RV Decals Removal And Replacement Guide

RV decals removal and replacement is an important subject for many RVers.

This is because RV decals can make a huge difference in the appearance of an RV.

They can take an otherwise plain RV exterior and transform it into something that is eye-catching.

So its no wonder that lots of RV owners like to dress up their rig with RV decals.

And many RVs come from the factory with an RV stripes and graphics package already installed.

But over time decals can fade, crack and begin to peel off the RV exterior. And this mars the whole appearance of the rig.

RV decals removal - fading and cracking
This is how RV decals can fade and crack

So this guide is about RV decals removal and about RV decals replacement too. Let’s start with removing RV decals.

Table of Contents

RV Decals Removal Using Heat

Most RV stripes and graphics are made from vinyl material with an adhesive on the back. So there is actually two parts of the decal.

And if you try to remove the decals by hand without applying heat, you will often have a hard time. Sometimes they can be pulled off without heat, but it’s rare.

So a time tested method of RV decal removal is to use a common heat gun. In fact, it can be a heat gun like many people use to remove wallpaper.

The trick is not to get the heat gun too close to the material or the RV surface. But you want it close enough to heat the decals for removal.

And you want to keep the heat gun moving to prevent applying too much heat in one area.

After a few tries, you will begin to find the right distance that works best for decal removal. And you will learn how fast to move the heat gun too.

Your goal is to get the decals heated up so they are flexible enough to remove. But you don’t want to get the RV stripes and graphics so hot that they melt.

RV Decals Removal – The Adhesive

Now you may find that the decal itself comes off fairly easily using a heat gun.

But most of the time, the adhesive that held the vinyl graphic onto the RV will be left behind. And this is where the task gets much harder in many cases.

There are all sorts of products that people use to remove adhesive. Some of these include mineral spirits and lacquer thinner.

Of course, any chemical needs to be tested on the RV surface before use. That way you don’t remove or mar more than the decal itself.

And after testing, these chemicals often do work enough to get the job done. But it will be hard and difficult going in many cases.

So a lot of people will get frustrated and start using a razor blade to remove the decals instead.

In the hands of a skilled professional, this may be possible without marring the surface. But the use of a razor blade on decal adhesive is very tricky.

If you aren’t extremely careful, the blade can dig into the RV surface and leave gouges behind. Then you have an even worse problem to repair than just peeling decals.

So are there better solutions to RV decal removal other than the methods I just described? Yes, and lets discuss how to remove RV decals easier.

Better Adhesive Removal Methods – Rapid Remover

I have installed and removed RV stripes and graphics many times over the years. And I have found a product that makes adhesive removal so much easier.

It’s called Rapid Remover and it is made by a company that specializes in vinyl installation and removal. You can view the product by clicking here now.

Rapid Remover for decal adhesive

If you read the reviews of this product you will see that it works very well for most people.

You just spray it on the adhesive, and let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften it up.

Then you can remove the adhesive fairly easily with a plastic squeegee and a paper towel.

And the good news is that it does not damage the RV surface under and around the decal.

Now it will still take effort to remove the adhesive residue with Rapid Remover. But nowhere near as much work as mineral spirits or other chemicals.

Better Adhesive Removal Methods – Steam

Another method for removing old and peeling RV decals is the use of steam. In fact, a common household steam cleaner can do the trick nicely.

Just move the steamer wand over the decal several times. You will eventually notice that the decal starts to soften up.

At this point, you can often pick up the edges of the decal and pull it off. And in many cases, a large chuck of the graphic will come off too.

One of the best advantages of using steam is that the adhesive often comes off with the decal. This doesn’t always happen. But often enough.

So of course, that makes the job of decal removal so much easier. It really shortens the job time when both the decal and the adhesive comes off together.

But even if that doesn’t happen, the decal removal is very simple and easy to do with steam.

If you don’t have a steam cleaner, they can often be rented locally. But if you want to get one, here is an inexpensive steam cleaner that I can recommend for the job.

Steam cleaner for RV decal removal
Steam cleaner

Better Adhesive Removal Methods – An Eraser Wheel

The methods we have covered so far for how to remove RV decals are best for small jobs.

But what if you have lots of decals and stripes and graphics that need to be removed?

Well, I often faced this situation on RVs that I worked on to remove decals.

Many professional vinyl graphic installers use a product to help get the job done more quickly. And that is an eraser wheel. You can view it here.

