Wednesday, September 28, 2022


RV resale: Appearance matters, so protect your RV’s looks

Steve Savage submitted this article to when he was a Master Certified RV Technician with Mobility RV Service.

Appearance matters when making a sale, so protect your RV’s looks. Nothing ensures a rapid sale more than how good something looks, which leads to this thought. Many manufacturers use decals that are so thin or applied so poorly that you will be lucky if they make it through the first couple of years. When it’s time to sell your RV, peeling and frayed decals translate to an RV that’s likely to languish in the yard for a long time. Try and trade it in and be assured dealers will devalue your trade significantly if the exterior looks trashy. So, since appearance matters so much, protect your RV’s looks.

Since appearance matters, what can you do?

First, before buying, search for examples of the model you are considering. If you can easily find three similar models with peeling or frayed decals, move on. I call this my “three strikes and you’re out” rule for RV shoppers, and I apply it to every system and feature. If the model you lust after “strikes out,” consider another manufacturer! On the flip side, some manufacturers do a much better job with their decals. Support them online and at their dealerships.

If you own an RV you know has a problem with peeling decals, keep it covered or out of the sun. Covers are a pain to put on, but they do work. I know, I know — It’s kind of crazy to buy something designed to be used outside that you can’t store exposed; but in this era of anything for a buck, that is the way it works with some RVs.

Can you replace decals?

Sure, and they are not hard to do. But even if you can get the manufacturer to supply a new set, it doesn’t take long before you are looking at the same problem you started with. Eventually you will simply be worn down trying to maintain something that is not designed to be maintained.

You also can have new decals made by almost any shop that does vinyl graphics but, based on our own experience, quality vinyl graphics are not cheap.

Finally, some folks resort to removing the decals on their RV. Not a good idea because it is obvious, makes the RV look cheap (in my opinion), and hurts resale as much as frayed decals. Isn’t it simpler to just avoid the problem by avoiding manufacturers who use poor-quality decals?


How to easily remove old, ugly decals from your RV (video)
Hubby wants to repaint fading RV decals. Wife worried!

Decal removers on Amazon.
RV decals on Amazon.



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Brenda Odom
1 year ago

Shops that cater to auto graphics (not just a sign shop) can do these…most of them are the same folks who do wraps for race cars, commercial vehicles, trucks, etc. No, they are not cheap. But they are much higher quality.

1 year ago

I have never had a dealer even look at my trade before the deal was made. 3 different trailers traded in at 3 different dealers. Never saw my trade until I brought it in to pickup the new trailer.

1 year ago

All that work is just putting lipstick on a pig, any new decals will eventually do the same thing. Just like my body, if it gets a “few” wrinkles, so be it, I know the life it went though.

Wayne Caldwell
1 year ago

Just for giggles and grins, I look at the campers posted for sale on Facebook Market and Craigslist. So many show photos where the interior is totally unkempt, messy, and dirty that it makes me wonder if these people really want to sell it.

1 year ago

How about finding an RV that is PAINTED rather than decorated with decals?

Helen Strong
6 years ago

Thanks so much for the new website and all the helpful information. We read the Saturday newsletter regularly and appreciate how hard you must work to put it together. Thank you.

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