Are Tonneau Covers Easy to Remove?

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Tonneau covers offer a great way to keep the cargo in your truck bed safe and secure while on the road. But there’ll always be a time when you’d want to remove them. And so you’re wondering, are tonneau covers easy to remove?

Yes, tonneau covers are easy to remove.

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to remove a tonneau cover. We’ll also point out the tools you’ll need to remove a tonneau cover, whether it’s a tri-fold, soft tonneau cover, or a hard one.

Why would you need to remove your tonneau cover?

There are several reasons why you’d want to remove your tonneau cover. Some of the most common reasons include:

  1. You’re going on a road trip.
  2. To access the entire truck bed.
  3. You want to easily load or unload items too tall to fit under the cover. E.g., motorcycles, large boxes, pet/animal cages, etc.
  4. To clean the truck bed or tonneau cover.
  5. To repair or replace the tonneau cover.

Are tonneau covers easy to remove reasons to remove

Is it easy to remove a tonneau cover, or do you need help?

In general, tonneau covers are easy to remove. With some covers, you can even do it by yourself. But there are also some cases where you might need help from another person.

For instance, if you have a hardcover tonneau cover, you might need help removing and lifting the cover because they’re usually heavier than soft ones. 

The same goes for retractable covers since they require some wiring to be disconnected before removing them.

On the other hand, if you have a soft cover or a tri-fold tonneau cover, you can probably remove them by yourself since they’re lighter and don’t require any special tools or wiring to be disconnected.

What tools will be needed?

The tools you’ll need to remove your tonneau cover will depend on the type of cover you have. You should check the user manual of your tonneau cover to find out the tools the manufacturer recommends.

In essence, you’ll need

  1. Screwdrivers
  2. Wrench.
  3. Allen keys.
  4. Scissors.

You might need a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the cover for a hardcover tonneau cover. You might also need a wrench to loosen the bolts that are attaching the cover to the truck bed.

As for a soft cover, you might need a pair of scissors to cut the straps that are holding the cover in place. You might also need a flathead screwdriver to pry up the snaps that are connecting the cover to the truck bed.

For a tri-fold tonneau cover, you’ll need to unsnap the cover from the front and rear of the truck bed. You might also need to unlatch the cover from the side rails.

How to remove different types of tonneau covers

Are tonneau covers easy to remove unscrew the bolts and clamp

The steps to remove a tonneau cover vary depending on the make and model.

How to remove a tri-fold tonneau cover?

Here are the steps on how to remove a tri-fold tonneau cover:

  1. Unlock the tailgate and open the tonneau cover.
  2. Before you fold the covers to the back of the cab, locate the screws that hold down the cover down to the truck bed. Remove those screws.
  3. Gently fold the covers from the tailgate to the back of the cab and strap it in.
  4. Lift it from off the back of the truck. You may need an extra hand to do this.

Now, you’ve removed your tri-fold tonneau cover.

If you aren’t installing a new tonneau cover, we recommend leaving the mounting brackets attached to the body of your truck so that you can easily put your tonneau cover back.

Here’s a simple video illustration.

How to remove a one-piece fiberglass tonneau cover?

Removing a one-piece fiberglass tonneau cover is also a straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow to get the fiberglass tonneau off your truck bed.

  1. Unlock the tailgate and open the bed cover.
  2. You’ll need to crawl into the truck bed under the cover to locate the clamps that hold the covers. The clamps may be 4 or 6, depending on the size of your truck bed.
  3. Take a screwdriver and wrench and loosen the screws on the clamps.
  4. Get off the truck and get help from someone else to help you remove the cover and place it on a raised object. Don’t place your fiberglass tonneau cover on a flat surface, as this will damage the edges.
  5. Remove the cover with the help of another adult and place it on a stand/a raised object that will ensure it’s a few inches off the ground.

You can use the truck bed as open as it is now. Place back the cover and screw it back. You can also check your tonneau cover’s user manual if necessary.

 How to remove a retractable tonneau cover

To remove your retractable hard tonneau covers,

  1. Open your truck’s tailgate and retract the tonneau cover into its container. Secure it with the straps where available.
  2. Disconnect the wiring to the retractable motor. Do this carefully so that you won’t damage anything. Use a rope/strap to tie any parts that may dangle when removing the container.
  3. Next, use your wrench or screwdriver to unscrew the bolts or screws holding the container down to your truck bed. This should take a few minutes to do.
  4. Call someone to assist you in lifting the container from the truck bed. You can remove it alone, but this depends on the weight of the container.

Are tonneau covers easy to remove the rails

How to remove a roll-up tonneau cover

The process for removing a roll-up tonneau cover is also easy, although it may take longer than if you were removing a tri-fold cover. 

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Open your truck bed and unclip the pins/straps for the soft tonneau covers.
  2. Roll up the bed cover behind the cab of your truck.
  3. Tie it down with the straps provided. You should have a large-enough space by now to carry your loads. If you don’t, proceed to step 4.
  4. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the tracks that hold the roll-up tonneau cover on each side.
  5. Ask someone to help you lift the cover off the bed entirely. Ensure that you don’t place the cover on the ground. Instead, set it on a stand so it won’t slide from side to side.

How to remove tonneau cover rails?

Removing the tonneau cover rails may differ slightly from one cover to another. Before you proceed, remove the tonneau cover from the truck bed. Done?

  1. Locate the clamps that hold the rails to the body of the truck. They may be the same clamps holding the tonneau cover you removed.
  2. If you have a roll-up tonneau cover, you should remove the middle braces/bars before removing the clamps.
  3. The clamps may be 4 or 6, depending on the
  4. type of cover you have. Unscrew the clamps with a screwdriver or Allen wrench. Keep the screws in a toolbox or wrapped in a cloth.
  5. After removing the clamps, lift the rails off your truck bed. Ensure that you detach the side rails from the cab rail so you won’t struggle to get the rails off.
  6. Use a wet towel to wipe off any dirt marks that the rails will leave on your truck bed.
  7. Gather all the rails together and ensure that no loose parts are unattended.

Here’s a simple video to show you how to remove the rails.


In conclusion, tonneau covers are easy to remove. The steps to remove them may vary depending on your cover type. But in general, you’ll only need a few tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and Allen keys.

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