View Full Version : Pickup Bed liner/spray/mats

Dan Gill
07-01-2005, 7:27 AM
I just bought a new Dodge 1500 Quad Cab, and I'm weighing my bed liner options. Those of you with pickups, what are the advantages/disadvantages of a liner, a spray coating, and bed mats? I intend to put a camper cap on the truck.

And just so you know I'm a true woodworker, I bought the truck yesterday and already used it to pick up a piece of 3/4 oak ply . . .

Dan Gill

Kevin Herber
07-01-2005, 8:02 AM
Dan - I have a '97 Ford Ranger that I bought new. I immediately had Rhino Liner spray it. Now, almost 8 years later, the liner is great. The truck is kept outdoors in Central Texas. The summer sun and heat is brutal.

The color has oxidized a bit but I understand the current materials apparently do not have that problem.

Everthing I have heard, and it makes perfect sense, is that the plastic drop in liners will mess up your bed. They get fine sand underneath and then proceed to sand the paint off your bed as the liner vibrates while the vehicle is in motion. Also, if you poke a hole in one of the plastic drop-ins (shovel, pipes, whatever) you are screwed. The spray-ins can be repaired. Rhino has a lifetime guarantee too.

Were I to buy another truck I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Hint - I paid something like $300. I got a substantial coupon in the back of my phone book. I don't see one in my area's Yellow Pages now, but you might have one in yours.

Good Luck -- Kevin

Cecil Arnold
07-01-2005, 8:58 AM
I also have the spray-in and think it is the only way to go. Several friends have other liner systems, and/or mats, and none seem to hold up as well. I got a deal on mine, but still with tax it was just under $300.

Steve Jenkins
07-01-2005, 9:01 AM
I put a plastic drop in liner in a pick-up once and never again. It was like ice. you had to tie down anyting you put in the back. Maybe they are made differently now but a friends sprayed-in was much better.

07-01-2005, 9:14 AM
The dealer mistakenly installed a drop-in into my truck before I picked it up. I didn't pay for it, but it is still there. I wouldn't pay for it. My original plan was to get a spray-in, and I will probably do that soon. After 8 years, the drop-in is cracked in the corners and buckled in a few places. As mentioned, very slick.


Jim Becker
07-01-2005, 9:16 AM
Spray in for me. When done correctly, it's really durable and doesn't offer opportunity for water to hang out "under" it. Although I'm not particularly hard on mine, it looks almost new after nearly five years in the Tundra. Steve's comments are also true. The spray in that I have is really "tacky" and non-slip enough for safety, but not so much that it inhibits moving stuff in an out.

Jason Roehl
07-01-2005, 9:57 AM
My vote is for the spray-on. My old pick-up has a drop-in, which came with the truck, bought used in '97. Slicker than snot. All things considered, it doesn't look too bad, though. I've added paint (not intentionally), since it spent almost 7 years as my work truck for painting. The bed underneath it pretty scratched up, but there's no rust, and I don't know when the liner was put in--I had the truck for probably 3 or 4 years before I ever pulled the liner out.

For the most part, I hate the slickness of the bedliner. HOWEVER, it does have its advantages. I have one of those LoadHandlers (as seen on TV!), and was able to crank 3000 lbs of gravel out of the bed. The LoadHandler is like a manual conveyor belt that attaches to the tailgate. I've heard it doesn't work well with spray-ons.

Just remember--I don't buy new trucks, and I don't keep 'em pretty! :cool:
I use them like TRUCKS.

Donnie Raines
07-01-2005, 9:58 AM
Funny you started this thread. I just picked up a new truck and was going to seek the advice of the spray in liner as well.

I have had the drop in's......did not like it at all.

Bill Lewis
07-01-2005, 10:32 AM
Add another to the list of recomending spray-on vs. drop in. I have had two pickups with drop in liners. The first was an aftermarket liner. It didn't have the right cutouts (for tie-downs), so no access to the features of the stock bed. Also, it was an over the cap liner, and I didn't like how it rubbed the paint.

The second liner I got from the dealer. This time an under the cap liner. The cutouts are there, but that's about it. I have a 2000 dakota, and it has built in notches to allow a second shelf using 2x6's. I can't use these either.

Though both liners have been very durable ABS plastic, they are slick as others have mentioned. The up-side, they are about 1/2 the price of a spray-in installation.

One of these days I might replace it, but unlikely. In 2000, spray-on liners were still a pretty new thing. I wasn't sure they'd last, or stay looking good. Now, if I were to do it again, I'd go spray.

Bart Sharp
07-01-2005, 10:43 AM
I guess I'll join in the chorus. When I bought my Dodge in 1998 the Rhinoliner place was one of my first stops. Six years of trips to the gravel pit, the brick yard, etc. and it still looks great. If you go this route be sure you have them spray the top of the bed rails.

They do color matching but I'm not sure I would trust it. Everything fades with exposure, and the poly spray is bound to fade differently than your paint. My black liner has faded to a charcoal color but still looks good on the red truck.

BTW, my truck is for sale if anyone in the Indiana/Illinois/Michigan/Kentucky/Ohio area is interested. I should put up a classified post.


