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Old 04-17-2015, 12:34 PM   #1
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Using a Buffer

I am considering using a buffer on my 5th wheel. I have searched for and read previous posts about this on iRV2. The question I have is will using a buffer harm the decals or do you have to carefully have to avoid them. This has not been an issue doing the job by hand but I have never used a powered buffer before.

Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:05 PM   #2
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A power buffer can quickly create enough heat to melt the vinyl decals. Also be careful of removing caulk around windows and then distributing it back on the surface of the RV. Use light pressure and always keep the buffer moving across the surface.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:23 PM   #3
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Some good videos and reading on this site. http://www.griotsgarage.com/category/videos.do
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:35 PM   #4
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As others pointed out be careful around vinyl decals or you will melt them. I used to use a buffer until I discovered Rejex. It wipes on easy and it wipes off easy without the buffer. It also lasts longer than wax jobs since it is a polymer sealer. After you apply it the first time the next time it will go on and off a lot easier and use less Rejex.


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Old 04-17-2015, 09:32 PM   #5
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If you use a dual action buffer you will lessen your chances of damage to the paint, gelcoat and decals. There are several brands and price ranges out there. I use the Port Cable 7424 XP which can be purchased many places.


Here is where I purchased mine a couple of years ago. Porter Cable 7424 XP Dual Action Polisher - dual action orbital car polisher, car care kits, buffer kits, PC 7424,7424XP, 7424 XP, porter cable Home Depot carries them also, here is the barebones unit Porter-Cable 6 in. Variable Speed Random Orbit Polisher-7424XP - The Home Depot
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texnet View Post
If you use a dual action buffer you will lessen your chances of damage to the paint, gelcoat and decals. There are several brands and price ranges out there. I use the Port Cable 7424 XP which can be purchased many places.


Here is where I purchased mine a couple of years ago. Porter Cable 7424 XP Dual Action Polisher - dual action orbital car polisher, car care kits, buffer kits, PC 7424,7424XP, 7424 XP, porter cable Home Depot carries them also, here is the barebones unit Porter-Cable 6 in. Variable Speed Random Orbit Polisher-7424XP - The Home Depot
I agree, use a dual action or random orbit and don't apply to much pressure on the decals to avoid heat build up....
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:11 PM   #7
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Having spent more time on a buffer than i care to remember I can add this. Most general use buffers are relatively harmless. They do not have the power to allow the kind of loading that will quickly do any damage. A good commercial grade unit that draws 13 - 15 amps will burn a ditch right through paint and decals if held in one place while loading it up. Using a buffer on fiberglass is different than paint. Most RV's have siding made of "filon" and do not have a shiny gel coat finish. This stuff can get porous with age and using rubbing compound can make a mess. Gel coat is closer to automotive paint but is a little more durable.

All that said.... If you are "waxing" the unit I would go with a orbital buffer / waxer, they are harmless. If you are trying to buff the unit to restore some shine I would try a small spot before you commit.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:21 PM   #8
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Orbital is much safer. Buffer is capable of doing some expensive damage.

If the surface is too chalky-wash the coach with "web" put web on a Mitt-do a small area (2X2) Hose web off. After you have washed the whole coach-you can use an orbital to put a Shine on your coach, doing 2X2 areas as well. Web has acid in it-do not leave it on the coach undiluted-put it on & get it off.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:51 PM   #9
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One other thing I actually remembered toady when i looked at the side of a dark colored car butchered be a buffer. Improper use of buffers can leave terrible swirl marks that can be a bear to get rid of.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:05 PM   #10
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A high speed buffer will get many people in trouble on RV's--heats up the surface too much.
A dual action polisher with a foam applicator is the way to apply polish and wax.
You could use an orbital terrycloth polisher to remove the wax, however.

I have a Porter Cable D/A polisher and a high speed polisher. The Porter Cable is easy to use. Polishing with the other one is very physical and I seldom use it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:32 PM   #11
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I use a dual head, orditial buffer. It's multi speed unit that can deal with about any blemish problem. As was said by others, stay away from the decals because they will be destroyed.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:00 AM   #12
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I just polished the fading gelcoat front cap on my Arctic Fox. (Don't get me started on the fading front cap issue, that's a topic for another post). I used it right over the front decals with moderate pressure and it didn't try to peel them off. I was careful to make sure the rotation of the pad was away from the decal edge to minimize lifting. I usually would buy a good name brand like Porter Cable, but I decided to try the one at HF, I think it was $54 with a coupon. I've used it for several fairly big projects and so far, I'm pretty impressed with it. Works as good as most of the air powered ones I used when I worked in a body shop.
6 in. 5.7 Amp Heavy Duty Dual Action Variable Speed Polisher
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:03 PM   #13
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Using a Buffer

Thank you to all who responded. After reading your input I have decided to give this a try. Again, Thank You.
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