Naked and exposed..

Now and again, we get asked about decals and stickers on Caravans and Motorhomes.  Can we change them? Can we Restore them? Can we remove them?  Simple answers and No, Yes/No, Yes..

We won’t change decals for the simple reason, we feel that’s a job for a decal specialist in a workshop free from wind and dust contamination.  We can Restore certain decals that have faded, depending on the quality of the decal, and how badly it’s faded.  We will remove decals for customers if they want to pay for the extra time these take to do, and if it’s because they are being replaced.  We will always advise against ‘de-stickering’ a Caravan or Motorhome altogether.  There are two reasons we don’t think removing all the decals from your Motorhome or Caravan is a good idea.  Firstly, although in my opinion less is more, a fully de-stickered Motorhome tends to look like a horse box with windows, and a fully de-stickered Caravan looks like a white box on wheels.  The factory fitted decals tend to break up the vast space of white, and draw your eye away from the fact these things are never perfectly arrow straight.  The second reason we don’t advise to remove decals fully, is because the glues used will react differently with the surfaces.  GRP will be very slightly raised where the decals were, and no matter how much machine polishing you do, you will never polish that out.  This will leave a very faint outline of the decals, called ‘Ghosting’  Aluminums tend not to ‘Ghost’ so much, but we do find that as decals are not easy to get hold of, that any previous paint repairs, might have masked around the decals, and removing them leaves and obvious lip that can also look awful.

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This 2006 Autocruise Starfire was owned by a customer that wants us to remove the factory decals, so that his sign writer could replace them like for like.  The reason for this is a common one with the Autocruise Motorhomes.  They have poor quality decals that have a separate clear top that almost acts as a lacquer on top of the decals.  This top layer always shrinks in the sun and wrinkles up, exposing the glue underneath.  It also effects other manufactures of Motorhomes and is very common on the Bailey Ranger Caravan.

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As you can clearly see, this job was lucky and after a Full Restoration, the faded surfaces looked like new.  Once the sign writer has fitted new decals and graphics, the Motorhome will look as good as new, but as you can see from the side view, a fully de-stickered Motorhome does not look that nice.  Toooo much white..

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To infinity and beyond..

No, not buzz light year i’m afraid.  This is more the future of some Caravan designs.  This amazing little beast is called a Swift Basecamp, and it’s less of a compact and more of a Tardis.  We were looking forward to having a peek around this little beauty, purely because neither myself or my colleague had worked on one.

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This 2017 Basecamp was booked in for us to Tourershield. (our paint sealing service) The owner chose to use us, and not his dealer, because of the reports on our work he’d found on CaravanTalk.  So we were rather excited to get the pleasure of taking this one on. (sad I know, but we love our jobs)  Our customers were new to Caravans, after years with a trailer tent, so this was all new ground to them too.  This Swift is built using all the different plastics and fibreglasses commonly known to this industry, including GRP sides, ABS cappings, and plastic bumpers.  So protecting this from any premature UV damage is imperative if you want it to hold it’s lustre for a long time.

As most of you know, we are also there to make sure we don’t find any issues that may need attention by the supplying dealer under warranty, on the exterior.

Sadly the Basecamp’s hidden issues didn’t escape our beady eyes.

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What you might just about make out on this picture was what we’d refer to as a ‘Sub standard’ repair.  Now, we can only speculate who carried out this repair, and as i’ve mentioned many times before, repairs to brand new Caravans and Motorhomes are very common.  We don’t have any problems with repairs, providing they are carried out to an expectable high standard, which most are.  This one however wasn’t.  Not only had the repair been rubbed down with a far too coarse sandpaper as you can see above, but the repairer hadn’t even bothered to machine polish their work to blend it in.  After we did what we could to make this look far better, we advised our customer to make their dealer aware of the issue,(incase any future problems arise) but as it was pretty hard to find the damage now, we said it might be less hassle if you just put up with it.  This will save the possible disappointment of another poor fix, loosing their caravan for several weeks, and us having to come back and Tourershield any works the dealer carried out.  They agreed with our findings and conclusions.

It just goes to show you how vigilant you need to be when inspecting your brand new purchase…