Trouble With Baked on Decal - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-24-2019, 01:27 PM   #1
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Name: Shaun
Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
Utah
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Trouble With Baked on Decal

I have a 1992 casita and have been trying to remove the cracked, baked on decals. This casita has spent its life in the sun in Arizona and Utah and the decals are in pretty rough shape.

I was able to get the front decal scraped off and then had this weird shadow decal that using scrapers and solvents I haven't been able to remove. I tried a bit of bar keepers friend and nothing. I was able to lighten it a bit using a very fine automotive sandpaper with a wet sanding method.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with this and has any suggestions?

Our gel coat is pretty well shot and I am in the process of cleaning up the exterior so I can apply poliglow. I'm thinking I may end up having to get custom decals made to cover the shadows left by these one, but I would rather not just hide the problem.

This is what it started looking like.

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This is after a little bit of wet sanding.

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Old 07-24-2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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Trouble With Baked on Decal

Thatís residual gelcoat protected by the decal. Short of sanding it all off, not much else to do.

I live in high altitude AZ and removed decals on my Ď08 a couple of years ago. Replaced some, but left the rest off. Not as discolored as yours, but the ghost image is still noticeable.

Finding something to cover it might be your best bet. Didnít replace the Scamp name on the front gravel guard and Iím collecting travel decals there.
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:42 PM   #3
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Yep, you have the proverbial gel coat "ghost decal" thing going on there. Funny, the very first night when I picked up my trailer back in 2008, after getting a spot for the night, is to grab a beer and walk around the trailer pulling off all the decals. And when they're new, they just peel right off with a fingernail. Never was a big fan of decals, especially on fiberglass. Sorry for your problems. I preempted mine on the first night. And I think that the trailer looks much better without them. Besides, Casita isn't paying me anything to drive around being a rolling advertising billboard for them.
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:47 PM   #4
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Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
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Wow, I never knew that it would shadow like that. That shadow image is after I sanded and worked on it for a while. When I first got the decal peeled off the shadow exactly matched the original decal, including the cracks and all. I forgot to get a picture of that.

I figured if I covered them with another decal I would look at getting something custom made somewhere, that way even I decide to have it say casita again I can customize the colors.

So one last question for those that have experienced these shadows do they eventually get sun bleached away or are they deep enough in the gel coat that they are there forever?
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:57 PM   #5
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That looks more like hardened glue residue, than gelcoat. Gelcoat is white.

You might try some WD40. Give it time to dissolve the glue and then give it some elbow grease. Another thing that is designed for that is an eraser wheel. It's like a pencil eraser that turns slow and erases the residue. Here are a couple of links that might interest you:

https://www.amazon.com/3M-General-Pu...9N0Z859V1WDC3C

https://www.amazon.com/ABN-Rubber-Er...9BHD728ZR2BA9K
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
That looks more like hardened glue residue, than gelcoat. Gelcoat is white.

You might try some WD40. Give it time to dissolve the glue and then give it some elbow grease. Another thing that is designed for that is an eraser wheel. It's like a pencil eraser that turns slow and erases the residue. Here are a couple of links that might interest you:

https://www.amazon.com/3M-General-Pu...9N0Z859V1WDC3C

https://www.amazon.com/ABN-Rubber-Er...9BHD728ZR2BA9K
I may try that eraser wheel on the rest of the decals. That shadow image is after use of WD40, scraping, more WD40, goo gone, acetone, bar keepers friend with a non scratch scrubby, and then finally some automotive sandpaper and a wet sanding method. I actually stopped when that bluish showed up because I was worried I may have sanded to much.

You can run fingernails across it and it is perfectly smooth so not really anything else to scrape or rub off.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:20 PM   #7
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Goof off will get the glue off but the shadow will remain.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:22 PM   #8
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That sounds like a stain down into the gelcoat. No way that can be rubbed off, if sanding it off doesn't work.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:41 AM   #9
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We just had several posts in the Lil Snoozy manufacturers area where some of us removed decals. Yours are much older than what was posted but there were a few things folks used to remove the adhesive. I used alcohol and it worked well but my trailer was a 2015 Lil Snoozy. Good luck and I hope something works for you.
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bernese Bunch View Post
We just had several posts in the Lil Snoozy manufacturers area where some of us removed decals. Yours are much older than what was posted but there were a few things folks used to remove the adhesive. I used alcohol and it worked well but my trailer was a 2015 Lil Snoozy. Good luck and I hope something works for you.
Thanks for the response, but at this point Iím fairly confident that the shadow is not from adhesive. Iím trying to decide if I just want to deal with the shadow or get some other decal to cover it with.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:00 PM   #11
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I used aircraft decal &adhesive remover worked well
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ststefan View Post
I used aircraft decal &adhesive remover worked well
I wish we had a "like" button! Don't know where the heck you would buy something like that but kudos to you!
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:45 PM   #13
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You can get it at any auto parts store in WA State. I didn't get a ghost image on our 40 year old Boler1700.

http://www.kleanstrip.com/product/ai...hesive-remover
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:54 AM   #14
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I removed our Casita decals a number of years ago (2001 model) and the desert sun took care of the remaining outline. If I was in a hurry though I'd try the decal remover because I don't remember how long it was before the remaining stain was bleached out by the sun.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:37 AM   #15
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I picked up some of that aircraft decal remover as well as a stripe eraser. They didn't help with the shadows but sure made removing the decals a lot easier.
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