Great Lakes Customs Bed Liner

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Great Lake Customs Bedliner
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I recently bought a Ford F150 and one thing I do to all my trucks is get a spray-in bed liner.  My first truck was a 2003 GMC Sierra and I went with Rhino Linings.  The liner wasn’t bad but I wasn’t a fan.  The shiny look faded away, there were stains early on that never came out and I did have some areas that were peeling.

My next truck was a 2012 Ford F150.  I thought since I wasn’t excited about Rhino Linings, I’d go with a factory-installed bed liner.  And again, I wasn’t impressed.  The liner became dull and stained very early on and peeled in certain spots.  Overall the factory liner was poor-quality material, poorly applied.  First, they just sprayed over all the bolts. And with all the flex in the truck, those spots would bubbly up, rip, and eventually peel.  Plus on the tailgate, they didn’t make sure the liner was applied properly for complete coverage. So when rocks and other debris got in between the tailgate and body, those spots would chip and rust. So again, not a fan of the factory liner.

So for this truck, I wanted something different.

Great Lakes Customs Bed Liner

My partner Dan always takes his trucks to Great Lakes Customs (Crystal Lake, Illinois) to get his truck beds lined. I have always liked the way they look and the way they hold up.  So I knew this was where I wanted to go.

However, I still wanted to find out more about them since it seems like there are a lot of spray-in bed liner companies to pick from.  I went in to talk with them and was sold right away. (Again, it wasn’t a hard sell since Dan always talks about them and the quality of work.)

So what I found out gave me even more reason to want to work with them.  First, the people up front were friendly and knowledgeable.  From them I learned Great Lakes Customs has a ton of experience and has been around for a long time.  Second, they have amazing reviews: well over 100 reviews with an average star rating of 4.8.  Third, they do more than just spray in bed liners. They do undercoating, rust-proofing, and window tinting. They have truck accessories and more. So when it comes to vehicles and after-market services, they have the knowledge and experience.  The list goes on but the main reason I wanted them to do my bedliner is their quality of work.  They don’t just try and get as many done per day as they can.  They do a great job for each vehicle.

Great Lakes Custom vs Factory

Great Lake Customs Bedliner

I know I touched on a factory bed liner but while I was at Great Lakes Customs, I was able to see firsthand how poorly a factory bed liner was installed on another truck.  As you can see, the factory liner was sprayed right over the paint without any surface prep, which is crazy.  No wonder mine was peeling.  As they were taking off the factory liner, it came up in strips and was easy to pull off.  Watching this just reaffirmed why I don’t want a factory liner. They are more money for a lesser quality product.

Great Lakes Customs Bed Liner – Process

Before

Great Lake Customs Bedliner

It might be hard to tell from the pictures but I had my truck for about a month and threw all sorts of stuff in the bed, so it was pretty scratched up.  Not a huge deal since I knew I was getting in a bed liner.

Removal of Accessories

Great Lake Customs Bedliner

Again it goes back to doing things the right way.  While some shops will just cover up accessories, Great Lakes Customs takes time to remove them and do it the right way.  This way the spray is behind the accessory and no chance of a weak spot where it can peel.

Covering

Great Lake Customs Bedliner

Next in the process is covering up everywhere to protect the truck from spray.  Again, they take their time to make straight lines with the masking so when they remove it there are nice clean lines.

Removing Paint

Great Lake Customs Bedliner

One of the biggest steps is surface prep; removing the paint and getting down to primer and/or the metal.  This allows the liner to stick to the truck and have a stronger, longer-lasting bond.  One of the steps others might not take, especially at the factory.

Spraying

The spraying is pretty cool but since I wasn’t in a suit, I couldn’t go in and get better pictures.  Again, just watching how they spray, I can see they take pride.  It wasn’t just spraying to get it done, they took their time, measured, and made sure the thickness was spot on.  They even lay a little more in the areas that will take more abuse.

After

So here is what it looks like after, amazing.  They say the third time is the lucky charm and for me it was.  This is by far the best bed liner I have had.  I like how it’s shiny, won’t fade or stain, and has a lifetime warranty which gives me peace of mind.  The whole truck liner has a nice texture and just looks professional.

What Makes Them Different

Great Lake Customs Bedliner

It might be hard to tell from the picture, but the bed liner goes down between the tailgate and the frame. The bolt was even taken out to help prevent any weak points. So in the end, I would go with this liner and Great Lakes Customs again.  The people were friendly, knowledgeable, and cheaper than the factory.  The biggest difference you get with them is the quality.

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