Hi Fellow Sunliners
Since the weather out is yuk... Thought I would type this up and see if anyone can enhance what I have done so far.
The Problem: Sunline decals dying a quick death.
My original owner did not practice putting 303 UV protectent or other UV blocker on the decals or much of any plastic on the outside of my camper. Last year the large Sunline decal on the back of the camper was starting to lift around the edges. I asked here on the forum if anyone knew how to save it before the whole thing went. At the time no one knew of a method to save it, nor did I. The Sun is pealing
This summer I removed it as it was getting pretty ragged. I must say the back now looks stark white like it is missing something. It’s a mental thing as Sunline never put a rear decal on my T2499 so I never knew it was suppose to have one. But since the T310 did, it was normal to me to have one there.
Now at the beginning of this fall the Slide Room decal is starting to lift and so is the Sun on the rock guard up front. So are the door decals. I figure I had to try something as if I do not, I’m going to loose them anyway.
I picked up a tip from SunlineFans dad about a clear protective tape product he used on his car to protect the paint. And we talked if we thought would this work on the decals we have to help them last? So I did some searching for the material and found it is used a lot in automotive to protect certain areas from paint chipping. My F350 has some on the rear lower fender where rocks can fly up.
After searching, my son works for Jeg’s High Performance car parts. They have this in a 6” roll and a 2” roll and other sizes. They where the cheapest I could find for the quantity in a longer roll I was after. They call it, or nick name it, Helicopter tape. Have no clue on where the name came from. Surface protection tape at Jegs.com
This is thick clear protective tape with UV protection, claimed to not yellow, etc. So I gave it a try. I’m going to loose just about all my decals anyway so I didn’t have much to loose if it did not help. The results so far are mixed. Some good, some not. It all depends on the surface I’m putting it on.
Here I’ll show you in pic’s. The Slide Room decal peeling. You can see the blackened adhesive around the edges and the edges curling up.
A tip I did get from SOC member, can’t remember his name, said he used a hair dryer to soften the curling edges and it stuck back down. He said he had no idea on how long it would last but it gave me the idea to get it flattened out. First I wiped off the exposed adhesive that had dirt mixed in it. Tried several things but had to take extra care to not touch the decal as the pealed edge would crack off. Ended up using acetone on the fiberglass panel. This works here but do not use on painted or coated surfaces as it can and will lift the paint/coating. And the Krystal coat we have on these newer TT’s is a paint/coating.
After cleanup I warmed the edges and it flattened down and stuck, at least long enough for me to put the clear tape on. I used a 6” piece and a 2” piece to cover it. It worked well however the only draw back is there is a faint red’ish tint that can be seen in the right light with the bright white back ground. Do not know if this is unique to this brand or a trait of the tape. It seems to be in the adhesive as I can see it on the roll before I apply it. While a slight red tint this one is holding well after a month of wet weather, cold and sun.
Next is the door decals that match the side stripes. This one came out very good and is holding very good. And I can not see any red tint. Not a lot of white background I think is why.
This is the day I applied it.
This is about 1 month later. Still very good, no change
Now to the Sun on the rock guard. I did the same clean up and stick down on the curling edges. See the edge peel.
And here is the day I applied it. On this decal there is one different thing. It seems like there is something different, in the way the clear film sticks. At a slight angle in just the right lighting it looks dull, haze like, like mini un-dissolved air under it. I could not see this in the Slide room decal or the doors. It may be there, just I can’t see it.
Here is about a month later. It is working well. The haze may be a tad bit better. You cannot see it if the light and angle is not right
Here are other smooth surface applications doing very well. These are now 1 month in use. The shore cord door
The VIN sticker which in on flat painted aluminum.
The next set of these has mixed results. This is over the Krystal coat aluminum surfaces. If the decal is small and does not go over many corrugations, the results are OK so far. If I go over several corrugations the results are, it does not last/work. All pic’s are at the 1 month point.
The wheel torque sticker. This is OK
The black tank sticker. This is OK so far.
The propane sticker. This one is so, so. It is holding but I do not have faith yet it will be long term.
The RVIA sticker and Sunline made. This one is not great but still on at the moment.
And the ones that just plain do not work. The Solaris decal. This one is on the door side. It is still barely on. The one on the slide side I already had to remove the clear tape. By warming the tape and gently lifting, it will come off with what has not water separated.
See the water moisture under it.
So the early read is, on smooth surfaces this works so far. On a coach that is Filon sided I do not see that many issues as my flat filon panels are working. In the Krystal coat and going up over several corrugations I “think” I’m getting heat expansion/contractions and the moisture is wicking in the Krystal coat mini bumps on the alum surface. Plus going over the multiple bends of siding puts stress in the tape and the expansion and contraction lift it. On the slide side the clear tape just about all but fell off on it’s own with wet moisture under it. A little heat and it was gone.
If anyone knows how to enhance this process, please post away. I’ll update this post as times goes by on how the smooth surfaces are doing and how long this lasts.