How To Remove a Tonneau Cover? Step by Step Guide

Feeling daunted by removing a tonneau cover? It’s not so scary! Get prepped with the right stuff and you’ll be done in a jiffy.

Take stock of all the materials you need. Check that each part is secure too. That way you’ll be ready to remove it!

remove a tonneau cover

Gather necessary tools

Gather the tools. You need a socket wrench, Allen key, and other things, based on the tonneau cover type. Check the instructions to know what you need and where to get them. Ensure you have enough room to move around. Also, make sure you have enough light to see what you’re doing.

If you choose not to use tools designed for your tonneau cover, like an Allen key or socket wrench, learn about the new equipment and its capabilities first. If you are unfamiliar with the setup or modifications, be careful. Use a headlamp and inspect it properly for installation in an unfamiliar space.

Park your vehicle in a safe area

Park the vehicle in a safe area, such as a garage or driveway. The flat terrain is important – improper terrain can damage the cover or make it stuck.

  • Find instructions specific to your make and model.
  • Check tools such as sockets or screwdrivers are available for removal.
  • Ensure you have enough room and time to complete the job.
  • Securely lock any ladder or steps before attempting the task.

Removing the Cover

Removing a tonneau cover? No problem! It’s a fairly easy process for most vehicles. Just grab a few simple tools, and get ready to put in some effort. We’ll show you the steps. So you can finish the job fast and with ease.

  1. Gather the necessary tools.
  2. Disconnect any latches or locks.
  3. Remove the mounting screws.
  4. Lift the tonneau cover off the bed.

Unlatch the cover

Before taking a tonneau cover off, it is important to understand how it attaches to the truck bed. Unlatching it usually means disengaging several clamps and more than one latch. It is key to know what type of clamps are used and how the latches work before trying to take them off.

Some models have locking tailgate latches or rear-hinged panels that need to be disengaged first. Some covers have release levers built into the sides, for quick access without undoing any clamps. To release the locks or levers, move them back and forth until they slide out of their housings.

After all the latches have been removed, pull up the cover gently until it can be removed.

Unhook the clamps or bolts

Locate the clamps or bolts. Use the right-sized wrench to loosen them carefully. Go slowly! Don’t strip anything. Unscrew them until you can remove them by hand.

If debris is near the clamps, get rid of it with a vacuum or wet rag. Some covers have vents – pay more attention to these. Brush away the dirt, dust, and debris that has built up in the vents. Loosen and unfasten them.

Detach the cover from the rails

Most tonneau covers are made of soft vinyl, but some are hard fiberglass. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting the removal process. Steps may be similar, but there could be unique details.

  1. Detach the cover from both rails.
    • Soft vinyl? Undo clasps/snaps slowly to avoid damage.
    • Hard fiberglass? Unscrew all screws along the perimeter and remove them gently.
  2. Once the cover is away from the rails, unroll it slowly to avoid damage. Make sure all clasps are released before unrolling. And voila! The tonneau cover is removed!

Cleaning and Storing the Cover

Taking care of your Tonneau cover is essential. First step? Remove it. Clean it with a mild soap and water solution. After that, make sure it’s dry. Then store it in a secure, dry location. This safeguards it from harm. Let’s break down the details:

  • Remove the cover.
  • Clean it with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Make sure it’s dry.
  • Store it in a secure, dry location.

Clean the cover with a damp cloth

To clean and store the cover, start by wiping away any dirt or dust with a damp cloth. Clean the cover regularly with mild soap and a cloth. Use a mixture of one part mild dishwashing liquid and six parts water. Rinse away all soap residue with a clean, damp cloth. Let the cover dry completely.

Use only soft cloths when cleaning the cover so you don’t scratch the surface. Don’t use abrasive cleaners or petroleum-based cleaners.

Store the cover in a cool, dry place

When not in use, store your tonneau cover in a cool, dry place. Avoid attics, garages, and basements with extreme temperatures. Sunlight and strong winds can cause the cover to warp. To maximize lifespan, store it in a durable bag. The fabric offers some water resistance, but don’t submerge it.

If you live near salt water, rinse and wax your roof after each use to prevent damage.

Reinstalling the Cover

Remove tonneau cover? Done! Now reinstalling it is easy. But, be careful. Doing it wrong could cause damage. Check out this article for a step-by-step guide. It’ll work for everyone – from beginners to experts! Reinstalling your tonneau cover will be a breeze.

Reattach the cover to the rails

To remove the tonneau cover and reattach it to the rails, you will need four tension clamps and four screws.

  1. Loosen the clamps until they slide freely.
  2. Place one clamp at each corner of the rail.
  3. Align the tonneau cover with all four points.
  4. Slide the clamps into place and fit them onto the cover.
  5. Hold both sides in place and hand screw two screws into each corner.
  6. Tighten all four securely and evenly.
  7. Check if the cover is secure and not moving while in motion.

Secure the clamps or bolts

Secure the clamps and bolts that hold the tonneau cover onto the rail system. Tighten all of the clamps. Ensure that all of the components are securely fitted together. Some models may require screws or bolts. Check they are secure before reinstalling your cover.

Clean any mounting areas on fiberglass, vinyl, or plastic rails. Use a cleaner designed for truck bed liners or tonneau cover materials. This will stop dirt and grime from damaging your cover.

Re-latch the cover

To reinstall the cover, follow these steps:

  1. Clean all fasteners and seals before attaching the cover.
  2. Align both sides with mounts. Make sure tongues are in slots or t-slots.
  3. Re-latch the cover on both sides and the tailgate edge.
  4. Tighten all fasteners to recommended settings.
  5. Check each one and make sure they are snug. Extra leverage may be needed for those in pockets or channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tools are needed to remove a tonneau cover?

You will need a flathead screwdriver and a 10mm socket wrench to remove the tonneau cover.

How do I remove the tonneau cover?

First, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screws and bolts that secure the tonneau cover to the bed rails. Once these are removed, use a 10mm socket wrench to loosen the clamps that hold the cover in place. Finally, lift the cover off the bed rails and set it aside.

Are there any safety precautions to consider?

Always use the proper tools and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when removing a tonneau cover. Be sure to wear eye protection and gloves when handling tools and working around the bed rails.