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Diamond Shield Front End Protection


Full body paint sure does look great on an RV. Unfortunately, stone chips can make an otherwise beautiful paint job look like it's been through a war. The latest trend in body armor for your coach is a urethane film applied to the frontal area of the coach. Coach builders generally install this shield around door latches and near the steps to prevent scuffing from shoes when entering the RV also. The film is made by a number of vendors, most notably 3M Corporation and Diamond Shield, and is used by a large number of coach builders in the RV industry.

It's basically an 8 mil urethane foam that is custom cut to fit the RV. It is then applied with a special transparent self-adhesive, allowing the edges to cover the various corners and gaps. When complete, the beauty of the original finish will show through but it will be protected by a urethane barrier which resists stone chips and other potential hazards to your paint. Because it's not paint, it doesn't need to be cared for in the same way as paint. However, there are a few specific tips to properly care for your protective shield and we'll list them right here.

  • Do not use any harsh or abrasive cleaners or detergents. It's not paint, it's urethane. But, it can discolor if you use "hot" stuff when washing and it can lose it's transparency if you scrub it with anything that's abrasive. So, leave the pot scrubbing pads in the kitchen where they belong. Your best bet is to use car washing soaps that are safe for washing paint.

  • Be very careful if you use a pressure washer. If you get too close with the nozzle you can tear the film. Stay a safe distance away, just as if it was a painted surface.

  • You use a wax to seal up your car's paint so that it is protected from airborne fallout and harmful UV rays of the sun. While you can use these waxes on your urethane shield, a better bet would be 303 Aerospace Protectant or Protect All. Both of these products replenish and provide UV screening protection, repel dust, soiling, and staining, and should be applied every couple of months. If you have minor scuffs the NOVUS line of products is highly recommended.

  • If you have dirt residue sticking to the edges of your shield just wipe the edge off with a clean white cloth soaked in some rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl). Stubborn bug stains can be treated the same way, blotting the stain for 3-4 days with the vehicle in direct sunlight. Most bug stains should eventually bleed out. Isopropyl alcohol is generally found in drug stores and come with a 71% to 91% alcohol by volume. The higher the percentage, the better it'll work.


Submitted by Mark Quasius - 4/24/06

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