If you own a pickup truck with a tonneau cover, those handy drain tubes are essential for channeling water away and keeping your truck bed dry. But what if your drain tubes get damaged or go missing? You may be wondering where you can buy replacement tonneau cover drain tubes. Fortunately, there are many options for purchasing these useful little parts.
What Are Tonneau Cover Drain Tubes?
First, let’s review what tonneau cover drain tubes are and why they’re important.
Tonneau covers are hard or soft covers that go over the truck bed, protecting cargo from weather and theft. Drain tubes provide an exit route for rainwater that falls on the tonneau cover. They drain the water away from the truck bed, channeling it out through holes in the side of the bed. This keeps your gear and equipment nice and dry.
Without proper drain tubes, water can pool on top of the tonneau cover and possibly leak into the truck bed. Drain tubes prevent this by funneling the water out efficiently. They may be made of plastic, rubber, or metal and typically have an elbow bend to direct water outward.
So if your drain tubes get cracked or broken, it’s important to replace them right away to maintain a watertight truck bed. Next, let’s look at some places where you can buy new tonneau drain tubes.
Where Can I Purchase Tonneau Cover Drain Tube Replacements?
You have several options for buying replacement tonneau cover drain tubes both online and in person. Here are some of the best places to shop for them:
Shopping online for tonneau drain tubes can be fast and convenient. Here are some popular online retailers that sell them:
Amazon carries drain tube kits and individual replacement tubes for many major tonneau cover brands like BakFlip, Retrax, Extang, and more. You can find exactly what you need with just a few clicks and get free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.
This is one of the best online sources for aftermarket automotive parts and accessories. etrailer has a huge selection of tonneau drain tubes for all types of covers. They also have helpful product videos and thousands of customer reviews.
RealTruck specializes in pickup and SUV accessories. Browse their online catalog for drain tubes for Bak, Retrax, Undercover, and other leading brands. RealTruck provides free shipping to the lower 48 states.
Truck Covers USA
You can order drain tube replacement parts for BakFlip, Retrax, and other covers from Truck Covers USA. They have a user-friendly website that makes it easy to find what you need.
Tonneau Cover Manufacturers
Check the website of your tonneau cover’s manufacturer. Many sell drain tubes and other replacement parts directly from their online stores.
For example, places like Bak Industries, Retrax, Lund, Truxedo, and Extang all have online stores with drain tubes and parts tailored for their specific covers. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer ensures you get an exact fit.
Auto Parts Stores
Another option is to visit local auto parts stores and see what they have in stock. Stores like:
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Advance Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- NAPA Auto Parts
May carry some universal-fit drain tubes or even tubes for popular brands like BakFlip and Retrax. Calling ahead to ask if they have the parts you need can save you a trip.
One thing to note is that auto parts stores are more likely to carry replacement parts for soft roll-up tonneau covers versus hard folding covers. But it’s still worth checking to see what they may have available.
Camper and Truck Accessory Stores
Retail stores catering to truck and camper accessories can be another place to find tonneau drain tubes for sale. Stores like:
- Camping World
- 4 Wheel Parts
- Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops
Typically have a selection of truck bed covers and related parts and hardware. Again, call ahead to see if they stock the particular drain tubes you’re looking for.
Pickup Truck Dealerships
The dealership where you purchased your pickup truck is another source for replacement parts. Most dealership parts departments can order drain tubes for the specific make and model of your truck if they don’t have them in stock.
This option may be a bit pricier than aftermarket parts, but you’ll know the drain tubes are engineered by the truck manufacturer for a perfect fit. Check with your dealership’s parts department to inquire about ordering drain tubes.
How to Determine the Correct Replacement Drain Tubes
To make sure you get the right replacement drain tubes, there are a few quick checks you can make:
Identify Your Tonneau Cover Brand and Model
The easiest way to determine which drain tubes you need is to look up the manufacturer and model name of your tonneau cover. Most brands design drain tubes specifically for their covers.
If you don’t know your cover model, check for a label on the underside or contact the manufacturer. This info ensures you get an exact fit from the original equipment manufacturer.
Measure the Diameter
Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the diameter of your existing drain tube opening. This measurement (usually 1 to 1.5 inches) will help you match the size when ordering replacements.
Check the Material
Drain tubes can be made of plastic, rubber, or metal. Examine your original drain tubes to see what material they are made of. Try to match this when purchasing new ones.
Count the Number of Tubes
Most tonneau covers have two drain tubes, one on either side of the truck bed. But some may have four tubes total. Check how many tubes your cover uses so you buy the full amount needed.
