* Vinyl Shield Products *

Both 3M and Diamond Shield, and perhaps other companies, market a vinyl film designed to cover the paint on the front of vehicles, supposedly to "protect" them from damage from rocks, bugs, etc. We had 3M film applied to the front of our coach the day after we bought it. After several years on the road the best thing I could say about it was that we got it put on for half price ...at dealer cost.

When the pictured appearance problems began to appear on the front of the coach, at first I blamed myself for scrubbing the bugs off the front. One of the "miracle" bug removal techniques I tried as the wet "dryer sheet" method. When the vinyl began to show what looked like scratches, etc I presumed I had scratched it with the dryer sheets or with my normal scrubbing sponge. But then I noticed that the piece applied on the REAR of the coach under the engine access door was looking the same ...covered with "scratches" and "cracks" ...and I had never scrubbed bugs off of it!!


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I have met many RV owners who have had to have the deteriorating vinyl removed from their RV ...both 3m and Diamond Shield. Some complain of yellowing, some of "spots" under the vinyl, and pretty much all of "cracking." Over a period of a couple of years, I removed all of the vinyl shield from the front of my coach. I tried some stuff called Vinyl Off. It was pricey, but wasn't much help. In the heat of the afternoon sun, I peeled it off a bit at a time, cleaning the remaining adhesive off the paint with GooGone and a paper towel. When it was all over, I managed to remove the vinyl without undue damage to the paint. Some find the paint peels off along with the vinyl, but I didn't have that problem. I did loose some clearcoat on the lighter colored areas of the front. That could have been due to clearcoat cracking due to rock damage, or it may have been due to the paint not being well cured before the vinyl was applied (we bought a NEW coach, but later found evidence that it had been at least partially repainted, despite "we know nothing" denials by the dealer).

My conclusion is that having vinyl shield applied MIGHT be worth the trouble/money IF you plan sell your RV within 3 years. (I hope I don't buy it when you sell it...) If you plan to keep it longer than 3 years, I recommend you save your money for the re-painting that you well need anyway after you pay (or do the labor yourself) to have the vinyl removed. Why pay for putting the vinyl on, removing the vinyl, AND the paint?? Save some money, and just pay for the paint alone!!

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