Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

What are the pros and cons of full body paint exterior? Is it worth the additional $$ or just stay with the factory gel coat. Your thoughts and experiences are appreciated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most RV builders are using automotive paint for the full body paint and so it lasts far longer than does the gel coat. If an RV does not spend most of its time in a location that is protected from the sun, gel coating will begin to degrade noticeably in 5 to 10 years while automotive paints that are cared for will look pretty much the same for 20 years or longer. Only you can decide where the price/value point is but in my mind the cost of the new RV should be part of the question. I would consider the value to be somewhere between a 5% and a 10% increase in total price. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After 19 years my Gel coat has faded from a white to a cream color and vinyl striping has started to peal and fade.

To be honest I have only waxed it 2-3 times in the 15 years I have owned it. I wouln't want to wax a paint job every year to keep it up.
Really don't know how long a full paint job would last now waxing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know several people that have done a full body paint on their rigs to extend the life of them, some of these folks are here on this forum so perhaps they will chime in. All I can say is that compared to gel coat the paint looks amazing and it seems as though it always looks cleaner. When you run your hand over that painted surface compared the gel surface the paint feels smoother, slicker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Full body paint will hold up better over time than GelCoat.  I've had 2 5th wheels with gel coat and painted graphics and the graphics looked great, the rest was ugly.  The gel can be buffed and waxed to look great.  But it only lasts for a year at best.  Paint on the other hand, looks good after a wash or heavy rainstorm.  

Another part to consider is many parks have a 10-year rule.  If your RV looks old and unkept they have the right to refuse service.  Most painted RV's cannot be looked at and be "Dated".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Full Body Paints are not all equal. A darker color over the whole rig will greatly increase inside temps in the sun. (summer or winter) A lighter or partial body paint can be a help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After 5 years our decals and gel coat were looking bad.  We had Mikes Custom Painting in Bremen, IN paint our 5th wheel in 2012 with automotive paint.  This was a great decision on our part.  It looks now like it did the day they painted it.  I wash it but never wax it.  It remains cleaner, bugs come off the cap easier, back streaks under down spouts wash off easily, we love the unique design and colors.  Our friends know the fifth wheel is 10+ years old but new people think the RV is new.  We think the cost was worth it if you have a good quality RV and plan to keep it.     Greg   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what I intend to do in the next few years. Decals pealing, caps dull. Very nice Teton and feel it is worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen the HH trailers that have been full body painted and they look great, because of our HH brand rallies I've seen the before and after. Mine still has standard sidewalls and they still look good after 14.5 years but I painted my decals on two years ago, I also waxed our trailer for the first time when it was one month old and when we are at our home base it is in a building. If I was to buy a new trailer it would be full body painted but that's not going to happen unless something happens to our Hitchhiker.

 Denny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

Full body paint will hold up better over time than GelCoat.

I own a 2003 truck that the pain today looks very little different from what it did 14 years ago when it was new, except for a few scratches and rock chips. We kept our fiberglass motorhome for 14 years also and even with it having been washed and waxed the decals were faded and some had been removed, leaving a shiny strip where the decal used to be. Surfaces that were gel coated had to be buffed each time it was washed to try and get them to look good and even then did not look like new. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the quality of the full body paint.Take a look at RV's in campground you stay at and look for chips in the paint particularly on the lower front panel  of a 5th wheel.Dark colors soak up the heat. Yes they use automotive paint but the process is different than on a auto/truck/. We have a very pretty  full body paint 2013 Montana Big sky. We had to have bedliner installed on the front panel to prevent chipping.We have seen chipping on all brands of RV's at every price level. Manufacturers have a habit of changing paint  colors often and touch up is hard to find once they change. Two of the four colors on ours are no longer in use.Ours has a lot of black and grey that collects the heat and transfers it to the inside. We would not purchased another Full body paint no matter what the brand or price level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, richfaa said:

Depends on the quality of the full body paint.Take a look at RV's in campground you stay at and look for chips in the paint particularly on the lower front panel  of a 5th wheel.Dark colors soak up the heat. Yes they use automotive paint but the process is different than on a auto/truck/. We have a very pretty  full body paint 2013 Montana Big sky. We had to have bedliner installed on the front panel to prevent chipping.We have seen chipping on all brands of RV's at every price level. Manufacturers have a habit of changing paint  colors often and touch up is hard to find once they change. Two of the four colors on ours are no longer in use.Ours has a lot of black and grey that collects the heat and transfers it to the inside. We would not purchased another Full body paint no matter what the brand or price level.

Interesting.  A good body and paint shop should mix their own colors to match what you have and not depend on the RV manufacturer.  I know Straight Line RV and Boat, http://www.straightline-rv.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html, in Oregon and Arizona, works that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, GlennWest said:

I wouldn't go with dark colors. Look good but heat is a problem and don't need to add to it.