Eraser wheel for removing RV decals

These decal eraser wheels attach to a regular drill and uses the RPMs of the drill to do its work.

It is also a product that can remove both the decal and the adhesive at the same time. So its a big time saver.

You just spin the wheel with the drill. Then apply the wheel to the decal as it is spinning.

The wheel will begin to grab the vinyl and the adhesive off the surface of the RV. And it usually flakes off and away from the RV.

This kind of method is safe for most painted surfaces. But don’t use it on anything plastic or aluminum areas.

I recommend that you test it first on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t mar the surface. Then you can use it with confidence.

The use of an eraser wheel makes a difficult job so much easier. And it is well worth the time saved on a big job of RV decal removal.

RV Decal Replacement

What I have covered so far is RV decal removal. But when the decal is removed, most likely you will also need to replace it.

On RVs, this can be tricky. Very often, the sun has oxidized the exterior surface around the decal. So when you remove the decal, you can still see the outline of where it was.

This means that you will probably need to go back with the same decal that you just removed. That is, if you want to restore the RV exterior to “like new” condition.

So the first step in RV decal replacement is to find someone who can make that original RV graphic.

Fortunately, I know someone who can fit that bill nicely. I have known him for many years and he is able to help you get the RV decal replacements you need.

The company is Florida Applied Films and the owner’s name is Shayne. Just give him a call and let him know what you want to do to replace your RV decals.

Very often, if you have a picture of the decals on your RV, he can match the colors and size.

And if you are in the central Florida area, he can install the decal package for you too. But if not, he can ship the RV decals to you.

An example of RV decal replacement replacement on an Alpha RV

RV Decals Installation

RV decals removal is one thing. But RV decals installation is another entirely.

Very often RV stripes and graphics are very large. And that makes sense. Because if you put small decals on the side of a big RV, it just gets lost.

So what that means is that RV decals often require more skill to install than most RV owners have.

How To Install RV Decals

If you do decide to self install the decals though, I have a few suggestions for you.

  • Clean the are where you will apply the decals thoroughly.
  • Fit the decal to the surface first and mark an outline where you want it placed on the RV
  • Then remove the decal backing and spray it with a solution of 5 drops of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle of water
  • Thoroughly wet the back of the decal where the adhesive is
  • Having someone help you, apply the decal to the spot that you outlined on the RV
  • Keep adjusting the decal until it is perfectly in place. If this takes a while, pick up one side of the decal and spray more solution behind it. Do this for the whole graphic. Keep it well lubricated this way while you work with it
  • Once it is in position, use a plastic squeegee to remove the solution behind the decal. Start in the middle and work out to the edges
  • When the solution is removed, take off the decal cover on the front if it has one
  • If there are any air bubbles pop them with the point of a pin

Custom RV Decals

After RV decal removal, you may decide though to change the whole design of your RVs stripes and graphics.

If you do, Shayne at Florida Applied Films can help you with that too. He can work with you to come up with a design that fits your RV.

It’s not uncommon that people like yourself may want unique RV decals instead of the factory replacements.

So working with someone who knows about RV decals is a good way to do that. They have the experience to help you find what will work best for your rig.

And a unique RV decal scheme can set your RV aside from all the others like it.

The Best Wax For RV Decals

After RV decal removal and replacement, you need to make sure that your new decals will last.

The longer they last, the less trouble and expense you have to go through to replace them.

And the worst enemies of any vinyl decal is the sun and the elements. In fact, UV rays from the sun can break down RV stripes and graphics very quickly.

And constant exposure to the outside elements also has a weathering effect on decals.

So you need to use products that slow down this wear and tear that your decals experience.

First of all, I recommend that you wash your RV regularly, not just every now and then. This is important to keep the vinyl graphics clean.

I wrote an article on how to do that easily and quickly. And you can read that article here.

Then use a wax product that can help seal out the effects of the elements. And apply a UV inhibitor regularly to slow down the harmful effects of the sun.

So what is the best wax for RV decals then? I mentioned it in the article I just referenced. It’s call Meguiar’s Ultimate Fast Finish. And you can view it here.

This product will help protect your decals for many months. But I also recommend using 303 Aerospace Protectant as a UV inhibitor too.

Best wax for RV decals - Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish

For me, the use of these two products together is the best wax for decals that you can get!

