Here at CW, you could say we know quite a bit about Tonneau covers and what goes into the process of installing them, but we shouldn't expect everyone to feel the same. Although the installation of a cover is a relatively simple process - some common hiccups have been expressed to us - and we’re looking to address these here to ease the installation process for you. The following tips are a response to frequently asked questions that often are brought up to us. Hopefully, by answering some of these questions, and guiding you through an installation, we can alleviate some of these headaches.
Alongside this, we’ve produced an installation guide video which can be found here (LINK)
Before the Installation
Each model and each year of truck varies in size, a 2020 ford may vary in dimension from the same model of a different year, and when considering the amount of length and trim options - this means that it can be quite easy to mistakenly order a similar, yet incompatible cover. To ensure a smooth process please double-check the specs of your truck and make sure that they parallel the dimensions of your cover. Furthermore, to ensure a hassle-free install, make sure you have a Phillips head screwdriver, a socket set and ratchet, and some channel locks for convenience.
Beginning the Installation
Beginning the installation is the most important part of the process when it comes to ensuring the correct fitment of your cover. The first step is to attach the drainage tubes to your rails, and to begin attaching your rails to the siding of your truck bed. To make sure your cover fits correctly, and to ensure a proper seal is produced around your bed, you must make sure the rails sit flush to the truck's side. The Rails are in an L shape and should fit snug around the sides of the truck, make sure the rubber seal on your rails is not folded on top of itself and sits completely flat. Alongside this, make sure the rails are pushed up flush against the cab, or backmost liner of your bed. This is where the channel locks come in handy, as you can use them to hold the rails in place while you install the clamps with your ratchet. Once the rails are properly installed, you can slide the drainage tubes through one of the holes near the front of your truck bed (note you may need to pop a plug that usually covers said holes).
What's left now is to place the cover on top of your rails, install the clips, tie-down hand bolts, weather/bumper stripping, and adjust the cover to make sure it fits straight. Once you've placed the cover onto your rails, use the cab of your truck as a measure to make sure the cover is as square and parallel on each side as possible. This ensures a proper seal and weather resistance. If your truck has a bed liner, you do not need to use the ribbed weather stripping, but if not, make sure to place the weather stripping along the front most part of your truck (near the cab) where the last panel of the cover meets. After you've installed the weather stripping and clips, use the hand twists, and the metal bolt to secure the cover to the rails. Once this is done, fold your cover up, and secure the bumper strip onto the cover where it would meet the cab, this is to ensure that there is no damage done to your truck once your cover is folded up. Now you can fold down your cover, close your tailgate, and see if the cover is resting correctly. Look around your cover, ensuring that the rubber seal is snug. If it appears there is a gap anywhere, fold your cover up, loosen the hand twists, and try to align the cover once again. Most often it is easiest to tell if the cover is resting and sealed correctly by looking at how the cover sits at the tailgate. The tailgate should be covered by a rubber seal, and it should fit symmetrical on both sides!
Once all of this has been done you can now enjoy your tonneau and the fuel economy and protection that it has to offer. Your cover’s rubber seal should be flush around your truck bed, and it should be attached securely on each side. Although no cover can guarantee 100% waterproofing, by ensuring a proper installation 99% can be achievable.