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Author Topic: Removing decals made fun and easy!  (Read 10647 times)

lezmark

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Removing decals made fun and easy!
« on: May 11, 2011, 06:46:33 PM »
Not really, but I thought if I shared this afternoons adventure it could help others. Not having a shaded spot in sunny So Cal has taken its toll on my decals. The good news is that someday I will have all new ones that Newmar gave me a couple years ago when i crabbed about them. The bad news most of you know, removing the decals is almost as much fun as removing the adhesive that holds them on. Which makes me ask: if one cant easily remove the adhesive, how come it comes loose in the first place? But I digress. After a lot of trial and error this is what i found works best and i was able to remove all the decals on the back of my coach in a couple hours.
I used a single edge blade, a can of bug and tar remover (yes, i tried goo-gone, goof-off etc) and some rags. The rear of the coach was facing the sun so it was warm. I sprayed the decal liberally and then used the blade to slide under the decal. it seems to lubricate enough the blade slides ok. some parts of the decal were brittle and other parts i could pull with one hand and slide the blade under with the other. The next part is just as much fun. Now there is the adhesive still stuck there (yes, the same adhesive that allows the curling in the first place). I used more spray and began sliding the blade to scape it off. You really need a rag that you can wipe this REALLY gooey, nose excrement looking, slime and continually wipe the blade on your rag. It really did come off pretty easy! Just need some patience. I then wiped down the residual small pieces of crud with a clean rag and more spray. The last thing was a wipedown wash with spic and span. I have to admit that i dreaded starting this (you cant stop midway after you decide its a real bummer) and was prepared for the worst and it wasn't too bad. Let me add that the  decals on the back were no more than 4 or 5 inches at the widest part..  I think I will wait for the bigger ones on the side to peel more on their own...
2006 Newmar Scottsdale, 1994 Grand Cherokee toad (GR8 TOAD)

Jim Dick

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 06:53:03 PM »
One must be careful when using a single edge blade. ACE may have a better answer. They now carry single edge plastic blades. I tried one on some sealant and it works very well and I didn't have to worry about damaging the body. May work with the decals.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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2000 American Dream 40' DP
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Tony_Alberta

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 07:12:09 PM »
Dumb question.  Why bother putting new decals back on?

lezmark

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 07:13:43 PM »
Someday I will have a new looking coach!
2006 Newmar Scottsdale, 1994 Grand Cherokee toad (GR8 TOAD)

Bounder Boy

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 07:46:41 PM »
AND, then someday you will have curling decals AGAIN, and then someday you will be going through the whole process AGAIN.
Think I would look into painted accents instead.....

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2011, 08:29:37 PM »
These days you can get painted graphics for the price of decals. Recommended.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
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scottydl

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2011, 11:21:47 PM »
OP makes it sound easy... somehow I'm thinking my rig's decals (12 years older than the OP's) might be a little harder to remove.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
1994 Thor Residency 3500 owned 2007-2012
Now looking for the next perfect RV...

Bounder Boy

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2011, 07:55:39 PM »
I've never met a decal yet a good belt sander couldn't handle  !

OUCH, That's going to leave a mark !
BB

Ramzfan

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2011, 12:02:31 PM »
3M makes a spray-can product that the body shops use. It eats up the vinyl graphic and makes it much easier to remove. It's not cheap but it sure beats razor blades and Goof off. I've re-done a couple of motorhomes and wouldn't attempt one without it. Incidentally, they are not called "decals". A decal is a product that is applied by soaking it in water, removing it from it's backing paper and applying it to a surface. Vinyl graphics are what they apply to RV's (unless you have painted graphics) and are much more difficult to remove.
Any person who trusts or believes that the government will take care of them has only to remember the American Indian...

joepalmersigns

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2011, 07:16:15 AM »
I am new to this site, but I am not new to vinyl graphics as I have been in the sign & graphics business for a number of years.  The best way I have found to remove graphics is with steam.  I have a commercial grade steamer but a dept. store steamer will work as well.  Get a plastic blade and steam the graphic to be removed.  Start an edge with the blade and as you pull, keep steam on the area in front of the pull.  90% of the adhesive will come off with the graphic.  Get a good adhesive remover and remove the residue adhesive. 