Don Baer
07-01-2005, 11:19 AM
I bought a 05 Silverado and the dealer through in the bed liner. I figured that the $500 I had set aside for the Spray in liner could better be used for WW tools so I canceled my plans to have the spray in liner installed. That said the linear is very slick and stuff tends to slide around but I always use ties so it's not a problem. I still would recommend the spray in liner but hey since it was free.


Steve Knowlton
07-01-2005, 12:08 PM
We Just Bought A New Truck For Work. We Put A Spray On Bedliner. Only Way To Go. They Are Almost Indestructable.

Gary Herrmann
07-01-2005, 1:30 PM
I got Linex sprayed onto my bed. I heard somewhere where they have a new version that doesn't oxidize and I believe they can also match various paint colors. I have a black truck and the old version of the Linex spray in liner and have been very happy with it.

Chris Damm
07-01-2005, 1:47 PM
LINE X Is all you need to know!

Hal Flynt
07-01-2005, 2:19 PM
Another vote for Line-X.

Kurt Aebi
07-01-2005, 3:02 PM
I've got a Bullhide Spray in liner and would not consider not having a spray-in be it Rhino, Line-X or Bullhide - all 3 are about the same quality and price and durability. Go with the one that the dealer you like has!

I've got a Pace Edwards roll-top (jack-rabbit) toneau cover and really like it also, it would'nt be good for the camper, though as it takes up bed space, like a tool box would.

Rob Russell
07-01-2005, 4:33 PM
I have a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 w/ 8' bed and have a sprayed in black RhinoLiner. It has been used and has gotten a bit duller, although there is a Rhino stuff that will make it all shiny again. Not something I'm worried about.

Line-X is a competitor. The difference between the 2 is that 1 is a little bit sticker so stuff doesn't slide around as much. Don't remember which.

Absolutely get over an "over the rail" spray. I went back and had them do the bottom of the tailgate too. Attached is a picture to show you what I mean. This protects the bottom of the tailgate when you're raking stuff off of the bed.


Bob Johnson2
07-01-2005, 5:43 PM
I'm happy with a rubber mat and tail gate guard, just moved it to my new truck when I traded in a couple years ago. The rubber keeps things from sliding around pretty well and is cheap. Doesn't help the sides any but then to me it's a truck and I don't care if the bed gets banged up a bit. As I have a cap that stays on the truck the water issue isn't a factor, I do however pull it out once or twice a year, wash it off and hose out the bed. I had the plastic liner in a previous truck and I wouldn't take one of those for free. Besides being slick as glass it wears away the paint on the outside of the bed rails.
My son has the self done spray on kind and after 4 or 5 years it's still in good shape although it could use a little touch-up here and there. I've used his for plywood and needed to put down cardboard to avoid scratching up the surface of the wood. FYI, going the do it yourself route was a good deal of messy work.
If I were to trade in for a different size truck I don't know which way I'd go, the rubber or the spray on. Guess I'd have to see what the current spray on surfaces look like. The rubber is easy on the knees climbing in and out.

Don Stanley
07-01-2005, 7:58 PM
I have never had a spay in liner, but three Pendaliners on three different trucks. The last truck has the Pendaliner SR (Skid Resistance).

The advertisements state:

The Pendaliner SR gives you twice the protection of ordinary bedliners! Its skid-resistant top helps protect your cargo by reducing cargo movement. And its skid-resistant bottom helps protect your truck bed by reducing bedliner movement. You get double the protection with Pendliner SR!

I am very satisfied with the new SR liner; it's much better than previous liners. I also feel the liner offers more impact protection against dropped (or tossed) in, items, than the spay in liners.

I see that I'm in the minority here, so will turn off my computer so I don't get pounced on :D


Bill Turpin
07-01-2005, 9:31 PM
Spilled gasoline from lawn mower can may get under a drop-in liner and then burn/explode later because it doesn't evaporate. My Rhino liner cost $420 three months ago. They don't have much competition locally.

Bill in WNC mountains

Charlie Patterson
07-02-2005, 1:16 AM
RHINO for me have a 98 chevy and that rhino has been thru hell and still looks good

Kirk (KC) Constable
07-02-2005, 2:21 AM
I guess I'm the minority (again!), but the spray in is much too permanent for me. I've had two plastic ones and no problems with either. Can't imagine why I might wanna take it out, but at least I knwo I CAN.


Rob Russell
07-02-2005, 7:53 AM
I guess I'm the minority (again!), but the spray in is much too permanent for me. I've had two plastic ones and no problems with either. Can't imagine why I might wanna take it out, but at least I knwo I CAN.


People around here have had their drop-in liner blow out. Saw one on the highway. That'd change the color of my shorts if I'd been in back of that guy.

Kirk (KC) Constable
07-03-2005, 12:56 AM
Both my Ford and Dodge were (are) screwed in through the tie-down thingies. Can't see them blowing out. But you're right...that would get yer attention!

07-03-2005, 10:58 AM
People around here have had their drop-in liner blow out. Saw one on the highway. That'd change the color of my shorts if I'd been in back of that guy.

My buddy had his blow out the first week he owned his truck. Of course, he was on the way to the dump with it after getting a spray in. I think every new pickup owner has to learn that lesson the hard way. I had a huge armoire blow out of my first truck the first month I owned it :eek: . Picture a trail of toothpick sized oak pieces leading to a crumpled carcase on the side of the Beltway. If that happened today I'm sure it would cause some problems. But, the Beltway was a little less crowded 15 yrs. ago.