Goodbye to FLAKING RV PAINT! Roof Radius & End Cap Re-Painting.

TheRVgeeks Repair 44 Comments

Our RV has suffered from a fairly common problem for years. Slowly but surely, the clear coat on our RV’s roof radius has been flaking off, making the top edge of our poor rig look like it has leprosy. We originally thought we might be able to stave off a more major repair by sanding the few small areas where it all started, and applying a new layer of clear coat ourselves. But before we could even pick up a spray can, it had spread too far to reasonably consider tackling the job ourselves.

Talking with other RVers who were suffering with the same issue (this is a common problem across many makes, models and years of RV with full-body paint), we quickly realized that no amount of “do-it-yourselfiness” would get this job done right.

As avid DIYers, this was a tough call. We REALLY wanted to be self-sufficient (and save a lot of money) by doing it ourselves. But sometimes, you need skills or equipment that you just can’t reasonably acquire. And re-painting the entire radius of our RV’s roof was DEFINITELY one of those situations. We’re pretty handy with a paint brush and roller, and have completed our fair share of typical home painting jobs. But getting a smooth, defect-free application of paint to this part of our RV? Without doing more harm than good, it just wasn’t going to happen.

So we turned to the pros. And, lucky for us, we had already identified the best place in the area we’re spending the summer for getting things all fixed up. We’ve had mechanical work done at a couple of First Truck Centre locations before, and their Vancouver location has one of the most well-respected paint shops in western Canada.

Thanks so much to First Truck Centre for allowing us to bring our cameras into their shop again. We’ve had great experiences at both their Vancouver/Surrey and Abbotsford shops. If you’re anywhere in Western Canada, and need top notch RV service, check out First Truck Centre at FirstTruck.ca (of course they work on trucks, too). 😉


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Comments 44

  1. Like you, we have also had issues with our paint peeling on the top edges. My solution was to have the areas of concern covered with auto shrink wrap. It took some work to sand off the clear coat but after that we had it commercially shrink wrapped. With the vast amount of color combinations on our coaches these days it is impossible to match, however we chose a complimentary color and had the coach wrapped. it has been 3 years now and we are still very pleased with the results. The cost was 1/4 what we would have had to pay if we had considered repainting.

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      Great solution, Glen! We did consider looking at the type of wrap we think you’re referring to (the type they wrap cars with), but we’d heard from friends who’d had some of it done that it was very expensive. Sounds like you found a good deal though!

  2. Hi guys, I have been watching your videos for a long time now and you always do such a good job of explaining things. I have a 2004 Newmar Kountry Star and I can tell that it had already been repainted on the top and the cap too when I bought it. The sun’s UV rays really do a number on that part of the RV. Essentially, anything that is more horizontal rather than vertical really gets a good dose of UV. Now that you have a new clear coat, there are some very good polymer sealants that can be applied by just wiping on with a microfiber towel, and some even last for several months. That’s a good place to start to prevent as much clear coat failure as possible in the future. Did you have any other ideas about how you plan to protect your new paint? Also, I have to say that $4500 is pretty good for the kind of work they did and the quality of the job.

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      Hi Duane! Thanks so much for your kind words and input. It’s always nice to hear from a fellow Newmar owner. We’ve been using an awesome automotive wax made by Meguiar’s called NXT ( https://amzn.to/2KRNJ0t ) which is a polymer, probably exactly like you’re talking about. Wipes on and off with ease, and does an amazing job.

      1. That’s a great choice. Meguiar’s makes a few really good polymer sealants and that is one of them. I figured that you guys had a good plan for keeping your new paint in good shape. Maybe it would make a good video in the future???

  3. It’s always fun to watch professionals at work.

    Thank you for the time and effort you put into getting all the inside-the-booth video. That really made this worth watching.

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      Thanks so much, John! Glad you enjoyed it. That painting footage was the most tricky, as we couldn’t safely be inside the booth during spraying. So we thoroughly scraped and cleaned the two corner windows at the back of the RV to shoot through the glass. 😊

      1. I actually noticed that super clean window at 6:44 and just had the inkling that it was your work. Well done!

  4. How far in advance did you have to make a reservation with First Trucks, and how long did it take them. I’m assuming you guys had to stay in a motel while work was being done.

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      Hi Kelly! First Truck is already very well known and respected, so we did have to make arrangements very far in advance. If you’re thinking about having paint work done there, we’d recommend planning at least 6 months out, especially if you’re planning to have the work done during the spring or summer. Might as well call now! That’s just for paint work though. Both Vancouver & Abbotsford locations can make a service/maintenance/repair appointment much sooner. Friends of ours just booked an appointment to have a leaky transmission case checked in Abbotsford just a week or two from now. We did stay in hotel for two nights during the paint work, and there are a couple of good choices right nearby there in Surrey, which the shop staff is happy to direct you to.

  5. Excellent, looks great, better than new. I hear dealers talk about multiple layers of clear coat. Is the one coat going to be adequate for the next 14 years?

    I think First Trucks is in our future to do our front and rear cap. Cost is a lot better than a new coach.

    Thanks again.

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  6. Thanks for another good and interesting video.

