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Old 09-03-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
pbahlin
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Fifth Wheel Finishing

I'm spending the Labor Day weekend in a fabulous campground, Hidden Valley RV Resort (Milton, WI). If you're anywhere near southwest Wisconsin it's worth a detour to get a site in this spotless campground that is more like a park than a campground.

As I look around, I'm drooling over the finish on the motor coaches. They're all painted, mostly darker tones, and there is nary a white one in the bunch. Virtually all the TTs and 5th wheels are boring white with stick on decals (or partially stuck graphics in my case). It's as if the coaches are taking on a more up to date type of finishing, akin to automobiles, while the TTs and fivers are stuck on white, sort of like the model airplanes of the fiftys (at least they were gray plastic).

It occurs to me that it should be possible to get a paint job ($$$$ :>{) that would bring my rig into the 21st century. Rather than goofing around replacing decals with new flaky decals why couldn't painting be an option?

Has anybody investigated this? Any ideas on what kind of finish or cost? I would expect you would wan't to use a two part finish. I know of people who've done this on fiberglass (gelcoated) boat hulls with great success but I've never heard of it being done on a trailer.

Update:....

It also occurs to me that my 'graphics' are predominantly uncompensated advertising and branding for my manufacturer. Coaches have far more subdued branding, you have to look for it in most cases or you'll miss it. So if I were to paint it, BIG SKY would become big sky and MONTANA would become montana, eh?
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:34 PM   #2
dieselguy
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Be sure and be sitting down with a nitro tablet close at hand when you inquire about full or partial body paint ... same for painted on graphics. I've asked several about how the paint holds up on the caulking around doors, hatches, and such ... no one has much experience to give me an answer.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:43 PM   #3
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Disclaimer, I know NOTHING more bout this company other than name and that they have some fans in the RV world, namly Nick of GypsyJournal fame.

I have never seen a paint job, I have no idea how much $$, I have no connection with them.

Here is a name:

Phoenix Commercial Paint, Inc.
Quality Custom Paint at Affordable Prices

Here is there web site:

http://phoenixpaintinc.com/default.aspx

Here is Nick's Blog

http://gypsyjournal.net/blog/

There is a blogger I read that has mini motor home, well, lets say it is NOT a full size MH, that had this company paint their older rig, the photo looks good. Again, I have NOT seen it in person.

Good luck.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
richfaa
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Yes and those MH cost a few more bucks than the Montana. Just for kicks get the price for a Big Sky full body paint and one without... Be sitting down.

Here you go..



2011 Keystone Montana Big Sky 340RLQ $99,647.00
On order: Big Sky Fifth Wheel, by Montana, 4 slide rear living with full body paint, combines endless luxury with great styling and durable residential appointments to create maximum enjoyment during life's best times. Leather furniture and ge... More Info - Leisure Time RV - Oklahoma City, OK
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:48 PM   #5
snfexpress
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Rich, are you buying from Leisure Time RV in OKC?
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
CORattler
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I've wondered this myself. Seems like the decals wear out/ become an issue long before the 5ver has exceeded it's useful life. I expect there are those folks out there that sell their Rvs that they are otherwise happy with because the exterior looks like .... well, crapola. If anyone can get a handle on how much a quality paint job would cost, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
HamRad
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Pbahlin,
At one of the Spring Rally gatherings Charles Wade, the Western Region Rep for Keystone, indicated that it would cost upwards of $10K for a full body paint job. I've never checked out what a paint job would cost for a Montana but I suspect it is very expensive. I would guess that the decals are much more reasonable especially compared to the paint job.

Good luck.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
CORattler
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If I'm already spending $50k+ on my Montana, I might well consider somewhere near that amount to get a full body paint with a factory guarantee. For those that plan on keeping their 5ver only 3-4 years, it may not be worth the expense. JMHO


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quote:Originally posted by HamRad

Pbahlin,
At one of the Spring Rally gatherings Charles Wade, the Western Region Rep for Keystone, indicated that it would cost upwards of $10K for a full body paint job. I've never checked out what a paint job would cost for a Montana but I suspect it is very expensive. I would guess that the decals are much more reasonable especially compared to the paint job.

Good luck.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:32 PM   #9
exav8tr
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In speaking with the fabled, Charles Wade, a Keystone District Rep, while at the Fall Rally '08, he says the build time for a Montana is 1 day, but it takes him two weeks to send it out for a full body paint job. I would imagine this puts a kink into the production schedule and to do it more often would be a headache. Seems like they could have their own paint shop though and offer a custom paint job as an expensive option. With their record, not sure it would last any longer than the decals......Maybe even offering a unit, sans decals, sos you could have it painted the way you want it, Of course this would mean "no advertising" for Keystone, not sure they would go for that......
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:09 AM   #10
richfaa
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Mike ..No we are not... We just used that as a pricing example......

We see plain white wrapper Big Skys in the lot at the factory awaiting the full body paint. Why not order a Montana without decals and have the full body paint of your choice at a place of your choice at a price of your choice, from what we see on the factory line it would not seem to be any additional trouble or time to NOT install the decals.

We can ask that question at the fall rally
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:37 AM   #11
adelmoll
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We love our full body paint on our Big Sky.... At the time we bought ours there was an introductory price of $7,000 for the paint..

Helen
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:44 AM   #12
Montana Sky
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If I were to order a new coach, full body paint is the way I'd go. As long as the side walls on the slide out rooms were painted to match.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #13
pbahlin
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It's too easy to throw out a number for a paint job, after the rig is built. Since most of the area of the rig is fiberglass coming out of a mold isn't it true that the color is largely a function of the gelcoat they spray into the mold before they start throwing in the glass and polyester goop?

If you make the color a part of the build, not an after thought then the cost shouldn't change much.
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Old 09-05-2010, 05:44 AM   #14
Fiver Get You Ten
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Had a neighbor at campground last fall in Gatlinburg who had a new Grand Junction that he had ordered without any graphics. He told me that he had an appointment with someone to "wrap" it to match his MD truck. Did not mention cost, but bet it looked good when finished!
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Old 09-05-2010, 05:50 AM   #15
richfaa
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How much is full body paint for a Montana.....have that question written down and will ask it at the fall rally. Will also ask if you can order a plain white wrapper and have it done at the same facility that does the Big Sky.
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