Ask The RV Doctor – Decal Decay
Q. Dear Gary, I own a 2004 Flagstaff fifth-wheel which, as far I know, has always been outside with no protective covering. The decals on all sides have started to curl up during the last couple of years. Is there any way to restore (re-glue) or replace the decals? I have had some people tell me to take them off and go “au natural.” I’m not sureI want to do that but will if need be.
–R. Whittmore, Bonaire, Georgia
A. Richard, a sad fact to realize is that with constant exposure to the elements and the changes of seasons, RV exteriors take a lot of abuse. Even when properly cared for, UV bombardment and ozone contamination simply happen. At some point, all decal-type graphics on RVs will have to be replaced. You are apparently at that point now. The glue backing has simply lost its inherent sticking ability and there is virtually nothing that can be done except look for some replacement striping. Perhaps your dealer can order the original size and color for you. Extended life can be realized for decals and other graphics by always using a full-coach cover when the RV is not in use. And by cleaning and protecting the finish regularly, two or three times a year. More often if you live in areas of high ultra-violet radiation or ozone producing zones. You can replace the graphics or opt for a more expensive fix which is to have the graphics painted on.