Getting the Old Decals Off
- Heat Gun
- Gloves (Lots of them! The acetone will eat through them)
- Safety Glasses
- A Drill
Before you begin the job, make sure you have everything in order. You will get dirty and most likely it will not come off your clothes. Wear something you don’t care about. Wash the area of the RV you will be working on to ensure that you don’t end up with scratches or damage from dirt that may be on the surface. The heat gun is the first tool you will start with. Use caution not to get it too close to the surface. If the gun is powerful enough, it can get so hot that it can actually melt the fiberglass. Hold it away from the rig and slowly bring it toward it until you see the decals begin to react. Then you just pull or scrape them off. You will find that some areas will pull off easily in large sheets and some are going to be more stubborn. The sun bakes the decals and depending on how the sun was hitting each area and the color of the decals, there may be some spots that are much more baked on. Once you have everything that you can get off with the heat gun, it’s time to tackle the more brittle stuck-on stuff. Here is where the stripe off wheel comes in. If you’re using a cordless drill, you may want to have extra batteries charged and on hand. Makes sure you get your chuck on the drill tight when you put the attachment on. You don’t want this thing to go flying off! We have found that the number one complaint about this tool is that it makes it hard to get in there tight. You may have to get creative on how to tighten it up. Using the edge of this wheel, buff off the graphics that are still left. Once you get the decals off, you will likely find that some glue has been left behind. Use the magic eraser to clear away as much as you can and then use the acetone or mineral spirits to buff it off. Remember, this stuff is pretty strong. Ensure your area is well ventilated and that you have two pair of gloves to protect your skin. It’s going to take a little elbow grease but it will come off. Now you should have all of your graphics off. If you’re replacing the graphics with new ones or simply painting the fiberglass, you can move on to that. If you plan to leave it the way it is, you may find that there is what’s called “ghost graphics” left behind that you may want to try and get off.