Are you wondering if you can install a spray-on bedliner over an existing tonneau cover? This is a common question for truck owners looking to add more protection and utility to their truck bed. The good news is, in most cases, the answer is yes!
What is a Tonneau Cover?
First, let’s review what a tonneau cover is. A tonneau cover sits on top of the truck bed, protecting cargo from weather and theft. There are a few main types of tonneau covers:
- Folding covers – These hard covers fold up toward the cab in sections.
- Roll-up covers – A vinyl cover rolls up toward the cab to open the bed.
- Retractable covers – The cover retracts on rails into a canister at the front of the bed.
- Snap covers – A vinyl cover secured to the bed rails with snaps.
What is a Spray-On Bedliner?
A spray-on bedliner is a protective coating sprayed directly onto the truck bed. It forms a durable, rubberized layer that protects the bed from dents, scratches, rust, and more. Brands like Line-X and Rhino Linings are popular options.
Will the Bedliner Adhere to the Tonneau Cover?
The key question is whether the bedliner will stick to the tonneau cover surface. The good news is spray-on liners bond very well to most materials like aluminum, steel, plastic, and fiberglass. So the bedliner should adhere nicely to materials like vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass tonneau covers.
Do You Need to Remove the Tonneau Cover First?
Most professional installers say it is not necessary to remove the tonneau before spraying on the bedliner. The bedliner can be sprayed over the tonneau cover in place. Some report even using masking tape to cover tonneau cover edges for a clean line.
Removing the cover first provides the most thorough coating on the entire bed. But for convenience, you can safely keep it on during install.
Will the Bedliner Limit Tonneau Function?
Spraying liner over the cover should not restrict opening, closing, folding, or retracting of the tonneau. The liner remains flexible enough to allow normal operation. Some minor adjustments may be needed after install if the liner thickness affects the snugness of the cover. But functionality should remain intact.
Prepare the Cover Surface First
Before installing the bedliner, thoroughly clean and scuff the tonneau cover surface. This helps the liner adhere better. Lightly sanding or scoring the surface can help grip. Wash and dry completely.
Use adhesion promoter on vinyl or fiberglass covers for maximum bonding. Avoid armor all, silicone, or other products that cause slipperiness.
Coating Rail Mounting Areas
For roll-up and folding covers, pay special attention to the side rail mounting areas. Consider masking parts of the rails where the cover attaches. This allows the cover to be removed later if needed. If full coverage is preferred, the installer can cut relief notches into the liner at bolt holes.
Professional Install Recommended
While a DIY spray can bedliner is possible, professional installation is recommended. Professionals have the right equipment, materials, and experience for the highest quality results. They can account for tonneau cover surface prep, rail mounting areas, and adjustment after install.
Once installed, the bedliner will provide years of protection. However, regular tonneau cover maintenance is still required:
- Wash the cover regularly with soap and water to prevent dirt buildup.
- Condition the vinyl after washing to prevent drying and cracking.
- Lubricate hinges, straps, rails, and clamps as needed.
- Inspect for rips, cracks, or gaps needing repair to prevent leaking.
Taking good care of your tonneau cover and bedliner will ensure they last! Adding a bedliner is a great way to get more life and protection out of your existing cover.
The Verdict? Yes You Can!
Truck owners agree – spray-on bedliners complement tonneau covers nicely! As long as the cover is prepped and professionally installed, the bedliner will adhere well. The liner provides added defense against weather and scratches without limiting cover usability. For maximum truck bed protection, consider adding a bedliner over your tonneau cover. Just be sure to maintain the cover properly for long-lasting performance.