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How to Remove RV Decals

Owning an RV comes with its fair share of maintenance tasks, including the occasional need to remove decals.

Whether you’re looking to update the look of your RV, fix damaged decals, or prepare the vehicle for resale, knowing how to remove RV decals properly is essential.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process, covering various methods, tools, and expert tips to ensure a successful decal removal without causing any harm to your RV’s surface.

How to Remove RV Decals

Removing RV decals may seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques and tools, it can be a relatively straightforward process.

Let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for effectively removing RV decals.

1. Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before starting the decal removal process, it’s essential to gather all the required tools and materials.

Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Heat gun or hairdryer
  • Plastic scraper or credit card
  • Adhesive remover or rubbing alcohol
  • Clean microfiber cloths
  • Mild detergent
  • Automotive wax or polish

2. Choose the Right Decal Removal Method

There are several methods you can use to remove RV decals, including heat, adhesive removers, and rubbing alcohol.

The method you choose will depend on the type of decal, the condition of the surface, and personal preference.

Let’s explore each method in detail:

  • Heat Method: This method involves using a heat gun or hairdryer to warm up the decal, making it easier to peel off. Hold the heat source a few inches away from the decal and move it back and forth until the adhesive loosens.
  • Adhesive Remover Method: Apply an adhesive remover specifically designed for automotive use onto the decal. Let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve the adhesive, and then gently peel off the decal using a plastic scraper or credit card.
  • Rubbing Alcohol Method: Soak a clean microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol and apply it to the decal. Let it sit for a few minutes to soften the adhesive, and then gently peel off the decal using a plastic scraper or credit card.

3. Test in an Inconspicuous Area

Before proceeding with the decal removal process, it’s crucial to test the chosen method on a small, inconspicuous area of the RV’s surface.

This allows you to ensure that the method and tools you’re using don’t damage the paint or finish.

4. Start Removing the Decal

Once you’ve tested the method, it’s time to begin removing the decal.

Follow these steps:

  • Hold the heat gun or hairdryer a few inches away from the decal and apply heat to loosen the adhesive. If you’re using an adhesive remover or rubbing alcohol, apply it to the decal as instructed.
  • Use a plastic scraper or credit card to gently lift the edges of the decal. Be careful not to apply excessive force, as it may cause damage to the surface.
  • Gradually peel off the decal, working from one edge to the other. Apply more heat or adhesive remover/rubbing alcohol as needed to loosen stubborn adhesive.
  • Continue peeling until the entire decal is removed. If any adhesive residue remains, proceed to the next step.

5. Remove Adhesive Residue

After removing the decal, you may notice some adhesive residue left on the surface.

Here’s how you can remove it:

  • Apply an adhesive remover or rubbing alcohol to a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Gently rub the cloth over the adhesive residue in circular motions until it loosens.
  • Use the plastic scraper or credit card to scrape off the residue.
  • Repeat this process until the surface is clean and free of any adhesive.

6. Clean and Protect the Surface

Once the decal and adhesive residue are removed, it’s important to clean and protect the surface of your RV.

Follow these steps:

  • Mix a mild detergent with water in a bucket.
  • Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the soapy water and wring out any excess liquid.
  • Gently scrub the area where the decal was removed to remove any remaining dirt or residue.
  • Rinse the cloth with clean water and wipe away any soap residue.
  • Dry the surface with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
  • Apply automotive wax or polish to protect and restore the shine of the surface.

FAQs about Removing RV Decals

Can I remove RV decals without using heat?

Yes, you can use adhesive removers or rubbing alcohol to remove decals without heat.

However, heat can make the process easier and quicker.

Will decal removal damage my RV’s paint?

When done correctly, decal removal should not damage your RV’s paint.

It’s important to test the method and tools on a small area first and avoid using excessive force.

Can I reuse the decals after removal?

In most cases, it’s challenging to reuse RV decals once they’ve been removed.

It’s best to purchase new decals for replacement.

How long does the decal removal process take?

The time required to remove RV decals depends on various factors, such as the size and condition of the decal, the method used, and your experience.

It can range from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Can I hire professionals to remove the decals?

If you’re not confident in your ability to remove the decals yourself, you can hire professionals who specialize in RV decal removal.

They have the expertise and tools to ensure a clean and safe removal process.

Can I remove decals in cold weather?

It’s generally recommended to remove decals in warmer temperatures, as the adhesive is more pliable.

Cold weather may make the removal process more difficult, so it’s best to choose a sunny and mild day for decal removal.


Knowing how to remove RV decals properly is essential for maintaining the appearance of your RV and making any necessary updates.

By following the step-by-step instructions and expert tips provided in this guide, you can safely and effectively remove RV decals without causing any damage to your vehicle’s surface.

Remember to gather the necessary tools, choose the right method, test in an inconspicuous area, and clean and protect the surface afterward.

With a little patience and care, you’ll have a decal-free RV that’s ready for a fresh new look or resale.