How to Install a Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner | Brief Explanation 

Rev up the heat and brace yourself for an electrifying ride. We’re about to unveil the sizzling secrets of How to Install a Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner, setting your truck ablaze with ultimate style and protection. From drilling tips to bed liner notches, we’ve got the inside scoop to ignite your automotive prowess. Get ready to spice up your truck game and dominate the roads like never before! 🔥🚚💨

Can you put a tonneau cover on with a bed liner?

Installing tonneau covers with bed liners is possible, but some considerations apply. If you have a spray-on bed liner, no modifications are necessary. However, with an over-the-rail bed liner, notching is required to accommodate the cover’s rails. Ensure to select a compatible tonneau cover, as not all covers fit all bed liners. Additionally, drilling may be necessary to secure the cover.

Before starting the process of installation, you need to have a few tools that are an essential part of this process. Following is the list of Tools and Tonneau cover accessories I used for installation:

  • Wrenches (Ratcheting Wrench)
  • Spring Clamps (Spring Clamps)
  • Rubber Seal (Solid Rubber Sheet)
  • Scissors (Hard Material Cutter)
  • Drill Machine (Cordless Drill)
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Hand-Tightened Screws Set
  • Cover Installation Gadgets
  • Cleaning Spray / Isopropyl Alcohol

Note: If your way of installation is smooth, this process will take only 30 minutes. 

Installation of the Bed Liners with Tonneau Cover – Step-by-Step Process

Installation of the Bed is a multi-stepped process. Before I started the installation of the bed liners, I opened the tailgate of my truck. It will provide ease during the installation.

Step 1: Prepare the Bed Liner

Begin by assessing your bed liner. If your truck boasts an over-the-rail bed liner, you’ll need to make certain adjustments to accommodate the tonneau cover’s rails. Delicately use a drill to create small notches or reliefs in strategic areas where the cover’s clamps will be attached. By making these thoughtful modifications, you can maintain the bed liner’s functionality while creating room for a seamless tonneau cover integration.

Step 2: Attach the Rails of the Tonneau Cover to the Truck Bed

Now it’s time to get hands-on with your tonneau cover installation. Carefully follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer to attach the rails securely to your truck bed. Pay close attention to the alignment and positioning of the rails as you proceed. Utilize a level to ensure they are perfectly straight and level, which is crucial for the cover’s proper functioning and longevity.

Step 3: Install the Cab-Side or Tailgate Seals

Weather protection is vital to keep your cargo safe and secure. If your chosen tonneau cover comes with cab-side or tailgate seals, meticulously install them as per the manufacturer’s instructions. These seals act as a barrier, preventing water, dust, and debris from entering your truck bed, and safeguarding your cargo from the elements.

Step 4: Set the Top of the Tonneau Cover

With the rails firmly in place, position the tonneau cover on top of them. Take your time and ensure that the cover’s top sits evenly along the perimeter of the truck bed. An even fit not only enhances the aesthetics but also provides better protection for your cargo. Make any necessary adjustments to the rails to achieve a seamless fit.

Step 5: Tighten the Mounting Hardware

Now that the tonneau cover is correctly positioned, proceed to tighten the mounting hardware according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Properly tightened hardware ensures that the cover remains securely attached to the truck bed, even during rough driving conditions or exposure to varying weather elements.

Step 6: Test the Tonneau Cover

Before calling it a day, it’s essential to put your hard work to the test. Open and close the tonneau cover several times to ensure its smooth operation. Testing the cover’s functionality thoroughly will reveal any potential issues that need to be addressed before finalizing the installation.

Why don’t you read How to Install Tonneau Cover? Instructions and Quick Ways

Key Things and Factors to Remember

While installing these are the things I kept in mind and the process was smooth:

Removal of Obstructions

First, I removed all the screws and handles from the truck. Removing these things from the surface of my truck helped me to get a precise observation of my truck. Then I cleaned the surface with the help of hot water mixed with detergent.

Drilling the Holes

Then I drilled the holes in the liners. These holes allowed the help of the bed liners with screws. Remember one thing, always drill small holes. 

Tip: Check for built-in holes before drilling.

