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Learning how to repair cracked RV graphic decals is a part of life as an RV owner. All RVs come with decals on them, whether they are from the manufacturer or are added on by the owner after purchasing them. Then over time, they will start to degrade and crack. When this happens, it is important to fix them so that your RV looks as good as it can.
There are a few options available to you when you notice that your RV graphic decals are starting to crack. First, you can try to fix and restore them. While this job is the most challenging, it is also the most rewarding. However, most people will not be willing to spend that much time on this project. As a result, you will need to replace or remove the decal.
In this article, we will go over all the essential things you need to know after your RV graphic decals have cracked or become damaged in any way. We will first take you through the process of how to repair cracked RV graphic decals. Then we will tell you how to remove and replace these decals. Once you know how to do these things, we will answer a few other important questions you might have like whether you can paint over your old decals. Finally, we will look at the best wax to use over RV graphic decals.
Like your car, your RV requires a certain amount of maintenance to look and function as well as possible. However, RV maintenance is a lot more time consuming than car maintenance. One aspect of RV maintenance that is time-consuming is the process of ensuring that your decals are in good condition.
Can the Graphics on My RV Be Repaired?
Over time the graphics on your RV will begin to fade or crack. This happens slowly over time and will be more pronounced on the side of your RV that receives the most amount of sun. However, this process can be accelerated by exposure to the elements. Regardless, RV decal cracks are a sign of the age of your RV, and more than likely it is something that every RV owner will need to deal with at some point.
Unfortunately, RV graphic decals are susceptible to fading and cracking when exposed to the sun. Luckily, there are ways for you to repair the graphics on your RV.
How to Repair Cracked RV Graphic Decals
There is no foolproof way to repair a cracked RV decal fully. Getting your RV graphic decals back to how they looked when you first purchased your RV is going to be extremely difficult. In most situations, they will not look brand new. However, you can get it to a point where it looks much better than it currently does.
To properly repair your cracked RV graphic decals, you will need to prime and paint over them. This is a meticulous process that involves preparing the area and applying multiple coats of primer and paint. If you take your time and you do a good job, then you will have great results.
However, this is the least reliable of the options available. Sometimes, repairs to your RV graphic decals can come out looking worse than they started if you do not do a good job. So, you need to be careful and take your time.
How to Remove RV Graphic Decals
Another option available to you if your decals are starting to fade and crack is to remove them. This is also something you can do if you do not like the look of the decals your RV comes with. Many people will opt to remove large branding decals that manufacturers put around their RVs. To get this job done, you will need a blow dryer or a heat gun, some goo remover, and a lot of patience.
The first thing you will need to do is heat up the decal. Start at the edge and heat it up with a heat gun. By heating up the area, you will loosen up the adhesive underneath the decal and make it easier to remove. You will then need to peel off the decal slowly. Remember to do it very slowly because if you move too quickly, you could damage the paint underneath.
Use steady pressure to peel away the decal gently. When it starts to become challenging to tear, you can apply more heat to loosen it back up. This step requires a lot of patience on your part. It is easy to jump the gun and start peeling faster than you should. If you do this, you will quickly realize it will not work. Repeat this process until the decal is entirely removed.
The final step is for you to remove any sticky residue that is left over. There are a number of products that will work, but you will need a good remover for this. Simply apply the goo remover, and you should be able to remove any adhesive left over.
If you have an older RV, you might be left with an outline of the old decal which you will need to buffer to remove.
How to Replace RV Graphic Decals
If you like your RV graphic decals but they are starting to fade, you have a few options. One of the most popular is to replace them with a copy of the old decal. However, it is important not to remove the old decal right away. This is because whoever you order your new decals from will need photos and measurements to replicate your old decal’s color, design, and dimensions.
Before you can replace your RV graphic decal, you will need to find a company that can produce a replacement. To find an RV decal manufacturer, you should contact your RV manufacturer. They may have replacement decals available for your make and model of RV. This is the best option available to you if you have a unique color or you want the stock material.
The other option you have available to you is to contact a local or online sign shop that designs and sells vehicle wraps. They should be able to design and print a decal that matches the original.
Once you have your new decal, you will need to take the time to remove your old decal using the process we outlined above. Then you can install the new decal under the guidance of the company that provided it to you. They will know how to achieve the best result, so you should listen to their advice.
Can I Paint Over My Old RV Graphic Decals?
Yes, you can paint over your old decals. However, since most RV graphic decals are vinyl, they may continue to crack under the new paint layer. Eventually, they could crack through the paint. As a result, you may want to remove the RV graphic decals before you paint your new RV decal.
