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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Replacing The Decals on a 5er

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Cruzette

Santa Cruz, CA

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Posted: 07/04/11 08:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We bought a brand new 5th wheel trailer two years ago. It was brand new, never used, but it was two years old when we bought it from the dealer. So our 5er is 4 years old. The decals were fine when we drove it off the lot.

However, two years later the decals are all cracking, much to our disappointment. We owned two 5ers previously (different brands) and stored both of them in the same spot and the decals never cracked on them. Both were more then 10 years old when we traded them in.

I contacted Forest River and they are replacing our decals, they sent us a nice big box, I am assuming it's all the decals. I expected them to pay for stripping off the old ones and replacing them, but that part, according to Forest River is on us. I was informed that they would only replace the decals within the 1st year of ownership.

So now to my question: If you've had your decals professionally replaced, what did it cost you?

If you removed the old decals and replaced them yourself, please explain in detail how to do this. The DH is a diesel mechanic by trade and a jack of all trades. I think he could undertake this task, if he had some instruction. He’s quite handy.

And if you have ever replaced the decals on your RV, would you ever do it again?

Any feedback on replacing decals on an RV is welcome. Thanks!


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skipnchar

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Posted: 07/04/11 09:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not all decal jobs are equal. I would be happy to replace crumbling decals if it were ever needed provided the company who the advertising is for wants to pay for them. I certainly wouldn't pay for decals that won't even last four years. If you want graphics on your trailer visit a local graphic supplier and buy some you like sans advertising if they don't want to pay.


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Fulltimers

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Posted: 07/04/11 10:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Judy,
I too would like to replace some decals on my motorhome. The problem is they do not stock them anymore. You are at least lucky you can still get yours, and for free.

I was going to do the job myself. It is do able but kind of a pain. There are different methods to remove the old decals. One is to use a heat gun to warm them up and try to peel them off. This can be a real challenge if they are cracking because they tend to come off is small pieces. The best method is probably to use a deal eraser. This is like a buffing wheel you put on your drill and it literally rubs the decal off leaving no damage. Once they are off there will most likely be a bright white area where they were that the sun hasn’t discolored so applying the new ones in the same spot should be easy. The trick is to use a soap and water solution to make the surface slippery so you can position them, then carefully squeegee out the solution and let it dry. Sounds like a good weekend job.


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Dockrock

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Posted: 07/04/11 10:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's a Company WE saw at the Pomona ,ca RV show that strips off your old Decals, and puts on new ones . I don't remember what it cost. Thought of striping off the decals of our old Fiver and having them hit it with a coat of clear , but we got a new Fiver instead . I also want to keep it looking New so we cover it up .Covering up your RV is the best thing you can do for it . Unless you have a big shed with air conditioner to keep it in .. Covers are a little hard to put on a Large Fiver but keeps the Sun from beating down on you RV. If you get a cover get one with vents ,or you might get a mold . Also a Once a year Paste waxing will also keep your RV looking Good ,I live by a River and the Birds can use your RV for target practice ,Really Big Bird...LOL.

* This post was edited 07/04/11 11:02pm by Dockrock *


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Retired JSO

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Posted: 07/05/11 07:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used a Walpaper Steamer and a plastic putty knife to remove the large graphics. No damage no matter how long you held it in place. I would be real careful with a heat gun.





Jackthewonderdog

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Posted: 07/05/11 05:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Replacing decals/graphics can be challenging, but it is doable. There really is no easy way to remove the old ones. Many products out there say they do, but nothing beats elbow grease and a lot of patience. Most any sign store will do it for you but the price they charge is based on the removal much more than the application of the new.
I did it myself on a large Class A and let me tell you it is no fun. The eraser mentioned above works on small areas, if you have a large swoosh forget that method and go with the heat gun, but be very careful you do not get the surface too hot, you can damage the fiberglass as well as make a mess out of the vinyl you are removing. Just heat lightly and pick at the edge with some sort of plastic scrapper, than pull gently until it rips somewhere. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Wipe surface with acetone afterwards to remove residue.
Applying the news ones is fairly easy. Spray some soapy water on the side of the vehicle, peel the protective backing off and lay new decal down carefully. It will move easily until it dries, so you do not have to hurry. On large areas get a helper to assist. Use a masking tape covered squeegee and wipe it up and down, getting all bubbles out. Leave it alone until dry.
It is time consuming, but don’t hurry. Remember, any scratches, bumps, old vinyl pieces left behind will show up under the new vinyl, so prepare the surface well before putting down the new.

Cruzette

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Posted: 07/05/11 09:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the above information. I appreciate it very much. Hello Dan, long time no talk. How are you & Susan?

