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Truck bed liners

Greetings! Are truck bed liners necessary? If is spray on (professionally done) or drop in better? I had a drop in type in a Chevy S10 and I’m told it aided in the rusting out of the bed. My new truck will be a light duty truck used for occasional loads of dirt n to carry bicycles, but mostly just for transportation. Thanks! Jim

Bed liners are not necessary, but they do improve the long-term appearance of your truck. Bed liner material is much more forgiving than the base sheet metal most trucks are made from and keep looking good long after the paint sheet metal would look dinged up, scratched, stained, and generally horrible. Bedliners are very desirable if you use the truck to haul anything. But, if it is a show truck, or you never haul anything, bed liners are not necessary.

Spray-on is much more desirable. The drop in liners tend to rub the paint off the floor boards, and can rub right through the primer, leaving bare metal to the elements that contributes to rust. Plus, drop in liners can trap water, making rust formation worse.

Spray-on, done right, covers the paint and primer, allows water to drain through the factory drain holes, and prevents that moisture from becoming trapped under it. The spray-on liners keep looking good for a very long time.

I agree with Busted Knuckles–spray-on is the way to go. They protect better and look better. The drop-in liners can trap water underneath too.

I had a buddy that had a drop in liner. He had his tailgate down and the whole liner slid out at some point while he was on the highway. He never saw it happen–he just arrived at his destination and the whole thing was gone except for the little piece that goes on the tailgate. I’ll bet it was surprising for whoever was behind him…

IMHO…Spray-on is the ONLY way to go. Or a combination of spary-on and a hard liner on top. But a NOT a hard liner alone or nothing.

The bed will last much longer…not prone to rust or damage.

I had a drop in bed liner in my 95 Dodge Dakota for the 8 years I owned it. It was long enough to wear the paint off the bed floor, but it did not rust. If I ever get another pickup I will go with a spray or brush on bed liner.

Ed B.

Yes spray in is the way to go. Do your research if you do have it done. Don’t have the dealer do it. Go right to the shop that does it.

If you often throw cinder blocks and rocks in the bed of your PU a drop in liner is the best protection. But, those drop in liners trap and hold moisture and that can cause more rust and problems than they solve. If you have a work truck and your business is landscaping or construction I’d go with a drop in liner. If you just want to protect your personal PU truck either do nothing, or go with a spray on coating.

If you like to slide things out of the bed, a drop in liner works better. If you don’t want light things to move around, a spray on is better. If you get a drop in liner, get the tie downs so you will have something holding it in.

Spray on it is then! Thanks everyone, you’ve been great help. Jim

The spray-on liner in my truck is over 10 years old, and still looks great. For additional protection, I keep a sheet of 3/4 inch pressure-treated plywood on the floor so it doesn’t get dinged when I throw stuff into the back - like split logs, rocks, etc. I have another piece of plywood for the protecting the front wall of the bed when I need it, and anther piece that covers the tailgate when it is down.

I routinely (once or twice a year) remove the plywood to make sure it is dry underneath (I also have a truck cap) and to clean out any dirt underneath it so it doesn’t abraid the liner or hold moisture.

Be aware that in the rust belt, rust can start from underneath in which case the bed liner is false security. They are excellent for preserving the bed from dings. It really depends upon your use. A friend had both spray on one truck and drop in in another. Because he literally threw heavy logs into his bed, the spray on did little to protect. The drop in inserts helped much better. Neither prevented rust from forming underneath. A good yearly oil wash and/or grease applications to exposed areas will make it vertically rust free. If you are willing to do that and place plywood over bed, you can better remove and keep better track of rust formation. For light use too, I still prefer drop in which can be removed and inspected.

I’ve been happy with my Bedrug so far ( Basically a closed-cell foam topped with an outdoor carpet secured to the bed with heavy-duty hook and loop adhesive strips/fasenters. Depending on your intended use, it might be worth looking into.

Thanks once again everybody. My intended use is home garden supplies, bicycles, and everybody’s buddy who’s moving.

You can buy the spray on material at parts stores. I’ve never used it, but of anyone here has and has some actual experience to offer, I for one would love to know whether the DIY stuff is good or not.

“You can buy the spray on material at parts stores.”

Prepaint preparation is very important. You need to follow the directions if you DIY. If you don’t clean the bed well beforehand, the bed liner coating will peel off; maybe quickly.