Friday, June 2, 2023


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.

One way is to avoid household and truck wash cleaners.

Every RV owner wants to keep their RV nice and clean. The best way to do this is to make sure you wash it with the correct products.

It is recommended to wash your RV every few months. With that said, you will want to ensure you’re using a non-abrasive cleaner. Stay away from household and truck wash soaps. An example of a household soap would be something that has lemon, lime, citrus and/or a bug and tar remover in it. This will cause your vinyl decals, awning fabrics, plastic and sealants on the roof and body to shrink, dry out, fade and fail.

This product helps protect your RV’s decals

Washing an RV is a big job, and it can be tempting to just run the unit through a truck wash. It’s easy and quick, but this will cause harm and devalue your unit over time. Truck wash soaps have stronger cleaning agents and can cause damage to everything on your RV.

When you spend the time to properly wash and protect your unit, you catch all those little things before they become a big issue (like cracks and separation in the sealants, items that are coming loose, and so on).

During your cleaning time, I recommend putting a protectant on your RV. It is incredibly important for the decals and can even help protect the value, meaning it’s a step you won’t want to skip.

The best protectant we’ve found is 303 Aerospace Protectant. This product creates a barrier between the surface of the RV and anything that might cause it damage. It even protects against the petroleum distillates that tend to be found in RV waxes.

Adding protectant is one of the best proactive steps you can take.

Hopefully this information helps you to keep your RV in good shape and protects your RV’s decals for years to come. See the product and your owner’s manual for more details.

Travel safe and stay protected!



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Bruce McDonald
11 months ago

Sort of the flip side to this issue is; Once the decals start to deteriorate, how do you remove them? I don’t need or even really want fancy swirly patterns on the RV, but from experience, I know that they are very hard to remove. I removed all of the decals on the front of my 5th wheel when they started to look too bad. It was a lot of work even with a decal remover product and a plastic “razor blade” scraper. But it looks very nice and shiny now – all one nice tan color. Now the decals on the side are beginning to show their age. Removing them will be a much bigger job. If anyone has suggestions for easy or at least easier ways to remove them, I am anxious to read about them. I know that heat can help, but I am very reluctant to use heat on the plastic RV siding. Any ideas?

11 months ago

Missing in this article is Never wax your decals. Automotive wax contains petroleum products which will cause decals to peel. I found this out the hard way.

11 months ago

Well maybe the cheap makers of these products should use the good stuff, automotive quality and we wouldn’t have such problems….the paint industry has the same issues, too cheap to use uv additives
This is why sun exposure destroys every thing, plastics, Paint, rubber, because they don’t want to spend the Xtra $$ for these additives
Especially Chinese made junk

My favorite weapon against UV for almost all surfaces ….plastic, glass, paint, trim and decals is Sonax polymer netshield…works awesome
And it lasts for a year if applied correctly. I have it on all my vehicles and 3 years later they still look new
Very few care products can be used on ALL surfaces…super stuff made in Germany available on Amazon

Last edited 11 months ago by RCL
Theodora Baker
11 months ago

Hi. what is the best product to use to wash my RV? and wax it

Last edited 11 months ago by Theodora Baker
Dustin Simpson
11 months ago
Reply to  Theodora Baker

There is a number of products and brands out there, Camco, Protect All, Valterra, Gel-Gloss, ect… These are all RV brands, just make sure to use a RV wash and wax soap and as like anything check the reviews. But all the above brands we use weekly and sell in our store.

Ed Fairchild
11 months ago

The product description states that it dries to a mat finish. I want our rv to shine. Not only that but seems that the mat finish might be difficult to get even. I will be interested to hear what actual users have to say

11 months ago
Reply to  Ed Fairchild

I have used 303 Aerospace Protectant for over 20 years on planes, boats and my RV. I use it on everything. A very light mist applied and buffed with a microfiber cloth. I have always used baby shampoo and a wool bonnet attachment……

Dustin Simpson
11 months ago
Reply to  Engineer

Very good info, thank you sir.

Dustin Simpson
11 months ago
Reply to  Ed Fairchild

Use Protect All surface protection.

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