    It gives me some comfort to know that I’m not the only one with the problem of peeling clear coat on the caps. It doesn’t help any that the “Full body pain” was mostly, mostly clear over the fiberglass gel. Now the front cap is peeling really bad, and I get lots of streaks down the windshield. Someday I’m going to have to fix it or have it fixed, but there’s so many other things that need done!

    BTW, our main awning is 19 years old and the fabric is still in pretty good shape. It’s frustrating because the motor is bad, and it seems the motor for a 19 year old one step awning is no longer available, and hasn’t been for a long time. In order to fix it means getting a new awning, and there’s so many other things that need done! 🙂

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  7. If you have any ambition it’s easy to do. We had the same issue with deteriorating clear kote & paint on the top.
    Sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper & found aerosol paint that matched perfectly (almost. It’s 10’ off the ground so any difference is negligible. Applied aerosol clear kote from O’Reiley’s. Very pleased with a total cost of less than $30.

  8. I think your rig looks spectacular. Hard to believe it is 14 years old. I really like the fact that you try to keep things as long as possible. We just donated my 19 year old car-Honda CRV that had 230,000 miles on it. It was the car that our son grew up with, school drop off, all the vacations. It was hard to part with.

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      Thanks Carolyn! Love that you had a CR-V (slightly older than ours) and donated it. We only have a little over 100,000 miles on ours, so lots of life left in it!

  9. As it happens, our 2008 Winnebago Adventurer had the same flaking paint issue on the front and rear caps as well as the radius above the drip rail. First Truck in Edmonton has just completed the repaint and it looks great. I also had them respray the front bumper because of some paint flaking .

    My next step was to get the “W” logo and “Adventurer” side panel decals replaced as they were in very poor shape. Unfortunately, the “W” vinyl decal seems to have fused into the full body paint making this a bigger job than expected. But, as with most projects, you have to expect a curveball or two.

    I enjoyed the video. It was very informative and I am also a satisfied customer of First Truck.

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      Hi Terry! Sorry to hear about your logo curveball, but it sounds like you have a great attitude about these sorts of things. Always great to hear from another happy First Truck customer!

  10. Classic timing… Our 04 Country Coach Allure is in the booth at Premier RV, with the same rails and caps being painted. Also some ‘road rashes’ touched up and 3M removal refreshing as needed.

    Our 04 does have the Micro Checking in the darker colors, and frankly we’ve not found a solution that we feel warrants the costs. (And envy Newmar owner’s having the factory still assisting with this, as I recall for about $14K! A few paint shops offer a process where they grind down deep, bake in a oven to accelerate outgassing that might be needed for remaining bits of Owens, then relayer and repaint the coach. But, a few owners after $30K + repairs, have said it eventually came back… (Heck, maybe two famous RV Geeks might have a future in-depth industry experts spot on Micro Checking:)!).

    First Truck Centre sure looks to have done an outstanding job for you. And even though we drive a CC, with non Freightliner chassis, a fellow CC owner was talking about this First Truck Centre – because he takes his coach to them for yearly Lube/Oil/Filter (Along with a few Seimi’s too!). So small world that their reputation with a CC owner, matches your two contacts with them too. It sure shows, that shops that do things the right way, and ‘Walk their talk!’ on having a stated mission and doing things the ‘right way’ – are shops that last. Salute to them.

    Looking forward to your future video on the New Awning. We do miss the ability to angle and slant awnings, the ones like we have that just come straight out, are often times useless in shading, and for me who likes to sit out in the non windy rains – insufficient slanting eventually results in a cascade water burst, as the awning eventually overfills…

    Enjoy you new shine:)! And best,
    Smitty

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      Hi Smitty! We have a fair amount of checking as well, especially on the darker colors. We’ve determined that there is no satisfactory fix for us that’s really reasonable to do based on the level of checking, and have decided to leave it alone indefinitely, if not permanently. We finally did the roof radius because 1) It was so bad, 2) For all intents and purposes the solution brought it back to factory-new, and 3) The cost seemed well in line with the amount of betterment.

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      Hi Ed! We asked about that, and they said that isn’t necessary to do a perfectly fine job, and they rarely do it. We could have opted for that, but chose to go ahead and save on the considerable extra labor it would have cost to do that. Looking at the job afterward, we’re very happy with the decision we made.

  11. Another great video guys! I think this shows you get what you pay for and this was a great investment. Amazed how long your awning lasted. My 2012 Canyon Star’s material needed to be replaced a few months ago as it was tearing form a seam and sagging pretty bad in the middle. $1000 job as the FL awning company had to special order from a place in Texas–apparently the Newmar product awning is “special.”

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      Thanks so much, Don! Our awning hardware lasted over 14 years, but that wasn’t the original fabric. That was replaced with Tough Top Awning fabric several years ago.

  12. What did it winding up costing you for that repair I have 2004 Dutch Star as clearcoat peeling off the driver side especially on the full body black paint….
    Thanks

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  13. As always a really interesting, useful video and a great reference for those who may need First Trucks services.

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  14. Great video as always!! Yes cost please? I know this is in Canada but we can figure out the conversion to US dollars. It will give a base to see if it’s worth it to get it done or leave it the way it is? Thank you

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