The Secret to Easier RV Decal Removal

Since RV manufacturers seem determined to continue to use decals that fail far too soon, I thought I’d share this gadget we used for decal removal and what tips we figured out about it.

It’s a rubber eraser wheel. You attach it to your drill and it takes off old decals. It’s still a good bit of work, but it is SO much faster than manual ways and left no scratches like scraping can.

Decal Removal Process
It takes several passes to remove both the vinyl and the adhesive, but it leaves a clean surface without any scratching.

Things we learned and are passing on:

  1. Don’t stay in one spot too long or the fiberglass will get very hot and show tiny little bubbles. So move it around as you work. No problems once we did that.
  2. We used the cheap ones and tried a more expensive 3M one. We saw no difference. And since you go through them fairly quickly (one wheel for a couple of large decals), this matters.
  3. If you use a rechargeable drill, have a good stock of batteries. It’ll eat through them. We eventually just switched to a plug-in drill.
  4. It also takes off most of the sticky underneath, but the last bit we removed with Goof Off. The wheel leaves a lot of rubber dust mess, but that just sweeps off easily.
  5. The color under may be less faded or yellow than the other parts that were exposed. We left it untreated and after about 6 months, the UV exposure evened it out a lot. Cleaning the RV with a nice wax or gloss also helped even the differences.

Our RV looks a lot nicer without the decals that were cracking and peeling.

We tried both the ABN and the more expensive 3M wheels. We saw no difference in effectiveness, so we recommend the solid ABN wheel, or the slotted ABN wheel.

Test to determine which wheel type works best on your RV decals.

There are two wheel types. They are both made out of the same material, but one has gaps to help release heat. We found the solid wheel to be more aggressive and to work better, but as mentioned, you do have to watch for heat buildup.

Also, help reduce heat build up, the manufacturer recommends the following:

For use with an electric drill with a maximum of 4,000 RPM (best results between 1,500 and 3,000) (Not for use on lacquer coatings and not effective on some reflective tapes.)

Your results may vary depending on the type of graphic, surface it is on, and whether it is a motorhome, trailer, or fifth-wheel. We suggest testing each wheel type on a small inconspicuous part of your RV to determine what works best for your specific situation. As always, read all the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions.

Where can you find a decal removal eraser wheel?

Amazon has a number of suppliers (and even brands) that can provide the decal eraser wheels for much easier decal removal:

ABN Solid Eraser Wheel on Amazon
ABN Slotted Eraser Wheel on Amazon

ABN Decal Remover
ABN Brand Decal Remover Wheel

Manufacturer Description:
OBLITERATE DECALS: Use the ABN Rubber Eraser Wheel Adhesive Remover with Adapter 1-Pack to remove any vinyl, decal, graphic, double-sided molding tape, striping, and trim on your car, truck, or similar vehicle; 4-inch (10.2cm) diameter (larger than others!); Molded rubber medium density drill attachment tool with a stop use line;

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