Conclusion

So this guide has covered both RV decals removal and RV decals replacement.

I’ve showed you how to remove your decals in various ways. Just choose the one that works best for you and your RV.

I’ve also shown you how to get RV decals replacements that look just like the factory ones.

And I also discussed how to get custom RV decals and unique RV decals as well.

And finally, you now know how to use the best wax for RV decals to make them last as long as possible.

Have safe and happy travels in your RV with beautiful stripes and graphics!

Used Class A RVs – The Top 3 Brands And Models

In this article I’ll be covering the top three used Class A RVs that I can recommend. Both the brands and models from the last 10 years or so.

Table of Contents

You know, you can really save a lot of money if you buy a used Class A RV. Because new Class A’s, I’m sure you will agree, can be very expensive to buy.

Especially if you’re going to be looking at diesel pushers. So you can save a lot of money by buying used instead.

Also, sometimes you can’t afford to get the luxuries that you want in a new Class A diesel pusher. But if you buy a few years older, you can. So it’s a great strategy to buy used in many cases.

But the question is, which brands made quality Class A motorhomes that you can find now on the used market?

Well lets go back 10 years for RV brands and models. And we’ll cover the top three brands that made not only diesel pushers but also gas powered motorhomes as well.

Watch my video on the top 3 brands of used Class A RVs

Used Class A RVs – My #1 Pick

So let’s start with number one on the list. And that is Newmar. Now Newmar has been building quality RV’s for more than 50 years now. And they have won numerous industry and consumer awards over that time.

So they’ve got this great stellar reputation for building quality motorhomes. And the good news is, they have a Class A for just about every price range.

So let’s start at the high end. And let’s suppose that you have some serious money that you can spend. And you want a used Newmar.

Well then, look on the high end for the King Aire, the Essex, and for the London Aire. These are incredible coaches! They’re rolling palaces. And you can’t go wrong with any one of these used higher end Newmars.

Newmar King Aire
Newmar King Aire

Now in the mid-range there is a model that has been iconic in the industry for years. And it’s the Dutch Star. Don’t miss this one!

Now you’ re going to see a lot of them out there. And there’s a good reason for that. There’s just a lot of very happy, satisfied owners.

But don’t forget that Newmar also makes the Mountain Aire and the Ventana. They are both in that mid-range diesel pusher category. And they are very good coaches as well.

Now let’s move on to the gassers. The gas-powered motorhomes from Newmar start with the Bay Star Sport.

That’s the lowest cost gasser that Newmar makes. But there’s also the Bay Star as well. Also, please don’t forget that Newmar put out the Canyon Star at times in a gas powered unit in the past.

They don’t do it now, but there were some years where you could buy Canyon Star’s with a gas powered engine. So those are all great choices.

Used Class A RVs – My #2 Picks

Now let’s move on to number two on our manufacturers list. And that is Tiffin. Tiffin’s been building quality motorhomes for 45 years.

They have an excellent reputation for build quality and for customer service. They’re just known for that.

Now Tiffin has been owned by the Tiffin family for many decades. But unfortunately at this point they no longer own the company outright. They sold the company to Thor a few years ago.

However, if you’re buying a used Tiffin made in the last 10 years, there’s a very good chance you’re going to get one that was made by the Tiffin family.

Tiffin’s Brands And Models To Consider

Now on the higher end of the Tiffin line up, there’s an iconic model there. It’s the Allegro Bus. And they are fantastic.

Tiffin Allegro Bus
Tiffin Allegro Bus

They are very solid with very good quality construction. And lots of features and amenities. So that’s a great place to start.

Don’t forget though, that Tiffin also made the Zephyr too. A lot of people don’t recognize that model as much as they do the Allegro Bus. But it’s a great choice in higher end coaches.

Now in the mid range, once again Tiffin makes a model that is so well recognized. And has lots of fans that rave about it. That’s the Phaeton.

If you visit any campground across the US, then you’re likely to see a Phaeton somewhere in it. Especially if it’s a good size campground. So the Phaeton has a lot of satisfied and happy supporters.

But in recent years, in the mid-range, Tiffin’s been making the Allegro Red series, or RED series too. You just choose the engine size that you want. And they can be very affordable in that mid-range.

Now let’s talk about the Tiffin gas powered motorhomes. Because they make one of the best gas powered motor homes that you’re going to find on the market.

