Originally Published in Issue 31 of 4Low Magazine
In 2017, when Ghost Town Products built our adventure trailer, it had everything we needed, a 4’ x 5’ box, room enough on the 26” tongue to hold a generator, fuel can, and cooking equipment – mounted on Maxxis Razr tires with Raceline Wheels and an ARB roof-top tent. It’s been perfect. Until it traveled cross-country in the winter, spent two summers in the Arizona heat and hit every kind of weather on the Rebelle Rally traverse. That’s when the little trailer that could started showing its wear. The box, the tongue, the tires and wheels, all of that is just fine – no complaints! I’d get another in a heartbeat.
But the paint and the surfaces were taking a beating. All those extreme temperatures were affecting the look and appeal of the trailer. We started looking for solutions, from paint to powder coat, we finally settled on spray-in bedliner. But not just any spray-in, we went with the best, Line-X.
Line-X has been around since 1983; they are the only spray-in liner that offers you choices. From the level of protection you want, to the color you want to match. While the option we were after included basic black, we wanted a coating that could withstand the abuse we put it through. All Line-X dealers are independent franchises. Let me tell you about our franchise of choice.
Tyrone Miller owns the Line-X franchise in Rancho Cordova, California, a northern suburb of Sacramento. Tyrone bought the franchise from a customer almost six years ago; he had previously been in sales with Trans Wholesale, so he knew the market. On an average day, Tyrone and his crew of two, complete eight bedliners. Our project, while not unusual, takes a bit more time.
Everything must be masked to be sure it continues to be functional when completed. That’s the key to a coating like Line-X. It seems easy to just spray it on to the surface you want, but you always have to take into consideration the hinges, the doors, the places where metal comes together. Each of those areas requires special attention. All the hardware gets removed, included all the tie-down loops, the handles, the doors. Function over form, always. While it needs to look good when done, if something no longer works, the customer isn’t getting what they want. Reviews drive the business, so the customer has to be pleased.
On a typical spray, wire tape is applied to create a crisp line when the masking is removed; brown kraft paper covers the parts that aren’t to be sprayed. A great deal of effort goes into the preparation. When the part is ready to be sprayed it goes in to the spray booth. With Line-X, the spray booth is simply a place to keep the material in one place. Because there are no toxic materials in the compound, the only thing that needs controlled is the mess. The application process is simply a spray and stick, the additional material is not airborne, it falls to the ground. It then takes but seconds for the compound to cure. Depending on the level of protection you are spraying, that could be 30 seconds to two minutes.
There are different levels of liner that can be sprayed, it makes sense to review your usage to choose the right one. The standard or premium is usually perfect for bedliners. A topcoat can be applied for added protection, but if you really want the protection to exceed anything else out there, go with the Platinum. It is “hella stronger” than anything else you’ll find, like 300 times stronger.
So how can you use Line-X on your off-road rig? How about protecting your rock sliders and running boards, the exterior of your mirrors, your tailgate? If you are driving in tight woods and regularly get pinstriping from the trees, you could apply Line-X to the doors, or go full out and protect the whole vehicle. If you’re in mud regularly, have it sprayed in the inside tub to make it easy to clean and prevent rust. And if you’re like us and take your rig and trailer everywhere, just spray the whole damn thing. Colors are available to match whatever you have in mind. Once all that is done, don’t forget to leave a review for your Line-X franchise – five stars for you, Tyrone Miller of Rancho Cordova!