by Steve Savage, Mobility RV Service
Nothing ensures a rapid sale more than how something looks, which leads to this thought. Many manufacturers use decals that are so thin or applied so poorly that you will be lucky if they make it through the first couple of years. When it’s time to sell your RV, peeling and frayed decals translate to an RV that’s likely to languish in the yard for a long time. Try and trade it in and be assured dealers will devalue your trade significantly if the exterior looks trashy.
So what can you do? First, before buying, search for examples of the model you are considering. If you can easily find three similar models with peeling or frayed decals, move on. I call this my “three strikes and you’re out” rule for RV shoppers, and I apply it to every system and feature. If the model you lust after “strikes out,” consider another manufacturer! On the flip side, some manufacturers do a much better job with their decals. Support them online and at their dealerships.
If you own an RV you know has a problem with peeling decals, keep it covered or out of the sun. Covers are a pain to put on, but they do work. I know, I know — It’s kind of crazy to buy something designed to be used outside that you can’t store exposed; but in this era of anything for a buck, that is the way it works with some RVs.
Can you replace decals? Sure, and they are not hard to do — but even if you can get the manufacturer to supply a new set, it doesn’t take long before you are looking at the same problem you started with. Eventually you will simply be worn down trying to maintain something that is not designed to be maintained.
You also can have new decals made by almost any shop that does vinyl graphics but, based on our own experience, quality vinyl graphics are not cheap.
Finally, some folks resort to removing the decals on their RV. Not a good idea because it is obvious, makes the RV look cheap (in my opinion), and hurts resale as much as frayed decals. Isn’t it simpler to just avoid the problem by avoiding manufacturers who use poor-quality decals?