Winnebago Replacement Decals: How To Remove & Apply RV Decals

For something so small and does nothing but look good, these decals can be expensive. They can also be costly to have professionals do the work for you. But at least the finished results will look good and you can be proud of how well your RV looks to the world.

Some people have simply sanded the decals off and then they simply painted the area. After that, they gave the area a clear coat to help them last longer. There are different options you can use to do this task and you would have to choose the best one for your situation and preference.

To learn more about this task, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can decide if it is worth replacing or not. The decals can cost in the hundreds of dollars.

RV Decals Coming Off


Usually, these decals may simply get old and peel off. Or the weather conditions undermined the adhesive that held the decals in place. Another source may be the decals are simply being rubbed off due to many different sources.

However, they may come off, and finding replacements may be a problem. Not so much availability but in cost. Some of the decals may be cheap while others can reach $700. It all depends on the type of decal, the size and design how much you will pay.

Some owners have taken to sanding them off and that may work if you do not sand too far. The key is not to damage the RV exterior while you are removing the remaining decal.

To preserve your work after you are done, you should keep a good coat of wax on the decal and exterior of your RV. This should prevent any peeling.

What Are RV Decals Made Of?

Unless there is some special construction material, RV decals are usually made from a form of vinyl. There is a long process involved to create those new decals. That is one reason why they can be so expensive.

The problem you may find when you go to find some is that they may not be available. The factory decals may only be kept in stock for 3 to 4 years, 5 if you are lucky. After that, they have to be specially made.

Then the original factory decals can only be purchased and installed by the factory. This, if you can find them in stock, can cost you upwards of $2000. That is why so many owners have graphic shops create them and then the owner tries to install the items themselves.

How Long do RV Decals Last?

RVs tend to have a long lifespan if nothing out of the ordinary happens to them. The same cannot be said about decals. While the RV you own may last 25 years, you get less than half of that time with decals.

These decals may only last 10 years and after that, they start to show their age. One of the reasons these items do not last is that the sun does take its toll. This is understandable as the exterior of your RV is exposed to the sun a lot.

The good news is that there are lots of graphic shops that will help you replace those old decals and make your RV look good again. Or you can have them design the decals and install them.

However, that last option can be difficult for amateurs as it takes a special knack to apply decals without air bubbles.

Can You Restore RV Decals?

It is possible to do this but only with one type of decal. There are two types and the construction process either restricts restoration or helps it. The one that restricts restoration is called Calendered vinyl.

The other type that has a chance at restoration is called cast vinyl. This option needs to be cleaned using a mild dishwashing soap and some warm water. But you are not to wax this option.

When you are washing the decals, keep them out of any harsh sunlight. Then once you are done, let them dry thoroughly. Once they are dry use 303 Protectant or Protect All All-Surface Cleaner or some other decal restoration product.

Be careful which one you buy as all are not that good and can fail to do the job right. Also, if you camp in hard water areas, those faded decals may just be dimmed by hard water deposits. A little buffing should take care of that issue.

Can You Paint RV Decals?


Just check the vinyl construction material. Most vinyl will accept paint but double-check to make sure. So the answer is yes, you can paint over your decals if you want to.

Some owners have done that plus, they have sanded the area first to make sure the vinyl and paint adhere to each other. Also, check the paint can to make sure it can be applied to vinyl material.

Not every type of paint, whether paint or spray, will adhere to vinyl. That is why it is important to read the label before you make your purchase. After you get the right paint, make sure to clean the surface of the decal. Dirt always interferes with adhering.

Don’t forget to tape off the areas you do not want to have new paint and let each coat dry first before applying the next coat.

Can You Put New RV Decals Over Old Ones?

You can but it would not be the best idea, you have had. The new decals should stick to the old but the old is wearing out and you may end up having trouble a year later.

That rouble could be that the old decals started to peel again and you have wasted your money. It is best to simply remove the old decals, to be on the safe side, then put the new decals in their place.

That is the right and best way to apply new decals. Putting them over the old decals may save you some work but it is not going to be looking good especially if the new decals do not take to the uneven surface.

It is also the lazy man’s way of doing a job. In the end, that job ends up costing you more as you have to replace both the old and the new set of decals.

How do You Replace RV Decals?

The first step is to follow all the instructions that are written in the next section. Proper removal will be the key to proper replacement. Once you have the old decals off, you can start making sure the areas you want new decals are nice and clean. You do not want left over WD-40 on those areas.

The next step is to contact your RV’s brand. They may still have those decals in stock and can send them to you for a fee. Or if they don’t, you would have to go to a graphics shop to have them design a new decal or a shop that deals in automotive, etc., wraps.

Their fees vary depending on the decals you want, their size, design, and so on. After you get those decals, you follow the instructions given to you by the manufacturer or the shop that made the decals for you.