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2011, 08:06:54 AM »
Thanks for the tip, Joe.

Any suggestions for an adhesive remover?  I've heard some 3M products suggested, but don't recall specific product names.  And how about the popular Goo Gone?
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

go6car

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2011, 08:54:30 AM »
We just did the great decal removal on our TT (what a pain in the youknowwhat). We had a replacement set of stickers from the manufacturer and put them back on since we only plan on owning this for the next year or two. Otherwise, I actually would have had it painted - if nothing else just to remove the ghosting of the former decals. I think having to replace decals on a 2009 trailer is ridiculous, but that's another topic!  8)

Goof off and Goo Gone were only mildly helpful; 3M adhesive remover was better, but the best by far was Klean-Strip adhesive remover (aerosol). It's clearly not the healthiest thing around (all the warnings will scare the wits out of you), but it definitely worked. I could only find it online (a neighbor gave us the can we actually used for this job).

Ace hardware outlet has it (but only in cases). Here's what it looks like at least:
http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU=998053832

We also used heavy hard rubber wedges (think giant-looking rubber razor blades) to do all the scraping. Those worked great. I don't see them at all online, but they were hanging up in a package of three at Home Depot in the paint section.

My next RV (hopefully a motorhome) will NOT have any decals! Even if we end up having to get another trailer, I'm SO done with these things!   
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2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport

ceemike

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2011, 09:43:12 AM »
Nobody's mentioned WD40 as an adhesive remover.   ;D ;D
Mike & Judy Wagner
From the Keystone State
FMCA F418448
2004 Winnebago Brave 32V, W20 Chassis
2004 Honda CRV
2004 Honda Reflex

vmax1

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I agree "go6car"
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2011, 10:32:21 AM »
Just traded my RV in for one with full body paint. If I ever shop for another RV in the future, I will only look at ones with full body paint.

Alfa38User

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2011, 10:32:21 AM »
That's because Tom (Seilerbird) is too busy with his oil washed generator.  :P Heh, heh)
Stu
Montreal, Canada
Snowbird, SW Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver

rls7201

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2011, 10:45:27 AM »
Thanks for the tip, Joe.

Any suggestions for an adhesive remover?  I've heard some 3M products suggested, but don't recall specific product names.  And how about the popular Goo Gone?

I just removed the stripes on my 95 Bounder. A  local paint store sold me a gallon of PPG DuraPrep Prep502 Fleet Label/Decal Remover. Works great. Paint it on, drink a little coffee and watch the stripe/decal wrinkle up and release. Then slide a putty knife under the stripe and lift it off. Paint it on again and the glue will come off with a light application of the same putty knife.

Richard
Richard Shields
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder
32H F53

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2011, 12:42:48 PM »
This sounds like something we should capture and put in the library. First solid recommendations I have seen for name brand products that are likely to be available to everyone.  Decal removal has become a hot topic now that the decals that were popular in the mid-90's and later have faded or are beginning to peel off.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

scottydl

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2011, 03:37:39 PM »
This sounds like something we should capture and put in the library.

Agreed, and even better would be photos/video of someone using the product on their RV as they work on a decal-removal project.  So if anyone reads this and tries any of the methods mentioned, have that camera handy! :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
1994 Thor Residency 3500 owned 2007-2012
Now looking for the next perfect RV...

rls7201

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2011, 06:10:35 PM »
Agreed, and even better would be photos/video of someone using the product on their RV as they work on a decal-removal project.  So if anyone reads this and tries any of the methods mentioned, have that camera handy! :)

Here are some Pix of my stripe project. Note, some of the stripes just pulled off, 15 minutes after coating. You can see how the vinyl wrinkled from the stripper. Don't get it on your paint. I also included a pic of the finished rear. The gloss is from 4 coats of Red Max Pro. The reason for the color change is because I found the whole red striping kit on Ebay for $175.00
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 06:24:47 PM by rls7201 »
Richard Shields
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder
32H F53

Tom

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2011, 06:19:05 PM »
There's a first draft in the library under Maintenance Items.

