Thursday, June 8, 2023


Is an after-market RV paint protection policy worth it?

Dear Dave,
We just purchased a new trailer and it has been recommended that we get Platinum Shield Paint Protection applied to the manufacturer’s RV paint job to protect it from yellowing. Does this make sense, and are many owners having this product applied to their new vehicles? —Walter

Dear Walter,
Since you did not provide a make, model, and year of your new trailer, it’s hard to determine what type of RV paint scheme you have. It could be full body paint, a combination of paint and decals, or just decals. However, with all of these, the underlying material is a fiberglass skin typically produced by Filon/Kemlite (Crane Composites).

Over the years there have been dozens of aftermarket paint protection products with most coming from the automotive industry. Typically they are a spray-on polymer, which is designed to coat the unit and provide protection from fading and also scratches.

RV paint, fiberglass, and decals

If you have a full-body paint job, typically there are a couple of layers of the actual paint and then a variety of layers of clear coat. Most trailers only have one or two layers and this clear coat can fade when exposed to the sun. The front end of trailers is the most affected as they are exposed longer to the harsh UV rays of the sun. Just like a car, some type of UV protection is required to keep the paint and clear coat looking new.

Fiberglass starts with fibers and resin in sheet stock and a clear finish added called gelcoat. Back in the 1990s, most manufacturers had very little gelcoat, but rather had a matte finish on the panel that would hide waves and imperfections. Then the market wanted an automotive “shiny” finish, so more layers of gelcoat were added and the more glossy the sidewall became. The matte finish fiberglass would start to fade and turn a pink color if not protected, while the gelcoat version would get cloudy and chalky. Decals are manufactured with two different materials and can last 3-7 years.

Is RV paint protection worth the money?

Almost every dealer and service center offers some type of paint and fabric protection as an aftermarket application. Check any RV forum and you will find strong opinions both for and against. Also, if you ask any dealer, they will definitely tell you it is worth the money. Of course, they make more money spraying about $50 worth of product!

An RV paint job on a motorhome

One thing I do know is the outside appearance of your RV is the number one item that affects resale value. The more it is faded and looks rough, the harder it is to sell and the less money you will get for it, no matter how well the rest has been maintained. So I do feel it is important to properly treat the exterior of your rig. However, I am not a big fan of shelling out thousands of dollars for a spray-on application. In fact, consumer reports and automotive publications state these aftermarket protections are not worth the money; rather, a good wax with UV protection is sufficient.

The recommendation from Crane Composites

Filon/Kemlite, a product of Crane Composites, the largest provider of the fiberglass outer skin, recommends Meguiar’s: #56 Boat and RV Pure Wax. This has a UV protection, and they recommend it every six months depending on how much it is exposed to direct sunlight.

Here is where the discussion turns to why some owners decide to go with the paint protection. Who washes and waxes their RV every six months? Not me! I believe Crane Composites is putting a little added protection to their warranty as they cannot determine how much exposure any RV will get.

I have talked with several RV owners that wax the unit once a year or more frequently, and keep the unit covered when not in use. The units look new even 10 years later.

Plus, I have seen units that came from California and Arizona that look 25 years old in just a few years.

A cracked RV paint job

The bottom line in your case is what is the cost and what is the warranty? If it is guaranteed to not fade or discolor for 10 years, it’s probably worth the investment. Let’s see what our readers have found in the past. Readers?

 You might also enjoy this

How to protect your RV’s decals from fading and sun damage

By Dustin Simpson, California RV Specialists
We all know that RV decals have a tendency to peel, crack, curl up and fade over time. It is unfortunate when this happens because it really takes away from the value of a travel trailer or motorhome. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this problem and help protect your investment.

Continue reading.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

Read more from Dave here


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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


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2 months ago

We have the exterior detailed once a year (each spring) and maintain the exterior with spot touch-ups to remove the water stains and other stuff landing on the surface.

