Winter is here. And now that you know how to drive in it, saving the day for everyone, you’ll need to consider how to take care of your truck in winter’s cold, snowy midst. How about a tonneau cover? It’s a big, heavy duty lid that turns your truck bed into a safe, moisture-free trunk. You can finally haul dry cargo instead of a full load of wet snow.
Perhaps, though, you already have one and won’t know until Sunday morning when you stumble out of bed and see it sitting under the Christmas tree. (This might require a bigger tree, which would also be awesome, so what are you complaining about?) If this is the case, you’ll be all excited to install your new toy, so here’s a quick rundown on how to do that.
And don’t worry. It won’t steal Christmas like that fuzzy green guy. It takes just a handful of minutes. We’re serious. See, we try to keep these tutorials a certain length, but most of Bestop’s Tonneaus are too easy for us to write about. There’s not enough material to work with. So we chose the most difficult of them, the ZipRail, and even that proved marvelously simple. You’ll have this done before your slippers get wet.
In the box you’ll find: 2 side rails, 1 rear rail, 2 bows, the tonneau assembly, and 6 clamps. That’s it. Now, before you go clamping anything down, save yourself a little work and put the frame together.
First, peel the protective strips from the foam on the bottom of the rear and side rails. Then set the side rails down on your bed edges. Next, put the tonneau assembly at the front edge of your bed and plug in the side frame rails. Each one tightens down with a single thumb screw, so you might need to take off your mittens. The rear rail attaches in just the same way. Plug that in and move along.
Next come the bows. The front one is marked as such, so grab that one and clip it into the provided brackets, with the apex pointing toward the snowy sky (unless you want to see how much rain water you can catch in an upside-down tonneau). Repeat this with the rear bow.
Now you can clamp away. The clamps are aluminum two-piece jobbers, so put each together loosely with the provided bolt. That completed, put the front clamps in place about 12 inches from the front end of the bed. Do the same with the rear clamps (12 inches from the rear of the bed, obviously). Then just center the middle clamps between the bows. Tighten them all down with the appropriate wrench, or, if there’s a lever included, you won’t even need that wrench. Wiggle the frame around to make sure everything is tight.
The Zip Rail works like a freezer bag. The seal around the edge locks in with slight pressure, so start from the front and work your way back, pressing it into place. Finish with the rear two corners and use the provided pull-straps for a sure fit.
Now you can go back inside, play with the rest of your toys, and drink egg nogg in your pajamas all day. The game’s on at 8. Merry Christmas from Streetside Auto and Bestop!
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.