You own a travel trailer that is in good overall condition, but it has an outdated paint job, aged colors, and/or a peeling exterior. How can you renew the look of your trailer while also adding value to your investment?
Painting a travel trailer is a great way to update the look of your trailer, as well as adding a layer of protection against the weather. This can be done to most or all exterior portions of your model.
Choosing to paint a trailer can have a lot of benefits in the long run, both on your trailer and your wallet. By taking care of a trailer’s paint job, you can lessen the amount of work required on the trailer and ensure it is road ready for all future adventures.
Can a travel trailer be painted? Yes, you can paint a travel trailer. Whether you have aluminum or fiberglass sides, they can be painted. You will want to make sure to prep your trailer the best that you can before to make your paint job last as long as possible.
Reasons to Paint a Trailer
There are a lot of reasons why an individual might want to paint the outside of their trailer, from personal preferences to protective coatings or a mixture of both. Whatever your reasons might be for having this done, it can be a wise investment in the future life of your travel trailer.
Many people do not have the means of keeping their trailer in an enclosed space such as a garage or an overhead awning. Because of this, the exterior paint becomes exposed to the elements, such as rain, heat and winter weather conditions. This can cause the outer surface of your trailer to deteriorate and age at a faster rate than normal. Preserving the paint job guarantees that the trailer is guarded from these elements and will hold up over a longer period of time.
A neglected paint job can also make your trailer look older than it actually is. This will cause it to look less valuable than it is worth, and reduces the resale value of your model. By updating the paint job and color schemes, your trailer will look more modern and pristine as compared to its previous state. Due to this, your trailer will increase in its value and will glean more in resale value when that time comes.
The Cost of Painting a Trailer
When making the decision to have your trailer painted, you will be presented with two options on accomplishing this task: take your trailer to a professional or attempt the job at home. There are positives and negatives to both options. Review businesses for quality assurance and assess your own abilities before making a decision on how to go about painting your trailer.
Having a professional repaint your trailer is a fast and easy method to achieve your desired look. Many professionals are able to do this for any type of trailer that is brought to them, and will have the proper setup required to get the job done effectively and efficiently. They are able to obtain the right paint types, as well as use quality materials throughout the project. However, this service can come at a pretty hefty cost. The estimated cost of painting a travel trailer lands anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. The size of the model, paint quality and number of colors the owner selects will all affect the final price.
Doing it yourself requires a lot more elbow grease but will save you a significant chunk of money in the long run. This job could cost an individual anywhere from $500 on up, depending on the length of the trailer and the number of colors selected. Doing it yourself will also take much longer to do, and will require a location that is suitable for performing the task over an extended period of time.
Maintaining Your Trailer’s Paint Job After Painting
After you have had your trailer repainted, either professionally or personally, make sure that you are maintaining the paint job to reduce the amount of time required between the next servicing. Here are a few, easy steps that travel trailer owners can take to ensure that their paint job is protected and well cared for after completion.
- Keep your Travel Trailer Out of the Sun – Constant sun exposure can have negative side effects on your trailer’s paint job. If possible, park your trailer in a place that is not in direct sunlight, such as in a trailer garage or under an awning. This may not be possible for everyone, so think of some alternatives, such as securely covering it with a tarp.
- Avoid Parking Your Trailer Under a Tree – Parking your trailer under a tree may seem like a good idea in order to get your trailer out of the sun. However, trees tend to drop sap, leaves, and water droplets onto the top of your trailer, causing damage to the roof. Finding another location for your trailer, or covering it while parked under a tree, is the best solution for this problem.
- Regularly Wash Your Trailer After Each Use – Dirt, bug splatters, and other things that are picked up on road trips can weaken the finish of your trailer’s exterior paint. Washing these off after every use gets rid of these so that they do not stay on the coat working against it. While on a trip, if you are traveling through many unpaved areas or through harsher weather than normal, you may want to wash your trailer off continually throughout the duration of the trip.
- Be Careful Choosing Cleaning Products – Some cleaning products will deteriorate your paint job more than others, such as those containing acidic substances. Choose wisely when selecting what cleaning supplies to use on your trailer, and use proper cleaning techniques so as to not rub off the finish in certain areas.
Implementing these few steps will ensure that your travel trailer’s new paint job will stay at its best for as long as possible. It will also decrease the time required between servicing the exterior of the trailer. This will save its owner money in the long run.
Alternatives to Painting a Trailer
If the cost of getting your trailer professionally painted is too much or the idea of doing the job yourself seems like too much of an undertaking, there are some other options that are available to you. Polishing the existing paint job will enhance the shine and brilliance of the colors already present. While it may not eliminate some of the imperfections on the exterior surface, it can still make a significant difference and costs much less than an entire repaint.
Another option to consider is to get your trailer professionally wrapped. This process will cover the entirety of the travel trailer in a vinyl coating. Wrapping a trailer is typically less expensive than repainting a trailer. However, it must be done by a professional company that has the right materials and tools to get the job done correctly. Note that you will be charged per square foot of required vinyl. Wrapping a trailer will only be applicable on fiberglass sided units as units with corrugated siding have too many ridges to be wrapped.
Deciding to paint the exterior of your trailer will improve it’s value and curb appeal. There are multiple methods to achieve this new and improved look. Conduct some research to find out what method fits your trailer and your budget the best. You will have a brand new looking trailer in no time!
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