Dave Johnston
2 months ago

So, I have a 1993 Glendale Glendette, 26′, which is all aluminium and almond in colour and while the stripes have faded over the years (which have since been repainted) the entire unit glisten’s like new even though it has never been covered or stored inside. The reason, I think? Cleaned and waxed twice a year with ho-hum, run of the mill Turtle Wax T-222R Super Hard Shell Paste Wax (11.99$ C) and lots of elbow grease. The result? Fellow campers can’t believe it is a ’93. I am constantly receiving compliments on its shine!

Just thought I would share that expensive is not always a better solution provided that you have strong arms and 3 – 4 five hour days to spare.

Happy Travels,

Dave Johnston

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave Johnston

Good job, Dave! That reminds me of “The Karate Kid” – “Wax on, wax off …”. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at

Dave Johnston
2 months ago
Reply to  Diane McGovern

LOL!! Now that I think of it…. You’re right!! I need Ralph Macchio!!

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave Johnston

As I read about how well you take care of your RV, Dave, I was literally picturing Ralph Macchio in that movie. Now you’ll think about “The Karate Kid” twice a year as you’re building up your biceps. Have a good evening/night. 😀 –Diane at

2 months ago

Dave, as usual you nailed it. My personal experience with after market paint protection puts it into the category of snake oil. I had a late 70’s car with a coating that was suppose to protect it from acid rain. I had the car repainted twice and they ended up giving me my money back. I machine wax and buff my 40’ motorhome once a year and at least 2 times a year use the system such as on the video (Google Scott Dallas paint correction Prevost motorhomes) does to maintain a fleet of Prevost’s.

RV Queen 23
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

It was good they paid to repaint it twice. I see that as a win. I have used this on my RV’s too, and saves me so many hours of waxing. Plus as you just said, it was warrantied, which made me want it. No regrets…5 years later, I am still lazy and it looks great. No touch claims to date:)

Stephen Snure
2 months ago

I think the key point that Dave made was to use a product with UV protection. Doing so will mitigate oxidation and, depending on the product used, provide additional shine. I met a guy with a 15-year-old motorhome (full paint) who bought it new and only used 303 Aerospace Protectant, which does have UV protection. The coach looked like it had just rolled out of the factory.

In 2020 I bought a 2011 American Tradition with full paint. After spending about 80 hours doing paint correction to remove scratches and oxidation, I applied Griot’s Garage 3-1 Ceramic Coating (about $20) which also has UV protection. It’s easy to spray on and wipe off. The shine it provides is amazing! I reapply the wax annually and the coach still looks and shines like new! As for sun exposure, we travel about six months per year. When not on the road the coach is parked in a garage. So the solution to keeping your RV looking great, as Dave said, is to keep it waxed and covered when not in use.

2 months ago

Try REJEX….it is great.. haves used it for years on boats and airplanes

Jim Johnson
2 months ago

Like every newbie RV owner, paying for a a protective spray at purchase that precludes the need for waxing upto 5 years, sure seems attractive. I cannot verify this, but the mobile rig washer we use* said a customer told him that Keystone recommends you don’t wax your RV the first 5 years – say what? That finish protectant was good for about 2 years when I should have started waxing our Keystone RV. Instead I let it go for 4 years and then settled for the wax in the wash water. This year (6 years old), immediately after professional washing, I hand stripped most, but couldn’t get all, the built up oxidation, polished and waxed my RV. While it again looks good, had I skipped that dealer treatment and waxed annually I’m sure it would still look great. And likely I could have skipped the strip & polish steps.

*most RV parks, especially in the southwest, ban washing RVs or cars with the park’s water. You have no choice but to hire the pros who haul their own water.

RV Queen 23
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Johnson

I got the protection package, because they showed me in my manual that the MANUFACTURE SAID TO DO IT. RV’s don’t have any warranty against enviro damage!
I was kinda shocked because it wasn’t cheap. Mine was a 10 year warranty.

John Irvine
2 months ago

Use a cover whenever possible.

Seann Fox
2 months ago

Try and collect on that protection warranty.

2 months ago

I’ve heard of people using Zep floor polish, applying several layers with a sponge mop. Has anyone had any personal experience with that and not just Youtube videos?

2 months ago

Diamond Shield is not the solution. Once it goes South, it turns ugly. Devil of a job to remove it.

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