A Guide to Understanding and Choosing the Right Bed Liner & Applicator
It’s very important when shopping for a new spray-in bed liner that you do your homework before choosing the type of bed liner and the applicator who will be installing it. We know there’s lots of options out there to choose from and frankly it can be utterly confusing. So let’s dig in and find out! Really, what’s the difference between what one guy offers vs. the next? For the most part, aren’t all bed liners pretty much the same? Actually no, not at all.
1. The type of spray being used and the method in which it’s applied
2. The preparation and installation process of your bed liner
3. The quality and experience of the installer (applicator) –
knowing what questions to ask
Let’s start with the types of spray available. There are primarily 3; and I’ll discuss each of these and their corresponding application methods.
2. Hot Spray
It was the first on the market and great for its day, but it’s outdated. A cold spray bed liner has a tacky and rubbery surface and even when newly applied provides a chalky and dull look that only worsens with time giving it a dingy appearance at best. On top of that, because of the very slow dry time, it’s extremely common to see paint runs in the finished product. There’s a handful of old school shops that still use the cold spray product even today, but the technology significantly improved with the introduction of hot spray.
Hot spray is by far the very best technology and spray technique available on the market today as it yields the best performance. High pressure and increased temperature allows better mixing because the heat thins the fluid and when impinged with high pressure, ensures proper mixing. Polyurea systems usually have higher viscosities and need the heat and pressure. The product is sprayed on at around 140°F using a high pressure spray system. This combination of a properly prepped truck bed and the hot spray allow for the best bond possible. The Rhino Linings Hybrid spray follows the contour of your truck bed and has a little sparkle giving it a factory look to it in the end.
CARTRIDGE / CANISTER SPRAY
Also known as “canister spray”. Some applicators heat the canister and then say they spray it on “hot” and then claim it’s a hot spray. So buyer beware. So what’s the problem with the cartridge spray anyway, right? It uses small cartridges that are filled with bed liner chemicals. The downfall of using this spray for bed liners is that once the applicator pulls the trigger on the cartridge gun, he can't stop spraying until the cartridge is empty. So not only does the applicator applying the product unable to get it thick enough to offer the optimal quality of protection needed, due to the very small canister size, they have very little control over the spraying process altogether resulting in a chunky look with inferior adhesion.
You want to stay away from cartridge based spray-on bed liners such as Qwikliner, Velox, RhinoPro CS, Indy Blast, and SprayMaxLiner. Speaking of which, let’s get something clear from the start about RhinoPro cartridge spray. This is an off-brand canister spray that is in no way associated with the Rhino Linings Corporation. This is a company established in 2011, 23 years AFTER the Rhino Linings Corporation began, that to use the Rhino Linings reputation, branding, even a formulation of their logo, website pictures and formatting and paired it with an all too artistic play on words in naming their company as a way to fool people into thinking that they are getting the highly reputable “Rhino Linings” bed liner. These guys are imposters with a multitude of complaints and should be avoided.
PREPARATION & INSTALLATION PROCESS
Once you determine the type of bed liner you want to go with, the next and equally as important factor is determining the quality of the applicator. Regardless of which type of bed liner is used, surface preparation is key. You must realize…Your bed liner is only as good as the installation.
All Certified Rhino Linings Applicators are trained by the best! To become a Certified Rhino Linings Applicator, you are required to undergo training with their team of expert application trainers. This is the way the corporation maintains the quality of their brand and product. If you hear of a negative experience with a Rhino Linings product, there was a failure on the part of the installer, not the Rhino Linings product.
Here at Pro Truck, Bus, and RV; or Certified Rhino Linings installers pull your truck into a secure and clean bay and immediately cover all areas not being sprayed in plastic. Then your bed is power sanded by a dual action sander. This is the most important step as it ensures that material adheres permanently to the entire truck bed. Then, after removing the dust and debris, it is wiped down with denatured alcohol to remove any remaining dirt and oil. If this is done properly, it should create a permanent bond allowing the applicator to then spray on the bed liner coating. This entire process should take 2-4 hours if all steps are properly followed and your truck bed cures completely within 24 hours and ready for any abuse that you can throw at it!
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
If you really want to get the best spray-on bed liner possible, the most important decision you can make is to ask your installer the following questions to ensure their quality and experience:
1. What type of bed liner spray is being used and the method in which it’s being applied? (Hot, Cold or Cartridge)
2. Ask the installer to explain their preparation and application process
3. Ask to see the bay that your vehicle will be sprayed in. Good installers tend to have clean, well-organized shops. They can’t afford to have a lot of dust and dirt around because that will contaminate their sprays. A good spray-in liner shop will be proud to show off their facility.
4. Ask how long the process takes. On average, 2-4 hours should be the standard answer. Anything less and you’re getting an inferior product or technician.
5. And last but not least, go to RhinoLinings.com and confirm the company that you chose is on the manufacturers website as an authorized Rhino Linings applicator.
Here at Pro Truck, Bus and RV; staying on the forefront of technology is an utmost priority. We know with the backing of Rhino Linings and their extraordinary time tested, tried and true, and commitment to excellence they’ve exhibited over the last 28 years; we will remain on the cutting edge and a forerunner in the industry. For you, by choosing a Certified Rhino Linings Applicator, the end result is far superior to other options or brands on the market today.
Posted on 7/24/2016 at 4:33:15 PM