Race Fans Forever is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How To Remove A Soft Tonneau Cover

How To Remove A Soft Tonneau Cover

By PattyKay Lilley

Removing a soft tonneau cover from the back of your truck can be difficult and intimidating, especially if you are new to this task. Fortunately, with the right tools and knowledge you can easily take care of it yourself in no time!

In this blog post we will run through all the steps involved in safely removing a soft tonneau cover from your vehicle so that you know exactly what to do in order to avoid any costly or dangerous mistakes.

We’ll also provide ideas on where to get replacement parts and other info related to taking care of your pickup’s cargo compartment. So if you’re looking for savvy advice on how to remove a soft tonneau cover from your truck, keep reading—we’ve got everything you need!

Reasons To Remove Your Tonneau Cover

There are several reasons why you might want to remove your soft tonneau cover. Perhaps, the most common one is that it has become worn out or damaged. Exposure to harsh weather conditions, heavy loads, or simple wear and tear over time can cause the tonneau cover to deteriorate. Removing and replacing the old or damaged cover can make your truck look better and ensure that your cargo is well-protected.

Another reason may be for cleaning purposes. Over time, debris, dirt, and grime can accumulate on and under the tonneau cover. Regular cleaning not only prolongs the life of the cover but also keeps your truck looking pristine. If your tonneau cover is a heavy-duty type, you may need to remove it in order to thoroughly clean both the cover and the truck bed.

You may also want to remove the tonneau cover to accommodate larger or taller cargo. Soft tonneau covers are great for protecting your cargo from the elements, but they can limit the amount of space you have in the bed of your truck. So, if you need to transport larger items, you might need to remove it.

Lastly, you might simply want to change the look of your truck. Maybe you just bought a new truck or you’re getting a bit tired of the current appearance of your old one. By removing the soft tonneau cover, you open up a world of new customization options.

Remember, regardless of your reasons for wanting to remove your soft tonneau cover, doing it the right way is essential. In the next section, we will guide you through the steps involved in removing the tonneau cover from your truck safely and efficiently.

Is It Hard To Remove A Tonneau Cover?

Is It Hard To Remove A Tonneau Cover?

The difficulty of removing a tonneau cover largely depends on the type of cover you have. Hard tonneau covers, such as hinged fiberglass models, tend to be the most challenging to remove. Due to their weight and size, they might require multiple people, a forklift, or even a small overhead crane to be taken off safely.

On the other hand, soft tonneau covers are considerably easier to remove. With a bit of knowledge and effort, you can often have these covers off in under 15 minutes.

Another factor to consider is whether you need to remove just the cover itself or the side rails as well. If you’re planning on reusing the cover in the near future and can leave the side rails in place, simply removing the textile cover is the quickest option. Nonetheless, regardless of the type of tonneau cover or the extent of removal, it’s crucial to carry out the procedure with utmost care to avoid any damage.

See more: Can Tonneau Covers Be Removed?

How To Remove A Soft Tonneau Cover

While removing a soft tonneau cover may seem daunting, it’s actually a straightforward process that can be accomplished with simple tools. The exact steps may vary depending on the specific brand and model, but the general process remains the same.

First, open the tailgate of your truck. This will provide you access to the rear clamps or latches that keep the tonneau cover secured to the truck bed. Unclasp any fastening mechanisms at the rear end of the cover. This may require a flat-head screwdriver or similar tool, depending on the type of fastener used.

Next, proceed to the front end of the tonneau cover. Here, you’ll find additional latches or clamps that must be released. Once again, the exact tools needed will depend on your specific tonneau cover.

Following the unfastening, gently lift one corner of the tonneau cover and gradually work your way across to the other side. Be sure to do this with caution as you don’t want to inadvertently rip or damage the cover. Once the cover has been removed, carefully roll it up and secure it with straps to prevent it from unrolling and getting damaged.

Should you need to remove the side rails, locate the attachment points where the rails are secured to the truck bed. These are typically held in place with clamps or bolts. For clamp-based rails, use pliers or a wrench to loosen the clamps.

For bolt-based rails, use a socket wrench to remove the bolts. Once all attachment points have been released, gently lift the rails free. Remember to store all the hardware in a safe place for future use.

Lastly, once the tonneau cover is removed, inspect the truck bed for any dirt or debris. Clean and dry the area before installing a new cover, or leaving it bare. By following these steps, you can safely and efficiently remove your soft tonneau cover.


Soft tonneau covers add a sleek, practical element to your truck, but like any accessory, they come with their own set of questions. If it’s your first time dealing with a tonneau cover, you may find yourself wondering about certain aspects. In this section, we aim to address common queries regarding the removal and maintenance of soft tonneau covers.

What tools do I need to remove a soft tonneau cover?

The tools you’ll need to remove a soft tonneau cover largely depend on the brand and model of your cover. However, typically you’ll need a flat-head screwdriver or similar tool to unfasten the clamps or latches attaching the cover to the truck bed. If the side rails are attached with bolts, you’ll need a socket wrench. It’s always beneficial to check your tonneau cover’s instruction manual for specific details.

Can I remove a soft tonneau cover by myself?

Yes, most soft tonneau covers are designed to be user-friendly and are light enough to be managed by a single person. The removal process is generally straightforward and doesn’t require any specialized knowledge. However, always handle the cover with care to avoid any potential damage, and if you’re feeling unsure, it’s better to ask for help or consult a professional.

How do I store my soft tonneau cover after removal?

When it comes to storing your soft tonneau cover, the key is to ensure that it’s clean, dry, and securely rolled up. After removing the cover, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure it’s completely dry before storing it to prevent mold and mildew. Once cleaned, roll the cover tightly and secure it with straps or in a storage bag if one is provided. Store the cover in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Final Thoughts

Removing a soft tonneau cover may seem like a daunting task at first, especially if you’re new to the world of truck customization. However, with a little bit of knowledge and the right tools, it’s a fairly straightforward process that can be accomplished in a short amount of time.

The important thing to remember is that every truck and tonneau cover is unique. The steps outlined in this guide are quite general, and the actual process may differ slightly depending on your specific model. Always refer to your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when removing your cover.

Once you’ve removed your soft tonneau cover, the possibilities for your truck are virtually endless. Whether you want to replace it with a new one, change to a hard cover, or even go without, the choice is entirely up to you. Just remember to always handle the cover with care during removal and storage to extend its life and maintain its quality.

In conclusion, the removal of a soft tonneau cover is a simple task that opens up a world of customization options for your truck. With patience, care, and the right tools, you can easily tackle this project and transform your vehicle according to your preferences.

Rate this post

Leave a Comment