How Much Does It Cost to Wrap an RV? 8 Variables Compared

How Much Does It Cost to Wrap an RV

Wrapping your RV is a great choice for a few reasons. The number one reason is that it extends the life of the RV exterior. The vinyl wrap that coats the outside of the RV will be the first line of defence against the harsh elements that plague all vehicles. The second reason that you might consider wrapping your RV is that you want to breathe some uniqueness into it. People are always trying to match their personalities to the things that they wear, use, and buy, so why should RVs be any different? The last reason that you might decide to wrap your RV is that you want to make your business or business partners known as you travel. Nothing like driving down the interstate to get people’s attention for free!

Regardless of the reason that you decide to wrap your RV, everyone needs to make an additional consideration: how much does it cost? In short, it really depends on the following factors and in this article, we will describe these factors:

  1. The size of RV you want to be wrapped.
  2. The design of your wrap.
  3. How much of your RV you want wrapped (full or partial wrapping).
  4. The quality of the materials used for the wrapping.
  5. The wrap artist’s particular fees.
  6. Attempting a DIY wrap.
  7. Alternatives to wrapping.
  8. Deciding on whether or not to paint or wrap your RV.

1. How big is your RV?

How big is your RV

One of the first things you have to consider when you are pricing out your RV wrap is the size of the RV. This one is relatively straight forward, as the concept is fairly simple: the more surface area that your RV has, the more material is going to be used to wrap it, and the more it’s going to cost!

The type of RV you’re having wrapped also makes a difference in pricing as well. The cost of Class A motorhome wraps is going to vary quite a bit from wrapping a travel trailer. Each wrapping company will vary in cost based on their ability to source materials as well as their design talents and availability. 

What if your RV has windows and slide outs that you want wrapping, does that cost extra? Should that be included in the design features?

2. What sort of design are you going to use in rv wrap?

What sort of design are you going to use in rv wrap

Another big factor in the RV wrap cost will be the design being put onto the sides of your RV. Again, this factor is relatively straight forward as well. The fancier and more intricate the design, the longer it will take to put it onto the vinyl wrap, and the more design fee it will cost!

Be sure that when you’re designing your wrap to consider whether or not you want to include covering the windows and the slide outs to your RV. Windows and slide-outs take special consideration to wrap properly by the wrapping company, so you’ll likely end up paying a bit more for having those pieces wrapped on your RV. 

When you’re designing your wrap, be sure to also consider how much coverage you’re going to want. Do you want to have different designs on each aspect of your RV? These are things to consider when figuring out your design options!

3. Full rv wrapping or partial rv wrapping?

What kind of materials are being used in rv wraps (2)

Thankfully, when you’re designing a wrap for your motorhome, you can choose to do full wrap or partial or half wrap your RV. You can choose to have one solid design that goes around the entirety of the RV or you can choose to break it up with different designs for the sides, front, and back.

In addition to that, you can choose to save a little bit of money and choose to only have a fraction of your RV wrapped. If you want to only have the front wrapped, you can do that! If you just want the sides, you can get that ordered as well! 

The thing to keep in mind here, just like we’ve talked about before, is that the more surface area that you have wrapped, the more it will cost. 

4. What kind of materials are being used in rv wraps?

What kind of materials are being used in rv wraps

Materials for wrapping do play a factor in the quality and cost of your wrap. Ask your wrap artist what sort of materials they use, because this can play a big factor in the RV wrap cost as well as the longevity of your RV wraps.

One of the most important things to know with materials is the type of vinyl film being used. The absolute best brands that create vinyl for wraps are 3M and Avery Dennison. These two brands have created a large amount of trust behind their products due to the quality of the images produced on the vinyl and how long they last. 

If you’re on a tighter budget and can’t afford to have your entire RV wrapped with one of these brands, maybe consider only wrapping part of your RV or waiting until you’ve saved up enough money. 

The reason why it matters is that if you go with a material that is not as strong, it will crack and peel much sooner than the better brands. 

You’ll also want to make sure that the shop that you’re using to wrap your RV is using the correct ink to print onto the vinyl. Ensure that they are using the ink that is made by the same brand of vinyl that is being used to wrap your RV. 

For example, if you’re having your RV wrapped with 3M vinyl, make sure the artist uses 3M ink! The reason why this is an important detail is that the companies that make the strong vinyl design the ink to work specifically for their vinyl. Mixing ink and vinyl is a good way to end up with a terrible looking wrap!

5. Who is the installer of your RV wrap?

Who is the installer of your RV wrap

There are tons of artists out there that will charge varying amounts of money based on their talent and availability. Businesses that see the regular opportunity will end up charging more due to the fact that their skills and talents are in demand. 

The most talented artists will definitely charge a higher fee for their work. If you have the money to spend on a high-end artist and you need your wrap to look really good because it’s for advertising your business, do it! There is a saying that goes something like “if you buy cheap, you buy twice.” This basically means that if you go with a less-reputable artist to save money, you’ll likely end up with just a paint job and having to pay another artist for wrapping your RV due to the issues that might come up with the less experienced artist or installer.

Before you select an artist to wrap your RV, make sure that you ask to see their work first before booking their services. Reputable artists will have an extensive portfolio that they should be glad and proud to show you. If they don’t, be wary because this might be a sign that they are trying to hide something from you to earn a quick buck!

