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Old 09-20-2015, 02:38 PM   #1
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BIG Scratches

Hi, I have an RV only 1 month old and I accidentally scraped along tree branches while driving at night. I go outside the next day and see huge long 20' scratches all down the top of my driverside sidewalls (full body paint). I spent about 2 hours with an orbital buffer and still most of the scratches are there and really visible from 15 feet and closer in. I even used buffing compound on one scratch and it barely touched it. Has anyone had something like this happen and what do I need to do? Would I have to have a professional re-apply a clear coat? Is there anything that doesn't cost too much other than leaving it alone, which I might normally do but it's only a month old. Can a professional get out scratches that "normal" people can not. Thanks for any advice.

Ted&Michelle, Matthew, Zachary
Bailey (Mini Aussie), Kishki (Border Collie)
2015 Palazzo 33.2
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:35 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the scratches, I did about the same thing on our trip to Alaska back in 2009. I tried to buff them out with some (but not much) success. They are still visible ~6 years later.

That being said after that I backed into a retaining wall at home and put a good gouge in the fiber glass, had a body guy fix this for ~$700. My wife then my wife side swiped a post at a filling station and did a number on 3 basement doors, fixed this myself, total cost ~$600 and my paint job turned out pretty good.

Don't get too upset with yourself, fiberglass, basement doors, and paint can be fixed.

I'll be watching this thread to see what the recommendations are.

Jim J
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2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:54 PM   #3
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It happened to us as well with our first motorhome. My wife was taking a driving less when she was forced to the side of the road by an on coming car. The scratches were mainly in the clear coat. We took it to our favorite body shop when we got home and they were able to buff it out. We figured they knew more about polishing these things out and had access to all the pro grade products that you need. Total cost was under $300 and the scratches were gone.
Roger & Mary
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:15 PM   #4
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Take it to a good body shop and have it sanded and clear coated as long as you didn't get into the color. The problem with buffing it out you remove so much of the clear coat that it can't protect the color. It's thin enough as it is. Or you could just leave it it'll give your buddies something to talk about at happy hour 😎
Bob & Elaine McClelland and the spoiled pup Izzie
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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We can't see how deep your scratches are but a compromise to having a body shop do a full restoration is to maybe use one of those mobile scratch repair services. A couple we met at an RV park described to us how pleased they were to have some relatively deep scratches removed from their new motorhome by SameDay (which is in the Pacific Northwest but you may have something similar in your area): CLICK ...here are some Yelp reviews for the Olympia WA location: CLICK

I had them take some scratches out of my car and thought they did a good job. They are at least half the cost of what a body shop would charge ...or the estimtates I received from body shops at least.
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Old 09-24-2015, 02:25 PM   #6
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Well, I have a guy coming tomorrow to hopefully get the scratches out and do a full detail at the same time. $345. Well worth it if gets the scratches out. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks for all the help.
Ted&Michelle, Matthew, Zachary
Bailey (Mini Aussie), Kishki (Border Collie)
2015 Palazzo 33.2
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:59 AM   #7
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Not Quite

The guy came out last Friday to hopefully get out the scratches and was unable. He did however polish the whole RV for $300. He did an excellent job. The RV color has some POP to it now. to get the scratches out I would have to re-clearcoat the entire FWS. I guess I'll have to live with the scratches. I'm over it now and will just go out and enjoy! Thanks for all the suggestions
Ted&Michelle, Matthew, Zachary
Bailey (Mini Aussie), Kishki (Border Collie)
2015 Palazzo 33.2
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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Just enjoy it now and make some memories. Memories outlast the scratches anyway, I don't even think of my scratches anymore.
Bruce & Nancy
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:06 AM   #9
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Soon you will be saying "Scratches, what scratches? I don't see any stinkin scratches".
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:50 AM   #10
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The first scratch/dent/gouge is always the hardest. We've still got a crease in a bay door from "kissing" a Rubbermaid mailbox when I forgot about tail swing on a narrow country road when encountering oncoming traffic. If you look at a lot of RV's in campgrounds, there's "use damage" on nearly all of them. Don't fret about it, just enjoy your coach.


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How is it one careless match can start a forest fire but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
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