Richard, when you post a reply, click Attachments and other options and you'll be able to attach the pictures to your message. They do need to meet the file size limitation but, if you're unable to re-size them, I'll send you an email address where they can be sent, and I'll take care of the re-sizing.

Edit: I see Richard attached pictures. Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 07:02:59 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

joepalmersigns

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2011, 08:03:43 PM »
The Adhesive remover I use is called "Rapid Remover" made by "The Rapid Tac Company"  I get it through Wensco which is a sign supply company out of Grand Rapids, MI.  I am sure if you goggle it you should be able to find a supplier in your area.

Clark Griswold

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2011, 09:38:24 PM »
Nobody's mentioned WD40 as an adhesive remover.   ;D ;D

WD40 is exactly what I used along with a plastic scraper (and single edge utility knife - carefully). I removed ALL the decals on our previously owned 99 Dolphin.   ;)
Mike & Cindy (with Lucy the Miniature Schnauzer and Eddie the Yorkie)
"Until recently" 2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V
Chattanooga, TN

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"That's nothing to be proud of Rusty.  ......fifty yards."

nbounder

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2011, 11:34:33 PM »
You mean  there's a actual use for WD?  How exiting!  The only question I have is will it get all sticky and gooey in a few weeks?

go6car

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2011, 07:31:36 AM »
WD40 is exactly what I used along with a plastic scraper (and single edge utility knife - carefully). I removed ALL the decals on our previously owned 99 Dolphin.   ;)



I know I'm the loan TT-owner posting here, but interesting that WD40 really didn't do that much on our trailer which is why I didn't even mention it.
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2011, 08:11:26 AM »
I too am surprised to hear that WD40 removed a decal. I've used it on a variety of things over the years and it always seemed pretty mild stuff - never bothered anything I used it on.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Clark Griswold

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2011, 05:57:27 PM »
I understand your hesitation but I got the input after spending hours using scrapers, goo-gone, etc.  The great thing about WD40 is that it WILL losen the glue but since it's an oil base it won't leave a stain (unless you don't ever wash it off).  So, all I can say is that it's the only way I'd remove a decal off of a fiberglass sided RV.  No damage to the RV and we're talking a LOT of decals removed!!!!  ;D
Mike & Cindy (with Lucy the Miniature Schnauzer and Eddie the Yorkie)
"Until recently" 2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V
Chattanooga, TN

http://highlightofourtwilight.blogspot.com/

"That's nothing to be proud of Rusty.  ......fifty yards."

mikef

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2014, 10:54:17 AM »
These methods may work great for newer decals, but not for those 20+ years old. I tried all the above methods and finally settling in on trying wet sanding. Most of my decals are sun damaged and too thin to try to peel off.
1992 Winnebago Chieftain 32'
460 Ford chassis, New long block

blw2

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2014, 11:27:23 AM »
I agree.... given the choice I would just choose white paint for the entirety of the RV, with MAYBE a small & simple painted accent.

It's funny, DW & I.... and my 6year old DD all agree, when looking through the brochures, we always picked the base model color schemes that were mostly white and rejected the higher priced color options!
I think for me it's the knowledge that decals get scratched, nicked, torn, and brittle over time.... and colors fade (paint or gel coats), and white reflects the heat....
For them I think it's the "cleaner look"

As it is, the deal we found had upgraded color scheme, with colored body and lots of decals.  I assume the body is a gelcoat color, and I can already see the fading starting from where it was sitting on the dealer's lot so long.  They of course had it shined up with some sort of armor all like stuff to hide it when we looked......
.... so I'll be logging back in in a few years to use that reference that you guys are talking about putting together..... Thank you!!!
Brad
DW Julie
DS, '05
DD, '08
DD, '11
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C
'06 Silverado
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former tent campers

Bill and Debbie

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2014, 07:08:29 PM »
Decals of any kind can be a pain to remove. Just curious if replacement original decals are available for motor homes through the manufacturer?
William Bonsell
Poulsbo, WA

1995 Fleetwood Bounder 34J
1999 Mazda Miata

mikef

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Re: Removing decals made fun and easy!
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2014, 07:11:19 PM »
Last time I checked last year, Winnebago had the decals for my 92 Chieftain.
1992 Winnebago Chieftain 32'
460 Ford chassis, New long block