Protective Material On Front End

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Kevin Means

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Was mildly curious about how well the protective films that have been used on the front end of coaches in recent years have held up (I.e. 3M, Diamond Shield etc.). Anyone experience any yellowing or cracking?

Kev
 
Hasn't been an issue for those guys and gals showing cars (roadsters, hot rods, sedans, etc. with very expensive paint jobs) at the Goodguys car shows.  Also, quite a few Harley riders are using that stuff on their front fender and front fairings now.

A 2013 Lamborghini here at work has it, too.  I think he gets a new Lambo every year or two so really no time line there.
 
I believe I would rather deal with the Rock  Dings.  My is beginning to blacken around the edges and wherever the Rock Dings broke the Mylar coating. 

The "blackening" looks like mold but is is impervious to all the cleaners I Have tried, even undiluted Chlorine.  From what I have seen, the coating have a life of about 7-10 yrs, not sure of the cleaning routines on the ones I seen.
 
Luxury class coaches have had front end protection shields as standard equipment for some time. Lexan shields, vinyl bras and now the "paint protection films". I see an awful lot of complaints about the films on the American Coach Owners Group - discoloring, mold, dings and scratches, and very expensive/difficult to remove & replace. Only a few seem satisfied with them over the longer term (5+ years).  When we had to have the front end of our coach re-done after an accident, the shop strongly recommended against any type of front end cover/film. Their advice: save the money for the film and simply re-paint it when it gets too rough-looking. Cost is about the same on a multi-year basis, so I decided to follow his advice. Once a year I use touch up paint on any chips and it's looking like we will get 6-8 years out of it. Of course, some people are pickier than others about the look of the paint, so your mileage may vary.
 
Try straight form the container.  The container being what you can buy at your local Grocery Store.  Meant to say Clorox.

Excuse my Faux pas.
 
I have had vehicles with a few different types of film covers. Some gave discolored a one didn't. The one that didn't was the 3M brand. The shop that put in on said you get what you pay for and prep work before is the key. They prefer doing new cars over older car because the paint is virgin to wax. When they do a job they will remove all the wax and sealers first. I was told that is what discolors, nit the paint.
 
I have had Diamond Shield on 2 coaches. The first coach had to have the coating removed and replaced by Diamond Shield because of mold in the Diamond Shield. The second one the 2009 Fleetwood is starting to show signs of having the same problem. I believe I would rather deal with the paint chips so I am now debating if I want to replace or just remove it.

I see a lot of coaches with a bra installed. I don't know how good an option the bra is and whether it is a suitable protectant.
 
And the bottle of bleach you buy at the store is very much diluted - typically about 5% sodium hypochlorite. You wouldn't want to get anywhere near 100% chlorine without protective gear!
 
RLSharp said:
In addition, 100% chlorine is a very toxic, corrosive gas!

Some of us are old enough to remember the WWI vets who had been gassed.  Bad stuff.  I nearly got gassed in a chem lab at school when the power to the hoods was hooked up wrong.  Not good stuff as we had to haul the professor out of the room, he did get a good dose and was never the same.
 
gwcowgill said:
I see a lot of coaches with a bra installed. I don't know how good an option the bra is and whether it is a suitable protectant.

I have a bra on my American Dream. I don't like it as it's ugly but it does protect the front very well. I always remove it when staying in a place for any length of time. On this trip, I have not removed it as we are moving every week or two. It's showing wear and the vinyl has started to separate from around one of the grommets. I also do not understand the price the charge for the item. I would replace it if it wasn't so expensive!!

They are also very hard to install if it's cold outside! I usually will bring it inside the coach and let the heated tile floor warm it up before trying to get it installed.
 
gwcowgill said:
I see a lot of coaches with a bra installed. I don't know how good an option the bra is and whether it is a suitable protectant.
I put a bra on our 2004 Vectra to cover up the ugly 3M Diamond Shield.  It worked well to do that.  We sold the coach a few months back and the new owner had the coach's front end sanded and repainted.  The bra really did accelerate the black mildew growth in the Diamond Shield.  That stuff really grows in our high humidity and heat in Florida.

I was surfing the local Fort Myers craigslist and saw a ad from a guy who specialized in removing Diamond Shield.  I had seen several threads on various RV sites telling how to remove with Goo Off and plastic razor blades.  Never got around to doing that.
 
My buddy Mike removed the clear shield from his 2004 Endeavor awhile back. He is a skilled craftsman but it took him days with plastic blades, heat gun and solvent to get the film off and he still ended up with a couple of scratches too deep to polish out. It's not a job for the feint of heart nor the impatient.
 
Gary RV Roamer said:
My buddy Mike removed the clear shield from his 2004 Endeavor awhile back. He is a skilled craftsman but it took him days with plastic blades, heat gun and solvent to get the film off and he still ended up with a couple of scratches too deep to polish out. It's not a job for the feint of heart nor the impatient.

Gary, a good friend of mine took his off his 03 Newmar too. The best way he said was to face the coach into the hot/warm sun!

Scott  :)
 
We had a black bra on our last coach.  It looked ugly and wasn't very easy to take off and on when we needed access to the front generator.

With this coach we had the 3M film put on at the factory (by the 3M person) and we've been quite pleased with it.  There are some places where small rocks would have ruined the paint, but the 3M film took the "hit".  After quite a few years we're beginning to be able to see the lines where the pieces fit together, but you have to be really close to see them.  From 20 feet away no one would even realize the film is there.  We liked it so much we also had it put on our new car.  And we put it on the headlights of both cars because "headlamps" are now really expensive!

ArdraF
 
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the responses. After reading your posts, and others that I came across after conducting a "Search", it seems that opinions are indeed very mixed.

Kev
 
Ive had 2 coaches with the Diamond Shield.  Both began showing dark mold behind the shield within 4 years.  Expensive to install and expensive to remove.
 

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