You need to protect the bed of your beautiful new or cherished classic truck. The natural question is: spray-on or drop-in?
If there was only one right answer, the free-market system would have eliminated the other option by now. Both choices have their good points.
Drop-in liners are pre-formed plastic and installation is as easy as their name implies. Spray-on liners are applied like paint directly to the primed metal of the bed. Why are spray-on liners superior?
If you have an old truck, finding a drop-in liner will be tough. Have a custom bed? Forget about it.
A spray-on liner adheres to any truck bed, regardless of model or customization.
Image via Flickr by czarcats
Even a perfectly-fitted drop-in liner is not fixed to your truck. It will shift about, causing scratches and eventually corrosion. Remove the liner and it may be ugly under there.
Spray-on liners bond directly to the metal and aren’t going anywhere. They will protect your bed from abrasion and rust, rather than cause it.
Drop-in liners vibrate against the truck bed, causing extra noise. At high speed or in windy conditions, the liner will noisily buffet around.
A spray-on liner will dampen road noise, leading to a quieter ride.
The hard plastic of a drop-in liner does not offer much traction. Your cargo will slide around if not properly secured.
You can get a range of textures with a spray-on liner, so your stuff will stay put.
You can have any color of drop-in liner, as long as it’s black. Non-black liners are tough to find.
Spray-on liners, since they are essentially paint, come in a range of hues and can be custom-matched to your liking.
Higher Resale Value
After a couple of years, your drop-in liner may be warped and cracked. The next owner has every reason to believe the bed underneath is scratched and corroding.
With a spray-on liner, you can assure potential buyers that the bed has been protected since you had the liner installed. This will put more dollars in your pocket.
Spray-on liners are for more than just truck beds. You can spray wheel wells, bumpers, and fender flares. It’s a rugged look and a good idea for hard-working trucks. A drop-in liner for your wheel well? That won’t stay in place long.
Drop-in liners aren’t without their advantages. You can get one for around $200, while a spray-on liner will cost between $500-1000.
Installing a drop-in is hard to mess up and easy to redo if someone manages to screw it up. For a spray-on liner, a quality installer is critical. The bed must be sanded and primed like it was getting a new paint job. Rushing the prep, overspray, or sloppy masking can lead to disastrous results not easy to remedy.
Like any quality truck modification, choose a quality technician and pay for quality. You’ll be happy with the results for years and your truck will be happy too.