How To Remove RV Decals

The simplest way to do this is to get the right supplies. You will need either a glue gun or a hairdryer, as well as a gunk remover like WD-40 or something similar. Finally, you will need a lot of patience. This is not a project that can be done very quickly.

The first step is to heat up the decal using the glue gun or hairdryer. Then you need to slowly peel the heated decal off and when we say slowly, we mean slowly. This will take some time.

When the decal or decals come off, you will notice that there will be some left over adhesive on the side of your RV. That is what the WD-40 is for. Or you can use GooGone or something similar.

Just spray the adhesive remover on the old adhesive, wait a minute to let it soak in, and start to wipe the old adhesive off.

How To Remove RV Decals With a Heat Gun


The previous section has these instructions as well. There is only one way to do this option. It is the same as using a hair dryer. You have to heat the decals until the adhesive loosens up.

Once they are loose enough, you pry up one spot and slowly pull the decal off. Heat is going to be the only way to remove those decals and hot water is not one of those heat sources.

The key to the process is for you to be patient. You do not want the decal ripping 1/4 or 1/2 of the way through the project. Take your time as you do not want to do any more work than you have to in removing these decals.

How do You Apply Vinyl Decals To An RV?

RV decals are only made from vinyl unless someone has invented a different way to achieve the same product. The key to applying or installing these decals would be to wash the area first.

You do not want any dirt on the spot where the decal is going to go. Then you have to wait. The area has to dry completely and you should not have that part of your RV out in the harsh sunlight. It may dry faster but it is not good for the process or your other RV decals.

Then you follow the instructions of the company that made those decals. They would know the best way to apply these items and get them to stick properly.

Winnebago Replacement Decals

According to the Winnebago parts website, they only supply decals for their brand and Itasca brand RVs. But your RV has to be a model from 2003 or newer. These decals are available for the following groups- dealer organizations, independent repair shops, and motorhome owners.

That means you may not have to contact the company directly if you do not want to. You just need to find a dealer or repair shop that carries those items. If your Winnebago is older than 2003, you should go to a graphics or wraps shop to get them made.

The Winnebago parts website has a special link to order your decals. You will find that web page at this link. Give them a call to see what they can do for you.

Winnebago View Decals

This variety of decals is under the same rules as those regular Winnebago decals in the previous section. There are different graphics shops that will handle this order for you.

A quick internet search turns up quite a few options and some may be in your area. Just about any graphics shop can do this work so you do not have to. Or if you do not want to pay the money, you can have an automotive paint shop repaint the decals and make sure your RV looks its best.

You do have options and you should talk to the different shops to get an estimate of time and cost. Or if your RV is newer than 2003, contact Winnebago and talk to them.

How do You Keep RV Decals From Fading?


This may be a bit hard to do if you are parked in a hot region of the country. But if you use good wax on your RV’s exterior and make sure the decals are well coated, then that is one method to use.

Another obvious way would be to try and keep your decals out of the sun. Indoor parking, awnings, or other covers will protect them from the sun’s rays. Or park in the shade.

These are obvious but not always possible. Then you could polish the decals and put on a nice protective coating. That brings us to clear coats or similar products that are designed to protect what they are applied over.

You have a lot of options and your RV outlets should have those products.

How To Clean RV Decals

This is an easy task to do. You do not want to use any cleansers that contain harsh chemicals or solvents. These options will undermine the adhesive and have the decals peeling off quicker than you want them to.

The best solution to use would be dawn liquid soap and some warm water. This is a mild soap that should remove the dirt and the grease but leave the adhesive alone.

The water will wash off the soap, dirt, and grease and make your decals look great again. If you are camping in a hard water area, just do some buffing with a soft cloth and that should remove the residue from the hard water.

Can You Wax RV Decals?

Yes, you can and that is one of the options you have to protect your decals from decay. A good wax job should extend the life of the decals and keep them in top shape for some time to come.

Just make sure to follow all instructions on the wax can and not overdo it. Also, do not buy cheap wax here as some products can leave stains on the decals or ruing them.

You want to use top-quality brands to make sure the wax does not damage those expensive decals. The wax should also prevent fading.

RV Decals vs Paint

This is a decision that you have to make. Some wrap jobs can be very reasonable, under $1000, and so can some paint jobs. It will all depend on what you want to be done. Some paint jobs can go as high as $12,000 to $35,000 while wraps may top out at $10,000 or more.

Wraps or decals can be expensive just by themselves and again, it will depend on the design, size, and other factors. Paint can last a lot longer than wraps and you will have to justify that length of time against the actual cost. Wraps need special attention and care while the paint is easier to look after.

Get all the facts before you make your decision.

Some Final Words

Replacing decals can be a chore. Not all RV brands carry the original decals after 5 years and finding them can be a pain. They can also be expensive. If you can’t find them, the decals have to be custom ordered from a wrap or graphic shop.

It all depends on what you want to do and how much you are willing to spend. Nothing with RVs is going to be cheap and sometimes it is impossible to find what you need when you need it.

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