Motorhome Quick Tip: DIY Striping

Results photo of DIY vinyl RV graphics technique
2001 Winnebago Brave that was sun-faded on the outside after the DIY restoration
Photo of exterior of sun-damaged RV before DIY graphics refresh
2001 Winnebago Brave that was sun-faded on the outside before the DIY restoration

I purchased a 2001 Winnebago Brave that was sun-faded on the outside. I wanted to improve the exterior, but didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg doing it. After contacting the manufacturer for a new decal set (not available), pricing a full paint job ($5,000-$8,000) and researching a vehicle wrap ($2,000-$4,000), I decided to restripe the outside myself. I didn’t remove the decals as I knew how difficult that would be. With the help of a friend, I used the existing decals as a template and rough sanded them with steel wool, and then cleaned them with denatured alcohol. I ordered vinyl automotive tape from Letters Unlimited Inc. in colors that matched the originals in size and width. The tape can be cut to fit any size, so I measured all of the stripes and ordered two rolls of the tape (one for each side).

We started on one side, and using a mix of dish detergent and water, laid each of the stripes over the existing decals, spraying and smoothing the bubbles out as we went. For the larger swooshes, I bought 6-inch-wide rolls of vinyl and overlaid them horizontally from the bottom up, overlapping each 1⁄8-inch so water would run over the lap joint. Once the tape was on, using a razor blade and a steady hand, we cut around the decal shape (NOT into the fiberglass). You can see the shape through the new tape by the shadow of the overlaying decal. We did the whole job for less than $400, in about 12 hours.

Ken Bishop | West Jordan, Utah


 

3 COMMENTS

  1. my Carrier Air-V a/c went out on me as no parts are not around forever. is there any A/C that i can get that i do not have to replace the plate to go the in the ceiling vents. or (adapter plate). (the plate between A/C and the roof) thank you John

    • I have an older motor home and will be facing the same issue eventually. I am pondering installing ceiling mount split coil units. Of course, some modifications to the ceiling and roof will have to be made. The roof outside will be just a matter of covering and sealing the hold because just the Freon and power lines will pass through. The interior will require a little more work and planning to make it look nice. I am pondering some sort of woodwork to cover the portion that the indoor coil unit of the split coil doesn’t cover. The biggest challenge will be to protect the outdoor unit from the wind when traveling. It isn’t made with aerodynamics in mind like units made for RVs. The main advantage is that split coil units are much more quiet.

  2. I just used a heat gun to remove our decals, goo-b-gone for the residue left. then masked off new design we liked then bought a few cans of different color spray paint. Took about a weekend.

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