You might be wondering that is it really possible to install a tri-fold tonneau cover for your vehicle at home. The good news is, YES! It’s possible.
There’s absolutely no need to seek any professional’s service when you can do this task yourself.
What you have to do now?
Well! Just read out this detailed guide, and finally, you’ll be able to answer your curiosity about how to install tri-fold tonneau covers.
Let’s dig a little deeper!
What Are Tonneau Covers?
Tonneau covers are the advanced automotive technological adaptation for covering the opened back of truck or loading vehicles.
Today, there are many styles of these covers that can either retract, fold, or be locked shut.
What’s the Purpose of Tonneau Covers?
Covering the vehicle’s opened back, these covers protect your valuables from extreme weather conditions, rainstorms, and even dust.
Moreover, it’s an excellent choice for improving the security and aerodynamics of the car.
Just imagine if you have some precious items in the open bed of your car, it can either be stolen by some voracious thieves or damaged by a sudden rainstorm.
You can now save your valuables and have a safe journey ahead without even worrying about what’s at the back.
Types of Tonneau Covers
There are a lot of tonneau covers in the market today. Out of many, the most familiar ones are:
- Hard folding
- Soft roll-up
- One-piece solid
- Soft folding
- Hard roll-up
Apart from all of these types, our main concern is tri-fold tonneau covers.
Installation of Tri-fold Tonneau Covers – The Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Installing a tri-fold cover at home won’t require rocket-science knowledge. After reading these three installation steps, you can install your tonneau cover along with a bed liner on the car’s back.
Step 1 – First Install The Bed Liner
Before you get into the installation of the bed liner, you have to open the tailgate.
Why it’s important?
Well! Your installation becomes straightforward when you start your process by opening the tailgate. Tailgate is actually a hurdle that interferes and reduces your access to the bed of the vehicle.
Then why don’t you just remove that hurdle and put it aside?
The next thing you have to do is to open all the handles and screws present on the interior of the truck’s bed.
In many compatible trucks, you’ll notice that there are small caps and holes on the bed. These holes are for fitting the screws.
No problem if you don’t see the holes. You can get them out from the truck’s bed by drilling.
An important thing!
Before installing the bed liner, you have to clean the truck’s bed with any cleaning spray of alcohol. But make sure it’s properly cleaned.
Cleaning is important because you can’t just open and re-open the bed liner again and again. Once it’s installed, it will remain there for a good time.
After applying the spray, use a sponge or dry cloth to absorb the moisture. You can also wait and leave the bed to air dry. But instead of wasting your time there, we’d recommend to dry it with any cloth.
Finally, installing the bed liner:
Once the cleaning is done, insert the bed liner inside the truck. Fit the screws through the holes that you made before for fitting.
Now you have to secure the screws in the place and make it look decent by putting the caps on them.
Congrats! Your bed liner is successfully installed. It’s time to put the tailgate back into its position. You simply have to repeat the steps you applied for the installation of the bed liner.
Step 2 – It’s Time to Install the Side Rails
Let’s get right down to our next step.
To install the side rails, first, you have to place them on the bed rails. Usually, there are two side rails with most of the tonneau covers.
However, if your cover hasn’t any side rail, there’s no need to worry about it. There must be clamps included in your package for attaching to the bed floor.
As most of the tonneau covers come with side rails, so here we’ll consider that case. After placing the side rails symmetrically, you have to fit them right next to the cab by using the clamps.
Among the many types of clamps, the best ones are toothed-type that are majorly used for these purposes. It’s because they are most effective in stabilizing the side rails by keeping them locked in their positions.
When you are done with this, you have to add the other clamp at a symmetrical distance from the previous one. No tighten both of the clamps up and stabilize the side rails.
Repeat all these steps for the installation of the second rail.
Step 3 – Finally Install Your Tri-fold Tonneau Cover
Here comes the final step, and you have to be quite vigilant in that. If your tonneau cover doesn’t come with a rubber seal, you can get right into the cover installation.
Now you have to place the cover properly on the bed rail. You can take someone’s help in doing that because the cover is a bit hefty. Make sure that it fits perfectly in the rails.
If the cover isn’t fitting into the rails, you have to exert a little extra force to push it down into it.
After fixing the cover in the right place, you have to open it and close the tailgate. Now, it’s time to pin-up the cover into the side rails.
Now check appropriately if all the screws are tightened. If yes! Then you are almost done.
Things to Check after the Installation of Tonneau Cover
Once you are done, you have to proof-read the whole process by checking all these points.
- First, you have to make sure that all the clamps and screws are properly tightened.
- Ensure that all the rails are placed flat, and all the clamps are adjusted well.
- However, if you see any gap between the truck or side rails, you have to fill it using shims. In this way, you’ll give the entire construction extra stability.
- Most important! Make sure that you are not operating the truck when the locks aren’t in their place, or the cover is folded.
- If your Tonneau cover is waterproof, then you’ll see the rubber seals with it. For that, you have to install these rubber seals on either side of the rails.
The Bottom Line
Summing up the thoughts! We have given you the ultimate guide on how to install your tonneau covers at home. You’ll be wondering now that it’s absolutely not a difficult task.
Moreover, most of the tonneau covers come with their manual. The installation becomes even easier when you read the manual thoroughly.
We’ll recommend if your cover has a manual too, then don’t forget to read that for better knowledge. There’s an additional benefit of reading a manual that is it’s explicitly for your cover.
Introduce a tonneau cover to your truck and protect your valuables!