When you remove your RV graphic decals, you will be left with an outline underneath. In this situation, you can paint over it. The vinyl is removed, and you will no longer need to worry about cracking. So, you can paint over the area to obscure the outline.
If you are looking to add new decals to your RV, you should consider getting decals painted on your RV instead of getting vinyl decals. It is more expensive to get these added, but they will last much longer.
Regardless, it would be best if you did not paint over old decals. But if you choose to go that route check out the video below for a really great explanation of how to paint over your graphics properly.
What Is the Best Wax to Use Over RV Graphic Decals?
Going on vacations all around the country is all most RVers want to do. However, when you travel a lot, it also means that your RV is exposed to the elements a lot more often. Sunlight, moisture, and various forms of dirt and dust can cause your RV graphic decals to crack. That is why it is crucial to apply protective wax regularly. There are many options available to you, so we will look at some of the best products for you to choose from.
1. RejeX Polymer Sealant
RejeX is a tough, air-cured, impermeable high-gloss, ultra-slick polymer sealant and finish that provides unmatched protection against surface deterioration – easily outlasting and outperforming other wax-type products. RejeX encapsulates quartz nano and microparticles inside a carefully engineered polymer matrix structure. This chemistry is significantly more advanced than ceramic coatings and “hybrid” waxes that merely mix exotic sounding ingredients with conventional waxes.
Be careful not to get RejeX on any black rubber or plastic parts of your RV because they will turn a grayish color. If that happens just use some Meguiar’s Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer to bring the black color back to life.
2. Meguiar’s M5016 Marine/ RV One Step Cleaner Wax
If you need a product that can quickly and easily clean, restore, and protect your RV exterior, this is one of the best options available to you. Meguiar’s One Step Cleaner Wax is very easy to use. All you need to do is wash your RV and then apply the wax by hand or with a polisher. You can then remove the excess with a towel.
This is one of the fastest options out there for cleaning and restoring your RV graphic decals. When applied correctly, it will remove minor defects like swirls, scratches, and haziness. A big highlight of this product is that it will restore the original color, shine, and glossiness of your RV’s fiberglass exterior.
3. Turtle Wax T-477R ICE Spray Wax
If you need a basic and affordable wax, you will not find many better options than this one. This product has one primary purpose, to provide glossiness and a nice shine. However, it does have the ability to fill in some small swirls and minor scratches. It also will provide a small amount of UV protection to step your RV graphic decals from cracking and degrading in the sun.
Additionally, the wax can make water bead, so it runs off your RV and the decals very fast. As a result, the risk of water damage is minimized with this product. It is also easy to use as all you need to do is hold the bottle, spray it on, wipe it with a microfiber towel, and you should have a glossy new look.
4. 303 Products UV Protector
The final product we will be looking at is a more expensive option. 303 UV Protector is designed to provide your RV and your decals with long term protection from harmful UV rays.
This product really stands out because it can be used on a plethora of materials such as rubber, leather, plastic, vinyl, eisenglass, PVC, gel coat, and fiberglass. As a result, you can use it on your RV graphic decals without needing to worry about it causing damage to them. Finally, this product is especially effective at reducing fading and cracking on your decals.
Make Sure Your RV Graphic Decals Look Great by Repairing, Replacing, or Removing Them
Learning how to repair cracked RV graphic decals is incredibly important as an RV owner. However, it is equally important how to remove and replace them. Different situations require you to do other things when your RV graphic decals become cracked or faded. As a result, it is essential to have many options available to you. This way, you can do the right thing, no matter the situation.
If you own an RV, you will eventually end up in a situation where your RV graphic decals are starting to fade or crack. When this happens, you do not want to leave them be because it will make the exterior of your RV look old and unkempt.
Fortunately, there are ways to repair them. Unfortunately, the process is very slow, and it is not always 100 percent effective. As a result, it can be better to remove or replace the decals instead. These processes are not very difficult, and they can lead to a better long term outlook for your RV.
When your RV graphic decals start to crack, you might be tempted to paint over them. However, you should try to avoid this if possible. Painting over them will only be a temporary solution as eventually, the decals will peel and break through the new layer of paint. You should only paint over the area once the RV graphic decals are removed.
Finally, you should remember to use wax to extend the life of your decals. Wax can be used to prevent UV damage, which is one of the leading causes for your RV graphic decals to crack.
What RV graphic decals do you have? What will you do what your RV graphic decals crack? Where will you go on your next trip? Let us know in the comments below!