How to remove a truck bed cover is a straightforward procedure for every DIYer. Open the tailgate and/or the cover itself by rolling, folding, or retracting it (depending on your type) to allow you to locate the bolts mounting it onto your truck.
Use a wrench to loosen the bolts on the C-clamps and then take the cover off the vehicle when all the securing clamps or clips are out. The detailed guide below will help you understand this process a little better.
- 1 How To Take Off Your Truck’s Bed Cover?
- 2 How To Take a Tri-Fold Cover off Your Truck?
- 3 How To Distinguish the Various Truck Bed Types?
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Conclusion
How To Take Off Your Truck’s Bed Cover?
To take off your truck’s bed cover, open the tailgate and/or the cover itself to allow you to locate the mounting bolts. Now use a wrench to loosen and remove the bolts on the clamps. Carefully take the cover off the vehicle or ask for help if necessary.
A truck bed (tonneau) cover is vital because it protects the cargo in the truck. However, sometimes it may require removal, temporarily or permanently, for various reasons. For example, when carrying large loads or installing different truck accessories.
Removing a truck bed cover may also be necessary if the tonneau is badly worn out. The same problem can arise is the truck is old and needs to be freshened with a new paint job.
Whatever your reason, it’s good to learn how to remove a tonneau cover by yourself. The amount of work needed to take the cover off depends on the type. Hinged fiberglass models (hard tonneaus) may be the hardest to remove. They may require equipment, such as a forklift or small overhead crane, or the effort of several people.
Also, your work depends on whether you only need to remove the cover alone or the side rails. Generally, most soft truck bed covers are easy to remove by one person using a correct-sized wrench and socket, and screwdriver.
Locate the Mounting Bolts
Before you begin, park your truck in a spacious spot because you’ll need to move around freely. Put on gloves and goggles to protect yourself during the exercise.
After that, open your tailgate and/or the cover by rolling, folding, or retracting (a one-piece painted hard cover usually opens by swiveling about 45 degrees from the tailgate) to locate the mounting clamps. You’ll find the clamps along with the cover’s frame.
Remove the Bolts
To learn how to remove a fiberglass tonneau cover, you may need to sit inside the truck bed (once you’ve opened it) and unfasten the mounting clamps from there. For other types of covers, an exposed metal rail may hold up one side of the tonneau cover.
So, first, use a head screwdriver to take it out by turning the screws anticlockwise until they are out. You also need to remove the clips from the shock bracket first, and if you’re wondering how to remove tonneau cover clips, it’s easy. Use a screwdriver.
Next, grab the correct-sized wrench or socket and loosen the bolt on one of the mounting clamps. Continue to loosen the bolt until it detaches from the truck body. Next, repeat the steps for all the clamps. As you do that, ensure the truck bed cover lies flat to prevent it from crashing down on you.
Take the Cover Off
Once you’ve removed all the bolts or unscrewed the cover, pull it from one side to remove it. Lift the cover carefully from the truck bed and remove it from the vehicle. You might need the help of 2 to 4 people to lift a one-piece hardcover and bring it down the truck. Place the cover on a stand or somewhere safe to avoid damage. If you want to know how to remove hinged tonneau covers, once you’ve removed all the screws, you’ll need to pull the pins on the hinges. With all the screws and pins out, the cover will be ready to come out. You might need help to lift your truck bed tonneau cover off the vehicle.
Suppose your truck bed has a tri-fold cover. In that case, you’ll probably appreciate a more specific answer to “how to remove tri fold truck bed cover” or “how to remove a tri fold tonneau cover Ford F150.” In that case, we’ve got you covered in our next section.
How To Take a Tri-Fold Cover off Your Truck?
To take a tri-fold cover off your truck, fold the cover and secure it with the buckles provided. Next, grab a wrench and loosen the bolts that secure the cover’s hinges to the clamps. Now lift the folded cover carefully and take it out of the vehicle.
Removing a tri-fold tonneau cover is similar to removing any other truck bed cover. The covers are made to be easy to install and remove. See more in detail:
Fold the Truck Bed Cover
First, you need to learn “how to fold truck bed cover,” and it’s straightforward. Fold it from the tailgate piece-by-piece all the way up. After that, secure it with the buckles provided. You’re ready for step 2 below.
Remove the Bolt and Lift off the Cover
Using a wrench, loosen the bolts securing the hinges to the C-clamps, and your cover will be set to move out. You can find someone to help you lift and move your folded cover out of the truck or stand inside the truck bed and lift the cover yourself.
