As the years go by, your RV starts to lose its shine. Your smart and appealing decals that were a part of who you are and how you like to roll, starts fading and cracking. Sometimes it happens even sooner than one can expect. It’s all about the exposure to sun rays. As the graphics show cracks and tend to fall off the RV walls, the inner paint gets uncovered. This can be a problem especially if you are trying to sell your RV. Even if you get rid of the old decal, the dust lining all around it will remind you and everybody else where the decal was. Going for a full body paint job seems to work, but it will cost quite a bit and will hardly compensate with the resale price. So, before you are ready to sell RV to a dealer or try your luck with some other selling options, you need to take care of your RV graphics to get a desired value for your rig.
Here are a few ways in which you can remove and replace your RV decals without wasting a lot of money:
Use Protection from Sun
It’s obvious isn’t it? As sunrays do most of the damage to RV decals, and shorten their lives, the best way to take care of the problem is to block the sun. But, as your decals are glued on the exterior of your RV, it will be exposed to the outer environment more than any other part of the motor home. Covering it won’t work as good as you want them to, and needless to say that it will kill the looks of your motor home. Fortunately, you can use vinyl strip protection sprays to protect your decals from sunrays. These spray products have UV screening technology that shields your vehicle graphics from the harmful UV rays and slows down fading or cracking considerably. However, you would have to use it frequently depending on the exposure level of the sun at your current location. Try to make a habit of cleaning the decals with a sponge or cloth before using the spray.
Removing Your Graphics
Sure the protection spays will work on your decals, but if they are already too damaged to protect, you should consider getting new ones. But, before you start scouring for attractive graphics, you need to remove the old ones. If you do not want professionals involved, you can use vinyl eraser or stripe off wheel to remove cracked and faded graphics from the RV wall. However, when using the stripe off wheel, make sure you do not aim it towards removing painted graphics. For small graphic designs, you can use your fingernails. But, be careful that you do not damage the paint underneath. If the DIY decal removal doesn’t seems to go that well, you should go for professional assistance.
Getting Rid Of the Decal Residue
After removing your ratty old decals, you would still have to take care of the decal residue. Without removing the adhesive from the old graphics, you cannot replace them with new ones. You need to buy adhesive removers to get rid of the residue. Don’t use harsh chemicals or abrasives, or you might damage the paint underneath. Put on your gloves, spray the solution on the residue and wait a couple of seconds before cleaning it off with a sponge.
Removing the Ghost Lines
Even after removing the vinyl strips or cleaning the residue, you will have the thin semi-translucent lines that indicate where the decal was. Let us call them ghost lines. Soap and water generally don’t work on these lines and neither do regular industrial strength cleaning solutions. You need special oxidation remover to get back the color of the weather-exposed areas. You can buy oxidation remover from departmental stores or from on-line shops as well. Spray the oxidation removal solution on the ghost lines and let the potion soak in for a few minutes before using a fabric, paper towel, or a brush to clean off the area.
Wrap Your RV
You can wrap your RV with vinyl graphic after removing the decals. These products are made from the same material as the small graphics, but they are huge in size and can be used to blanket the RV. However, before going for this option, remember that these vinyl graphic items are expensive and prone to fade or crack, just like the decals that were on your RV wall. So, make your decision after comparing all the facts.
Get New Graphics
After getting rid of the cracked and faded decals from the RV walls, put on your shopping shoes to find new graphic strips. New vinyl strips can cost you anything from $20 to $200 depending on their size, theme, and details. It can be a financial stretch for you to arrange that kind of money, especially when you are trying to sell the RV. But, try to understand that new and shiny looks will bring you more selling opportunities than cracked and faded graphics on your vehicle.
You can keep the RV without any graphics if you wish which will kind of defeat the purpose of going through all that trouble removing the old decals. However, adding these interesting elements would add a new charm to your RV. Depending upon the design you choose, it can also make a great conversation point. . So, go for the new look and find new graphics to increase the resale value of your RV.
You can contact your RV manufacturer for the right vinyl strips. If they fail to help, try the Internet. You can browse through them to get the best product. When you are ready to sell your RV to a dealer, sprucing it up might look like an unnecessary expenditure, but it’s worth giving a try. With the new decals in place and a clean new look, you would be able to increase the resale value by quite a bit.