Set the Bed Liner

Then I set the bed liner and adjusted all the screws and handles in the holes. I repeated the same process with the tailgate of the truck.

Why don’t you read the review of the North Mountain Tonneau Cover Review – April 2023

Installing Tonneau Cover With Over-the-rail Bedliner

Installation of rail is also a multi-stepped process. The following are the steps involving:

Fix the Rail

I am adding this point for those beds with two sides of bed rails. These are claps and canisters. For the time being, I temporarily supported the rail with the clamp spring and then attached the side rail with the clamp and the canister.

How to Install Tonneau Cover Clamps

Then I installed the clamps under the side rail and tightened it with the help of a wrench. This clamp is fitted closer to the cab. 6-8 clamps are usually built in any truck, so adjust the clamps according to the gap along the rail. 

Tip: use a chip to maintain the distance between the side and the trunk.

Adjust the Rail

Then I adjusted the rail by the clamps’ settlement to make the rail’s center flat and proper.

Installation of the Tonneau Cover

After adjusting the rails and bed liners, I installed the Tonneau cover in my truck’s bed. This process also consists of a few steps:

Adjust the Rubber Straps

Before installing the Tonneau cover, I added the rubber straps. So, these straps help to clear the gap between the rails and the cap. I cleaned the rails with isopropyl alcohol or simple alcohol and then added the straps.

Install the Tonneau Cover

Then I installed the Tonneau cover over the cap. Then I close the tailgate of my truck and then unfold the Tonneau cover.

How to Cut the Bed Liner for the Tonneau Cover?

When cutting the bed liner for the tonneau, I recommend you cut the bed liner from the backside. It will provide more accessibility and will be more helpful in every aspect. Cutting from the top and bottom is advised first, then trimming from the side to give the ideal shape. 

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Tips for Installing a Tonneau Cover With Bed Liner

You can read these necessary tips to install your tonneau cover with bed liner:

  1. Read the Installation Instructions: Patience is essential when installing a tonneau cover. Take the time to carefully read and understand the provided installation instructions before starting the process. Each cover may have specific steps and nuances that you need to be aware of.
  2. Take Your Time and Be Careful: A successful installation requires precision and attention to detail. Take your time throughout the process, especially when drilling into the bed liner. Avoid rushing to prevent any mistakes that could damage the liner or compromise the cover’s integrity.
  3. Consider Professional Installation: If you are uncertain about drilling into the bed liner yourself, or if you want a guarantee of a flawless installation, consider enlisting the services of a professional installer. Their expertise will ensure that your tonneau cover fits perfectly, providing optimal protection for your cargo.
  4. Apply a Protectant: Once the tonneau cover is installed, consider applying a protectant or UV-resistant spray to maintain its appearance and protect it from the elements. Regular maintenance will prolong the life of your tonneau cover and keep it looking new for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I install a tonneau cover myself?

Yes, Installing a tonneau cover yourself is possible, but difficulty varies with the cover type. Some are straightforward, while others demand specialized tools and skills. Reviewing instructions and seeking guidance from videos or others can be helpful for a successful installation.

How do I prepare my truck bed for a spray in bedliner?

Before applying a spray-in bedliner, prepare your truck bed by cleaning it with soap and water, removing dirt, debris, and rust. Apply a coat of primer and let it dry fully. Follow the bedliner manufacturer’s instructions for a successful application.

How do you install a tri-fold bed cover?

To install a tri-fold bed cover, gather the necessary tools and materials, including the cover itself, drill, screwdriver, level, tape measure, safety glasses, and gloves.

  • Prepare the truck bed by cleaning it thoroughly.
  • Attach the rails following the instructions, ensuring they are level.
  • Place the top of the cover evenly on the bed and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Finally, tighten the mounting hardware as per the manufacturer’s instructions.


The whole discussion revolves around the installation process of the Tonneau cover with the bed liner. I elaborated on all the aspects related to the queries I received from the people. Installation with the bed liners is considered a bit difficult among people. But it was not as tricky; I explained the difficult part, the adjustment of bed liners, in a very comprehensive way. You can implement these guidelines without any issues and can make your installation better.

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