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Rhino Linings - A Must for Pickup Truck Owners

by Nick Anis

Not every product lives up to its marketing hype, but sometimes, as is the case with the miraculous Rhino Lining (a “spray-on” rather than a “drop-in”) product for applications such as lining the bed of pickup trucks it not only performs as claimed, it it exceeds your expectations many times over.

After 33 years of driving and owning almost two dozen vehicles, my family and I became the proud owners of a 1998 Ford Ranger Pickup.  When our oldest son, Joseph became licensed, my wife and I set out to find him a vehicle.  Because we had a sedan and mini van, we decided also having a pickup truck in the family would make our life easier.  We were right – a pickup truck is an excellent choice for one of the vehicles in your family – even if you are not a tradesman, or an otherwise pickup truck enthusiast.

We purchased a 1998 Ford Ranger 4x4 pickup at a killer price, $2,000 under wholesale bluebook.  It had high mileage, and whoever had done body work on it had applied the paint much too thick.  The truck also needed front left and front right CV boots replaced, transmission serviced, a tune-up, front and rear brake job, and a thorough interior and exterior detailing.  As we cleaned and polished it, we realized the truck should really have all those little dings filled and sanded, the excess paint removed, and a good quality professional paint job performed.  For this project we choose Caliber Collision in Chino, California.   By the time the Caliber people finished with the truck it looked like it had just rolled off the showroom floor.  If you ever decide to paint a vehicle, get yourself a factory paint job from a professional and quality outfit like Caliber – and you will never regret it.

During the painting process Caliber’s Master Painter, Vince informed me that we should not paint the bed because it would be wiser (and more economical) to get a bed liner, and in response to my query, Vince recommended a spray-on liner (he suggested a company called Rhino Linings).  Because automotive is one my editorial beats, and I’m a careful shopper I decided to do some research and shop around for a while.  During the weeks I was “scouting around,” our groceries and cargo went “swashing around” in the back of the truck.  And I began to wonder how the heck does ANYONE use a pickup truck without a bed liner in it?  Or, I mused maybe pickup trucks without bed liners are for people who don’t really need a pickup because they never haul anything.

So after tiring from having our cargo tossed about and in some cases trashed, and watching the pickup’s bed get more and more scratched, we purchased a prefabricated drop-in plastic bed liner and had it professionally installed.  The truck without a bed liner was a bit noisy and once the drop-in plastic bed liner was installed it was quieter in some ways but nosier in others.  My wife, and son and I all found the squeaking and whopping sounds a bit of an annoyance.  Then we noticed the brand new plastic drop-in bed liner was starting to bend, twist, lift, or whatever you want to call it.  Its color and shape was changing too.  And it just didn’t look like it was part of the vehicle, rather like some cheap junk add-on item.  This was particularly galling because we purchased the best quality drop-in product that was specially made my year and model truck (although I noticed the installers did some cutting during the installation).

Seeking authoritative advice on bed liners for pickup trucks I went to see Bill Larkin.  Bill is a neighbor who is a master mechanic who knows more about cars and trucks than just about any living being on the planet.  If I ever become rich and famous I’m going to hire on Bill just to exclusively personally maintain my vehicles.  Immediately knowing what I should do, he looked at me and smiled and said – why don’t you get one of the spray-on liners?  Bill wouldn’t yet give me his recommendation for a specific manufacturer – he wanted me to research for myself so we could compare notes.

After some research I discovered the leading company offering spray-on coverings was Rhino Linings (the same company that Vince, and as it turns out, Bill had in mind).  Rhino Linings has 1,200 dealers and has just completed their 15 year anniversary.  And their product, application methods, quality, reliability, and price are unbeatable.  The average cost for a spray-on Rhino Lining is about $350 – only slightly more than a plastic drop-in lining, but a whole lot better in quality and performance.  Rhino Linings coatings are so durable they are guaranteed for life!

