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Old 02-01-2017, 12:56 AM   #1
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Raptor Lining On Penthouse Top

So in 3 short weeks I make a little overnighter to Fresno and have the Penthouse Installed.

One option i may have agreed to was the raptor lining on the top. Van is white, penthouse will be same. I was told it's a good option if I am gonna walk on it etc. But my plan is a full rack up there so I really won't be walking on it.

I have seen a couple pics of what I think were raptor sprayed tops and they for sure had that texture. Not sure if I like the texture. Kind of think shiny might be better.

Any thoughts, opinions, experiences with this spray on the tops??
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:12 AM   #2
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Get a light color so as to not keep the heat inside your van. Eventually that's what I plan to do... So far I have polyurea 3/4 of the way up the sides of my rig... and a grey top. Evenually it will be either a SMB or a CCV pop top...
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:42 AM   #3
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Oops. White van with white top
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:02 AM   #4
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So I am new to the pop tops and just moved one from one van to another. The top I moved came from hot dry sun and hadn't been waxed in years. The fiberglass was in really bad shape from direct sun and no UV protectant. I would imagine with a full rack you won't be able to apply a good coat of wax on it to help protect it over the life of the top.

I raptor lined my top and glad I did. I would highly recommend it.

Just my two cents, I am still really new to the van life and there are people here with a lot more knowledge then me.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:25 AM   #5
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I raptor lined the penthouse top on my 1997 SMB. My top was in relatively good condition (especially for the age) but I was attracted to the additional level of protection that the Raptor Liner added, as well as I like the look. Easy to apply and bomber stuff.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:31 AM   #6
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If Raptor liner is anything like LineX, the texture can be varied depending on the pressure at which it is applied. I believe a higher pressure results in a smoother finish.

I had the inside body of my Bronco LineX'd over 16 years ago and it's still holding up great (prep is the key). It was very shiny to begin with, but quickly took on much more of a matte finish, I'm guessing because it trapped enough dust to kill the shine. I definitely prefer the matte finish especially as my Bronco is very utilitarian.

Also keep in mind, IMO spray in bed liner does not provide a grippy surface to walk on. Some slight improvement over a gel coat penthouse top no doubt, but nowhere like a friction-tape surface that many people unrealistically expect (OK, I might include myself in that category).


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Old 02-01-2017, 08:01 AM   #7
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I've used UPOL Raptor Liner on two tops, ordered off Amazon and sprayed myself. I can't say enough good things about it. Using the supplied gun with the kit the texture produced is plenty grippy add traction, but that's not the biggest benefit. The biggest benefit is that you're DONE up there, and you are definitely not done with paint on the top. Paint collects dirt in the grooves, the clear coat bakes into an ugly mess, and with a rack you can't get to it to address these issues. Raptor/Rhino or whichever of the many of these out there now put a quick end to all issues with a top IMO. It's great stuff!

I too have seen it laid down with different tips producing a different texture, so just ask SMB if they can do that. Certainly someone has requested it before by now.

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Old 02-01-2017, 08:06 AM   #8
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One thing to consider is if you want the PH hardware (bolts, washers,...) covered with the Raptor liner, or the hardware removed, the top sprayed, and then the hardware reinstalled. I don't know if the second option is available if you have it done at SMB.

I think people here have done the Raptor liner both ways, but I don't know if there are strong advantages to one method over the other. I see both pros and cons to both methods.


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Old 02-01-2017, 09:50 AM   #9
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I believe I will stick with the coating and ask if they can smooth it a bit, but either way it sounds like folks are pretty happy with this stuff.

I have seen beat down gel coat, it's not fun and it's a costly repair.

I'll ask about the hardware thing. Seeing as how they seem to not be able to figure Stainless Steel and all.
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:01 AM   #10
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This has been on my list to do for quite a while, and I hope to finally do it this spring. One question I have: I have Thule tracks to install basically along the length of my EB PH top (in prep for solar install also on the list). Should I install the tracks before spraying (covering them with tape), or is it better to install them after the liner is sprayed? I assume if I install after the liner, that I'll have to smooth out the liner surface somewhat to get the tracks to fit tight against the top.
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