A branch scrapes your RV's graphic decal leaving you wondering, what now? You see your camper in the spring and notice how the graphics have faded. You get a great deal on a used RV, and all it needs are new decals. In all these scenarios, you may be wondering how to freshen or replace your RV graphic decals and how much it will cost. For your convenience, we've brought you the answer.
New RV decals cost between $110-$4,000. An RV shop or dealer will replace your decals for $1,500 - $10,000. Decal prices depend on your RV size, the decal type, the quantity of the decals, and the local labor costs.
Below, you'll find a thorough look at the details for replacing your RV decals. How do you protect your decals? Can you paint them? Can you replace them yourself? Keep reading to learn all about RV decal replacement!
Can I Replace My RV Decals?
Before deciding if you should Do-It-Yourself, take a close look at the RV decals to decide what is wrong. Here are some questions to ask:
- Are the graphics removable decals or painted on?
- What kind of materials are your decals?
- What is the texture of the decals?
- Are the decals faded, cracked, and/or scratched?
- What is the manufacturer of the decals?
- How many need to be replaced?
- What is the RV's finish gel coat?
- Do you have the skills to remove and replace the decals?
DIY or RV Shop?
Once you have answered these questions, do a budget plan. Figure out how much time the cleaning and decal removal will take. Will you need scaffolding to reach all the graphics? Price the graphics you want. Put all this in your budget.
Once you have a budget plan of time and money, you can decide if you want to do the job yourself or have an RV shop do it for you. It is a balance of your time, skills, and money.
RV Shop Decal Installation
Since removing graphics can be difficult and time-consuming, you may prefer to have an RV shop remove and install your new graphic decals.
To get you a better idea of what pricing may look like, we pulled together the prices in three large metroplexes across the country. Here are some options with their price ranges:
- Dallas/Fort Worth - Par 3 Wraps with prices beginning at $1,800 to remove and install new graphics.
- Scottsdale/Phoenix - Fast Lane Tints with prices ranging from $1,500-$3,500 for RV decal removal and installation.
- Austin - Wake Graphics offers a great live pricing tool where you input the type of RV, its size, and where you want the graphics to get a price on a custom job.
How Do I Remove RV Decals On My Own?
Step 1. Heat Decals
Use a heat gun, hairdryer, or steamer to heat the adhesive holding the decal to the RV exterior. Do this for a small section of the decal, then complete step 2. For the next section of the decal, grab your heater and keep going.
Step 2. Scrape Decals Away
Peel the decal off using a putty knife, razor blade, utility knife, etc. Be careful to not scratch the RV exterior. This is often a slow, meticulous process. Another great option is to use a decal wheel remover that attaches to your drill.
Take your time. Break the job into sections, heating and peeling as you go along.
Step 3. Remove Old Glue
Wearing good rubber gloves, use an adhesive remover to remove old glue that remains on your RV. Some options include:
Apply the adhesive by spray or with a clean rag. Give the remover a few minutes to work (follow the product's directions). Use your scaper from step 2 to remove the glue residue.
Step 4. Remove Ghost Images
When the glue is gone, do you still have ghost images or ghost letters? This is caused by oxidation. Spray an oxidation remover on the ghost images. Wait. Use a rag and elbow grease to buff the ghost letters until they are gone.
Step 5. Buy Your New Decals
You can buy new graphic decals at Amazon, your RV dealer, or online decal shops. Prices range from $110 to $4,000 or more. The size of your rig, the type of graphics, and the complexity of the design all affect the price.
Online RV Decal Store Options
If you go to an online RV decal store, you can get more extensive graphic kits for your vehicle, ranging from $300 to $4,000. It makes a lot of sense to go to your local RV shop at the higher end as they will do the decal removal and installation for comparable prices.
How Do I install RV Decals Myself?
To DIY decal installation, buy the decal you want. If it is a long one, you will need extra sets of hands. You may also need scaffolding to hang a graphic on the high side of the RV. Planning the project ahead of time will save you headaches later.
Step 1. Clean The Surface
Prepare the surface with soap and water. Use rubbing alcohol to get it super clean. Do not use glass cleaners as they may contain chemicals that could damage the decal.
Step 2. Measure Where to Put the Decal
Measure from the sides or top of the RV for decal location. You can measure by using a flat line on another graphic on your RV. Tape the decal to the RV using painter's tape.
Step 3. Center-Hinge Method
Tape down the middle of the decal. Extend tape 2 inches out on the top and bottom. Peel off the backing paper. Use a flat scraper to press the decal flat, beginning with the hinge and working out. Do the same on the other side.
Remove the painter's tape hinge. Flat scrape the entire decal. Make sure no bubbles are present.
Step 4. Remove The Masking Paper
Peel the masking paper off. You are done!
How do I protect my RV decals?
Protect your RV decals by cleaning and sealing the RV with products designed to do so. Use a soft cloth. You can use a cleaning solution or a clean and wax product for a one-step clean with protection.
Can you put new RV decals over old ones?
Yes, you can sometimes put new RV decals over the old ones. The old ones cannot be cracked or too damaged. If they are simply faded, this is an affordable fix. But removing the old decals will ensure that new RV look.
Can I paint over RV decals?
Sometimes, you can paint over RV decals. It depends on how cracked or damaged they are. You should not paint over raised decals.
To paint over decals, first, sand it down so you have a smooth surface for the paint. Second, clean the surface and outline the decal with painter's tape. Third, spray the paint carefully over the old decal.
Finding the price of new RV decals is not easy with so many factors to consider from RV type to the number of graphics to decal kits to original art. The key is to decide on your time, skills, and budget. With a good plan, you can bring new life to your RV's exterior!