vinyl graphic skins....?

Finishes, paints and coatings

vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby breesha03 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:25 am

Hi all-

I've got a little guy 6 wide that originally came from Cabelas--its got a camouflage (what I assume to be) vinyl graphic skin on the outside. The original owner left it outside, uncovered in the elements and the colors on the sides is pristine, but the top and back are completely faded out. Its also starting to peel a bit in a couple places. I have to admit, I love the real tree camo--it turns a lot of heads.

I know most everyone here does their own from scratch builds and doesn't have to deal with issues like this, bit I was hoping someone had experience with these graphic skins. I'd love to get a new one but have no idea where to start. I figure those auto graphics places would do it, bit I'd rather go with a place that's camper specific if anyone knows of any.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby jgrote » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:18 pm

That stuff does have a lifespan. You should be able to find a company locally that does vinyl wrapping on cars, vans, and the like. They usually do wraps for businesses to advertise on their vehicles. They can print out what ever you want on the vinyl. I bet they could get you taken care of. FWIW, it is not really a DIY job. It's really tough to do and not get any wrinkles in it.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby breesha03 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:05 pm

Right! I have no plans of doing it myself. I guess it wouldn't hurt to call a couple auto decal places and see what they've got.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:31 pm

Have you checked with Cabelas or Little Guy to see if either one can tell you who did the graphics originally? If the template/artwork exists somewhere then maybe you can just get whoever printed them for Cabelas/Little Guy to print one for you and then take it someplace where they do installations.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby breesha03 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:33 pm

Excellent idea--i hadn't thought about that because I don't think they were made very long. I'll look into it. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby jgrote » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:23 pm

The camo print is widely available. (and quite popular) The only issue with getting it from Cabela's is that most installers will only install their own product. Partly because they make money on the product, partly because they have to warranty it. It's no different than bringing your own parts to a mechanic to fix your car. Doing an avg size car costs about $2k, but they are much more complex. I bet you could get the top done for about $500 depending on how difficult it is to get the old stuff off.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby breesha03 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:30 pm

Yeah, I think getting the old stuff off might be a bit of an issue. I had thought about taking it off and using something else to skin it, but I've decided its really not a job I want to take on myself. The partial skin--top/back only--might be the way to go.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby RandyG » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:25 pm

Hi, I do vinyl removal and reapply on aircraft tail flashes. Its not that hard to do yourself, but the problem I can see is getting the prints to size without seams. There are machines capable of doing very large but it may cost you big. If you remove all the old stuff it may save you some money there. We use a decal remover, a tool with a spinning wheel made of rubber, comes right off..You may try a sign shop, they do work with the same machines we use to cut and print on vinyl. Try to haggle them though, most of those shops charge high. Or you can put their logo on your trailer for a discount, some companies do that.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby breesha03 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:27 pm

Thanks, Randy! Seems like a logical idea, removing the old myself if I can. I appreciate the suggestions.... very helpful.

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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby mallymal » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:40 pm

I've got a feeling they heat the vinyl with hot air guns to apply it.

I wonder if doing the same would help soften it as you remove it? Good luck!
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby breesha03 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:13 pm

I wondered the same thing....but the adhesive seems to have become very brittle. I'm guessing a few of these 100° summer days pretty well baked it all....heat might not make a difference at this point. :/
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby KCStudly » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:44 pm

Just throwing out an option.

Not for sure, but some of those camo patterns are proprietary. Your local vinyl shop may have to pay/charge a premium for the use of the pattern.

Since you have the corner trim, I bet they could do the roof in a solid color, like forest green (or one of the colors in the print) and it would look pretty good combined with the existing sides, too, rather than trying to match just the roof and finding out that the side panels now look more faded than they did before.
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby breesha03 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:38 pm

Excellent idea. I've actually thought about getting rid of the camo altogether, but I have to admit I'm rather attached to it. The sides are pristine.....that really makes the most sense from a cost perspective. Thanks, KC!
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Re: vinyl graphic skins....?

Postby freddyb » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:36 pm

Hi Bree, did you ever work out a solution for your fading camo vinyl top? I'll be tackling the same issue here soon...
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