Sometimes it's good to have the bed of your pickup open so you can carry large items in the back, and other times it's good to have the bed covered so you can carry smaller items that might get blown out of the back, rained on, or could be susceptible to prying eyes and hands. If you carry a lot of different types of things in your pickup truck, the best thing to have is a cover you can roll up for bigger items and one you can easily roll back to cover the bed when needed for smaller items. Here is an overview of how an average pickup truck owner can install a simple rollable cover on the back of their pickup.
You should make sure you have all the parts you need to install a cover. A cover will typically come with the cover on a rail header, side rails, and clamps.
Installing Side Rails
Take the cover with the header rail and place it on the top of the bulkhead by the back window of the truck. Make sure the "C" channel on the header rail is facing toward the back of the pickup truck.
You should then set one of the side rails on the top of one of the quarter panel on the pickup. The quarter panels are often referred to as the back fenders. There is a driver's side and a passenger's side rail. The way to tell the difference is that the rail will be "L" shaped. You want to place the rails flat along the top of the quarter panels so the small end of the rail can slide into the header rail and the long part of the "L" will rest on top of the quarter panels.
Set one of the rails on the quarter panel and slide the small part into the header rail. Go down to the tailgate end of the bed and place a clamp over the rail and the lip at the top of the quarter panel. You also need to put a clamp in the middle of the rail and up by the bulkhead. Keep the clamps loose so you can adjust the rail. Repeat this process for the other rail.
Fit Cover over Rails
Unroll the cover so it covers the bed. The cover has Velcro strips that connect to the top of the side rails. Make sure the strips of Velcro line up with each other. You may have to move the side rails a little to get everything perfectly aligned. Carefully roll the cover back up and tighten down all the clamps.
Clip Cover to Rails
There is a clip on the end of both of the rails by the tailgate. When you roll out the cover, the end of the cover will get clipped into the rails. Set the bar on the cover into the clips and press down to seal the top of the bed. There is a lever on the clips that you push to release the cover when you want to roll-up the cover.Share