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Paint Wraps for Your Overlanding Vehicle

Whenever you go off road, you risk scratching your vehicles bodywork. Some people with older vehicles accept this as part of the deal, but if you have just bought a brand new truck, you may be thinking about ways of protecting your investment.

In this article, we will be looking at how you can change the colour of your vehicle, protect the original paint work and the various ways of doing it.

Photo 1 of Paint Wraps for Your Overlanding Vehicle
Photo courtesy of 4x4wraps.com.au

When we bought the 4x4Explorer truck it was a standard Toyota Prado. I’m not sure what the official name of the colour was, but to me, it was purple with silver alloy wheels and plastic trim. We went through a bit of “mission drift”, as the original idea was to keep the truck looking stock standard. We then realised that the truck could become a great way of show casing what we were doing and wanted to create something that would be recognised everywhere and help to increase the awareness of the website.

Back in 2015, I met Aaron Rich, now a close friend, who had a Pajero which he had coated in rubber paint. I thought it was a great idea, but at that stage 4x4Explorer was not even an idea. Fast forward to 2018 and we had created 4x4Explorer and I was looking at what I could do with the purple Prado.

I phoned around various companies to get quotes to have it sprayed or wrapped and everyone came back with prices of between $5,000 and $8,000. This was far too much for a 1997 Prado that had only cost me $10,000 in the first place.

One Friday evening, surfing the internet, I came across various videos reviewing products with which you could effectively rubber coat your vehicle as Aaron had done with his. The next day, saw a trip to Super Cheap Auto to check out the range that they had on offer.

We originally thought that we were going to paint the Prado Tangiers Orange in homage to the Land Rover G4, however, the texture was too rough and would have been very difficult to clean. Another reason why we had wanted to go for Orange was that we had met John Pearson, the editor in chief of Land Rover Owners International back in 2010 on a Pyrenees trip and he had told me that, apart from the safety aspects of having an orange truck, it photographed well in poor light.

We tried a few different products and colours before settling on mat black. Not the most visible colour, but it really allows the Tangiers Orange logos to “pop”. In the very unlikely event that we ever sell the truck, the rubber coating can be peeled off and the original paintwork should be intact and scratch free.

Photo 2 of Paint Wraps for Your Overlanding Vehicle

A word of warning. These rubber coatings will dissolve when they come into contact with petrol. The first time we filled up, we got a few drips on the bodywork and decided to wipe them off. To my surprise, the petrol came off, but so did the rubber coating.

Other advantages of using a rubber coating are that the preparation time is minimal. We cleaned the truck with dish washing liquid, to remove any grease and then starting spraying. I think that the whole job took a couple of hours from start to finish. The other thing is that if you do get a good case of “bush rash”, you can simply just spray over it.

The total re spraying of both the New Zealand and Europe 4x4Explorer vehicles was about $400 each. If you decide to go down this route, there is a lot of information available online and some helpful videos to show you how to get the best results.

If you’re worried about the resale value of your vehicle and like its original colour, a good option could be to have it wrapped in a scratch resistant clear coating. Most of the scratching that will occur will be below the windows, so you don’t have too have the whole vehicle wrapped. This will keep the cost down dramatically.

As always, we hope that you have found this article interesting and useful and we look forward to meeting you out on the tracks!!

This article is part of the Building an Overlanding Vehicle Series.

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