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Old 10-18-2016, 05:06 AM   #1
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Newbie question - full paint?

Hello All!

Newbie dreamer/planner here and just starting my research. Hoping to take the plunge a year or so from now but already feel like I'm behind. There's so much to learn!

I've been browsing a lot of makes and models to see if I can figure out where I want to be (just wait until I start asking questions, lol), but one thing I've noticed is that a lot of ads mention "full paint" or something similar to that. It's done so often, there must be something to it. I've read a few books already and browsed quite a bit online, but I'm a little stumped on this one.

Isn't "full paint" (or similar phrases) standard? Can someone help me out? I feel like I'm definitely missing something here that's potentially important.

Many thanks in advance for the help.

Michelle
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:59 AM   #2
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I believe the difference is in the accents (stripes/swirls/etc) that adorn most all RVs. "Full body paint" would tell you they are masked off and painted on, as opposed to vinyl decals that we commonly see cracking and otherwise deteriorating after some years of sun exposure. Paint can deteriorate too, I realize, but I think the paint stands a better chance, overall. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:07 AM   #3
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Full paint usually refers to how much of the exterior is clear coated. for example my coach only has the bottom doors and a center strip painted, while the rest of the coach is fiberglass/gelcoat white. A lot of the newer units are completely painted. Problem is that over a period of years fiberglass can develop cracks. So, if the coach is fully painted then it a very expensive to repaint. Gel coat oxidizes faster than clear coat so it takes a bit more care, but never repainting. Clear coat is damaged by stone strikes and pressure washers so starts to flake off after about 10 years or so. I think it is one of those half dozen of one 6 of the other, things. I also have noticed that most of the graphic designs on huge coaches seem to look like a seagull flew over and pooped while underway. But the graphics help hide the bulk like a fat old lady in an Hawaiian moomoo..... Sorry mom....
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:21 AM   #4
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Full paint, or Full Body Paint, describes that the RV is fully painted. Regardless of the underlying surface (in most every case that is fiberglass), the surface is prepped and painted. Most modern paint jobs are a base coat of the color or colors, followed by a top clear coat. In lower cost RV's, the quality of the paint and the number of clear coats may be minimal. In mid to higher line rigs, the paint is usually covered by at least two or three coats of clear. Some are then wet sanded and buffed.

I've owned RV's with just gel coated fiberglass and decals and two with full body paint. It is no question a good paint job will hold up better (in terms of gloss and general good looks) than gel coat. This assumes you provide proper care.


Just like with a car or truck, darker colors require more effort to keep them looking clean. I had a black truck one time..... it would stay clean for 30 minutes! It was my first and last black vehicle.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:22 AM   #5
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I'll add my thoughts. Full body paint was once reserved for higher end, higher "quality" MHs. You now see FBP on all "quality" level MHs, which can be deceiving to novice buyers. Don't let the glitz and glitter, both outside and inside, confuse you into thinking you're buying a higher quality coach.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:24 AM   #6
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My coach has full paint, but it doesn't look like it. It's predominantly white with painted stripes and swirls.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:44 AM   #7
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Full-body paint means that the entire body is painted and clear-coated. I had three 5ers before getting the MH and it was a continuous battle trying to keep the black streaks off!
With the full-body paint I can wipe the streaks off with a dry cloth!

The paint on my 14-year old MH looks almost brand new!

That would be high on my list of priorities in looking for a new RV!
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:04 AM   #8
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Full body paint is so easy to take care of and it can always look shiny and new...if you take care of it. Just like a car you need to wash it and shine it. We loved the difference of care and looks between our 5th wheel without paint and motorhome used for 8 years with full paint. Our motorhome looked brand new when it sold.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Full body paint is so easy to take care of and it can always look shiny and new...if you take care of it. Just like a car you need to wash it and shine it. We loved the difference of care and looks between our 5th wheel without paint and motorhome used for 8 years with full paint. Our motorhome looked brand new when it sold.
I agree 100% that FBP is easier to care for and to keep looking good. We've only owned our Newmar Mountain Aire 4304 for less than a year, but I had FBP on my boat for two decades (versus just gel coat fiberglass). Paint is less porous than FG and thus dirt and stains are less likely to stick and easier to remove. You still have to care for it. Recently, I've taken to using one of the many "waterless" wash/wax products ("The Solution"). I like this because sometimes water spots, particularly on dark paint and when the water is really hard (alkyline) are tough to remove if not caught right away.

Our coach is 11 years old and although there are a few chips (we touch them up with factory paint touch up paint), it still looks fabulous.

We made FBP a high priority in our purchase decision.

Good luck with your search!

Gene
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:18 AM   #10
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The opposite of Full body paint is Gel coat. Look up" faded gel coat" or " my gel coat does not shine " or similar threads. Then compare. Happy hunting
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:27 PM   #11
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Thanks so much!

Wow! I've definitely come to the right place for answers. Thanks to everyone for clearing this up. I knew there had to be something I was missing for sure (and I'll now add FBP to my growing list of must-haves)!

Many, many thanks. And if I'm committing a message-board faux-pas by not responding to everyone individually, please don't hesitate to let me know. I don't spend a lot of time on boards so I don't quite know what the etiquette is and I don't want to be considered rude in any way.

Michelle
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THTRMGR View Post
Wow! I've definitely come to the right place for answers. Thanks to everyone for clearing this up. I knew there had to be something I was missing for sure (and I'll now add FBP to my growing list of must-haves)!

Many, many thanks. And if I'm committing a message-board faux-pas by not responding to everyone individually, please don't hesitate to let me know. I don't spend a lot of time on boards so I don't quite know what the etiquette is and I don't want to be considered rude in any way.

Michelle
The "Thanks" button at the bottom of each post allows an easy way to thank folks individually to meet your above goal.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:03 PM   #13
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Which button is that? I don't see one on Tapatalk.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjurrens View Post
Recently, I've taken to using one of the many "waterless" wash/wax products ("The Solution"). I like this because sometimes water spots, particularly on dark paint and when the water is really hard (alkyline) are tough to remove if not caught right away.

Our coach is 11 years old and although there are a few chips (we touch them up with factory paint touch up paint), it still looks fabulous.
'The Solution' is also the only product we used on our motorhome. It is so easy to apply and similar to you, our 8-year-old motorhome looked new. We also use it on our cars - never wax them. This product is a very good protectant from the elements.
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