How To Remove Sticker Residue from Camper

Removing an old, faded decal sticker from a camper or trailer is tough to do. Sometimes, they both come off with ease but usually, persistence is required.

When successfully removing the sticker, you’re lucky if the glue comes off at the same time. Usually, it doesn’t…

Now you have a second problem: How to remove sticker residue from camper?

In this article, we cover what you should use and how to go about doing it.

How To Remove Sticker Residue from Camper

Here are the steps involved to remove the decal (if it’s still on the camper or RV) and then the sticker residue that’s been left behind.

Apply Heat to the Sticker Decal

The sticker decal has likely been stuck on the side of the camper for years, maybe even decades. It won’t budge without considerable encouragement.

How do you get old stickers off a camper?

Begin with a little gentle nudging. It’s necessary to heat the sticker.

Care needs to be applied, not just because you’ll be using a heat source but also because it potentially could damage the paintwork, siding, metal, or whatever surrounds it or is beneath it.

You don’t want to strip that off along with the decal!

Apply some heat and then use a plastic razor scraper to gently edge along one end of the decal sticker. A heat-gun, hairdryer, or steamer can each provide a sufficient heat source.

EHDIS 1.5″ Plastic Razor Scraper. Double Edged Plastic Blades for Removing Decals. 10 blades. (Blue)

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Don’t be surprised if you successfully remove the decal, but a sticker residue remains. Follow the rest of the steps to fix that too.

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Use an Adhesive Remover Product

To remove the glue residue, it won’t come off by using a scraper or another object.

You may be successful in extracting a little bit of it, but you’re highly unlikely to remove all of it.

To remove the sticking residue on the camper, trailer, or RV, it’s necessary to use an adhesive remover.

We recommend either Goof Off Sticker Remover or Goo Gone.

Goof Off Professional Strength Adhesive Remover – Pourable Liquid – FG653 (16-oz)

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Once you have the decal glue remover, put on some protective gloves, and set aside a roll of kitchen paper.

Go ahead and apply the adhesive removal liquid or spray to the sticker residue. Be sure not to miss any spots.

These are rapid removers.

Once you’ve given it a minute or two, use a putty knife to remove the gluey bits that should now lift off without a problem.

As you go along, wipe the collected glue bits off the putty knife onto the strips of kitchen towel until the task is completed.

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover Spray Gel – Sticker Residue Lifter (2 Pack)

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Older camper or trailer with faded paint

Removing Oxidation

Oxidation is visible on the camper.

The exterior surface has suffered from discoloration due to the RV being out in the sun too long and too often.

However, the dimming of the brightness and hue can be returned.

How do I get rid of ghost letters?

What’s typical after decal removal is to still see ghost images of where the decal letters once were. Oxidation is the cause.

A special oxidation remover such as Meguiar’s Marine Multi-Surface Cleaner is best to bring the color back to the way it was, so ghost letters are no longer visible.

Many RVers are surprised by what they can achieve with a little effort.

Meguiar’s Extreme Marine Multi-Surface Cleaner. 32 Fluid Ounces (M180332)

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Also, consider scrubbing the surrounding areas to bring back their shine too. Pads used for paint stripping work well for this.

Faded decals artificially age a camper or RV, so brightening them up can take years off it.

Give the Camper a Good Wash

Even if you do a great job in removing the decals and taking off the sticky residue left behind, there may still be one or two bits left behind.

To handle these, give your camper a good wash from the top to the bottom.

It will prevent any remnants from remaining and avoid them from creating more problems.

RV soaps and a bucket of water should be enough to get the job done.

Applying some wax will also protect any remaining or replacement decals from future oxidation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a couple of additional questions that crop up regularly on this topic:

Removing Sticker Residue from Fiberglass?

If you own a fiberglass camper, it’s possible to use acetone on it and the sticky residue often will loosen up.

If Goo Gone or Goof Off aren’t doing the trick for you, then try a small amount of acetone with a new cloth.

Whatever you do, do not use gasoline on fiberglass as a cleaner because the flammable risk is far too great.

How Do You Remove Adhesive from Aluminum?

Trailers made from aluminum require different treatment than campers comprised of other materials.

Using acetone works to make the glue softer, so it’ll wipe off later.

Closing Thoughts

Removing camper or RV decals, getting the sticker residue to disappear, and making ghost lettering images magically disappear from the exterior requires a bit of effort.

Soap and water aren’t going to get it done.

Even a good long scrubbing with a sponge or squeegee will fail in its mission.

Only when using the correct types of removal products can the decals be removed, sticker residue ‘n’ all, and the oxidation handled too.

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