Over the last 10 years, they’ve played around with the model name from year to year. But look for the Allegro. Just plain Allegro in many cases. Or Allegro Open Road.

If you find one of these models during the last 10 years that’s in good shape, well then you probably have a real find there.

Used Class A RVs – My #3 Pick

Now lets look at the third manufacturer on the list. And I would have to choose Winnebago for this spot. Winnebago’s been building motorhomes since 1966.

By the way, do you notice there is a trend going on here? I mean all three of these top manufacturers have been around for years. In fact, for decades.

And they have perfected their building processes. So that’s often why they’re so highly recommended. And they all get high marks from both dealers and customers.

Now Winnebago generally tended to put the emphasis on the mid-range and gas-powered motorhomes in their Class A lineup.

And there are a couple of used higher-end models you should consider. That is the Tour and the Grand Tour. And they’re both fine upper range coaches.

Winnebago Grand Tour
Winnebago Grand Tour

But in the mid-range they also offer you the Horizon, the Journey, and the Forza. All of them are excellent choices as well. And some of those name plates go back for years and years in the RV industry.

Now lets look at the gas powered lineup too. And there’s another iconic name there that goes back for decades as well. That’s the Adventurer.

But there’s also the Sightseer. And on the lower end there is the Vista and the Sunstar. All of them are very fine choices for gas powered used Class A RVs.

Well, those are the top three manufacturers of used Class A RVs. And a list of their models that I can recommend for consideration. Especially in the last decade or so.

Get More Quality Brands That You Should Consider

Now is that all of the used Class A’s that I can recommend for you? No, it’s not even close to being all of them. There’s many more that I can recommend to you as being quality coaches that you should consider.

But the ones I’ve given you today are a great place to start when shopping for a used Class A RV.

How to buy used Class A RVs the right way

Now I have also created a guidebook that will have a full list of all of my recommended used Class A RVs.

Both the brands and the models for consideration if you are shopping for used Class As. In fact, there are more than 100 models that I recommend in my guidebook.

You can find the guidebook in my online RV Book Store. Just click on this link to learn more about it.

The guide will help you:

  1. Know which used Class A motorhomes were built with the best quality materials and methods in the past 15 years.
  2. Rank the top quality manufacturers of the past 15 years in the Class A segment of the RV market in order
  3. Get the most important facts about each used Class A model including features and specifications.

And if you download my guidebook on used Class A RVs, there is an added benefit. And that is that I will personally be available to help with any questions you have.

It could be questions about the RVs themselves. Or it could be about the RV buying process.

But I will be happy to personally assist you in your search for a quality used Class A RV.

Conclusion

Now let me ask one final question of you. And that is, do you have any recommendations for used Class A motorhome brands and models? Ones that you feel are worthy of consideration?

Well then, please let me know what you think about that in the comments below.

Well, that’s it for now. Have safe and happy travels my friends!

The Top Three 5th Wheel Manufacturers Of New RVs

This article is about the top three 5th wheel manufacturers to buy from if you want a quality RV.

Right now fifth wheels seem to be a lot easier to find than motorhomes. And that’s apparently because of some of the supply chain issues from Covid.

So the good news is that you do have quite a few more fifth wheels to draw from now.

There’s a lot of brands to choose from out there. And there’s a lot of models made by those brands or manufacturers. So the question is, which ones are the best quality brands and models to buy?

Watch my video on the Top 3 Fifth Wheel Brands

A Guidebook On All Of The Top 5th Wheel Brands And Models

Well, the good news is that I just released a guidebook on this subject. It has a complete list of the top quality 5th wheel brands and models that I recommend as an RV inspector.

My guidebook to the top fifth wheel and toy hauler brands
Click here to view my guidebook

Now in this guidebook I list 12 quality brands or manufacturers of fifth wheels. And there’s 60 fifth wheel models to choose from.

It also covers all price ranges. So there’s a lot of RVs to choose from. It’s not just a couple here and a couple there.

So be sure to download the guidebook. And get a full listing of quality fifth wheel manufacturers and models that are what I consider to be a cut above their competition.

Now I can’t cover all those brands and all those models here in an article. But what I can do is give you the top three brands and models to start with.

And I won’t really focus on the total high end fifth wheels either. It would be easy to just choose 3 of the most expensive 5th wheel manufacturers.

