Your graphics can start to lose their color due to extended exposure to the sun and elements. There could be even more extensive damage to them if you or the previous owners weren’t diligent in keeping the RV cleaned and waxed periodically. If your graphics are cracked and peeling, unfortunately there is nothing that can be done short of replacing them. We will talk later about preventative maintenance that will help to avoid this, or at least prolong the life of your graphics.
In order to care for your graphics, you’ll need to know what type of graphics you have, as your course of action is dependent on this. Some graphics are painted right onto the side of your RV. This is true of higher-end RVs and motorhomes. Many RVs have fiberglass siding, which is smooth and makes the fairly standard vinyl decals stick well. This makes the graphics semi-permanent, and often contain UV inhibitors to slow down the process of fading. Some RVs have corrugated siding, which becomes troublesome for graphics, as they are harder to clean and wax, creating a situation for graphics to fade and deteriorate more quickly.
There are few products out there that boast the cure for restoring your graphics, but there are a few suggested methods to helping restore those graphics to new! Most of these work for vinyl graphics, as they are most likely going to be the type to lose coloration. As a general rule of thumb, always be sure to test a small portion on your graphics before trying to restore all of them to ensure that there are no negative reactions or discolorations!
McKee’s Vinyl Decal and Graphic Restorer
This solution was developed by McKee’s RV, and claims to restore faded graphics, as well as protecting new graphics from fading and from normal weathering. It is a polymer-based solution that contains oils that remove dirt and grime from the decal while restoring it to its original shine, as well as creating a water-resistant film to help protect it. You can find it at the McKee’s website, and the cost is $24.99 for an 8 ounce bottle.
Silicone spray renews a variety of materials and protects them by creating a clear film on the surface. These sprays could work well on your RV’s graphics and help to protect them against the elements. These are generally fairly inexpensive, ranging anywhere from $5-$10, or more.
Trim restorer was developed for the trim on automobiles, but could work for your RV’s graphics as well! They’re made to restore the color and shine of faded trim, and to protect from future weather, washings, and sunshine! It claims to protect for three months, but since it is developed for trim and not RV graphics, it nat not last as long, or it may last longer. It’s really a trial-and-error process! These are also inexpensive, costing anywhere from $5-$10.
Taking care of your graphics, and your entire RV, will keep them lasting longer! It is important to wash and wax your RV regularly, at least twice a year or more, with more frequent washings. Waxing will keep grime and buildup from accumulating on your RV, as well as on your graphics! A lot of waxes have a UV protectant in them, which will prevent sun damage and fading of your graphics! Also, it is a good idea to use an RV cover if you have one, since it will protect it altogether from the sun and weather!
In conclusion, it is always best to remember that the best defense is a good offense when it comes to your RV graphics. Protecting them against the sun and elements will keep them from deteriorating in the first place. Hopefully these tips will help you restore your RV’s graphics to make them look sleeker, shinier, and newer! Have any additional restoration tips? Share them in the comments section!