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Old 03-24-2007, 06:12 PM   #1
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
southwestern , Michigan
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removing and replacing decal strips

the blue striping on our 1979 excella motorhome is really cracked. i talked to the airstream dealer about ordering new striping, but i need ideas on the best way to remove the old cracked striping. it is cracked into very small sections. i'm afraid to use any form of heat or stripper, but i don't know how else to get it off in less time than i have left in this world! i'm sure others have dealt with this and i sure would appreciate any ideas. i won't have computer access for the next few days and i hope we can get her home by then and have more time to get to work restoring her beauty. thanks!
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Old 03-24-2007, 08:10 PM   #2
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1985 31' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
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Talking Hi

I used a hair drier to heat the tape and a razor scraper to remove the plastic decals. The hair drier will soffen up the glue and plastic. It is slow but it works. To remove the rest of the glue I use turpentine on a rag. Do not spill on the paint or it will remove the paint to.
Regards from sunny Tucson az.
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Old 03-24-2007, 08:29 PM   #3
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Charcoal lighter fluid or naptha also works to disolve the decal adhesive residual. You could use a nylon scrapper with the hairdryer. Nylon is high enough temperature that it will not melt and also does not the potential to scape the aluminum like the razor blade might do if you are not careful.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:50 AM   #4
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thanks for the help. i wanted to make sure that the hairdryer heat wouldn't hurt the aluminum. i guess i'll start it on low and try your suggestions. the solvents don't bother the clearcoat or the finish? as you can tell, i'm as nervous as a new mama! we just got her home LATE last night and it was a nerve-wracking and costly adventure. i'm excited about getting at working on restoring her former glory and beauty. i will post some pics soon. cross your fingers!!!
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:00 PM   #5
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The more deteriorated the decals, the harder they are to get off and the more chance you have of damaging the finish. Try an inconspicuous place, and if you have trouble, take the trailer to a sign outfit for an estimate. The steam heaters they use are really fast. 3M makes the best adhesive remover.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:27 PM   #6
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thanks, cbharri. they are really bad and i never would have thought of using a sign company. great ideas!
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:23 PM   #7
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solvent...

Hoppes No. 9 Solvent works wonders.
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:36 PM   #8
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Sign companies are great when it comes to vinyl decals, I should know I work at one in Kalamazoo. A bit of heat and patience go a long way, even the sun will heat up the vinyl enough to help take it off. Never heard of a steam heater to remove decals. We have a couple of powered erasers that work well. There are many chemicals that will remove glue, none of them actually get rid of the glue, and they only soften the glue up so it can be scrapped or wiped off. WD-40 works as does mineral spirits, goo gone, goof off. I would seriously not use a razor blade, if you nick the aluminum surface, it will show up in the new stripe. Hope this helps; there are no special tricks to removing vinyl, non-that I have found in the past 18 years anyway.

Derek
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:22 PM   #9
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thanks dwight and dnrtheil. i absolutely won't use a razor blade. what are powered erasers? is that something that only a business would have? dnrtheil, does your sign company remove decals? if so, could you give me an approximate cost? thanks again, cheryl.
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:30 PM   #10
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I am very interested in the replies and your success as we also purchased recently a 1983 that needs alot of exterior work. The Florida sun really caused damage and the decals will need replaced. Do you have to redo the front end as we just used flat aluminum spray paint to look good to get it home to ILLinois. Also the clearcoat or stripped and rebuffed. any info on this.
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Old 04-07-2007, 11:29 PM   #11
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Hey Cheryl,

We can remove the vinyl - it's $40/hour minimum of 1 hour. But, there's no guarantee of how long it might take. If you'd like, I can send you a PM with my phone and email address.

Derek
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Old 04-07-2007, 11:37 PM   #12
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dnrtheil, thanks that would be great!
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