Unlike standard plastic drop-in truck bed liners that we gave up on, Rhino Linings' sprayed-on environmental friendly TUFF STUFF polyurethane provides durable watertight and airtight truck bed protection.  According to the company their coating forms a permanent bond with the surface of your truck bed; the lining prohibits rust, corrosion and surface abrasion from damaging the truck and reducing its value, performance and attractiveness.  After having our Ford Ranger pickup truck done – I can tell you from first hand experience Rhino Lining lives up to all these claims and more.


Drop-in linings do not perform as well.

Rhino Linings are flexible, textured, non-porous and easy to clean.  The lining doesn’t crack or warp, even under the most rugged conditions. We have put bricks, pipes, sod, slid wooden and plastic pallets across it with a fork lift, and so on.  And you’re the type that likes to periodically detail and trick out your pickup truck Rhino Linings has a dressing you can apply to the lining to enhance its shine.

Rhino Lining is a much better alternative than an unlined bed or drop-in plastic lining not just because it insulates against annoying road vibration and noise and corrosion, but also because Rhino's non skid, non abrasive surface texture helps keep your cargo load in place.

Siderail Rhino Linings are available in virtually any color to complement your vehicle; the attractive linings are typically sprayed on up to a " thick on truck beds, and can be even thicker for other applications.  We chose black, a perfect contrast for our white truck and which also happens to be their most popular color.  And after learning just how durable Rhino Lining coatings are, we also stuck with ” thickness.  Also, following the recommendations of Vince, Bill, and the General Manager at our local Rhino Linings dealer, we chose to have the coating done above the railings.

I went to the Rhino Linings location in Norco at the borderline of Rancho Cucamonga, California – a short drive from my home.  The Norco location run by Phil Moorman is quite a busy shop!  While there, I met customers who were having their third and fourth Rhino Lining coatings done; not because it because their lining needed replacing, but because their truck had wore out before the Rhino Lining had, and they were getting a Rhino Lining for their new truck.  There were quite a few commercial companies getting Rhino Linings too; for example Stanley Steamer has the interior of all their vehicles coated with Rhino Lining.

It took about a hour for the Rhino Linings installation team to spray-on the coating my our Ford Ranger, after 2 hours of careful preparation. The preparation involves cleaning and sanding the surface of the bed, and then cleaning it again so that the Rhino Lining material will properly adhere to it, and carefully taping off the area to be lined.  The special blue tape they use has an ultra and ultra thin sharp steel cord imbedded in it, so when they pull off the tape it cuts through the otherwise impenetrable Rhino Lining making a perfectly shaped edge.  With these perfect edges contoured to the vehicle, the spray-on coating looks exactly like it is part of the vehicle and the truck looks much nicer with its Rhino Lining bed coating.  Now we don’t have to worry about the bed getting all scratched up, our cargo bouncing around, road and truck noise, and nasty dirt, dust, rust, and corrosion.

When they finished the job, the installers were going to put on a very nice little chrome emblem inside the bed that said “Rhino Lining,” and when they asked me if I wanted the emblem or not, at first I wasn’t sure.  Well, after having the bed Rhino-lined for several weeks now and having it meet all of our expectations and receiving so many compliments I’m glad I had them affix that emblem.  Because if you have a pickup truck, a Rhino Linings coating is about the nicest option you can add to your vehicle (short of a monster power boat, or a state-of-the-art mobile home attached to the trailer hitch).

Rhino Linings Of Corona & Norco
1157 Hamner Avenue
Norco, CA 92860

Phone: 909-737-8833
Fax: 909-737-9460

Rhino Linings USA, Inc.
9151 Rehco Road
San Diego, CA 92121

Phone: 858-450-0441
Fax: 858-450-6881

Photos Courtesy of Rhino Linings

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Nick Anis is a food, wine, and travel and technology writer with 24 books in print. Nick’s beats include snow and water sports, travel and vacation destinations, entertainment, consumer electronics, home improvement, and automotive. Nick can be reached by email at:

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