How to Remove a Tonneau Cover

A tonneau cover is used to cover the bed of pickup trucks and other similar automobiles. While installing a tonneau cover has its own benefits, sometimes it might prove to be a hindrance to loading large cargo. Read on to know how to remove a tonneau cover, if need be...
WheelZine Staff
Last Updated: Apr 7, 2018
A tonneau cover is used to protect cargo loaded on the bed of a vehicle. Most commonly used in trucks, one can find a range of tonneau covers in the market, the most popular being the ones that can be rolled up and down, made of soft materials such as cloth or vinyl. Using a tonneau cover secures the cargo of the truck like a lid and serves many purposes. Not only does it protect the bed of the truck from rain and dirt, but also some designs help in reducing the air drag on the bed, which in turn, results in increased fuel mileage. Tonneau covers may also be used to add to the aesthetic appeal of the truck.
Types of Tonneau Covers
Depending on the quantity and type of cargo you wish to carry, you can choose from a variety of tonneau covers. Some are easily removable, others offer you more security and still others offer you more space for your cargo. Before we get on with the process of removing tonneau covers, let's take a brief look at the different types of tonneau covers and their characteristics.
Type of Tonneau Cover Advantages Drawbacks Example
Retractable Can be rolled up into a canister at the front end of the truck bed. Made up of hard and strong materials. No need to remove completely. The canister limits the space available on the bed of the truck. RollBAK G2
Hard Made of hard substances such as plastic or fiberglass. Comes with locks, which keep your valuables secure. Difficult to remove. BAKFlip F1
Soft Made up of soft materials such as cloth or plastic. Simply fastened with strong adhesives or Velcro tapes, hence easily removable. Not secure enough for carrying valuables. IonicSnap
Paneled Come in both, hard as well as soft materials. Have two, three or four sections connected by hinges. Can be folded as per convenience. Hard covers come with locks. Hard paneled covers are difficult to remove. BAKFlip HD
Thus, we see that the best tonneau covers are the ones that can be rolled up or pulled down as and when required. However, the fact remains that using a tonneau cover limits the vertical space offered by the bed of the truck. Due to this reason, you might need to get the tonneau cover temporarily removed if you wish to carry something in the truck that is too big to fit in. In such a scenario, knowing how to remove a tonneau cover helps.
Removing a Tonneau Cover
The process of removal of a tonneau cover varies with the design. While some are simply fastened with strong adhesives or Velcro tapes, others are fixed to the body of the truck using nuts, bolts or screws. Some covers are so designed that you won't even require to get them removed, like the ones that can be rolled up. While you can easily remove the soft tonneau covers, you might need some skill removing the hard, rigid fiberglass ones. Just follow the simple steps on how to remove a fiberglass tonneau cover.
Steps to Remove a Fiberglass Tonneau Cover
All you would need to remove a rigid fiberglass tonneau cover is a screwdriver. However, remember that it's not something that you would be able to pull off on your own. So, ask a few of your friends to help you.
Step 1: Locating the Joints
The first step is to find out at which points the tonneau cover is attached to the body of the truck. For this, you need to open the tonneau cover and allow it to rest on the side of the truck bed. It is recommended that you place something soft between the tonneau and the truck, to prevent accidental scratches on the body of the truck.
Step 2: Removing the Clips
First use the screwdriver to remove the clips that attach the shock mounts on the tonneau cover to the shock brackets on the sides of the truck and then remove the shocks.
Step 3: Removing the Pins
Once the shocks are removed, the next task is to remove the pins on the hinges. Gently pull out all the pins on the hinges till the tonneau cover gets completely detached from the body of the truck.
Step 4: Dismounting the Tonneau
Now that the tonneau cover is completely dismantled, the last step is to bring it down carefully so as not to cause any damage. Ask a few others to help you with this task as the tonneau cover might be too heavy for you to carry all by yourself.
Once you have removed your tonneau cover, keep it in a place where it remains safe till you need to use it again.
Now that you have read about removal of tonneau covers, you must agree that it is pretty simple. So, the next time you need to carry something really big, just grab a screwdriver and create space enough for it in your own truck!