I have seen several motorhomes of 10 years or older that were painted in a single color. I recall 2 that were just white and another that was a very light brown or beige. One of the white ones also had some pinstriping to break up the single color. We liked the look and probably would have done that with our 14-year-old coach if we had not downsized. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, richfaa said:

Depends on the quality of the full body paint.Take a look at RV's in campground you stay at and look for chips in the paint particularly on the lower front panel  of a 5th wheel.Dark colors soak up the heat. Yes they use automotive paint but the process is different than on a auto/truck/. We have a very pretty  full body paint 2013 Montana Big sky. We had to have bedliner installed on the front panel to prevent chipping.We have seen chipping on all brands of RV's at every price level. Manufacturers have a habit of changing paint  colors often and touch up is hard to find once they change. Two of the four colors on ours are no longer in use.Ours has a lot of black and grey that collects the heat and transfers it to the inside. We would not purchased another Full body paint no matter what the brand or price level.

 

 

All you need is the paint code that the manufacturer used and you can have it mixed at any body shop or automotive paint store.

Denny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

richffa......addressing your concerns.  When ours was painted in 2012 we didn't choose dark colors so being in the sun was no different than the original white & gray from NuWa.  We had the fifth wheel kind of painted to match the white and tan (white top & tan bottom) of our 2007 F350 and added some burgundy.  We even used Ford color codes so the paint is easily available from NAPA.  I don't understand why RVers want their RVs painted so dark, maybe it's the manufacturers?

Mikes Painting was using what he called diamond shield (to me it was just a sheet of adhesive clear plastic) as a stone guard on the front bottom of the trailer.  It did chip the plastic so we had him remove it this spring and apply the newer stuff he now uses that looks like spray in bed liner that is colored to match the custom paint job he did 5 years ago.  This is working MUCH better.

Greg  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, D&J said:

 

Yes you can check out the price minimum is usually a pint

All you need is the paint code that the manufacturer used and you can have it mixed at any body shop or automotive paint store.

Denny

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Big Greg said:

richffa......addressing your concerns.  When ours was painted in 2012 we didn't choose dark colors so being in the sun was no different than the original white & gray from NuWa.  We had the fifth wheel kind of painted to match the white and tan (white top & tan bottom) of our 2007 F350 and added some burgundy.  We even used Ford color codes so the paint is easily available from NAPA.  I don't understand why RVers want their RVs painted so dark, maybe it's the manufacturers?

Mikes Painting was using what he called diamond shield (to me it was just a sheet of adhesive clear plastic) as a stone guard on the front bottom of the trailer.  It did chip the plastic so we had him remove it this spring and apply the newer stuff he now uses that looks like spray in bed liner that is colored to match the custom paint job he did 5 years ago.  This is working MUCH better.

Greg  

I did the same spray in bedliner on the lower front panel.We had little choice in color scheme from the manufacturer  there were two schemes  to choose from both were dark.The RV was manufactured as a normal production model then sent to a pint shop in Goshen ,Ind for the paint job.It was Maple city Collision... Herr Custom Paint they painted many different brands still do. I make it a point to check the full body paint on RV's at Rallies, etc they all chip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was shopping for a new motorhome in early 2012, I was horrified by the extra cost of the full body paint, and had crossed that off my list of things I wanted on my RV.  However, I ended up finding a dealer that had the model I wanted, but with full body paint.  It had been ordered with all the bells and whistles, including a fancy sound system, so they could take it to shows.  It had been on the lot for over four months, so I got a really good deal on it.  I even priced ordering one without the body paint, and it would have cost me more than the floor model I ended up buying.

Now, I will have to say that after more than five years, I am very glad I got the full body paint.  Admittedly, I have some stone chips in the flat area near the driver's entrance door, and I have a small scrape on the corner metal piece on the rear corner.  However, I have had several people tell me it looks brand new--and that is after full-timing for over five years and 109,000 miles driven.  One couple recently told me to let them know when I wanted to sell it because it looked in such good condition.  All I do is drive it through Blue Beacon or wash it myself every couple of months or so--no detailing or waxing or anything fancy. 

It is dark, but the roof is white, and I supposed the paint makes it a little hotter, but not enough to really notice.  And there is no chipping other than the small area where i got hit by a bunch of gravel a couple of years ago.

So, I think the full body paint keeps your rig looking much better for much longer with a lot less work waxing and polishing. 

Edited by Solo18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, RV Vagabond Jerry said:

If it is a fiberglass RV then painting it is just for looks and is ridiculously expensive and your only option may be with outrageous swirls and decals.  Given a choice I would go with raw fiberglass.

Bad idea, If nothing else have it base coated and a minimum of 2 coats of clear coat.  This will stop the UV ray break down of the paint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a RV painted you can have any design you desire, no "outrageous swirls and decals".

I do agree that if you purchase a new RV the manufacturers often get carried away with swirls and such, much too busy for me.     Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rvonthego.com

Rv Share

Dish For My RV Military Offer.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.



×