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The Grand Marquis Man
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Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-15-2006, 07:53 AM

A reader from one of The Motley Fool's discussion boards has a question about repairing the decal on his RV, and I asked him for permission to post his letter here. He agreed, so here's his post:

From "GoofyHoofy":

While in storage my RV sits in the hot Tennessee sun all season. As it turns out, this year the big swoopy decals are starting to curl and pull away from the fiberglass shell and look downright slummy.

One guy at an auto store suggested that I take an exacto knife and cut away the curling part, as it will continue to curl and pull up ever more of the decal, and I have done that. I guess I'm not a great exacto knife artist, however, because it isn't the most perfect job ever, and worse, there are a few "pits" where the decal pulled away a bit of the fiberglass outer layer, and a few places where the decal "cracked" as I pulled the offending part away.

Anyway, I am thinking of getting some "pinstriping" and trying to cover the rought edge(s), but I'm wondering if there's something I should do prior to applying it. (As I understand it, it's basically mylar tape in different colors with adhesive backing.)

For instance, is there a way to "level" out the pits in the fiberglass? These are very small, perhaps the size of a few grains of sand, but are certainly visible to the naked eye, and I would think visible after the pinstriping goes on as well.

Second, does anyone have any experience using this stuff, and are there any tricks for making it follow a curve, as these decals are nothing but curved - not a straight line to be found. Most of the curves are rather big and gentle, but there is one tight corner I'm also concerned about. (Total linear footage: maybe 8 feet. Most of the decal is still OK, but there are these pesky parts that are failing.)

Thanks.


If anyone here on DC has expert advice on effecting this sort of repair, I would appreciate your response. I will forward the link to this thread to "GoofyHoofy". Thanks guys!

Charles
   
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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-15-2006, 09:03 AM

Remove them and buy new ones there nothing that I have ever seen that can repair a decal.....He could cut the edges back to the best part but that would look odd....so removal and new is my solution


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Dave's Detailing
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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-15-2006, 09:53 AM

Thanks Beemerboy.

That's what I was thinking, too.

And GoofyHoofy, I know you're monitoring, so let me say that perhaps you should invest in a really good cover for your RV to prevent the sun from damaging your exterior. It might even keep things inside from sun damage.

Charles
   
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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-15-2006, 09:58 AM

I had a similar experience with a boat and I removed the decal...then he had some custom painting done...looked better than decal...and was about the same in cost...That's what I would suggest to this person


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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-15-2006, 10:33 AM

Yeah, I thought about that, too. Another good suggestion. The thing is, painting may be prohibitively expensive on an RV.

When I bought my car in 2004, the salesman told me that the pinstriping is now painted on rather than a decal. Way cool.

Charles
   
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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-15-2006, 12:36 PM

I agree with the replacement or painting ideas. The decals on RVs take a beating with the sun. I love all new ones that have full body paint and am also envious of people who own them. Once the decal is repaired some type of cover would be a good idea. Here is a picture of our set-up:


It keeps the sun from damaging the vinyl and the snow off of it in the winter. Good luck GoofyHoofy.


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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-15-2006, 06:26 PM

Well, I registered mostly so I could say thank you. Unfortunately you guys didn't tell me what I wanted to hear, you told me the truth instead. Heh.

How do you "remove the decal"? I asked the guy at my RV dealership a few weeks back and he said "We don't do that, because it never looks right." I've never had occasion to remove a decal, so this is all new to me. I was going to call the manufacturer, but they're in Indiana, so getting the rig there would be tough.

Anyway, thanks for the info. BTW, I do have a "cover", but I have only used it during the winter months because it's such a PITA to put on and take off, so it's seemed worth it only when the rig is going to be unused for a long period of time. Maybe I have to rethink that. (I keep it at a storage lot, not having enough property to put up a garage like the one in the photo, and the storage lot doesn't permit that sort of arrangement.) I pay $55/mo storage; I just found an "indoor" building big enough to handle for $175/mo. That's a big jump, eh?

Since I'm new here, I don't know if this will work, but here's the rig (it's a '96) - the problem is on the squiggles at the end which disappears into the trees.
http://members.aol.com/goofyhoofy/TheBus1.jpg (I guess I need to learn how to include the photo in the post, but that's for later, mebbe.)
   
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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-16-2006, 10:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by goofyhoofy
Well, I registered mostly so I could say thank you.
Welcome to DC, GoofyHoofy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by goofyhoofy
Since I'm new here, I don't know if this will work, but here's the rig (it's a '96) - the problem is on the squiggles at the end which disappears into the trees.
http://members.aol.com/goofyhoofy/TheBus1.jpg
You did fine in entering your link. I have an idea that you might like. Remove the decal and replace it with a painting of your screen name "GoofyHoofy", following the squiggly convention of the original decal. That would certainly increase the head-turning quotient of your RV!



Charles
   
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Re: Repair Decal on Fiberglass RV Exterior? - 06-16-2006, 10:43 AM

Welcome to the site GH


on the decal can you feel the edges of it? in other words can you peel it back a little before it breaks off?

A heat gun is what I am thinking is going to get this off...you want to loosen up the glue then it will start to peel back...3M has a glue remover that will take off the glue residue that is left over


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