It seems like every major purchase comes with the option to get some protection plan. RVs are no different. And of course, these warranties and protection plans can come with a hefty price tag.
Purchasing the RV paint and protection is an option you should consider, as well as the option to do it yourself.
Is RV paint and fabric protection worth it? Paint and fabric protection has many benefits that may save you money. RV paint and fabric protection plans are usually worth the money because the service and materials are covered in the cost.
You can apply for paint and fabric protection yourself, but this isn’t as cost-effective or efficient unless you already have the tools and materials.
Read on to learn more about paint and fabric protection products and whether you can save money by applying them yourself.
What is RV Paint and Fabric Protection?
RV paint and fabric protectors are spray-on products that, along with proper care and maintenance, help to preserve the appearance of your RV.
Most RV dealerships offer professional paint and fabric protection packages as part of the purchase, but similar products can also be applied by hand.
While the products are similar, they are not the same. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of each type of product.
Paint protection products are made of polymers and sprayed onto the exterior of your RV. Once applied, the polymer particles combine to create a hard plastic coating over the RV’s surface.
This coating effectively seals any scratches or exposed areas to prevent rust.
It also protects the paint surface, smoothing over any pores and gaps in the paint or body of the RV, and acting as a durable layer against damage of all kinds.
Professionally applied products, such as Diamond Kote, usually come with a warranty of up to ten years.
Like paint products, fabric protection products bind together and create a barrier against damage.
Fabric products are meant to be used inside the RV to seal carpet, fabric, and leather.
Because they come in much closer contact with the users of the RV, they are made of non-toxic and hypoallergenic materials.
These products are intended to protect against stains and keep your RV’s interior looking like new. Professionally applied fabric products also generally come with up to a ten-year warranty.
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Benefits of RV Paint and Fabric Protection
So now that you have a general idea of what paint and fabric protectors are, you may still be wondering, “Are they vital? Do the benefits outweigh the cost?”
Of course, only you can make that decision, but there are a lot of good reasons for using paint and fabric protection.
Whether you have it done professionally or decide to do it yourself, here are some of the benefits of applying paint and fabric protectors to your RV.
Protect your RV from Damage
The paint protectors help to guard your exterior against all types of damage, including cracking, peeling, dents and scratches, fading, and rust.
The plastic polymers bind to your RV paint, creating a dependable and long-lasting seal against whatever nature tries to throw at it.
Fabric protectors guard against damage to your RV’s interior.
They help to seal out stains and odors that would ruin unprotected seats and carpet, making it easier to clean up after spills or pet accidents.
Fabric protectors work similarly to paint protectors, binding to the fabric, and creating a watertight seal.
Increase the Value of your RV
Because they reduce the effects of use and weathering, paint and fabric protectors also keep your RV looking like new for much longer.
And a newer-looking RV, free of damage, will maintain its value for much longer.
Related reading: What is Better: Vinyl or Acrylic Awning? (Acrylic vs. Vinyl Awnings)
Extend the Life of your RV
Paint and fabric protectors can help your RV last longer by preventing damage and preserving the RV’s appearance.
Of course, you will still need to keep your RV adequately maintained and serviced.
But as long as you do your part, using paint and fabric protection will undoubtedly contribute to an increased lifespan for your RV.
Can You Apply Paint and Fabric Protection Yourself?
There are some paint and fabric protection products on the market that you can use yourself. These products work reasonably well and can save you quite a bit of money, but applying them requires time and can be a bit of a hassle.
When applying your paint and fabric protectors, follow these steps.
Choose your Products
When choosing your products, consider which types of products would work best for your RV.
In general, you will need to use some paint sealant for the exterior, but make sure the kind you use is appropriate for your RV body’s material.
For example, if your RV is made out of fiberglass, use a sealant that’s rated for fiberglass.
The same goes for interior products. Make sure you buy the right product for the right materials.
You may have to buy separate products for the carpet and the seats. Products may fully waterproof your fabrics or only prevent stains.
Some may also prevent UV damage.
Depending on the product, you may also want to invest in an applicator. Most products will need to be sprayed on, but they may or may not come with the sprayer.
Make sure you know ahead of time what you will need to apply the product.
Clean your RV
You can either wash your RV with soap, water, and sponges or rags, or you can buy a special dry wash and wax product.
After cleaning your exterior, make sure it is scorched before applying the paint protector.
Vacuum your carpets and seats and, if needed, use a carpet shampooer or fabric cleaner to deep clean any problem spots.
Again, for interior protectors, make sure the carpet and fabric are completely dry before applying.
Apply the Products
Follow the directions on the product bottles for how to apply. Make sure you apply it evenly and don’t oversaturate any one area.
Allow an appropriate amount of time for the products to dry and set before using your RV again.
Pros and Cons of Self-Apply Paint and Fabric Protectors
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, applying your paint and fabric, protectors are a great way to save money, but it doesn’t come without its challenges.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of using self-apply paint and fabric protectors.
- Inexpensive: whereas professionally applied paint and fabric protectors may cost four or five thousand dollars, the DIY products are considerably cheaper.
- Provides adequate protection: depending on the quality of the products you choose, self-apply paint and fabric protectors are often just as effective as the professional products at preventing stains, damage, and fading.
- Gives you control: with self-applied protectants, you can choose which products you want to use and apply them as often or as rarely as you see fit. You do it on your schedule and according to what you determine is best. This gives you added control over caring for your RV.
- Temporary: self-applied paint and fabric protectors don’t often come with a warranty, and they are never expected to last as long as the professional products. In many cases, they will have to be reapplied annually, and sometimes more often depending on how much use the RV receives.
- Hassle to apply: due to the size of an RV and the necessary pre-application cleaning, applying protectants on your own can be a time-consuming nuisance. If you don’t have the time or the patience for repeated cleanings and reapplications, having a professional do it for you may be the better option.
Paint and fabric protectors are a necessary part of owning an RV if you want to keep your paint job and interior looking like new.
Whether you choose to have the protectants applied professionally or do it yourself, you’ll be glad you spent the extra time and money to keep your RV in top shape year after year.
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