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Old 04-21-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
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Front cap clear shield/film?

I was visiting a local RV dealer (just looking in the 'stuff shop') and noticed and DP out front that looked like it had been in massive knife fight. After a closer look, it appeared that the protective film on it's nose had separated with a zillion small cuts. I thought...uh oh, I have that film on the front of our HR...I wonder if...

Yep. I'm starting to get a small amount of crazing in my film as well. Is this a RV facial sunburn or is the film just breaking down with age?? Is there anything I can do to stop the cracking/crazing, or at least slow the process down some? This stuff looks like it would be a bear to remove and I'm not looking forward to taking it off...not probable without taking some paint with it. Bob
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Bob ...I had 3m film put on my coach the day after we bought it. Mine got to looking bad enough (but not like a knife fight!!) that I decided to peel it off. Basically, the removal method is heat, patience, sore fingers, etc. I got some stuff called "Vinyl Off" online. Rather than heating with a hair dryer or heat gun, my technique was to let the summer sun heat it up, then work it. The recommended method is to pull it in strips an inch or so wide, and work small areas and small pieces. Much of mine came off in smaller pieces as it was scratched and marred like you describe. In some places, it held together in larger pieces.

Whether or not you incur any paint damage during removal probably depends on how well cured the paint was when it was put on. I did loose some hand-sized and larger patches of clearcoat on a light colored paint area. I believe that area was repainted shortly before we bought the coach (due to overspray evidence and some other things ...it had been a dealer show coach). I lost only a very small dot of paint down to metal ...that appeared to be another touch-up area.

I still have some to remove ...waiting for those hot summer days!!!

I also had some film applied just under the engine compartment opening to keep scratches by mechanics, etc to a minimum, and the factory applied come under the entry door above the step. Those two other areas are fine. I guess the front gets more weathering and sun exposure and wear from scrubbing bugs, etc. When I have mine completely off, and get whatever paint repair I might need, I definitely will NOT replace the film. I believe paint and touch-up will be less expensive AND look better for the long run.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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Thanks Paul, for the removal 'how to'. Our film isn't in as bad of shape as the one I saw so hopfully it will be some time before I have to get serious with it. I was hoping that there was a method to slow the crazing or cracking by applying some 'miracle' elixir...wishful thinking maybe. Even with the heat application you discribed, the job doesn't sound like fun and I agree with the plan of not reapplying a film. Bob
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #4
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keep the 3-m shield with only a soft cloth or sponge and keep it waxed. my old coach was 9 years old and still looked like new when we traded it and we were in all kinds of weather. A teck in oregon told me how to take care of it and he was right so do not ever use some of these hard bristle brushes that are out there, not even on your clear coat paint.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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keep the 3-m shield with only a soft cloth or sponge and keep it waxed. my old coach was 9 years old and still looked like new when we traded it and we were in all kinds of weather.
Hey thanks, Ken. It is tempting to just hit the film with the same mesh/squeegie as we use on the windshield to get the splatter off...so wax and elbow grease it is... Bob
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:05 PM   #6
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Our film on our 2005 Meridian, is also crazed and has some fairly significant abrasions from road debris. When you look close at the film you can see that it looks it has started to shrink and pull apart causing thin cracks. I wish I could find something to help restore it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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My motorhome has Diamond Shield on the front. Before I took delivery I talked to a tech at Diamond Shield and he told me to coat it with 303 Protectant at least every three months. I was standing in the dealer's parking lot when it arrived from the factory and within two hours I washed off all the bugs and put on a thick coating of 303. Once every three months I use the 303 and after five years it still looks new - except for two small rock dings.
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