How to Put a Truck Cap on Your Pickup

Installing truck caps can protect cargo and add value to your truck. The process can be done pretty easily by applying weather stripping, aligning the truck cap, and securing it.
Written by Rochelle Miller-Hernandez
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
Adding a truck cap to a pickup truck is both simple, and a good upgrade.
If you own or want to buy a pickup truck, you might want to consider putting a truck cap on it. Installing one not only protects your cargo, but it also gives your pickup added value. Multiple styles allow you to customize the look of your vehicle based on your personal preferences.
Some studies have also found evidence that you may
save on fuel costs
when driving a pickup with a truck cap, as it may reduce wind drag. No matter your reason for wanting to install one, it only takes a few steps and the help of a friend (it's not recommended that you try to put the truck cap on by yourself).
If you choose to install a truck cap, here are four easy steps to assist you in that process.
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Find the right truck cap

Truck caps are designed and manufactured for specific models of pickups.
While most truck caps are made for specific pickups, there are caps that can fit more than one make. Not only should you check to see if it is designed for your model of pickup, but you should also double check the measurements to make sure it will line up properly during installation.

Apply the weather stripping for your truck

Materials Needed
Once you have found the truck cap for your pickup, it is time to prepare it for installation. The first step to putting a truck cap on your pickup is preparing it with weather stripping. You want to create a tight seal between the cap and your pickup bed. This will help fight wind drag and protect your cargo from the elements.
Turn over your truck cap and lay it on a soft blanket or sheet. Do not lay it on an uncovered surface.
To prevent scratching and denting of your truck cap, you should place the blanket on a flat grassy or unpaved area. You will need the help of a friend to turn it over and gently place it down.
Apply weather stripping for the truck topper. Adhesive foam stripping should be used to create a tight seal.
If the weather stripping did not come pre-cut for the truck cap, measure the needed lengths and cut with scissors. Apply the stripping to the bottom edge of the entire cap, with the sticky adhesive side on the edge so that it sticks to the cap.

Align the truck cap

Materials Needed
  • Aluminum hardware clamps
  • Impact power wrench
  • Socket wrench
Turn the truck cap over right side up and line up with your pickup bed. Have a friend assist you in lifting it.
Before starting, open your tailgate. When you turn over and lift the truck cap, have your friend hold one side while you hold the other. Slowly walk the truck cap over the pickup bed until both of you have it lined up as best as possible on the two sides. Gently lower it onto the pickup bed.
Align the truck cap with clamps. There are two front and two rear aluminum hardware clamps.
First, climb into the pickup bed and go as far to the front as possible. Align the clamps and hand-tighten them with a socket wrench. Next, close the tailgate and make sure the truck cap stays aligned. Adjust and realign if needed.
Finally, climb back into the pickup bed and align the clamps that go as close to the rear as possible. Hand tighten these clamps as well.

Secure the truck cap

The final step to putting a truck cap on your pickup is securing it. You can further tighten the clamps by hand with your socket wrench. However, you may also choose to use an impact power wrench with a socket adapter to securely tighten the clamps as much as possible.
A truck cap is a nice addition to your vehicle. It gives you versatility by allowing you to transport cargo and add personal customization, while also increasing your pickup’s value. When you are done, you will be driving around with a new asset attached to your pickup.
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