How to Install a Truck Bed Cover

Whether you recently purchased a new pickup or are looking to upgrade your current truck bed with a tonneau cover, WeatherTech has you covered. In this article, we will give you some tips on selecting the cover for your vehicle and guide you through the process of installing your new pickup truck bed cover.

Choosing the Right Cover

With a wide variety of tonneau covers available on the market, choosing the right cover for your pickup can be confusing. Customers must decide which style of tonneau cover is ideal for their vehicle, determine the correct size cover they need, and take into account other factors like product warranty, customer reviews, and price.
The first step in the selection process is deciding which style of tonneau cover is best for your pickup. Tonneau covers come in a variety of styles including hard cover, soft cover, roll-up, and tri-fold. Once you decide on which style is right for your pickup, it’s time to determine what size tonneau cover will best fit your vehicle. WeatherTech has developed an informative guide on how to properly measure your pickup truck bed to help you measure correctly. Once you know which style and size tonneau cover you are looking for, it’s time to start shopping!
WeatherTech offers two tonneau cover options for customers. The WeatherTech Roll up Pickup Truck Bed Cover is made from a double-coated commercial grade reinforced vinyl and features a heavy duty water resistant design that protects cargo from tough weather conditions. It also includes a dual locking system that provides excellent security for tools and other items stored inside your truck bed. The second option available is the WeatherTech AlloyCover, a lightweight foldable hard truck bed cover with strong aluminum panels and durable, reinforced vinyl coated hinges. Each of our tonneau covers includes our lifetime limited warranty and are accompanied with a variety of glowing customer reviews.

Installing your Tonneau Cover

Once you’ve found the perfect tonneau cover for your your pickup, it’s time to install it in your vehicle!
In the following section, we will show you how to install the WeatherTech Roll up Pickup Truck Cover on your vehicle. If you purchased the WeatherTech AlloyCover, installation instructions are available here.

1. Preparation

Start by unpacking all tonneau cover components and placing them on a clean surface. Second, gather any tools needed for assembly, including wrenches, additional clamps, tape measure, protective eyewear, and scissors.


2. Installing Cover Side Rails

The first step is to install the tonneau cover side rails. It is important to read and follow the specific instructions included in your cover’s packaging as some kits contain special side rail instructions.

  1. Position the side rail with weather-strip against the lip of the box. Push the rail forward until it touches the front of the box. Make sure the end of the rail with the nylon strike is in the rear of the truck bed.
  2. At the front of your truck bed, adjust the top of the rail flush with the top of the box and hold it there with assistance of another person or a spring clamp.
  3. Install the first clamp as close to the front of the bed as possible and use a ½"’ wrench to tighten.
  4. With the rail flush at the top of the box and teeth on the clamp engaged, tighten the clamp. Check to see if the rail is level. If the rail tilts upward, loosen the clamp, lower the rail, engage the clamp’s teeth and re-tighten the clamp.
  5. Once the rail is level and secured in place, install a second clamp on the rail at the midway point of the box. Adjust the rail flush at the top of the box and repeat the clamping procedure, making sure the clamp teeth are engaged on the rail grooves.
  6. At the tailgate, adjust the rail height flush with the top of the tailgate. Repeat the clamping procedures, placing the third clamp as close to the tailgate as possible. After the first rail is complete, repeat these steps to install the rail on the opposite side.

3. Apply Front Header Seal

The next step in the tonneau cover installation is applying the front and rear seals.

  1. At the front of the box header, clean the top surface with the alcohol pad.
  2. Peel back the paper on the seal, align and adhere the front header seal at one corner across the box to the opposite corner and cut to length.
  3. To apply the rear seal, clean the underside of the rail with the alcohol pad. Hold the seal up to the end of the rail and make sure the end of the seal contacts the edge of the box. Next, mark the leg of the seal, cut a notch in the seal, peel back the paper, align, and adhere the seal at the end of the rail.

4. Assemble the Tension Adjusters to the Tonneau Cover

Now that the front and rear seals are installed, it is time to assemble the tension adjusters on your tonneau cover.

  1. To begin, set the pre-rolled cover on the tailgate with the front bar facing up. Align the tension adjuster (marked "L") on the driver’s side of the cover.
  2. Turn the 1-1/4" bolt with flat washer onto the nut in the bar. Leave the bolt loose for now. Repeat this process for the second tension adjuster ("R") on the passenger side of the cover.

5. Mounting the Cover to the Side Rails

With the tension adjusters installed, we need to mount the tonneau cover onto the side rails.

  1. Set the rolled up cover on the front rails of the box (behind cab) with the bar facing up. Roll the cover bar onto the front rails and fold/tuck the vinyl flap under. The bar will now be face down. Let the straps hang inside the box. Push the cover bar forward until it sets sits flat on the front side rails and overhangs them.
  2. Slide the left tension adjuster over until it engages under the side rail. Go ahead and push the bar back and forth to line up the holes. Do not turn the dial wheel at this time. Insert the bolt from the top, flat washer and nut from the bottom.
  3. Hold the bolt at the top and tighten the nut on the underside rail. Repeat this process for the right hand tension adjuster.
  4. Center the front bar between the two side rails.
  5. Once installed, tighten the bolts (left loose earlier) under each tension adjuster. 

6. Initial Operation and Adjustments

Now that the cover is fully installed, it is time to make the initial adjustments and make sure your tonneau cover is functioning properly.

  1. Unroll your cover and place the rear bar into the strikes on the side rails. Press down on the bar to close.
  2. Close the tailgate slowly – the top of the tailgate should fit snug under the cover bar. Make sure to go back and double check each clamp and make sure it is fully tight.
  3. Check the cover tension by releasing the dual locking system and open and close the rear bar several times.

Congratulations! By completing the steps listed above, your WeatherTech Roll up Pickup Truck Cover is complete!