GatorTrax Electric Tonneau Cover Review

GatorTrax Electric Tonneau Cover On 3rd Gen Tacoma

A Remote Controlled, Premium Truck Bed Cover For Your Tacoma

If you’re looking for a tonneau cover that effortlessly combines user-friendly functionality with a sleek aesthetic, this GatorTrax option from RealTruck is for you. It can be set to open and close at any desired length at the push of a button, making securing your truck bed more convenient than ever.

It features a UV-resistant coating to guard against sun fading and slats made from a durable polycarbonate that glides along a robust aluminum frame with maintenance-free sealed ball bearings. All of this makes for a robust option that can withstand impacts, abrasions, and UV exposure.

With its 11×11 compact size, it utilizes less than 10% of your bed space and has a low-profile design that is available in either a gloss or matte-black finish.

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Notable Feature

GatorTrax Electric Tonneau Cover Remote Controller

One of the coolest features is that it is electric and can open and close with the touch of a button. Included are two remotes with user-friendly controls; “O” for opening and “C” for closing.

GatorTrax Tonneau Cover Light

There is a third button with a star, which is used to control the integrated bed light for even better bed illumination.


GatorTrax Tonneau Cover Parts

Tools Required

  • 3/8 Impact Driver
  • 3/8 10mm, 12mm, and 15mm Sockets
  • T30 & T40 Bits
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

We needed two people to complete the installation. This was mainly to transfer the tonneau cover from the ground onto the bed.

The package included a booklet of instructions; however, we found them to be a bit confusing. So, we decided to install it in the way we thought made sense. The booklet has multiple different instructions for different trucks. You will need to follow the first few pages that detail how to assemble.

Once you have it assembled, go to the pages marked “Toyota Tacoma” and follow the steps to secure it. These instructions are specific to bed size, so be sure to check for that before you begin. We will be installing on our 5′ bed.

Make sure you have all the required hardware before starting the installation. We were missing two bolts to connect the front to the canister and improvised with two spare bolts that we had lying around and happened to fit the threads.

Step 1. Prepare Bed

Removing Bed Tie Down For Tonneau Cover Install

First, you will need to remove the silver tie-downs on either side of the bed. Use a T-40 bit to unscrew the bolts and remove the tie-down. You will not be reinstalling these, so you can go ahead and toss them if you’d like.

Remove Factory Cab Header Rail 3rd Gen Tacoma

Next, remove the factory cab header rail using a T-30 bit. There should be (5) bolts in total and the rail should pull out fairly easily following their removal.

Installing Sealing Foam On Factory Cab Header Rail

Once unscrewed, install the smaller foam pieces on either end of the bed rail. This will protect against water intrusion into the bed.

Electric Tonneau Cover Install - Smaller Cleat Into Bed Side Rail

Finally, remove the plastic ends that close off your bed rails. If you have any tie-downs secured in the rails, remove them as well. Then, install the two mounting cleats on both side rails and reinstall the plastic ends.

Step 2. Remove Shipping Materials

GatorTrax Electric Tonneau Cover Shipping Packaging

The tonneau cover canister comes with shipping brackets and white shipping tubes installed. Remove these before proceeding with the installation.

On each side, remove the white bracket with a Phillips head. The instructions recommend keeping one of these brackets to use as a shim; however, we did not find ourselves using it.

To remove the shipping tubes, just pull them out.

Step 3. Install Side Rails

Attach Side Rails to Canister

As I mentioned earlier, the easiest way for us to install it was on the ground. To install the side rails, we used boxes to prop them up and align them to the side of the canister.

GatorTrax Electric Tonneau Cover Assembly

Before screwing them in, you will need to guide part of the cover through the rails. To do this, pull out a few inches.

If you have trouble pulling some of it out of the canister, connect the battery and power it on to feed it through the side rails. We ended up having to do this, and it worked great. A second set of hands helped guide the opposite side rail.

Securing Tonneau Cover Side Rails To Canister

Once the cover has been fed through the rails, secure them to the canister. Use the two silver bolts provided and a screwdriver. Repeat on the other side.

