My 2005 Airstream 396 XL flat front diesel pusher had the 3-M paint protector "Invisible Bra" applied when it rolled off the line. The 3-M paint protector product is about the same as the Diamond Shield product which is found on a number of different manufacturer motor homes. The concept was great, a clear plastic film that would protect the paint on a a flat front motor home from rock chips while driving. That part worked, but the product fails after a few years and cracks form under the top layer and it and starts to discolor as well. On my 396 XL the cracks were not as visible as I have seen on other coaches but brown discoloration spots were visible in the adhesive and looked really bad compared to the paint on the rest of the coach. I checked with a few local 3-M installers about removing the 3-M paint protector and no one had any interest in even talking about this. They all said it was a hard job and took to much time and they could not charge enough to make it profitable. So I did a lot of research on the internet and iRV2 forum and decided that if I wanted this removed I would have to do it myself. Heat in some form seemed to be the key in getting this stuff to peel off whether it was from just sitting in the Sun or from a heat gun or hair dryer. I was afraid to use a heat gun and working in the sun was just to hot and did not help all that much as I found out. After doing my research and talking with my local RV repair shop (who did not want to take on the job either) they said a clothes type steamer
was the best way to provide heat to the material and it would not burn the body of the coach. So that is what a used. Here is one similar to what I used.
Conair Compact Fabric Steamer: Appliances : Walmart.com
After heating the material you then have to scrape it off. Metal scrapers will scratch so plastic scrapers need to be used. I tried various types and sizes and the one that I found that worked the best for me is this one from Home Depot.
Economy 2-1/2 in. Paint Remover Tool-DSHHD at The Home Depot
Its strong enough to get under the top layer when a small section was heated with the steamer I could peel off strips about 1/2" to 3/4" wide and it did not scratch the body. Its isturdy like a scoop and the edge holds up better. Once they dull the job gets harder. I went through about 35 of these.
Once the top section is removed you are left with the adhesive. I tried several different types of removers, goof off, goo be gone WD 40, and others but they would not do anything. The best product that I found was the 3-M general purpose adhesive remover.
On-line Product Catalog:*3M
You have to wet it down and then scrape it off. Letting it sit for a while does not help and it will not just wipe off. You squirt it on and scrape, then repeat that several times. Its about $14 a can, I used 10 cans.
This is a big project that takes a lot of work and is very time consuming. I put 30+ hours in on this. The only thing that kept me going was seeing how good it looked as I was taking off sections of the film. I finished up last week with no damage to the paint and I think it looks great. I will live with the potential rock chips. Here are some pictures from start to finish.
I have new updated headlight assembles going on this coming week to top it it off. Glad this is done.