But that would not be fair to those who can’t afford to buy an RV in that price range.

Instead, I’m going to list the best of three different price ranges. The higher end, the mid-range and the lower end.

So let’s get started on the list of my top three 5th wheel manufacturers that I can recommend for you.

The Top 5th Wheel Manufacturers – #1

Now for number one, we’ll start on the higher end. Although this manufacturer also makes some very affordable 5th wheels too.

And that’s Grand Design. Now Grand Design has only been in business for about 10 years. So they’re kind of considered a newcomer to the RV industry.

But actually they have made so much progress in that period! They started out with one fifth wheel. And now they have several models and floor plans to choose from.

Their reputation for quality is very well known. And their customer service is outstanding too.

Quite frankly, that’s exactly what the company had as their main goal. To try to establish a reputation for really good customer service. And stay in contact with their customers.

The Top 5th Wheel Manufacturers – #2

Now let’s move along to the second brand that I can recommend. It’s more of a mid-range cost of fifth wheel, and that’s Northwood.

Now you may not have heard of Northwood quite as much. Of course, almost everybody’s heard about Grand Design. But Northwood is a smaller manufacturer in the Northwest.

Their fifth wheels are made especially for full-time or all season RVers. Now that’s really kind of important.

Because when you build a fifth wheel with the idea of being able to sustain all the weather that you can throw at it, then automatically you’re going to be making a quality RV.

Now they’re not a large quantity builder. But the quality is apparent in their products. And they have lots of loyal customers and fans. So I can recommend Northwood very highly.

The Top 5th Wheel Manufacturers – #3

Now let’s move on to our third brand for fifth wheels, and that’s Jayco. Jayco is actually one of the largest fifth wheel makers and brands in the world. In fact, a lot of people don’t realize how big their facilities are.

They’ve had almost 55 years of RV building experience too. So they know what they’re doing. And they make a lot of affordable fifth wheels too.

So I wanted to put them in this article. Because suppose you can’t afford the higher cost fifth wheels. Well, Jayco probably has something for you that you can afford.

Something about Jayco that I really like is they seem to have struck a unique balance.

And that’s the balance between being a high production builder that also manages to use quality materials and building methods.

There’s not a lot of the high production RV builders out there, quite frankly, that are able to do both. It’s usually one or the other.

But Jayco strikes a very nice balance between the two. So I recommend that you consider them.

Do These Brands Make Perfect RVs?

So these are three quality 5th wheel manufacturers and brands that I can recommend for you. Now are these brands perfect? Are you going to buy a fifth wheel from them and have no problems whatsoever?

No, there’s no brand quite like that. The RV industry is still, in general, making their products by hand.

So there’s a lot of personal involvement in it. And because of that there can be mistakes that are made.

It all depends on the skill level and the focus of the people who work on an RV as it’s built.

But this is what I can say about these manufacturers. They are generally a cut above their competition when it comes to quality building methods. And customer service after the sale as well.

That’s so important because a lot of manufacturers might do well in one area. But they don’t do well in both.

So what I recommend is this. Before you buy any 5th wheel out there, choose it from a quality builder first. Like the ones I have listed in this article.

One More Thing To Do When You Buy An RV

Then make sure you get an RV inspection on any RV that you buy. Even if it’s brand new, or within the last few years of having been made.

Get an RV inspection. And that way you can make sure that all the little hidden issues and problems are taken care of before you take delivery of that RV.

That puts all of the odds on your side that when you get that RV, it’s going to be the RV you paid for from the very first day of ownership.

The Top 5th Wheel Manufacturers – The Full List

Now finally, let me encourage you again to get my fifth wheel buying guide. Because the guide is not going to just cover the three brands and manufacturers mentioned here.

No, it’s actually going to cover several more. And give you the full list to choose from.

That way you have a lot of RV brands and models on the list that you can begin to explore. And I highly recommend that you do that.

And in the guidebook, I’m going to give you all the information you need to be able to compare one model against the other. Including doing it by price range too.

That way you’ll know what models of different manufacturers are all in the same price range. So there’s a lot to benefit from by getting my guidebook.

Well that’s it for now. Have safe and happy travels my friends.

Get My FREE Camping Guide

“The Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Campground Costs”

Get My Newsletter

Save on RV repairs

Get the best RV gear

Learn about RV life

RV tips and tricks

And get my free guide – The Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Campground Costs”