How to Install a Truck Bed Cover


Truck owners spend a great deal of time and effort maintaining their vehicles. One of the most overlooked accessories for the truck can be good quality truck bed cover. Metal truck bed side panels and floors can suffer from rain, debris and ultraviolet light exposure. Objects can fly out of the truck bed and become projectiles. Custom manufactured truck bed covers, made of sturdy weatherproof materials can protect the bed from the environment, secure stowed objects and even improve gas mileage. Truck bed roll-type covers can be purchased for any make, model and year truck.

Things You'll Need

  • End wrenches
  • Hack saw
  • Tape measure
  • Clamps
  • Drive to your local auto parts store or truck parts supply center. You will need the make, model and year of your truck to purchase the truck cover package. You can take it home if they have it in stock. You might have to order it and wait for its shipment from a warehouse. Verify that the box contains the correct information pertaining to your truck's specifications.

  • Park your vehicle in an open area, like a carport or driveway. Open the kit box and spread the fasteners and parts on the floor. Read the directions, starting from Step 1. Make certain the parts have all been included in the kit.

  • Position the rails. Take one of the side rails and set it on top of the truck rail. Position it according to the directions. The top of the tail gate must sit flush with the end of the rail. If it overhangs, you must cut off the excess with a hack saw to make sure it fits. Do the same with the other rail. Use the temporary clamps to hold the guide rails in place for this procedure. Once it has been aligned and cut, fasten the permanent clamps--four per side--evenly spaced according to directions and tighten them with an end wrench.

  • Take the self-adhesive weatherstripping piece and place it at the front part of the truck bed on top of the rail. Run the weather stripping piece from the end of one guide rail to the other end, flush with the guide rail ends. Pull off the adhesive backing and press it on in a straight line. Cut any access off so it looks neatly trimmed with the guide rail ends.

  • Place the cover canister on the front truck rail. It has two tensioners, marked right and left, connected to it. Attach the two the two tensioners into the guide rail slots and leave them loose so they slide easily in the rail slots. Stretch the pull strap to the end of the truck bed while you unroll the flexible cover at the same time.

  • Stretch the cover to the rear of the tailgate. You will see two locking mechanisms attached to its end--one for the right side and one for the left. Connect each locking mechanism into the end of each guide rail slot. It should snap right in. Make sure the cover locks in place at the rear position. Unlock it and let it retract into the canister--it will slide by itself. You retrieve it by pulling the strap and locking it down in place. You can adjust the tensioners to any pressure you need.

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  • Photo Credit pickup truck image by Tonda from
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