RV owners want their vehicle investment to last a long time. One of the best ways in addition to generally maintaining the RV is to wrap the RV.
RV wraps don’t last forever, though, and can lose their effectiveness over time. This article explores how long you should expect an RV wrap to last.
RV wraps can last 5 to 7 years depending on how you treat them. You should start to expect to see small problems with your wrap after that timeline.
Types of wraps
One of the first things to consider when wanting to know how long RV wraps last is the brand name. While your RV wrap probably isn’t being used for fashionable purposes, companies like 3M and Avery have been making wraps and other protective materials for a long time and know how to do it.
RV wraps come in one primary material, with vinyl. Vinyl does a good job of protecting the RV and also making any decals or graphics look good and sharp for a long time. RV wraps don’t tend to come in materials besides vinyl because vinyl is proven to work and last.
Does buying a wrap from a company we didn’t mention mean it’s not going to last as long? No, not necessarily. Many companies make good wraps, but 3M and Avery know wraps well and are also fairly easy to find at auto shops, online, and at stores.
How long do they last?
RV wraps tend to last 5 to 7 years after application. After 5 -7 years RV wraps can start to crack, peel and fade. In reality, their effectiveness of protecting the RV will continue, but RV owners often wrap for looks and protection – and might not be as happy after a few years.
Does the coating matter?
RV wraps have either a matte or a glossy coating. The type of coating is more aesthetic than anything.
A glossy wrap might fade a bit faster by comparison, simply because it intends to have a shine that doesn’t last forever for either. You might notice a matte wrap fade more slowly, but they don’t have shine in the first place.
What can I do to make my wrap last?
One of the most important things you do to making a wrap last a long time is to either install it correctly or ensure someone else installs it correctly.
Poorly installed wraps are more likely to have bubbles or poor edges, leading to moisture and other debris to get into the wrap. A poorly installed wrap isn’t as tight as a result, and won’t protect as well for as long.
Another key is making a wrap last longer is parking it in a protected area or shade. Vinyl can be faded by direct sunlight. Vinyl also will gradually be worn out by snow or rain. The purpose of the vinyl is to protect the RV and keep nature off of it while giving your RV a nice look, so the wrap has achieved this while having its own material worn out instead of your RV siding.
You can also pressure wash or hose wash your RV to keep sticky materials off the RV. This keeps the wrap looking better and less likely to fade because of organic material like sap or pine needles.
How do I install a wrap to make it last?
If you have a lot of time on your hands and plenty of attention to detail, you can install the wrap yourself. Part of the issue with properly installing a wrap as an RV owner is that many RV owners have done it once or twice. Find a professional installer who has installed wraps hundreds of times.
They tend to know how to align the wrap properly and make it very flat with no bubbles, while achieving just the right edges.
RV wraps are a great item to protect your RV in the long and short term. A well installed and maintained wrap should last at least 5 years without the effects of fading graphics or peeling. A gloss wrap might fade a bit faster, simply because it has an extra glossy coating that’s meant to catch your eye – and you’ll notice the difference earlier.
We suggest you park your RV away from nature when possible and outside of direct sunlight, and wash the wrap occasionally to maintain its appearance. Your investment will be well protected.