If you own a truck with a roll-up tonneau cover, you may eventually need to replace the rails that allow the cover to slide back and forth. But where can you find the right replacement rails for your specific tonneau cover? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top places to buy replacement rails for roll-up tonneau covers.
What Are Tonneau Cover Rails?
Before diving into where to buy replacement rails, let’s first understand what tonneau cover rails are and why they may need replacing.
The rails are the metal tracks that are mounted along the sides of your truck bed. They allow your roll-up tonneau cover to smoothly glide back and forth to provide access to your truck bed. The rails securely hold the cover in place when fully closed.
Over time, these rails may bend or break from repeated opening and closing of the cover. Exposure to the elements can also degrade the rails. When the rails are damaged, the cover will no longer open and close properly. Replacing them restores smooth operation.
Do I Need An Exact Replacement For My Current Rails?
When shopping for replacement rails, you’ll want to try to match the original rails as closely as possible. The ideal situation is finding an exact OEM (original equipment manufacturer) replacement part made specifically for your truck’s make, model, and year.
However, you may be able to use universal or generic aftermarket rails if an exact replacement is unavailable. The key things to match are the length of the rails and the mounting style. Measure your current rails and look for replacements with the same length and mounting holes.
Using the wrong length rails or mounting style risks an improper fit and function. Take the time to get measurements and details right for best results.
Where To Buy Replacement Tonneau Cover Rails
Now that you understand the basics of what the rails are and why they may need replacement, let’s explore some top places to purchase replacement parts.
Purchase From The Original Tonneau Cover Manufacturer
One of the best options is to buy directly from the company that made your existing tonneau cover. Most major manufacturers sell replacement parts for their products. Here are some of the top sources:
Retrax offers direct replacement rails for all of their different tonneau cover product lines. Their website has an easy-to-use selector tool to identify the right rails based on your truck information. Retrax rails come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Roll-N-Lock provides instructions on their website for identifying the correct replacement rails for your specific truck and tonneau cover model. They have OEM rails available to buy directly through their website or authorized dealers.
Extang sells factory original replacement parts for Encore and Solid Fold tonneau covers on their website. Use the product manuals to match your model. Extang stands behind their rails with a 2-year limited warranty.
TruXedo provides helpful diagrams on their site to identify the rails for your truck. They have exact replacement rails for models like TruXport, Lo Pro, and others. The rails even come with new end caps.
Check the Lund website to find replacement rails for Lund Genesis, Eclipse, and other folding covers. Use your VIN to match the right parts. Lund rails feature a limited lifetime warranty.
Access Roll-Up sells parts for Access brand roll up covers directly on their website. Search for tonneau rail replacements by make, model, and year of your truck.
So if you know the brand of your roll-up tonneau cover, go directly to the manufacturer’s website to find replacement rails specific to your model. This helps ensure the best fit and performance.
Purchase Universal Replacement Rails
If you’re unable to find an exact OEM replacement for your rails, another option is to purchase universal or generic rails:
Amazon sells a variety of universal replacement rails for roll-up tonneau covers. Brands like Tyger Auto and MaxMate offer kits designed to fit multiple truck models. Pay close attention to the product details and size charts to match the correct length and mounting style rails for your truck.
The website etrailer.com stocks universal replacement rails for tonneau covers that are designed to fit a range of truck bed sizes. They have instructional videos on their site to guide you through measuring your truck and selecting the proper rail kit.
TopLine manufactures universal replacement rails sized specifically for different truck bed lengths. Check their tonneau cover rails section and use their fitment guide to pick rails cut to the length you need.
While universal rails may not be an exact OEM match, they can work if you carefully measure and select the right size. Pay close attention to length, mounting locations, and hardware compatibility.
Purchase From An Auto Parts Store
Your local auto parts store may carry some tonneau cover replacement rails in stock:
AutoZone stocks a selection of replacement rails for brands like Extang, TruXedo, and BakFlip. Check online or in your local store. You can filter by your truck details to match available parts.
O’Reilly Auto Parts
O’Reilly sells tonneau rails for brands including Lund, Retrax, Roll-N-Lock, and others. Use their online fitment tool to see if your local store has the rails you need.
Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts also carries some tonneau cover replacement rails in popular sizes. Stop by your nearest location or browse online to see what they have available.
The selection of rails at auto parts stores may be limited compared to manufacturer websites. But you can sometimes find parts immediately for convenient same-day pickup.
How Much Do Replacement Rails Cost?
Replacement tonneau cover rails range in price depending on the type:
- OEM exact replacement rails – $150-$300
- Universal or generic rails – $100-$200
- Individual replacement rail (if only one is damaged) – $50-$150
So expect to spend around $100 to $300+ for a full set of replacement rails. Measure carefully and shop around for the best deal on the specific rails your truck requires.
Installing The Rails
Once you’ve purchased new replacement rails, you’ll need to install them properly for the tonneau cover to work. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing your old rails and installing the new ones.
Key steps usually involve:
- Removing the tonneau cover from the rails
- Taking out old rail screws and clamps
- Putting new rails in place
- Drilling holes if needed
- Fastening rails with provided hardware
- Sliding cover onto new rails
- Testing operation
If available, use new provided hardware when mounting the rails. This ensures a secure fit.
Installing the rails yourself can save on labor costs but requires some mechanical skill. Consider paying for professional installation if you’re not up for a DIY repair.
Maintain Your Replacement Rails
To get the most out of your new rails and prevent premature damage, be sure to:
- Keep rails lubricated per manufacturer recommendations
- Open/close cover smoothly without forcing
- Clean dirt and debris from rails periodically
- Avoid overloading truck bed
- Inspect rails for damage after impacts
Proper care promotes long-lasting performance from your new rails.
Locate Replacement Rails For Your Roll-Up Tonneau Today
Damaged or broken rails can prevent your roll-up tonneau cover from opening and closing properly. Replacing the rails restores smooth gliding function so you can access your truck bed again.
Use this guide to help find the right replacement rails for your specific truck. Buying directly from the original manufacturer is best when possible for an exact fit. But universal aftermarket rails can also work if precisely measured and matched to your truck bed size.
With shiny new rails installed, you’ll be able to easily roll up your tonneau cover and haul cargo in your truck bed for years to come.