The other day I was washing my truck, I decided to do a really thorough job and pull the big rubber mat out of the bed and clean all the mung out from underneath. As I pulled it out, I noticed that it was somewhat “stiffer” than I remembered it being, and it was a little bit hard to peel out of the bed.
Immediately upon getting it removed, I saw what was going to turn into a BIG problem….. The mat had apparently dried out some and become less flexible, and also had shrunk down a little in the hot Arizona sun. So, although I hadn’t noticed any problem, it apparently had dried out enough to no longer “stick” to the bed floor of the truck. Hence, on braking and acceleration, the mat was moving back and forth a little bit each time and the little rubber nubs on the bottom, hardened by years of sun exposure, had worn through the paint of the bed in a hundred little places.
A few of those places had begun to show a hint of rust. Left untreated, this was going to get serious! I called my favorite body shop, and they quoted me $600 – $650 to sand, primer, and respray the inside of the bed back to factory white.
That’s when I started researching those sprayed in bed liners. I found that there are a number of players out there in my area. I called a few and got prices and asked a few questions about the product and its application. After listening to the answers, I decided to get a Rhino Liner in black using their new Hybrid application product and process.
The coating is heated to around 150°F and sprayed onto a previously prepped bed, which had been sanded, scuffed, and cleaned of all dust, and wiped with acetone. When the liner is done, it’s about 1/8″ thick in most places, and has a textured finish.
When I picked it up, I must say it looks fabulous. The guy that applied it in Phoenix is a very well spoken and knowledgeable guy, and makes a really good case for the product and the process.
So, if you are thinking of a spray-in bedliner, keep these points in mind;
1) A successful job is a combination of both product and process. If a company says that they can spray in a liner for you in two hours, they are short cutting something. Minimum time to properly prep, mask, and spray is 4 hours.
2) Be careful if the product you are looking at gets its non-slip properties from the addition of sand or any other abrasive. When you slide out that new leather couch you just bought, the liner will sandpaper off the finish of the leather. The non-slip should come from texture of the product itself, sprayed to produce a slightly bumpy finish. This will also assure that the new surface is nice and shiny, not dull like sandpaper. It just looks better!
3) Go to the various applicators and look at samples of their work. Talk to them and ask about the product, the steps of the process, and how they handle a warranty issue. I found that very educational.
4) Don’t get the cheapest job you can find. My small pickup cost $450 to spray. I didn’t have them coat the tops of the bed rails. That costs extra if you like that look.
Good luck, and I’ll let you know how it lasts.
Click on pictures for a much closer view.