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Bedliner the bottom panels?

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I saw a couple rigs that were fully covered with bedliner recently. And another with just the lower panels. And THAT is what I think we should do. Black out the bottom of the van - basically just the plastic that's already there and blacking that little strip of silver painted below it.

For one thing, that stupid black plastic looks like crap a day after trying to clean it up. More importantly, we're just going to beat the crap out of the lower section no matter what. I'm sure we'll end up with the tree scratches down the whole sides eventually - too much back-road stuff; but the bottom panels will be toast.

So... there was a thread a year ago. And it mentioned this being done by others. And there was some cautionary stuff about rust getting under stuff?

Anyway... anyone have any input? Even if not your own, anything you can point me to? How or why to do it? or not do it?

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I'm considering it too although it's pretty low on my list of priorities. Except I was just planning on using Plasti-Dip.
Everything I've read about it seems to lean toward "it's super easy - go for it"
This was helpful to read Installing Full-Body Plasti Dip on our DIY Camper Van Conversion – EXPLORIST.life especially like that you can modify the plasti-dip using xylene.
I also plan to plasti-dip my grill since I got the G.D. chrome grill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you maintain PlastiDip like paint? Can you buff out scratches? Does it take car wax?
Good question! I understand the bedliner to be, "just spray more on if it's messed up." Maybe that'd be the approach with PlastiDip?
 

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@gregoryx I have used raptor liner on some flares for my F150 and it has held up really well (9K miles/7 months and some off-roading). I think Plasti Dip is cheaper and can be removed so may try that on the exterior parts of the van you mentioned. The Plastic Dip website has a bunch of videos about application that will answer all the questions on here. they make a more expensive non-removable type as well, can't remember the product name but its on the site.
 

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@gregoryx Ya, spraying the Raptor liner was super easy, set the compressor to the specified pressure and spray it with a cheap Schutz spray gun. They sell quart bottles on Amazon you mix up the components and attach to the gun and spray. pot life was about 30 minutes I think? I also sprayed the bottom of a Four Wheel camper (was painted plywood) with it and it was bomb proof. You can also roll raptor liner on, varying the look with the roller texture. The spray was kind of a chunky look which I liked. It seems impervious. You can buy lots of colors or get a certain auto color to premix
in the other parts for a color match to your paint. The truck flares look pretty good IMHO and match the Diamondback cover almost exactly. The cover came sprayed with whatever brand they use.


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@Ranger Robin, oh yeah. That's the look I want. And rolling it on sound way better - less risk of over-spraying the rest of the van. Love it. (y)
Post what the roll on results are for sure. I love Nate on Explorist.life but their pull handles came off pretty quickly so I wonder the longevity of plasti dip but he makes some great points about cost and being able to just redo anything. The raptor liner seems much more permanent, that could be a good thing or not depending on everyone's wishes. I found the Raptor really easy to work with, I'm no pro and I even drug the hose over a freshly sprayed part (DUH) but was able to just spray some more on and it went away! Pretty forgiving, IMHO. I will price and check out both to be sure if the van ever comes.....FWIW, I'm waiting for your build thread......every time you post a pic its something interesting. The bed, the u/m water tank......hope you will compile something when you can get to it. Or maybe I'll bring a bevvie of your choice and sign up for a tour, my folks are in the OC. I do hope your dad is better. And whole family. I know your pain. 🙏🏾
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Ranger Robin, knowing it was easy to fix a problem is big. Love it.

Build thread? Ugh. Yeah... I guess that would be good. I've documented everything for myself, so... yeah. Maybe I'll do one of those first-post things with place-holders for the details then build it out. That'd give me something to do. 😏

Do come visit! I'd love to hang out a bit - I'll provide wine and beer... or even a few house mixed drinks we like. 🍹

Thank you for the mention on dad. I was hesitant to get personal on here... but being human seems like a good thing, really. 😊
 

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@gregoryx Ya, spraying the Raptor liner was super easy, set the compressor to the specified pressure and spray it with a cheap Schutz spray gun. They sell quart bottles on Amazon you mix up the components and attach to the gun and spray. pot life was about 30 minutes I think? I also sprayed the bottom of a Four Wheel camper (was painted plywood) with it and it was bomb proof. You can also roll raptor liner on, varying the look with the roller texture. The spray was kind of a chunky look which I liked. It seems impervious. You can buy lots of colors or get a certain auto color to premix
in the other parts for a color match to your paint. The truck flares look pretty good IMHO and match the Diamondback cover almost exactly. The cover came sprayed with whatever brand they use.


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Looks great. Any special prep you did?
 

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Looks great. Any special prep you did?
For the plastic truck flares a light sanding, more like scuffing of the plastic and I sprayed adhesion promotor before spraying. Probably didn't need to do both but it was easy. For the camper bottom (painted plywood) no prep just clean it. Super easy. Raptor has good instructions online.
 

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I’m also very interested in removing the exterior trim as well. It really looks like you’d need to do a lot of body work if you wanted to get rid of the trim completely.

Here is a picture of what’s behind the trim on a 2015 (from a YT video).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@gregoryx did you ever paint/plastidip/raptor anything on your van?
Nope. Found a bunch of things that could work... and looked at the spray- versus roll-on options... and the various quality questions... and got overwhelmed. It seemed like the easy-ish DIY options come out looking pretty crappy. And spray-on seems like a LOT of work to mask... yeah... stalled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
following... still looking for options as well. Do you know if any companies in the portland area do this...?
Not I. If I ever return to this question, right now I'd say roll-on Raptor looks about the best option...
 

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I've been looking into this a bit more, and I do want to mention, at some point, Ford did change the type of clips they use on these panels. When I lookup my 2022 parts for clip for these moulding panels, they now have a rubber gasket.


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I think I need to go to the car wash and do some testing...
Might be enough to put some Sikaflex on the top seam to limit the amount of water going behind...
 
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