How To Remove a Tonneau Cover? Step by Step Guide

A tonneau cover is a worthy investment for all truck owners. It helps shield your truck bed as well as your precious cargo from exposure to weather elements such as rain, snow, sun UV rays, extreme heat, and so on.

At some time, however, you might need to remove your truck tonneau cover…say when you want to replace it with a new one, you want to haul tall cargo, or you simply want to remove it temporarily.

But how exactly do you go about the tonneau removal process?

In the following guide, we’ll shed more light on how you can easily remove your truck tonneau cover.

Are Tonneau Covers Easy To Remove?

Tonneau covers are generally not hard to remove. The easy of removal usually varies depending on the type and design of the cover. The soft covers are much easier to remove than the hardcovers.

Some covers are simply attached to your truck with some kind of strong adhesive or velcro straps, which makes them quite easy to remove.

Others, especially the hard ones, require the use of nuts, screws, or bolts to be fixed to your truck bed, …and as you can easily guess, these will take more time to remove.

How To Remove A Tonneau Cover

If you’re removing a hardcover, such as the rigid, fiberglass tonneau covers, which feel heavy and bulky, we suggest that you look for an extra hand to help make the job easier.

As for the tools needed for the job, you’ll only need a Philips head screwdriver.

Let’s get into the step by step details on how you can remove your tonneau cover…

How To Remove A Tonneau Cover (Step by step):

As we have just mentioned above, tonneau covers come in all shapes and sizes, and the ease of removal depends on the type of cover you have on your truck.

In this guide, we’ll focus on the hard tonneau cover type:

Step #1: Find the tonneau attachment points to your pickup.

The first thing you need to do is locate all the points at which the tonneau cover you want to remove attaches to your truck. To do this, you’ll first need to open your tonneau cover lid using the tailgate key, and then open the cover and let it lay on the side of your bed.

TIP: consider placing some soft material between your pickup and the tonneau cover to avoid scratching your truck in the process.

Step #2: Remove the cover clips.

Now that you have located the attachment points of your cover, grab the screwdriver and start removing the clips attaching the shock mounts on your tonneau cover to the shock brackets on your truck’s sides. Then, remove the shocks and head on to the next step.

Step #3: Remove the pins on the hinges now.

Place two curved arms along the length of your truck bed to help secure your tonneau cover to the side of your truck bed. Then, gently remove a pin on one arm and close the cover.

Crawl under your truck bed (via tailgate) and locate the other pin and remove it as well. You might consider using a flashlight to enhance your visibility.

With the pins removed, you can now release your cover from the two curved arms in readiness for the cover dismounting.

Step #4: Take the cover off your truck bed.

You did it! You have successfully detached your tonneau cover from your truck bed, and the only thing remaining is to lift it off your truck bed. This is where you’ll need someone to assist you in lifting the cover as it might feel too heavy and bulky when lifting it alone.

IMPORTANT: This is a generalized guide for removing a tonneau cover form your truck bed. We urge you to always use the user manual as your primary source of reference when removing your cover.


That’s how easy it is to remove the tonneau cover on your truck bed in a few easy steps. Keep in mind that how easy a cover is to remove depends on its type and design. Soft covers are usually easier to remove than the hardcovers.

For the heavy, bulky hardcovers, consider looking for someone to assist you to remove it.

No complicated tools are needed for this job. Just a Philips head screwdriver is all you need to get the cover off your truck bed.

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