2012 Frontier

2012 Frontier Modifications

BakFlip HD Tonneau Cover


WHY?  Utility, plain and simple.  You might try to justify this purchase by telling your wife that it will save on gas, but--just between us guys--you'll never live long enough for the fuel savings to pay for it.  My Frontier truck not only works on the ranch; it also doubles as my personal transportation and I really miss having a vehicle with a trunk.  I decided to find a tonneau cover that is waterproof, lockable and quickly and easily removeable.  A friend had just purchsed a BakFlip HD folding cover for his new Frontier and asked me to help him install it.  I was really impressed by the appearance, construction and ease of installation of the Bakflip so I decided to buy one for myself.  I shopped for prices all over the net, but decided to call the Bak Factory Outlet because my buddy told me that 1) they offered great service, and 2) they would deal with me on price.  I called their toll-free number (800-653-7089) and was surprised to hear the sound of a real human's voice!  The salesperson was professional, very helpful, and was very much willing to deal on the price.  We settled on a deal that was waaaaay below any other price I had seen online, so I shouted "SOLD!" and gave him a credit card number.

SERVICE.  EXCELLENT.  I received a confirmation email immediately after purchase and a notification of shipping and a tracking number within 2 days.  The box arrived on the Fedex truck just four working days after I placed the order--not bad.  It arrived disassembled, with all parts and installation directions in the box; it was really well packed, and arrived undamaged.  

INSTALLATION.  This job could be accomplished by most any owner, and requires nothing more than than a 9/16" wrench or socket.  Working carefully, and pausing occasionally to snap some pics, I had the cover completely installed in under 45 minutes. Here's how it went:

1.  Align the rails on top of the truck bed side rails and attach it with the supplied clamps--three per side.  It looks something like this:

bak rail

2.  A long piece of weatherstripping is included; cut it to size, remove the protective tape and stick it to the front bed rail beneath the rear window.

3.  Take the folded top and sit it into the side rails, starting at the front of the truck bed. Carefully unfold the top, snapping it into place in the side rails and aligning it as you go.

4.  Fold the top all the way, carefully leaning it against the cab of the truck.  Three strips of rubber bumper are included; one is more than enough for this application.  Cut it in half and remove the protective tape from each.  Locate the exact point where the folded top is in contact with the cab and stick the rubber bumper strip on the top so that it rests between the top and the cab.

5.  The front of each side rail has a drain on the underside to channel water away.  Two pieces of clear tubing are included; each must be attached to the drain and routed outside the bed.  The Frontier has two conveniently-located  holes in the lower front wall of the bed and each is filled with a rubber grommet.  Cut a 3/4" hole in each grommet and pass the hose from the rail drain through the hole.  Unfortunately, the hoses provided with the top were a couple of inches too short and I had to make a quick run to Hope Depot to correct the problem. 

RESULTS.  Great.  The top opens easily and almost all of the bed is exposed; it can be propped open and stay in place even at highway speeds:

bak open

I love the Utilitrack system on the Frontier, and I often use the sliding bed extender so I wanted to be sure that the top and rails didn't interfere with either.  All systems functioned after the installation, but it did take a little effort to slide the extender bracket past the rail clamps.  Here's a look at the extender:

bak extender

It's early in the process, but thus far the top has operated flawlessly and is rattle-free.  I should note here that the unit isn't completely waterproof; running it through a carwash or a torrential rain will result in a few drops inside the bed, but only a minute amount.

WORTH THE MONEY? I believe so.  It is a little pricey, but it is a well-made piece and works well with the rest of the truck.  The BakFlip is very attractive, lockable, and darned near waterproof.  It makes my truck must more versatile, and that's a good thing.