can enhance its functionality and appearance. By following the steps outlined above, you can successfully install a tonneau cover yourself, saving both time and money. Whether you choose a roll-up, tri-fold, or roll-top tonneau cover, make sure to select the one that best suits your truck and cargo needs. Enjoy the benefits of added security and weather protection for your truck bed.