Painting an RV – What B/C to use and best prep strategy (PICS)

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    I am painting a fiberglass 2001 Class A motorhome. I was originally just going remove the faded/cracked decals and repaint the skirt (lower 1/4 was painted) since the paint had failed. After removing the decals I’ve found the fiberglass has suffered from thermal cracking under the dark ones, so the only way to clean this up now is a full paint job. I am going with 70% solid white, 30% solid light tan.

    I was originally going to single stage the whole thing white, and then scuff and shoot the light tan two-tone in base and clear it all. This was due to the size of the job and the time constraints of recoat. I don’t like the idea of scuffing it all though, it seems like a lot area so the chance of not getting a good tooth for the base or clear on some spots goes up and means the job could fail prematurely. I’m not opposed to doing it that way, but now I’m leaning towards all base/clear and working in sections since the job can be split up where the molding and panels and such divide the surface… just one side at a time.

    What do you think… would the B/C doing to that way be more optimal? Can you recommend a specific base and clear for this application that you sell? I am more interested in longevity than a show finish.

    Once I have settled on the paint system, I need to work out the prep. The rig comprises of 80% fiberglass with good gelcoat (aside from the places with the thermal cracks), painted plastic doors (paint is perfect), aluminum storage doors (paint is faded and clear has failed) and a steel sheet metal rear cap (paint is perfect on it).

    I’m pretty sure I can just repaint over everything so long as it has been scuffed and I knock off all the clear, especially the failed areas?

    I’m certain the areas where the thermal cracking took place will need at a minimum sanded smooth and primered to fill them.

    Should I primer the whole thing and seal it, and then spray, or just spot primer it and not bother with sealing it?

    I’m just not sure what I should with the prep, and if primer is enough for those cracks. I’m kind of hoping for a recommendation on the base, clear and primer and to the extent I should prep it.

    Here are some pics to get an idea of what I’m working with. The pic of whole rig, everything that is not white is paint. The swoosh on the rear of it is actually single stage paint (no clear on it and it is thick so I don’t think it was base to begin with). I have included an up close pic of that grey paint and you can see how it caused thermal cracking from the darker paint.

    I have also included a photo where you can see the thermal cracking that took place under the dark color decals.

    Any feedback would be appreciated, I’m looking to start sanding this weekend and hopefully get the paint and primer ordered asap to start priming and/or shooting by the following weekend.




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