Spray on Bed Liners
This is by far the most popular option for protecting your truck bed, and for good reason. It’s the best looking and most durable bed liner there is. The bed is sprayed with a special polyurethane “paint” that protects the bed from scratches and chemicals. The coating is permanent, the texture is rough (which keeps things from sliding), and the material is nearly indestructible.
Lots of companies offer spray-in bed liners, but the top two are Line-X and Rhino. While you may hear lots of differing opinions about the two products, it’s fair to say that they’re basically the same stuff. However, the installers are not the same. In fact, any stories you hear about a bad Rhino or Line-X liner have more to do with the person that installed the liner than the product itself. The best way you can make sure you get a good spray-in liner is to find out how long the installer has been in business. If you have any doubts about them, get references and check them out.
Things to Know About Rhino and Line-X
- Installation is 90% of the puzzle. If you have a good installer, you’ll probably end up with a liner that lasts.
- All spray-in liners fade when exposed to a few years of sunlight. While some formulations are much more resistant to fade than others, UV radiation always wins.
- Be careful with color-matching. Unless you pay extra to protect the liner from UV, it will fade much faster than the factory paint and your liner and your truck won’t color-match after a couple of years. At least if you stick with black it will only fade to dark charcoal.
- Many of the chemical mixes used by Rhino, Line-X, or “brand X” are all basically the same. There are some differences to be sure – and you have to know which is most comparable to the other – but don’t get lost in arguments about which chemical has the best properties. That’s a conversation for chemists, not consumers.
- Both Line-X and Rhino offer nation-wide lifetime warranties on their products, but many third parties are offering them as well now.
- Expect your installation to cost somewhere between $400 and $800 dollars. Prices at the higher end should include extras like color matching, additional surface spraying, or special UV protectants. Anything less than that could indicate the installer you’re using is making a shortcut somewhere.
- Inspect your installers spray booth and prep area. If it’s dirty or messy, find someone else.
- The increased thickness of a softer Rhino liner gives it a softer “rubbery” feel, and the liner’s surface isn’t as rough as Line-X so it’s gentler on knees and cargo.
- Rhino’s thicker coating also aids in sound deadening, and the surface seems to “grab” objects better than Line-X.
- Thicker material usually means a duller appearance – it doesn’t follow the contours of a truck bed nearly as well as Line-X.
- It’s not as tear resistant as the harder materials.