Note the Location
Pay attention to where your original drain tubes are positioned so you can install new ones in the same spots. They are typically located at the front and back of the cover near the cab.
With the above information, you can easily determine what replacement drain tubes will fit your tonneau cover properly.
How Much Do Replacement Drain Tubes Cost?
Costs for tonneau cover drain tubes can range from $10 to $50+ depending on:
- Where you purchase
On average, expect to pay around $20 to $30 for a set of two replacement plastic or rubber drain tubes. More heavy duty metal or OEM tubes may cost more. High-end covers like BakFlip G2, Retrax PRO XR, or similar may have pricier drain hardware.
Shopping online at retailers like Amazon or etrailer can help you find affordable deals on drain tubes. Buying universal fit or choosing an aftermarket brand over OEM parts can also save you money.
However, paying a bit more for factory direct replacement parts from your tonneau manufacturer may be worth it to ensure fit and function.
Do You Need Special Tools to Install Them?
Replacing drain tubes is usually a simple DIY job and requires minimal tools:
To loosen and tighten any bolts or fasteners that hold the tubes in place. An adjustable wrench can also work.
Pick Tool or Flathead Screwdriver
If your truck has rubber drain gaskets, you may need a pick to gently remove them before installing new tubes.
To wipe away any dirt and debris around the drain holes before inserting new tubes.
Silicone Sealant (Optional)
Not necessary, but silicone or waterproof caulk can help seal the new drain tubes in place.
With just those basic tools, you can swap out old or damaged drain tubes for new ones fairly easily. No need for power tools or complicated disassembly.
Installing replacement tonneau cover drain tubes is a straightforward process. Here are the basic steps:
1. Remove the tonneau cover from the truck bed.
Most modern covers are designed for easy on and off access. Pop it off so you can access the underside.
2. Locate the existing drain tubes.
Look for the tubes protruding through holes at the front and rear of the bed on either side.
3. Remove fastener hardware if present.
Covers like BakFlip have bolt-on drain tubes. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts so you can detach the tubes.
4. Twist and pull tubes to dislodge.
Give the tubes a firm twist while pulling outward to release them from the holes.
5. Inspect holes and clean if needed.
Make sure the tube holes are free of dirt, sealant, and debris. Wipe clean with a rag.
6. Insert new replacement drain tubes.
Line up the new tubes with the holes and firmly push into place. Ensure they are fully seated.
7. Reinstall any fastener hardware to secure tubes.
If your drains use bolts or screws, reinstall them now and tighten everything down.
8. Apply silicone sealant if desired.
Run a bead of sealant around the drain tube holes for extra weatherproofing (optional).
9. Reinstall tonneau cover.
Put the cover back on the truck bed. The job is complete!
With the new drain tubes in place, your tonneau cover can once again channel water off efficiently, keeping cargo nice and dry. Taking a few minutes to replace cracked or missing drain tubes helps extend the life of your cover and protects the truck bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about buying and installing tonneau cover drain tubes:
Can I just plug the holes instead of replacing drain tubes?
It’s not recommended. Without drain tubes, water can pool on top of the tonneau and possibly leak through the cover. Proper drainage helps prevent moisture damage.
Do I need to drill new holes if my drain tubes break off inside?
You may be able to grip and pull out any broken tube fragments with pliers. If not, carefully drilling new drainage holes for the tubes would be better than leaving the holes plugged.
Will any universal drain tube fit my tonneau cover?
Maybe, but universal tubes may not align properly with the existing holes. It’s best to replace drain tubes with ones designed specifically for your cover.
Can I use rubber hoses instead of rigid tubes?
Solid plastic or metal drain tubes hold their form better to direct water out. Flexible rubber hoses may get twisted or bent and obstruct water flow.
How do I know if my drain tubes need replacement?
Check tubes periodically for cracks, blockages, and leakage. They should be snug in the holes and clear of debris. Replace immediately if tubes become loose, damaged, or missing.
Will installing drain tubes stop all truck bed leaks?
Drain tubes only channel away water that collects on top of the tonneau cover. Any leaks between the cover and bed rails require adjusting or replacing the cover seals. Tubes won’t fix an ill-fitting cover.
Replacing worn or missing tonneau cover drain tubes is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your truck bed dry and mildew-free. With the many online and local retailers to choose from, you can readily find the right replacement drain tubes for your specific cover. Investing in a new set of quality drain tubes will extend the life of your tonneau cover and protect your truck’s cargo.