If you’re looking at covering the bed on your pickup, there’s no denying that a Retrax rolling bed cover is one of the nicest options around. Now that they offer a tougher, all aluminum Retrax Pro, we wanted to see just how easy or hard it was to install one ourselves. Is the Retrax Pro as good as it sounds? Here’s 27 high-res photos from our installation, how it went, and what our first impressions are.
The Retrax Pro is shipped in two boxes. The larger one is quite heavy and will require help to move. Because of the weight and large dimensions of the parts used, two people will be required to easily install the Retrax Pro.
The installation of the Retrax Pro takes surprisingly few tools. The ones we picked out to help with the project were limited to a tape measure, needle nose pliars, a socket and racket, vice grips, and a multi-head screwdriver. And, of course, the manual.
Before we got too far, we installed two required drain tubes. This requires drilling but luckily, there are two GM factory bed-drain holes that nearly fit the bill. To install tubes, we enlarged the front side-most drain holes already present in the bed of the truck. They are at a perfect location for this purpose. We drilled these holes right before we had Line-X applied, to cover any bare metal. We’d recommend some sort of protectant to prevent rust if you drill your drain holes out too.
So what’s inside the second box? The side rails that we’ll soon attach to the main barrel! We found moving the whole installation to a large and soft patch of grass with plenty of room to move around it made things easy.
Attaching the side guide rails is one of the easiest parts of the entire installation. Two screws and you’re done. We chose rails that cover the bed post holes but lower profile rails that are thinner and do not cover post holes are also available.
One of the last steps of assembly before moving the Retrax Pro to the bed of the pickup truck is to attach the front cover plate. It serves to strengthen the entire assembly and give a cleaner, flush, look.
Sitting pretty on the bed but no time to celebrate as we still have to perfect the fit and fasten it down securely. The bed has a few inch float, so make sure to center it properly and according to the manual.
Before we can secure the Retrax’s rails down, we need to measure the gap between the tailgate and the side rails using a provided measuring tool. Once the gap matches the width of the tool, the cover is in the right spot.
After securing the Retrax Pro, we can finally do some fine tuning on the fit and alignment of the side rails by adjusting these 8 plastic spacers. We have to admit, it was slightly frustrating to get everything lined up and closing correctly. On our first try, the tailgate collided with the cover. With some patience, we soon had everything working perfectly.
Overall, installing the Retrax Pro on Project Sierra was a simple project. If you are prepared, take your time, follow the instructions, and have a friend nearby to help with the lifting, any mechanically inclined person can tackle this project.
Overall fit and finish is excellent. The Retrax Pro is clearly designed and assembled with high-quality parts. Once installed, the cover slides open and closed with ease. It can also lock secure in any location.
We’ll be taking a look at life with the Retrax Pro in detail along with letting you know how it’s held up to our abuse following this installation. We’ll be back with that article in just a few weeks.
GM-TC Install Stats
Level of Difficulty: easy
Product First Impression: 4.5/5
Instruction Manual Clarity: 4/5
Required # of People to Assemble: 2
Time Required: 2 – 2.5 hours
Overall Install: 4.5/5
Editor’s Note: Retrax provided us with this product (pro gratis) for the purpose of installing it on Project Sierra. This consideration did not take weight on our opinion towards our review.