How to Remove RV Decals?

old rv decals
Vehicle Decals

How to Remove RV Decals?

Usually, the average service time of an RV or motorhome is between 10 to 20 years, while RV decals can last up to 10 years under a common environment. And the lifespan could be shorter for RV decals in some extreme areas. Faded or cracked decals are a clear sign of an RV’s age. The good news is that there’s something you can do to restore the look of your RV. That is to remove and replace the decal. But how to remove the RV decals?

old rv decals
Fading, peeling, and cracking are common failures for RV decals

A lot of people are interested in RV decal removal but aren’t sure quite how to do it without damaging their RV’s finish. Here are some suggestions ACME made for you when removing old decals from your RV’s exterior.

How to remove RV decals? – Get Your Tools First

-Blow dryer or heat gun
-Plastic putty knife, or credit card
-Adhesive remover
Important note: Be sure to test the product you choose on an inconspicuous part of your RV to make sure it won’t damage the finish or fiberglass/gel coat of your trailer or motorhome.
-Rags or paper towels

Prior to taking the following steps, be sure to thoroughly clean the area where you’re working. And you will need a fair amount of patience to get a satisfactory result.

Heat Up the Decal

Starting at an edge, heat up the decal using a heat gun or blow dryer. This process will make the decal loosens up the adhesive underneath, which can help us remove it easier. Pay attention to the distance between your heat gun and the surface of your RV or your skin. Since the heat gun can get much hotter than a hairdryer.

Peel off the RV Decal

how to remove rv decals

Depending on decal size, age, and air temperature, this might be a slow process. Your decal might peel off in very small strips, or it might peel off completely with one peel.
Very old graphics may not peel away easily. Slowly and gently use your putty knife to lift the decal with one hand as you pull it away from the RV’s surface with the other hand.

Repeat this process of heating up the area and peeling away the decal until it’s completely removed.

Remove Leftover Adhesive

remove rv decals

You will need paper towels and gloves for this next step. After the decals have been removed, you will most likely have some glue that is left behind on the RV. There are several products you can use to help with adhesive removal. (Remember to test the product on an inconspicuous area of your RV’s finish first.)

Simply apply the cleaning product onto the glue as instructed (with a paper towel or spray directly onto the RV), and allow it to sit on the surface for a few minutes. Using your putty knife or credit card to gently scrape away the dissolved adhesive.

If your RV is older, there may be an outline of the old decal. This will depend on the age of your RV and the level of oxidization. Apply a healthy coat of Meguiar’s Oxidation Remover RV Wax with a buffer to even out the appearance of the decal. It may not completely remove the outline but it should give you a pretty good result.


RV decals are not the same as RV painting. Decals can be removed, and the greatest cost to you will be the time and patience needed to make sure the job is done well.
By following the steps in this guide, you can give your RV a whole new look.

What if I want the same decal as before? Many graphic manufacturers like ACME graphic can make custom vehicle decals. But we need at least a photo and some measurements to replicate the color, design, and dimensions of your old decal. (Check how to take reference pictures for vehicle decals.)

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