Tonneau covers usually come with guidelines on how they should be installed. A soft tonneau cover is easy to install and can be installed by a non-professional in about an hour. But to install a hard tonneau cover, we have to follow some steps accordingly.
Can You Install a Tonneau Cover on a Dodge Ram With a Bedliner?
Tonneau covers can work with all under-the-rail bed liners and print-on bed liners. But there’s a possibility that it may result in faulty installation. An extensive bed liner averts approach to the mounting points. However, if you know the doings, you can use them together to get the maximum security output.
Bedliners and tonneau covers are used to protect the truck bed. Most of the tonneau covers can work with the bedliner without any issue. But some may need cropping of the bed liner at the bulkhead; installing a cover with an over-the-rail bed liner requires extra time and effort.
The bed liners cover the truck bed’s lip which works as a welding point for most covers. So to ensure perfect installation of the tonneau cover, you have to cut small notches in the clamp attaching places of the cover.
How Do You Install a Tonneau Cover on a Dodge Ram 1500?
If your tonneau cover is compatible with bed liners, bed rail caps, and other parts, it’s ready to get installed. The packaging should come with proper instruction. Read the instructions fully before jumping into work. Here are the general steps of installing a tonneau cover on a Dodge ram 1500.
Step 1: Release the Tailgate
A closed tailgate may hinder the installation process. So don’t forget to open it before stepping further.
Step 2: Position the Side Rails
Most covers deliver two side rails. If the cover doesn’t provide side rails, it may include clamps on it. Position the side rails with the front of the bed rail, beside the cab. Keep it there temporarily with the help of an assistant or with a spring fastener.
Step 3: Fasten the Side Rail
The packaging should include many toothed clamps. Take a clamp and place it onto the below-side of the rail. Mark up the teeth with the trenches and stiffen by hand. Tighten it more with a wrench to ensure that it’s pressing against the wall.
If there’s any gap between the bed rail and the side rail of the cover, use shims and position them evenly along the rail. Shims are plastic or rubber spacers that glue directly onto the bed wall. You should use more than one clamp to assure the perfect fit. Place the clamps evenly.
Step 4: Repeat step 3 for the other side rail
Fit the other side rail the same way. You have to adjust the side rails until they are centralized and leveled. Take your time while fitting the side rails. If any portion is raised up or down, loosen the clamps below that portion and adjust the level while tightening the clamp.
Step 4: Place the Cover
Place the cover at the edge of the rails beside the cab. It should fall perfectly on the rails. If it doesn’t fall perfectly, push down a little on the places where it gets distorted. Close the tailgate before that. Adjust the tension of the cover with a hand-tightened screw or tension adjuster screws included with the kit.
If your cover provides bolts to add security. Align the bolt holes of both cover and the side rails and place the bolts inside. Fasten the bolts with nuts provided with the kit. Check all connections if they are tightened properly.
Installing Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover on Ram 1500
Here are the general steps of installing a tri-fold tonneau cover on your ram 1500.
Step 1: Set the Tonneau Cover
Grab the cover and place it on top of the bed rails. Make sure it’s lined up with the rails and the bulkhead.
Step 2: Clamp the Cover
Look underneath the cover. There will be clamps attached. Hold the clamp and try to line it up with the side of the bed rail. If the clamp doesn’t grab the edge tightly, rotate the whole assembly until it grabs the edge tightly. Now attach the clamp with the bed rail.
Step 3: Attach the Safety Strap
Grab the safety strap and loosen it up to open the clamp. Insert the opening into the bed rail edge and tighten the grip. It’s an additional safety measure in case the clamp slips off.
Step 4: Repeat for the other side
Repeat the same process of clamping for the other side of the bed.
Step 5: Fold out the cover
Unclip the cover and fold it out. Make sure it’s lining up with the bedsides properly. Lastly, clamp the end of the cover on both sides.
How to Install a Roll-up Tonneau Cover on a Dodge Ram
Most of the tonneau covers follow some common steps in terms of installing. To install a roll-up tonneau cover, at first place the side rails of the cover temporarily beside the cap. Now fit the clamp evenly on the sides and ensure it’s holding the side rails tightly.
Take the cover and place the headrail up towards the bulkhead. The rubber clap is going to face towards the cab and lay on the bulkhead. Some bolts slide back and forth inside the headrail. Line the bolts up to the oval shape holes on the side rails.
Insert the bolts into the holes and tighten them with a spacer washer, nuts, and wrenches. Ensure that the headrail is centered. Now pull the straps of the cover and roll out the cover to the tailgate. Rotate the headrail into the cam latch on both sides. Fix the sides.
How to Install a Hard Tonneau Cover on a Dodge Ram
Hardcovers are a little difficult to manage while installing. However, the steps are quite similar to the soft ones. The installation kit may include a weather seal. Measure the length of the whole tailgate area and cut the weather seal according to that length. Place it down and along with the tailgate.
Set the cover on top of the bed. Try to set it as evenly as possible. Now fit the clamps of the cover on both sides tightly. Undo the clips on the front of the cover and fold it over the bed to the tailgate. Slightly fit the last clamp at the end of the cover.
Shut the tailgate and see if there’s any gap between the cover and the tailgate. If there’s no gap, open the tailgate again and tighten all the clamps properly.
How to Install a Mopar Tonneau Cover on a 2019 Ram 1500
Mopar tonneau covers are renowned for their quality and versatility. The process of Mopar tonneau cover installation is not that much different. Usually, the package includes several clamps, two side rails, and the cover itself.
Set the side rails with the clamps. There’s a pull tab on one end of the side rail and an adjustment knob on the other end. Set the cover above the bulkhead. The clamp usually has three parts. One of them catches in the tab of the rail. Now take the under part and the clamp. The rubber end goes below the edge of the bed rail.
Place the opening of the clamp inside the under part and slide the under part in the previously attached part. Snap the clamp in place. Roll out the cover and tighten all the clamps.
Q: Does tri-fold tonneau cover benefit over roll-up covers?
Ans: Yes. Tri-fold covers are said to be more durable and capable of withstanding damage than soft roll-up covers.
Tonneau covers come in different types and definite models. It is the best way to shield your truck’s bed. The universal instructions and steps above should be enough to install a tonneau cover of that particular type easily.