Vinyl Wrap vs Paint for RV Exterior repairs

Vinyl Wrap vs Paint for RV Exterior repairs

Last Updated on :

Vinyl wrap or paint is the common dilemma for RV owners when they are bored with their RV’s appearance, or their motorhome is already showing signs of deterioration and would like to update the look of their RV.

But whether you are planning to have your vehicle wrapped in vinyl or you want it with a fresh coat of paint, there are many advantages and disadvantages that RV owners have to consider based on personal preferences.

Read on to find out.

Vinyl Wrap Pros and Cons

1. It is customizable

It is now possible to choose the design that you like or the print with your vinyl wrap.

Some samples are available on the net if you need to have some new ideas. This makes it easier for you to follow a certain pattern that is according to your taste.

2. Various Options

The color will also depend on your taste, like paint, it also has many colors to choose from besides the availability of various finishes like semi-gloss, matte, gloss, satin, or chrome.

3. Affordable

Although it will also cost you to choose a vinyl wrap for your car, it is not as expensive as having your car painted.

Also, you can guarantee to have a nicely wrapped RV for 3 to 5 years or even longer if you know the maintenance and care.

The cost for RV vinyl wrap will depend on:

  • Graphics you want to use
  • Whether it is a half wrap
  • Three-quarter, or a full wrap.

For RVs with slide-out, roof access ladders, RVs with multiple wheels also add to the cost.

Also, the cost will depend on the length, height, and width of your vehicle and can cost anywhere between two thousand to eight thousand dollars. It can change depending on some factors as well.

4. Faster

Vinyl wrap is much faster to get completed. It is not like repainting the RV where it will take several days. With a vinyl wrap, it requires making sure your RV is clean and the materials are all available.

The process of vinyl wrapping your RV involves picking out the design that you fancy, which is considered the hardest, cause some owners cannot decide on what pattern or graphics they like.

Once the wrap is produced and printed, it entails cutting to fit during the installation.

The last step is installation and must be done by a professional because it will be difficult for a novice to do the wrapping, particularly around the door handle, headlight, emblem, mirror, antenna, and other obstacles.

The success of vinyl wrap installation will depend on how good and experienced your installers are, or else some parts of the RV can be compromised.

Experienced installers know how to measure every panel, are experienced in cutting, laying sheets, smoothing, removing wrinkles, and sealing the wraps.

5. Changeable

Some RV owners want to freshen up the appearance of their RV. It is by changing the paint color or with a vinyl wrap.

It is another advantage with vinyl wrap cause there is the option to change the design, and color, once you tire of the same appearance of your RV. Updating the look of your vehicle is now made easier.

There is now a solution to the dilemma of changing the aesthetic of your RV, and vinyl wrap is the better option for others.

6. Serves as protection

With high-quality vinyl, the advantage is that it can keep the original paint of your vehicle pristine.

You can remove the vinyl when you need to sell your RV. A vinyl wrap can last for years, so the paintwork of your RV will still be intact, and you are sure that the quality of the paint is still remarkable.


1. You need a certified installer

It is the biggest downside to vinyl wrapping your RV cause you need to find a professional installer who will do a perfect job, and ensure a warranty or guarantee with their work.

You may think you are getting a bargain with some affordable vinyl wrapping only to find out that it is less durable, or it fades fast. Choose a high-quality vinyl and get the help of a professional cause you will save money that way.

2. You cannot drastically change the appearance of your RV

There may be legalities regarding the change in your RV’s look, so you need to give a heads up to the insurance company, but it will still depend on what changes you are planning on your vehicle.

3. Vinyl wrap also needs extra care

You need to ensure that you are not using harsh brushes when cleaning the vinyl wrapping of your RV, or you may find it with some scratches. Using a soft, wet cloth to wipe it will do.

When you are not using your RV, keep it hidden or parked in a shaded garage, or the color can also fade in time. However, there are UV-resistant coatings that can keep the color of vinyl beautiful for years.

4. Not usable every time

You cannot use vinyl wrap if your RV already has a paint condition or any warping on its surface. The rough spots or areas of imperfection will appear after wrapping the vehicle.

The vinyl wrapping will also not stick as much if there is an underlying issue with your RV. The ideal thing to do is smoothen or fill up any gaps in your RV before wrapping it with vinyl.

Paint Pros and Cons

1. It can last for many years

With proper care and maintenance, a painted RV can last a lifetime. It only requires cleaning and ensuring that your RV is stored away from direct sunlight and safe during winter.

2. Various colors available

There are so many options to choose from when you want to change the paint of your RV. You only need to look for a professional who will do the job. This guarantees that everything will run smoothly, and you will have no regrets afterward.

3. It is easy to find a company that will do a great painting job

Painting a vehicle is the usual way to change the look of most vehicles, which includes the RV. Many companies offer this service, and you need only to choose the best and is reputable in the business.

Professional painters know the steps in painting your RV, such as preparing the exterior of your RV, including scraping, sanding, pressure washing, and removal of unwanted bumps or lumps on the RV’s surface.

The coating will be next, and then there is the drying process which is longer and can take up to eight hours. It will add more time for the painting job, depending on the number of layers or coats.


1. It costs more

The painting job will cost more than wrapping your RV in vinyl because of the preparation it takes before the actual painting job.

The factor that can change the price will be the type of paint used in your RV, the company that will do it, or how good the painters will be. You need to shell out anywhere between $3000 to as high as $12000 or sometimes more.

2. Less design option

Vinyl wrap can be customized, and it is not just one color you can use for the pattern.

There are outlines and graphics if you want to go for it. When using paint, there is a single color you can use or a combination of two to three colors is also possible.

3. Harder to remove

Paint will take time and effort to remove from your RV. it must be sanded off cause it is permanent. Vinyl wrap, on the other hand, is easy to remove and replace.

RV manufacturers now have an open mind about using vinyl wraps because it opens up options when changing the look of RVs.

It is no longer just with painting that the appearance of the RV changes but also with some graphics, patterns, and designs available in vinyl wraps. Customizing RVs is now effortless. Not only does it cost less, but it also takes lesser time to have it installed.

Painting the RV also has its advantage, and for those who don’t like the idea of finding a design or pattern they like when using the vinyl wrap, a paint job is a great option, particularly if an RV owner will keep their RV for over five years.

There is also less maintenance and keeping it clean is easy.

RV manufacturers think it will still depend on personal choices and again on the particular preference of an RV owner.


RV paint job has its advantage and disadvantage, and so does vinyl wrap. Traditionalists will prefer getting permanent paint for their RVs and not keen on changing the look often with a vinyl wrap.

Other RV owners who are more into having fun with the appearance and design of their RV will benefit more from this option. It may be as easy as changing clothes for them and does not see it as challenging.

It will all boil down to personal preference and with what RV owners think will work best for them.

Karuna N

Karuna is a RV enthusiast who loves outdoors and passionate about writing about RV's and camping in general.
Close Menu