If your tri-fold tonneau has rails, leave them attached to facilitate future tonneau re-installation. But if you don’t plan to reinstall the bed cover, you can remove the rails also, as explained in step 3 below.
Take the Rails Off
Using a wrench, loosen the bolts holding the C-clamps to your truck bed rails. After loosening the C-clamps, lift each rail and remove them without scratching the truck’s paint job. Seals may be installed along the tailgate and bulkhead, which must be peeled off. If they leave any sticky residue, use isopropyl alcohol to remove it.
Note that the above steps also apply to retractable tonneau models. For those asking how to remove TruXedo tonneau cover on a Chevy, you’ll find about six silver clamps securing the soft tonneau cover. You only need to remove the clamps using a ½-inch socket wrench, and the cover will come out.
How To Distinguish the Various Truck Bed Types?
To distinguish the various truck bed types, you can categorize them into two categories: expensive and inexpensive. The inexpensive ones include the soft roll-up and soft folding covers. On the other hand, the expensive options are the durable hard folding, solid fiberglass, and retractable roll-up covers.
Soft Roll-up Covers
As the name suggests, they are soft covers installed or uninstalled by rolling them up. These covers have rails mounted over the bed rails, securing a fabric panel. The panel could be canvas-like or vinyl material.
Once you roll them up, straps behind the cab hold them in place. Soft roll-up truck bed covers are one of the most inexpensive options.
Hard Folding Covers
They are the most popular, and you can find them in flush-mount styles, but most are over-rail. Depending on the manufacturer, the covers could be hard plastic or foam-core aluminum. They are the best if you want an option that offers maximum protection and security for your cargo.
Features such as side locks that prevent accidental opening if the tailgate doesn’t lock make them outstanding. You only need to flip the panels or fold them forward to access the truck bed. The hard folding tonneau covers are available in tri- and quad-fold options.
Soft Folding Truck Bed Covers
These covers are also inexpensive. They are usually an over-rail design with vinyl or canvas material. Unlike their soft roll-up counterparts, these are folded like the hardcover styles. You can find them in tri-fold or quad-fold options. Soft folding truck bed covers are a hybrid of hard and soft roll-up covers.
Solid Fiberglass Covers
Solid fiberglass covers strike a perfect balance between function and style. These covers are usually over-rail designs and have a durable panel that hinges from behind the back window. Their dust-resistant and watertight characteristics make them even more popular, as they can be sealed with weatherstripping.
Unfortunately, they are also challenging to install and uninstall. You may require professional installation. Additionally, solid fiberglass covers are pretty expensive.
Retractable Roll-up Truck Bed Covers
They feature a flush-mount style that includes a lock at the tailgate. Opening a retractable roll-up cover involves releasing the lock, which allows tension springs to pull it into a box where it’s coiled. The covers have a solid metal construction, which makes them durable and long-lasting. However, they are one of the most expensive options.
– How Secure Are the Painted One-Piece Truck Bed Covers?
The painted one-piece truck bed covers are the most secure on the market. They feature an outstanding anti-theft design that locks in position, overlapping the tailgate. That means your tailgate can’t open and expose your cargo as long as the cover is locked in place.
– Are Truck Bed Covers Worth It?
Yes, truck bed covers are worth it because they protect your cargo inside the truck bed from prying eyes and potential thieves. With a cover on your truck bed, you won’t need to worry about bad weather or scooping out leaves and dust along the roads.
– Do Truck Bed Covers Need to Remain Closed All the Time?
No, truck bed covers do not need to remain closed all the time. Most covers are designed to fold or roll back to allow your truck to restore that pick-up-style open truck bed. You can return the cover to the previous state when needed.
– Can You Remove the Truck Bed Cover and Reinstall It Later?
Yes, you can remove the truck bed cover and reinstall it later. Most flat covers are made so they can be removed while leaving the mounting rails in place, especially when you want to haul bulky items. It’s a great convenience if you don’t plan to remove the cover permanently.
You now know how to remove a truck bed cover after following the step-by-step guide above.
Let’s wrap it up with a summary:
- It’s easy to remove a truck bed cover with a few standard tools regardless of your truck’s type.
- Some covers, such as the solid fiberglass, are cumbersome and require multiple people or special equipment to remove the vehicle once you unfasten the mounting clips and bolts.
- Once you remove the cover from your truck bed, you can also take the rails out if you don’t plan to reinstall the cover again.
- Removing the rails is also easy, as you only require unscrewing the mounting C-clamps.
Now you can execute the steps and remove your truck bed cover, temporary or permanent. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
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