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Old 10-09-2010, 07:01 AM   #1
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puttting new graphics on an old motorhome

I love the swirls and swoops of the new rigs but I'm emotionally attached to my mechanically perfect 1982 Class C. I did find a retailer on E-Bay and my new graphics are on the way, now for the hard part. This weekend is devoted to getting all the old stripes off. Some are even painted right over the original vinyl. Any hints? Also, due to the window patterns it will be almost impossible to have graphics on both sides of the home exactly the same. Could I continue them onto the picture window in my bed area on the door side or just put the mountain graphic in a different place on each side and adapt the swirls to that? Is the ribbing of the older unit going to affect the graphics? Any input would be appreciated. Kathleen
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:13 PM   #2
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You will find that a heat gun will be your friend. This will help on removal and installation.
Go to an auto parts or auto paint store and buy the plastic scrapers they sell just for this removal job. Used with the heat gun it will get the old stripes off without harming the paint (hopefully). You will find the paint under the stripes is a different shade.
Due to the ribbing it will be quite a job to get the new graphics on smoothly. The heat gun can help you smooth the graphics in the ribbing. You will want to position the graphics on the motor home with masking tape before pulling the backing off.
You can put the graphics on the glass if you want, should work o.k. Might want to ask the vendor you bought these from.
While you are buying the plastic scrapers look for a cleaner used to clean the old paint before applying new paint. This will remove any wax, grease, etc. and allow the graphic to bond.
Do the install on a calm day, go slow and be aware the vinyl of the new graphics can be stretched out of shape. The also like to stick together if given the chance. Small wrinkles can be smoothed with the help of the heat gun, but use heat carefully.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for your help. I realized that I have a windowless spot in the center on both sides for the main graphic so that should look better than the window idea. I've decided to paint the entire mororhome before installing the graphics. This will solve the shadows from removed stripes as well as the replaced hatch doors that are bright white on my cream background. Only issue now is completing the job on my days off before the temperature gets too cool to paint.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:03 AM   #4
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Kathleen,

This may be of use to you: We visited the Winnebago plant when we had a 1983 Chieftain, and the Winnies still had real stripes. I always wondered how they got these so straight, and was shown how they used dishwashing soap liquid (or equivalent) to allow the stripes to be moved around during application. Once the liquid dried, the stripes were "permanent".

Some of the stripes and swirls on today's products just look like they were thrown at the vehicle at random; with no thought given to the overall appearance, and the appearance (to me) looks very amateurish. It sounds like you are doing some planning in advance. Good luck with your project.

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Originally Posted by decodancer View Post
Thanks for your help. I realized that I have a windowless spot in the center on both sides for the main graphic so that should look better than the window idea. I've decided to paint the entire mororhome before installing the graphics. This will solve the shadows from removed stripes as well as the replaced hatch doors that are bright white on my cream background. Only issue now is completing the job on my days off before the temperature gets too cool to paint.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:26 AM   #5
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I met a guy in the Tucson area last week who specializes in installing vinyl graphics. He gets his materials from a company called Sharpline. Anyway, he anticipated 2-3 days worth of of work to completely stripe a motorhome depending mostly on how much removal work there is. On our older motorhomes, there is often not much to remove. He said he is able to get the vinyl to work well on the ribbed sides as well, although it's easier on a smooth sided coach.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:10 PM   #6
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As for the graphics not being identical on both the left and right sides, you can only see one side at a time. Most people won't know if they are off a bit.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:03 AM   #7
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I am new to the site but may have some help with this as I used to install vinyl. I used after washing the Auto and drying it down some Windex cleaner to make sure that I could get it lined up where I wanted it before I made it set. you can move it a little and it also lets you get the air bubbles out that can get trapped under it. Once i have it where I wanted the Graphics I took a spoonge and a squeegee. Just make sure your careful when your doing this as you can move them out of place. Then took a heat gun that I used to remove them and used the lowest setting to set them for good. Just keep the heat down and don't get to close. Also as you said you can't see both sides but there is a trick that I used for that. Measure with a cloth tape. Placed them where I wanted them with masking tape or painters tape really and after I had them in the as close as I could get them, was when I started to do the peel and stick. I wish you luck and maybe some pictures of your project would be great to share as well. Would love to see how it comes out.
Hope this helps

James
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:08 PM   #8
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I keep seeing references to use of a heat gun to remove old vinyl graphics - but my '88 Winnie original stripes are pretty old, faded,cracked and apparently dried out - does the heat gun approach still work effectively on real old and weathered vinyl graphics and stripes?




I'd like to completely remove them, and have them painted back on instead if vinyl - perhaps using slightly updated colors - but hate to open a bucket of worms if the heat gun method proved troublesome after i got too far into removal to turn back...

Anyone actually used a heat gun for removal of vinyl graphics like displayed above?
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:01 PM   #9
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You guys have been a great help! I just recieved my graphics but still not finished with the prep. Please just let the weather cooperate with my days off work. I did have to resort to sanding off some of the old graphics and repairing the swirl marks from the drill but nothing else worked. Glazing putty fills the marks and a quick hand sanding makes it perfectly smooth. I'm enjoying the process but it is time consuming and I really want to finish before first snow. Will post pics when I'm done. Thanks again for the great input.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
I did have to resort to sanding off some of the old graphics and repairing the swirl marks from the drill but nothing else worked.
That's EXACTLY what I don't want to run into trying to remove the old stripes off our '88 Winnie - the basic paint job is quite serviceable - I sure wouldn't want to screw it up, and then end up with something looking far worse than what I started out with and wanted to correct!
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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Gary, a heat gun should work but I have not used in on vinyl in the shape yours are in. The heat guns get pretty hot so should soften up even your old vinyl. You can try a heat gun on the vinyl without removing the vinyl, just see if it will soften it up enough.
The stripes on my '87 were about as bad as yours so I cleaned with a wax and grease remover from an auto paint supplier then taped the outline and spray primed them and spray painted them with Krylon high performance enamel from Home Depot.
Looks good from a little distance, but you can still see the cracks up close. I am happy with the results and would do it again.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadman View Post
Gary, a heat gun should work but I have not used in on vinyl in the shape yours are in. The heat guns get pretty hot so should soften up even your old vinyl. You can try a heat gun on the vinyl without removing the vinyl, just see if it will soften it up enough.
The stripes on my '87 were about as bad as yours so I cleaned with a wax and grease remover from an auto paint supplier then taped the outline and spray primed them and spray painted them with Krylon high performance enamel from Home Depot.
Looks good from a little distance, but you can still see the cracks up close. I am happy with the results and would do it again.
An interesting approach - might very well be a good compromise way to go with fewer OOOOOPS pitfalls - thanks!
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