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Old 02-10-2021, 12:26 PM   #1
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After Diamond Shield removal?

We own a 2003 Dutch Star which we purchased new. At the time, we added the Diamond Shield option. Since then we have, for various reasons repaired and/or replaced sections of the material all at a rather high cost. Iíve had it with DS, so I removed all the material below the headlight level on the bumper and applied a ceramic coating.

Question for all those who have removed the DS; what did you do to mitigate road rash damage? I do not want to install a Bra, as I find them unsightly, and Iím certainly not going to install any other clear bra material. As I said, I applied a good ceramic coating, which I feel offers better protection than waxes or sealants, but doubt that it will do much to prevent damage from road debris.

Thanks for any suggestions,
John
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:40 PM   #2
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:53 PM   #3
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I bought more touch up paint. Seriously.

As much as Diamond Shield is a hot mess after 7 yr or so, it does what it is intended to do.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:01 PM   #4
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It seems to me that it would be more efficient to not worry about it and just have the lower portion of the cap repainted every 100k mi.
I think our Tradewinds must be painted with single stage enamel. We have over 90k mi with very few chips and no fading. It also doesn't like the synthetic waxes. They look terrible after applying, so I use marine carnuba and it holds up for about a year if I do 2 coats.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:54 AM   #5
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3m film on in 2003. Removed it in 2009. Had front repainted in 2015 when headlight upgrade was done (would not have repainted otherwise). Have a few dings but nowhere near needing repainted yet.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:49 PM   #6
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Removed the DS from ours and paint was nearly perfect. Two years later it looks like it was blasted by a shotgun! Should have replaced the film. A repaint isnít cheap.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:16 PM   #7
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Although our rig never had DS, the area below the headlights was getting road rashed. I opted to sand and repaint with spray Seymour Truck Bed coating. Seems to be holding up great.
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:01 AM   #8
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I removed mine last year and just keep it cleaned and waxed. Ceramic seems like a good idea.
I keep a bucket of soapy water and brush in the cargo bay. Whenever the windsheild gets bugged up, I scrub it and the front of the coach. I run some water in a second bucket and use it to rinse with a second brush. Takes about 5 minutes at our rest stops. Keeping up with it is key, let bugs harden and it takes forever.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:06 AM   #9
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I wax my DS every six months. 6 years later still looks almost new. Lot easier and cheaper than removing and/or repainting.
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Old 02-13-2021, 11:19 AM   #10
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Just how long a *Diamond shield* or *3M Mask* lasts, is determined by many things.

1. How the coach is stored when parked for extended periods of time
2. The prep of the face before the material was applied
3. How often it sees the SUN and or is camped or parked in the SUN for any length of time
4. Treatments of it, i.e. waxes, cleaners, abrasives, etc.

Our coach is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP and it has the original 3M mask on it, 17 years and 97,000 miles. There is some age "cracking" and a few actual chips from rocks etc. But, you have to get close to see those, around 8-5 feet away from it before you start to see any of that. From 10' away, it looks almost flawless.
However, I have seen many, many much younger coaches than ours with horribly ugly front end masks. I feel for those people. Removing it, especially without any collateral damage, is for the most part, a very, very tough job. Sometimes, it's impossible to remove it without removing paint. THAT get's expensive rather quickly.

So, without a doubt, the 3M or Diamond Shield does have a valuable job and I for one, have really appreciated it being there. At this point in time, with ours, I don't think I'm gonna jump into replacing it due to a few cracks and scratches and chips. Doing so would not bring the value up any, only the cost of ownership. While I take some serious pride in the way she looks, it gets waxed, INCLUDING THE ROOF on an often basis, and the wheels get a serious polish too, that front end is just fine.
Scott
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Old 02-14-2021, 06:30 AM   #11
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How well Diamond SHxx lasts in FL is determined by driving in "love bug season". If you don't clean them off right way, the fluids from their bodies seems to work its way through and leave the ugly brown underneath just like it ruins paint jobs. The only real solution is to vigilant about cleaning.
Funny that nobody I know of puts film on the front of their cars, only vinyl fabric bra's.
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