Truck Wraps?

Weighing the pros and cons

October 2014 Feature Beau Belnap

Go ahead, admit it. There is nothing to be ashamed about. Some people may frown on you for it, but you shouldn’t hide it anymore. I promise that you’ll feel better after you say it. Repeat after me: I am madly in love with my truck. There is something special that happens when you own a truck. You love the beat it makes. You feel like you are in control. You feel powerful. When you drive it, you feel like you and your truck are unique. But then it happens. Another truck pulls alongside you. Same model, same paint color. Suddenly your world crashes around you and you don’t stand out as much. What a predicament. Surely there is something that can be done so this doesn’t happen again? The answer to this problem is actually quite simple: you wrap it.

Wraps have been around for a while now and they are certainly attention-grabbers. That’s why a lot of companies use them for advertising. Mobile ads are noticed more than billboards and signs. But lately they have become a fashion sense, like those jeans with the holes in them.

And like jeans, your options come in more than just one color, size and/or length. You can get the solid color option, where you can magically change from blue to black, or white into red and beyond.

Arguably one of the biggest reasons truck owners prefer wraps to paint is because unlike paint, you can actually get a flat color with a wrap, which is a popular and unique look that a lot of owners are searching for.


You can get any solid color you want, or if you are feeling like you need a skin that is truly unique for you, there are plenty of options for that too. You could have flames enveloping your truck. Skulls that glare back at your admirers. The possibilities are almost endless. Whatever you want, most companies can do it. Alan Sabey of Pixelworks says they use a special printer, which works almost like the ones that you use at home or at the office. Except this printer is about 64 inches wide and uses solvent-based ink.

The cost for these kinds of truck makeovers depends on the size of your truck, i.e., based on square footage as well as the amount of difficulty. If your truck has a smooth surface, it will be much easier to apply the skin. Of course, the more surface area the skin will cover, the more it will cost. So if you wanted to save some money while still making your truck look its best, there are places such as Toyskinz located in Idaho Falls, Idaho, that offer half wraps that you can ask for.

Full Wrap

You also have the option of covering the entire truck, windows and all, but you are warned up front that it may be a little dangerous to limit your visibility. Yes, most skins have the “window perf” option, which means the skin has holes which you can see through, but it is still considered an obstruction of view. Most states, if not all, have placed specific laws regarding this type of wrap, so before you make any decisions be sure to do your homework first. Even then, most companies that do wraps advise against it since it is a risk to the driver and to everyone else on the road.


The cons to having a truck wrap are the weather elements. All companies have said that the skin serves as a SPF sunscreen of sorts for your truck’s original paint. So if you were to get a partial wrap and leave that on for a couple of years, the result you would see when you remove the skin would be the original paint job with faded paint surrounding it. This is called “ghosting.” There is also a possibility that it could chip and peel, but some vinyl companies have material that can withstand temperatures over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn’t mean they are sun-proof, especially horizontal surfaces such as the roof of your truck. Troy Downey of APE Wraps in California says that even though most materials for skins can last up to five years, direct exposure to the sun can hinder its lifespan to a little over a year.  As for colder weather, the skins are meant to be outdoors. Unless the wrap wasn’t properly installed, you shouldn’t experience any damage to the skin due to the elements. And they are perfectly safe to the body of your truck. Cody Fresh of Toyskinz says they provide all of their skins to the Bullrun Rally.

“If I thought that it would harm the paint of a Ferrari, I wouldn’t use it,” says Fresh. “But if you plan on wrapping your truck, be sure to cover it or keep it in the garage often to guarantee its maximum lifespan.”

So there you have it. If you have any other questions be sure to contact your local shop or one of the quality companies included in this article. What are you waiting for? Go give your truck a custom look today. 

APE Wraps




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