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Can You Cut and Shorten a Tonneau Cover? How Easy Is It?

Wanna cover your fuel tank or the truck toolboxes, but the existing tonneau cover is failing to do the task? Tonneau covers usually come in bigger sizes than the ones you need to cover the tank or the toolbox.

So, you must know how to cut and shorten your tonneau cover.

But, can you cut and shorten a tonneau cover? Yes, you can cut and shorten a tonneau cover using the appropriate tools. Also, you can use the tools to trim off the extra edges. After that, you need to sew the new borders and make the new seams invisible.

In today’s article, I will help you learn about cutting and shortening different tonneau covers and everything you need to consider before taking on this task.


Can You Cut and Shorten a Tonneau Cover?

Tonneau covers benefit you in many ways, such as preventing theft, protecting goods from exposure during lousy weather, increasing mileage, and storing materials.

However, the tonneau cover that comes with your vehicle is made to be an exact fit. So, if you want to make room for extra materials, you need to customize it.

It is possible to cut and shorten a tonneau cover depending on the material. Soft tonneau covers such as one made from vinyl are quite flexible and permit customization.

However, if it is made from a rigid material such as fiberglass or aluminum, you will face difficulties in the process.

Cutting and shortening a tonneau cover is quite a complicated process. If you are not extra careful, you might make a severe mistake and lose the whole cover. Or worse, you will end up hurting yourself.

So, if you think you cannot do it by yourself, better to go to a professional. That way, you will end up with the best customization of your tonneau cover.


Can You Cut a Soft Vinyl Tonneau Cover? How to Shorten?

Soft vinyl tonneau covers are quite flexible and give in under pressure, unlike the tonneau covers made from hard plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass.

So, you can cut your vinyl tonneau cover with the help of a few inexpensive tools. Read ahead for a step-by-step guide on how you can cut a soft vinyl tonneau cover.

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Step 1: Gather All the Materials

Here is a list of all the materials you need to gather.

  • Measurement Tape
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Rope, preferably Bungee Cords

Step 2: Maintain Safety

Keep your vehicle on a plane and smooth surface. Make sure your truck is on parking mode. It is better to go through the whole process outside rather than inside.

Step 3: Measure the Toolbox

Measure your toolbox. Use the marker to indicate the half-inch length on the second bar. Scroll up the cover so that it does not cover the entire bed.

Usually, the toolbox has the same width as the bed. So, cutting only the length of the tonneau cover will suffice.

Step 4: Start Cutting

Now, use the hacksaw and gently and carefully cut through the vinyl cover. Then attach the two parts of the cover according to the toolbox’s proportions. 

Step 5: Make the Cover

Cut the intersecting segment of the cover as you won’t need it. Detach the cover, unfurl it, and flip it. Mark it with an extra 1 to 2 inches for a margin of safety.

Step 6: Connect the Markings

Now connect the cover according to the markings. This could be a complicated process, so if you do not have a steady hand, better to take the truck to an auto shop.


What Are the Things to Consider When Cutting a Soft Tonneau Cover?

When cutting a soft tonneau cover, you need to keep your safety in mind. Wear thick gloves before you cut the vinyl. You should also wear glasses when you drill into the cover.

Always be extra careful before you mark and cut your tonneau cover. Make sure to cut it along the line. If you are not careful and cut inside the line, your cover will no longer be useful to you.

Work in an empty space. You should work in a well-lit area with lots of room to move around. If you cannot work outside, your garage can be a good space too.


Can You Shorten a Roll-Up Tonneau Cover?

Whether or not you can shorten a roll-up tonneau cover depends on its material. A soft roll-up tonneau cover, like the ones made from vinyl, can be trimmed quite easily.

However, if it is made from rigid materials such as aluminum, fiberglass, or plastic, it can become a complicated process.

Nevertheless, almost every roll-up tonneau cover found in the market is made from vinyl.

So, if you want to shorten it, you can follow the same process I have mentioned for cutting a soft vinyl tonneau cover.


Can You Cut a Fiberglass Tonneau Cover?

Cutting a fiberglass tonneau cover is a nasty business. You will need to cover your whole body with thick clothes and wear a mask or respirator to prevent inhaling scraps of glass.

One can use a hacksaw to cut the fiberglass cover or sand it. Use resin around the sharp and rough edges to smoothen them out.

Cutting a fiberglass tonneau cover is hazardous for you, so it is better to take your truck to the auto repair shop and get it done by a professional.

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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