Most RV graphics can be described in one word: swoosh.
I dislike swooshes.
I also dislike an RV that’s 30%-40% covered in vinyl graphics that tend to fade, peel, crack and generally go out of style in 2-3 years.
When we decided to order a new RV I knew immediately I was going to see if I could get it without any graphics applied. I was successful, mostly. The factory agreed to keep the swooshes off but insisted on putting their “Wildcat” name on.
They get the request once in a while and their word for it is “snowball” - because you are left with a mostly white rig.
Removing RV Graphics (easy)
I intended to remove the Wildcat graphics immediately - I don’t like paying +$30K for an RV and then giving the manufacturer a rolling billboard for free. But, well, life happened. Here it is two years later and I finally got to it.
I wish I had done it right away because the white has already faded a bit and there is a little “ghosting” where the graphics were. If you look at just the right angle you can see where they were yet.
The video below shows the process that worked well for all the graphics that were on white fiberglass - basically:
- Use a hair dryer to heat them up.
- Use a fingernail to peel the vinyl off.
- Use Goo Gone to remove the remaining adhesive.
- Wash the spot immediately to rinse off the Goo Gone (I’ve read reports that if left on it can eat the gel-coat).
Removing RV Graphics (hard)
The front ‘Wildcat’ wasn’t as easy. I’m not sure if it caught more sun, or baked on more because it was installed on the gray front cap, but it didn’t peel off the same way.
I tried a number of different things, but ultimately here is what worked:
- No hair dryer.
- I worked while the graphic was in the direct sun so already warm.
- I used plastic razor blades to remove the graphic - they worked great and didn’t scratch the fiberglass.
- I then tried using 3M Adhesive Remover but the fiberglass was so hot from the sun the remover just evaporated.
- I waited until evening when the fiberglass had cooled and then the 3M Adhesive remover worked a treat.
Removing Truck Graphics
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We’re not ‘a family of four on the road’ any more so it was time to remove & replace these as well.
I removed these graphics using the same hairdryer/fingernail/Goo Gone process as above. I also cleaned stickers and the Yakima logo off our bike rack fairing and repainted it, along with giving the mirrors a fresh coat of black paint.
Purchasing New Graphics
We love to support other fulltime RV families so we worked with Bush Creative to make up some new Ditching Suburbia decals for both the truck and trailer. The Bush’s run a sign shop out of the back of a toy hauler 5th wheel, and the whole family is involved in the business.
I hemmed and hawed, measured and Photochopped, and eventually came up with 5 graphics:
- 2 black logos for the truck doors
- 1 URL only in white for the truck rear window
- 1 Black logo for the RV rear
- 1 White logo for the RV nose
Total cost for our package was ~$90.00 with shipping - a price we were quite happy with (but did include a seasonal discount).
Installing New RV Graphics
Once the old logos were off, and the surfaces were prepped (washed, but not waxed where the decals needed to go) I followed the basic directions in the Installation video by Amanda Bush.
The nose of the RV was trickiest. The spot is slightly conical, and everything surrounding it is angled or curved. Getting any kind of reference point to know if the decal was straight was just about impossible. We did the best we could.
The rear RV decal went on in a stiff wind - another situation to avoid if possible.
Once the decals had been on a day or so I waxed over them.
Here’s a few photos/videos of the process and results.