How To Replace RV Decals With Your Own

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.

A Snowball

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

Ditching Suburbia Logo Shirt

Ditching Suburbia Logo Shirt Proclaim your intentions to the world with a shirt or hoodie featuring our well-loved rocket logo.

Styles available: t-Shirts, tank tops, and hoodies.
Colors available: black, navy, gray.

Our truck still had the ‘Boyinks4Adventure’ logo on it.

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.

The Results

Here’s a few photos/videos of the process and results.

The decal package we got from Bush Creative.

The decal package we got from Bush Creative.

The edited version of 'Boyinks4Adventure' just didn't cut it.

The edited version of 'Boyinks4Adventure' just didn't cut it.

The truck ran naked for a day or two.

The truck ran naked for a day or two.

Getting started on the truck door decals.

Getting started on the truck door decals.

Finding the right spot.

Finding the right spot.

Making sure it looks right.

Making sure it looks right.

Final application - no going back now.

Final application - no going back now.

The truck all cleaned up with new decals on.

The truck all cleaned up with new decals on.

Completed rear window decal.

Completed rear window decal.

Washing the rig (He learned to use a hose in a gun safety class).

Washing the rig (He learned to use a hose in a gun safety class).

The whole family pitched in to get the wax job done.

The whole family pitched in to get the wax job done.

Wash and wax job completel - now just need the new decals.

Wash and wax job completel - now just need the new decals.

Front decal in place and visible over the truck.

Front decal in place and visible over the truck.

Follow this rig out of the suburbs!

Follow this rig out of the suburbs!

Using a hair dryer, fingernails, and Goo Gone to remove RV decals.

Applying our new truck decals.

But What About the Resale Value?

Frankly, we don’t care.

Either a new owner will resonate with our brand (which we think is cooler than any stock RV brand) or they can remove the decals and do something more personalized to them.

In the meantime the promotional value and conversation-starting value are worth it to us.

Have You Rebranded?

How about you? Have you re-branded an RV? How did the experience go for you?

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10 Comments How To Replace RV Decals With Your Own

  1. Picture of JenniJenni October 06, 2015

    Looks awesome!

  2. Picture of kay ~ the barefoot minimalistkay ~ the barefoot minimalist October 08, 2015

    Oh man, beautiful job!  You have nerves of steel, my friend.  :)  I love a clean, streamlined canvas to work with.  You know what I dislike?  Hats or t-shirts with logos or sayings on them.  I don’t want to advertise for a company or talk to people with my clothes.  OR, when you buy a car and they put their advertising frames on the license plates.  Man, that’s the first thing to come off!  Anyhoo, if I ever see you guys rolling down the road, do I just wave or do you prefer a honk and a wave?  :)

  3. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink October 08, 2015

    Hi Kay -

    I actually have a blog post in the hopper about the various ways we’ve removed advertising from our worlds. Wearing unbranded clothes, pulling dealer info off vehicles etc are all part of that.

    I’ve pulled literally dozens of stickers off the RV - the hitch, suspension, support legs, window shades, etc all want to get their little marketing spot on our house. Nope!

    If you look close at our truck you’ll note that I’ve debadged it as well - no more “2500HD” on the doors etc. I only left a Chevrolet badge on the tailgate beause it’s over a small dent I didn’t want to expose..:)

    Honk, wave, shout - if you see us let us know!  We love meeting up with folks as we travel!

  4. Picture of Gretchen Richter de MedeirosGretchen Richter de Medeiros October 08, 2015

    Wow, I love what you did. Everything looks clean and crisp and fresh. Did you guys design your own logo? We’re looking for a new one for our site. Cheers

  5. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink October 08, 2015

    Hi Gretchen -

    I more or less had a vision for what I wanted the logo to be, then did a 99Designs campaign to find a designer to bring it to life.

    Thanks for the comments! I think a lot of what you are seeing is actually the removal of all the junk logos, stickers and badges from the truck and RV first. It’s crazy - I kinda wish I had counted/collected all that I removed.

  6. Picture of Jake JeffriesJake Jeffries March 15, 2016

    Looks awesome!  Thanks for posting all of this great info.  I really need to do this to my RV.

  7. Picture of JordanJordan March 04, 2017

    Love this idea!!! We will definitely need to check out Bush Creative once we buy our fifth wheel for our business :) thanks for sharing!

  8. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink March 04, 2017

    Thanks Jake and Jordan. This rig is actually now for sale -save the effort! ;)

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