Step 4. Install Front Portion

GatorTrax Tonneau Cover Installation

The front cover is the final part. Slide it gently between the side rails and the canister. The goal is for the hole on the side rail to match the hole on the front.

GatorTrax Tonneau Cover Assembly

Once the front piece is in place and the holes are lined up, secure it with the provided screws on each side. This is where we had to improvise and find screws from our stash.

At this point, the cover is fully assembled. However, I suggest getting the wiring situated before installing it onto the bed.

Step 5. Connect Power

Electric Tonneau Cover Wiring

Connect the positive and negative wires to their respective battery terminals (red first). The brown wire is the negative, and the red one is the positive.

Electric Tonneau Cover Connections

Next, connect the wires from the canister to the ones from your vehicle’s battery. There is only one way to connect the two. Then, use your remote to test for functionality.

Routing Wires To Tacoma Bed

With everything working, disconnect the wire from the canister and begin feeding it through the engine bay, and find a location to mount the wire. We fed our wire through the engine down into the wheel well area.

Route Wires From Engine Bay To Truck Bed

Feed through as much of the wire as possible to the wheel well to begin feeding it to the bed.

As you work your way back towards the bed, secure the wire along the frame of your truck. The hardware should have included zip ties to do this.

Electric Tonneau Cover Wiring

We ended up routing the wire between the cabin and the bed and through the side of the cab header rail.

Power Wires For Electric Tonneau Cover

Pull through all the wires to ensure it’s as tight as possible. Then, move the cover onto the bed and reconnect the wires.

Step 6. Secure To Bed

GatorTrax Electric Tonneau Cover For Toyota Tacoma

To secure it to the bed, you must first line it up to the back of the bed. Make sure you have even spacing on both driver and passenger sides.

Tonneau Cover Mounting Cleats

Now that its in position, secure it to the bedside rails using the mounting cleats installed earlier.

Take the longer cleats and slide the thinner end beneath the cover’s side rail. Align the wider end with the smaller cleat installed on the bed rail.

There are two larger bolts, one tan-colored and one silver, and a washer. Insert the washer onto the tan bolt, then thread the bolt through the side rail into the cleat. Similarly, insert the longer silver bolt through the wider section of the cleat to secure it to the smaller cleat in the bedside rail. Hand-tighten them for now.

Securing Tonneau Cover Mounting Cleats

With all of the cleats set, secure them using a 15mm socket on the bottom bolt and a 12mm socket on the top one. Repeat on each cleat, (4) in total.

Tonneau Cover Alignment

Once everything is secured, test everything to ensure the correct position. If everything lines up with the tailgate and is even on all sides when closed, you’re all done!

Step 7. Remove Plastic Film

Removing Plastic Protection From Tonneau Cover

Finally, all you have left to do is remove the plastic shipping film.

First Impressions

Electric Tonneau Cover Operation GIF

This tonneau cover is one of the coolest options I have seen! I was genuinely impressed with the build quality and the smooth opening and closing mechanisms. Also, routing the wiring was so much easier than I thought it would be; it was plug-and-play.

What really sets it apart for me is the nifty adjustable retraction feature. No more leaving entire sections of the cover open for those larger items – this lets you tailor it to the exact length you need, which is a total game-changer. I would still strap down any large and heavy items, but this does a great job of holding things in place.

Let’s not forget about that low-profile design; it sits almost flush with the bed. I also enjoy the matte finish; it’s not very often that you see a finish like this. So, while it might be a tad pricier, the unique features and upscale aesthetic make it worthwhile.

Final Thoughts

GatorTrax Electric Tonneau Cover On Toyota Tacoma

I’m sure you’re asking yourself if it is worth it. To that, I would say yes! This is a great choice if you have the budget for it.

The overall installation was straightforward once we got a hold of everything, and the electronics worked right out of the box. Of course, we live in Washington and were a bit concerned with all of the rain interfering with the canister motor. However, it’s protected well, and we haven’t encountered any issues.

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