I was a professional wallpaper hanger for 15 years, so I think I should be able to install the new decals, with some help from the DH. I've installed some of that sun block film on a few windows and this sounds like the same skill set is needed.

Also sounds like it's a real job removing the old decals. Not looking forward to that at all.

Interesting, the decals that say cedar creek or Forest River are in good shape and don't need replacing. Just the colorful swirling ones on the sides that need replacing.

As for a cover for the 5er, they are more trouble then they are worth. Been there done that. Takes several people with ladders to put them on and take them off and we use our 5er once or twice a month, so it's too big of a pain for us. If we stored it for longer periods of time, I would cover it.

My point I was making above, on our two previous 5ers, the decals never cracked on them and we kept them until they were 10 years old. In the same spot, under the same conditions as our Cedar Creek. Not the same manufacturer as Cedar Creek. I Doubt that we will ever buy a Forest River RV in the future, unless they are going to give me a 10 year warranty on the decals. That's a shame, I really like their floor plans.

Keep those decal removale and replacement hints and tips coming.

patzy

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Posted: 07/07/11 11:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I removed the peeling SRX decal from my Cougar 310SRX...no problem. Used a hair dryer (careful to keep from overheating each area.) Haven't removed the adhesive yet.

Question is..under the removed decal there are minute little 'cuts' for want of a better word. About 7. I'm trying to get a replacement decal from Keystone, but from reading and researching online, that may not happen and any decals I see on ebay would look odd stuck on the side door to the 'garage' area...conflicting with the lines of the side decals, swooshes, swoops.

I'm leery about those little cuts, especially during the months here in No. CA where we can get driving rains,and you know water..any opening it will take advantage of.

Anyone have suggestions about what I can put over those 'cuts'?

Thanks so much!

I live in the 5th wheel full time so suggesting garaging it etc. won't work.

I've received two emails from Keystone. First one gave me the run around, so I emailed and asked for the name of the company that supplies the graphics for their Cougars. I got an immediate reply saying "Send pictures of the graphics and they will consider."
This is not sounding good, if no replacement graphics forthcoming I'm going to demand name of their graphics dealer.

* This post was edited 07/08/11 09:42pm by patzy *

patzy

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Posted: 07/12/11 03:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jackthewonderdog wrote:

Replacing decals/graphics can be challenging, but it is doable. There really is no easy way to remove the old ones. Many products out there say they do, but nothing beats elbow grease and a lot of patience. Most any sign store will do it for you but the price they charge is based on the removal much more than the application of the new.
I did it myself on a large Class A and let me tell you it is no fun. The eraser mentioned above works on small areas, if you have a large swoosh forget that method and go with the heat gun, but be very careful you do not get the surface too hot, you can damage the fiberglass as well as make a mess out of the vinyl you are removing. Just heat lightly and pick at the edge with some sort of plastic scrapper, than pull gently until it rips somewhere. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Wipe surface with acetone afterwards to remove residue.
Applying the news ones is fairly easy. Spray some soapy water on the side of the vehicle, peel the protective backing off and lay new decal down carefully. It will move easily until it dries, so you do not have to hurry. On large areas get a helper to assist. Use a masking tape covered squeegee and wipe it up and down, getting all bubbles out. Leave it alone until dry.
It is time consuming, but don’t hurry. Remember, any scratches, bumps, old vinyl pieces left behind will show up under the new vinyl, so prepare the surface well before putting down the new.



So the soap and water method of applying decals in no way effects the viability of the adhesive? I'm going through "channels" with Keystone to try and get my decals replaced and (oops) removed one (and no they did not say that voids warranty) If you are familiar with the 310SRX it was the SRX on the side ramp door that was taken off (using hair dryer and slow pulling) and not all the adhesive stuck to the side of the RV and Keystone asked for ALL decals that curled so they are getting photos of the removed decal also. Anyway, I could easily dip them in hot'ish water from the tap (as after removal the peices were waded up and tossed in the trash) and the peices stuck together came apart with ease, thus the query about soap and water to apply the decals. Don't want a repeat of peeling decals..how are yours doing? Are you on the road with them?

Your method seems the easiest, but I wanted assurance they would stick after being 'exposed' to soap and water to apply. BTW what kind of soap?
Any Info is greatly appreciated.

jetboater454

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Posted: 07/05/11 11:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Usually the swirls that fail have a little bit of reflective to them.They don't last long.I have a plotter and make decals and all the suppliers that I order vinyl from do not have any that is 5-7 year outdoor except the solid colors.And no,I will not make trailer decals for just that reason.


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