Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover Installation Guide

Retrax EQ Bed Cover On Toyota Tacoma

Step-By-Step Installation For One Of The Latest Options From Retrax

Having a truck bed is great until you need to haul gear or other contents in the rain or around town and they are exposed to the elements and potential thieves. Tonneau covers are a great way to protect your truck bed contents but some aren’t able to provide you with quality protection and come with all the features you could want and need.

The RealTruck RetraxEQ Tonneau Cover is one of the most high tech and feature packed bed covers on the market. The app enabled option comes with more innovative features than you could ever need while also providing high quality protection that’s able to take a beating.

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Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover Parts

The kit includes the wiring harness, drain tubes, weather seals, side rails, vehicle module, and rubber stripping all individually wrapped making it easy to keep track of. It also comes with an general install instruction booklet. As for tools, here are all of the tools you will need to install your new bed cover.

Tools Required

  • #2 Phillips Screwdriver
  • 9/6″ Wrench or Socket
  • 3/8″ Wrench or Socket with 1/4″ Drive
  • 1/4″ Drive Ratchet
  • Drill and/or Impact
  • Scissors or Utility Knife
  • Tape Measure
  • Deep well socket set and ratchet.
  • Bit Extension for Drill/Impact
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • 7/16″ Wrench or Socket
  • T-30 Torx Bit
  • 11/16″ Drill Bit (Optional)

Step 1. Remove Front Tie Downs

Removing Front Bed Tie Downs 3rd Gen Tacoma

Using your Torx bit, remove the factory front tie downs to make room for the canister of the bed cover. Be careful when removing these because they are very easy to strip.

Step 2. Remove Factory Header Rail

Removing bed header rail 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

Remove the header rail located closest to the cab. To remove it, you will need to remove the 5 Torx bolts using your bit. In the pictures above, mine are the silver Allen screws since I have an All-Pro MOLLE panel.

Step 3. Install Header Rail Seal

Retrax EQ header rail seal on Tacoma

Using the two supplied weather seal pads, peel back the adhesive on the pads and stick one on each end of the header rail as seen in the picture above.

Step 4. Re-Install Header Rail

Reinstalling header rail on 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

With the weather sealing pads installed, reinstall your header rail. It will be a little tighter going back in due to it being a little longer than before with the pads.

Step 5. Insert Mounting Cleats

Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover Mounting Cleats Toyota Tacoma

Start by removing the front end caps from your factory side rails.

Slide in the 4 supplied mounting cleats into the railing with two cleats on each side. You will want one cleat closer to the cab and one closer to the tailgate.

Don’t worry about the spacing just yet as you will need to adjust in the later steps.

Step 6. Bolt Spacers To Rails

Mounting Spacers for Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover

Using your socket, install 4 of the supplied spacers onto the side rails (2 on each side rail). You will mount these through the pre-drilled holes with the thickest part of the spacers facing the inside of the truck.

Step 7. Remove Shipping Brackets

Removing Retrax EQ tonneau cover shipping bracket

Remove the two white shipping brackets from the canister using your Phillips head screwdriver. Hold onto these as they will be used later.

Step 8. Add Side Rails To Canister

Installing side rails on Retrax EX tonneau cover

Start by sliding the cable into the rail channel on the side rails and securing them to the drive carriage as seen in the picture above.

Installing side rails on Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover

Pull the tail panel of the cover out approximately 4-6 inches. Now guide the drive carriage into the rail channel. Repeat this on the opposite side.

Step 9. Mount Water Shield

Mounting water shield on Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover

Mount the two water shields on both sides of the canister right behind the spacer closest to the canister.

Step 10. Mount Side Rails to Canister

Retrax EQ Installation

Secure the side rails to the canister using the supplied hardware.

Step 11. Attach Light Harness

Retrax Tonneau Cover Drivers Side Lighting Wiring Harness

Behind the canister, connect the wiring harness for the drivers side light.

Step 12. Mount On Truck Bed

Retrax EQ Bed Cover Installation for 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

With the help of someone else, lift the canister and side rails into your truck bed. Make sure to leave a little room behind the canister for now so you can access wiring.

Step 13. Route Wiring Harness

Tonneau Cover Light Wiring Harness

To route the wiring harness to the battery you can route it through a hole in the bed or drill a hole yourself. Since I didn’t want to drill a hole in the bed, I decided to run it out the back of the bed closest to the cab as seen in the picture.

Be aware that routing it like I did, while it’s a less permanent solution, may mess with the weather sealing on the back of the canister.

Routing wiring harness for Retrax EQ Bed Cover

Run the wiring harness underneath your truck along the frame and into the engine bay. After routing it, ensure you secure the harness with the supplied zip ties.

Step 14. Connect To Battery

Battery wiring harness connector

Attach the wiring harness to your battery terminal.

Step 15. Positioning & Alignment

Positioning the Retrax EQ Bed Cover on 3rd Gen Tacoma

Using the shipping brackets we removed earlier as a spacer, slide the rails and canister back towards the tailgate.

Step 16. Attach Clamps To Bed Rails

Side rail clamps for Retrax EQ Bed Cover

Secure the side rails by using the supplied bolts through the spacers and screw them into the bed cleats we installed earlier.

Step 17. Measure Rail Distances

Measuring bed rail distance for Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover

Measure the distance between the side rails at the top near the canister, in the middle, and closest to the tailgate to ensure that they are all equal.

If they are not equal, adjust the tightness of the bolts you installed through the spacers and the spacing of the bed cleats. You can also use the additional supplied spacers to if needed.

Step 18. Attach Wiring Connectors

Retrax EQ Tonneau Cover Main Wiring Harness

Connect the other end of the wiring harness to the cover module on the back of the canister.

Step 19. Insert Drain Tubes

Drain tubes for Retrax EQ Bed Cover

Insert the drain tubes into the bottom of the canister. You can run the drain tubes out of an existing hole in the bed or drill holes yourself.

Be careful if you do decide to drill holes that you are not drilling into any lines or wiring underneath the bed.

Step 20. Insert T-Slot Seals

T-slot seals for Retrax EQ Bed Cover

Insert the t-slot rubber seal into the slots on the side rails.

Step 21. Set Up The Module & Harness

Wiring for Retrax EQ Bed Cover

The cabin module will need to be setup to be able to control the bed cover via app. This is very dependent on year, make, and model of your vehicle.

RealTruck Retrax EQ and App

Follow the unique QR code on your install instructions to setup the RealTruck app on your phone and install the module.

Final Thoughts

Retrax EQ Bed Cover on 3rd Gen Tacoma

After getting to use the Retrax EQ tonneau cover on my Tacoma for a while, I really enjoyed the features, accessibility, and protection the cover offered. The ability to control it using my phone was a game changer especially if I forget I had something in the bed and didn’t want to go back to my truck.

For someone who likes hunting, fishing, and DIY home projects the cover was useful for just about everything. The ability to keep my expensive fishing or hunting gear in the bed without having to worry about someone being able to get into it . Hauling larger cargo was also great because I could use the cinching feature to essentially hold my cargo to keep it more secure.

If you’re in the market for a bed cover that extremely durable and want something with more features than you could imagine while having the ability to control it via your phone, I highly recommend the Retrax EQ. Stay tuned for a deeper dive review post – coming soon!

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