6. Can you wrap your RV yourself?

Can you wrap your RV yourself

Now that you have shopped around a bit and seen the work of different artists, maybe you’ve decided that you want to try to save a bit of money by doing the wrap yourself. Is this a good idea? Well, like with most answers, it depends!

How much space do you have to wrap your RV? You’ll want to be sure to wrap your RV inside a clean and sealable garage. That way you can ensure that your RV will be in an environment that is dirt free, which will ensure that the vinyl makes solid contact with your RV and adheres well.

How much time do you have to wrap your RV? Having your RV wrapped by a professional shop can vary based on the size of RV you want to have wrapped and their availability, but in general, it takes about 1 week for a fairly busy shop to fully wrap an RV. If you don’t have that amount of time on your hands to dedicate to wrapping your RV, you might want to outsource a team of a wrapping company!

How patient are you? Wrapping RVs is a bit of an art. You can’t rush it and expect to see great results. The risk that you take on by wrapping your RV yourself is that you’ll rush it due to how long it takes. 

7. Are there alternatives to wrapping your RV?

Are there alternatives to wrapping your RV

If trying to wrap your RV yourself isn’t something that sounds like fun or a possible way to customize your RV, are there different options? Yes! You can absolutely paint your RV, get those window graphics and achieve the desired result of having a customised motorhome. But what is the difference in cost?

When going to a professional shop, you’ll probably notice that there isn’t much of a difference in price. You’ll likely end up paying just as much to paint your RV as you would if you had it wrapped. 

The biggest savings that you’ll likely see in painting vs. wrapping is if you do it yourself. In this scenario, you’ll want to take similar precautions in setting up an ideal environment for painting your RV. 

Make sure that you’re in an indoor space where you can control the environment. Clean it up so that there is zero chance of dirt getting onto the vehicle or its travel trailer. Any dirt that gets on the surface as you paint will cause the paint to not stick as well and will ruin the longevity of your work!

You’ll also want to be sure to get some clear coat to protect your paint job and make it look nice and glossy. 

8. Should I have my RV wrapped or painted?

Should I have my RV wrapped or painted

Deciding whether or not to paint your RV or if you should wrap it can be a tough decision. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons of both methods for customizing your motorhome before you make that decision. 

There are several pros to having your motorhome wrapped vs. painted. One of the clearest is that it protects your RV way better than if you were to have it painted. Wrapping will place a protective layer of vinyl between your RV and the elements. This helps to keep it looking good underneath the wrap for several years! In addition to that, vinyl wrapping will provide a consistent look all over your RV in a way that painting won’t be able to achieve.

The cons to wrapping your RV should also be given enough thought. Vinyl wrap can be expensive and only last a few years. While most reputable brands like 3M and Avery Dennison give warranties on their products, they will eventually break down over time. If you end up spending several thousand dollars wrapping, you will want to take into consideration that most wraps last about 4 or 5 years before they begin to deteriorate at a noticeable rate. 

The environment also plays a big factor in how long wrapping lasts as well. The sunnier and hotter the environment, the less amount of time your wrap will last. The reason why this happens is that vinyl is heat and light-sensitive. It can warp over time when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. If you’re planning on keeping your wrapped RV outside in hot temperatures, at least cover it up with a tarp to help protect your investment!

Painting your RV might be a good idea if you have the time and space to do it yourself. Painting can be a great way to save some money and take some pride in the fact that you customized it yourself! If you have the time, space, and talent to do it, go for it.

In addition to saving money, the paint will last longer than vinyl when exposed to hot temperatures. This is because the paint gets into the pores of the sides of the RV. As it dries, it forms a strong bond with the sides of the RV, which helps give it superior longevity to vinyl wrapping. 

The cons of painting start with the protection factor. Paint doesn’t offer much protection from the elements compared to vinyl wrapping. When you drive your RV through towns and on highways, you expose it to all sorts of junk that lays on the roadways. Paint will get affected by this over time and it won’t protect the sides of your RV as the vinyl wrap does.

In terms of costs, the only way that you’ll save money when painting is if you do it yourself and save on labour costs. Shops will charge just as much to paint your RV as they would to wrap it. Be sure that you’re confident in your painting abilities before you decide to paint it yourself. Remember that “buy cheap, buy twice” applies to doing things yourself, too!

Other FAQs

Other FAQs
  1. How much does it cost to wrap an RV? Well, Depending on how artistic a design you would like and the material you choose for the wraps, you will at least be set back by a couple of thousand dollars
  2. How much does it cost to wrap a 40 RV? A 40 RV would be a full-on project if you are looking at either full wrap or half wrap. Most artists use two factors to come up with a cost to wrap an rv – the surface area of the design and the level of detail!
  3. What does it cost to paint an RV? Again depends on the surface area as well as the paint requirements along with the level of artistry detail required. Most artists would be proud to show their work so shop around before deciding on it
  4. What is an RV wrap? I guess we have answered this question with an entire article but in a nutshell, its’s a protective coating that you apply to prolong the exterior of your motorhome. It is also a form of self expression to let your motorhome stand out from the crowd

Final Thoughts

Customizing your RV can be a great idea to make your RV stick out from the rest of the RVs at the campground! This can help you express yourself or advertise your business. When considering the costs of wrapping, it’s important to decide on the design, the size of your RV, the materials being used, and who you’ll have wrap your design. Painting is also a great option if you want to extend the longevity of your design and can also save you some money if you’re willing to do it yourself!

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