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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Help on decals
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 14:29:17 EST
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel

scott greenan wrote:
> We bought a 1982 foretravel and its in great shape except for the
> decals. Is it hard to put new ones on and take the old ones off? Should
> we do it or have it done professionally?  Thanks Scott

Removing the old ones is not difficult.  Typically a hair dryer and
a plastic squeegee will do the trick.  If they are so old that they
won't soften and come off without leaving residue, a drill
attachment is available that does the trick.  This is a signmaking
tool and consists of a rubber wheel with lots of little rubber
fingers on it.  Properly used, it will remove adhesive and all and
not damage the substrate.  Any residue can usually be removed with
mineral spirits which won't harm automotive paint.

Having assisted in applying a LOT of cut vinyl, I advise you use a
pro.  Find a sign shop that does a lot of vinyl sign work.  These
guys will have a LOT more experience applying vinyl to vehicles than
any RV dealer.  They may even be able to cut you custom decals
cheaper than what the factory charges.  putting these large decals
on properly takes a lot of very specialized skills and some
specialized materials and tools.

In general, the substrate is coated with application fluid (weak
dishwashing soap solution).  The decal is then applied and floated
on the solution.  It is held in position by one person while another
carefully squeegees the decal onto the substrate, carefully avoiding
bubbles and wrinkles and while heating and stretching the vinyl to
conform to irregularities in the vehicle.  As the fluid is squeezed
out and dries, the pressure sensitive adhesive grabs hold and the
decal is fixed.  It is terribly counter-intuitive to apply water to
a self adhesive decal but that is the key trick to being able to
position such a large sheet and getting it on without bubbles and

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