Why Do RVs Have Swoosh Graphics?


 Jayco Eagle HT 5th wheel IMG_4168

For Class A RVs especially, it’s not uncommon to see giant swirling graphics on many of them regardless of the manufacturer. So, why do RVs have swoosh graphics?

Here’s what I know from having them on mine:

Large RVs look like buses – functional but lacking in style. Swoosh graphics are attempts to make RVs more captivating and more colorful. And as they caught on, more and more manufacturers started implementing them.

RV graphics haven’t changed for a long time, and manufacturers seemed to have forgotten why they were designed in the first place!

Chris Barth, the Senior Director of Product Development at Jayco, said:

“Nobody understands the swooshes and the sweeps on the outside. And we’ve seen a lot of people asking, like, why do you guys do it that way? It’s funny because we talk about this in meetings as well. That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Let’s check out RV swooshes, why they exist, and what the origin behind them is…

Do most Class A RV manufacturers use swoosh graphics or swirls?

Most class A RV manufacturers use swooshes or swirls. However, swooshes are more prevalent. Even though a lot of people think they are ugly or bland, they are still the dominant design for almost all manufacturers. They are also used on some Class C RVs.

They are not simply employed by manufacturers, but folks (even though some complain about them on forums and some blogs) like them. This is proven by the fact swooshes are still huge even in the aftermarket RV decoration market!

You’d think that most people would opt for designs that are way different from the almighty Swoosh.

Interestingly, both designs (swooshes and swirls) have not always been the norm. In the 70s and 80s, roll stripping was all the rage.

In the 90s, at a point, these stripes were embellished with scenes showing animals and nature.

By the late 90s and the 2000s, a lot of Class A RVs were spotting swooshes. They were innovative designs when they first came on the scene.

But a lot of RVers feel it’s time to adopt more riveting designs.

It’s refreshing to note that Airstreams have their own cool, distinctive design, but the fact remains that most class A RVs you’d come across employ swooshes.

But Class A RVs aren’t the only option for those looking to buy an RV. Say you’re wondering which one’s right for you and your loved ones: Class A Motorhome vs. Travel trailer?

You’re in luck seeing as that’s what I explored in a recent article of mine where I compared both and advised on the right one depending on your situation. Do check it out.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Are the swirls on RVs painted or vinyl decals?

Most of the swirls on RVs are not painted on them; they are vinyl decals. Full painted graphics are often reserved for luxury or upscale coaches. Most RVs, especially if they are white or off-white, have swirls that are vinyl decals as it’s an inexpensive way to improve the appearance.

Full paint jobs are an expensive affair.

This is because they are more “artistic” and labor-intensive, whereas vinyl decals are based on a technology that makes it easy for different graphics to be easily transferred onto another surface, such as the exterior of an RV. They are also cheaper and faster.

Naturally, that’s what most manufacturers prefer.

Some high-end coaches have actual paint jobs (that’s factored into the higher prices). But, the vast majority of swirls on RVs are not painted on.

Did you know that RVs and Motorhomes are not interchangeable?

Motorhomes are RVs, but not all RVs are motorhomes. Confusing? Check out a recent article of mine where I shared the distinction.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How do you keep RV decals from fading?

RV decals peel, crack, and fade over time. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to keep them from fading. These include avoiding abrasive RV cleaners, using protectants, ensuring it’s parked in the shade, covering it well when it’s in storage, and making sure to avoid low-hanging branches.

Hopefully, you’re washing your RV at least every few months so that it can look as good as possible.

Whether you wash it yourself or have others wash it for you, you need to be careful to ensure that you are using a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner.

Make sure to buy only cleaners meant to be used for RVs.

Another smart thing to do is to use a protectant after you’ve cleaned the RV. As its name suggests, a protectant protects the decals from anything that may damage it.

It forms a barrier between the RV’s surface (the decal, in this case) and harmful substances. My favorite protectant is 303 Protectant on Amazon. It’s similar to Armor All, but so much better!

The rays of the sun can be very harsh on an RV.

The roof is the most vulnerable part. But, the decals are not spared just because they are on the sides. In time, they fade, crack, and peel off. It’s advisable to always park the RV in the shade if you can manage it.

Its paint and decals will last much longer.

Even when you’re not going to be exposing it to UV rays on your many adventures, and you’re going to put it away for some time, make sure it’s covered whether it’s parked in your yard or at another place.

You could also get an RV cover — a highly affordable option.

But are they really worth it? And are they a huge hassle to take on and off? Luckily, I got into all that and more in a recent article.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Lastly, you have to be very careful of low-hanging branches on your path because they can cause havoc to the decals, especially when you’re negotiating narrow paths or trying to park in some resorts where there’s a lot of trees.

Can you paint over RV decals?

RV decals can be painted over, but because they are not flat with the surface, the lines will still be visible under the new paint. A better method would be to have them removed professionally and then repaint.

Removing old vinyl decals is not an easy task.

Even when you’ve been able to do it successfully, the ghost line of the old decals is likely to still be vaguely visible. It’s not a beautiful sight.

Of course, some RVers have done this successfully.

So, you can, if you take the time to research what’s needed. At the end of the day, it depends on how motivated and driven you are.

Worst-case scenario, if you bungled it, you could see it as an opportunity to learn…then, get a pro to do a proper job.

But unless you’re super confident you’ve learned all you’d need, you’re likely to mess something up. Sorry. So, get a pro. Luckily, this is something most auto window tint places will do.

So, you’re thinking of buying an RV to live in full time?

Check out a recent article of mine where I shared all you need to know to get the right type. After all, compared to weekend warriors and summer travelers, there’s 1 thing that’s crucial if you plan to actually live in your RV.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Why are most Class C RVs white?

White makes Class C RVs more visible on the road, and it is more cost-effective for manufacturers than having a variety of paint color choices. But, it is also more effective at reflecting the sun and heat.

So it reduces the heat that could be potentially trapped in the RV if other colors had been used.

You’ve probably observed it with your other vehicles (or even clothes) that black and other colors tend to absorb and trap in the rays of the sun.

The interior of the RV would be hotter than it could be if the color white had been used.

White reflects the heat to make the inside of the RV cool. This helps reduce electricity consumption, as you may not use the air-conditioner a lot.

You could argue that these Class C RVs in white are a tad bland, and I agree.

But, if we looked at the issue from the manufacturer’s perspective, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to paint tons of RVs in the same assembly line with one single color: white.

White also doesn’t fade as quickly as other colors.

To get other colors, they’d need to mix up several colors, which will take more time and cost a lot more. If you wanted green color, for example, you’d need to mix yellow and blue.

White also makes your rig more visible.

That naturally makes it safer on the road and easier for cars and 18-wheeled trucks to see you and hopefully avoid any dangerous situations.

Conclusion

Most RVs look rather bland.

Some would even say they’re ugly. I don’t think they are ugly, but it’s about time manufacturers switched from the swoosh to a more scintillating design.

In the article, we learned that most Class A RVs employ swooshes.

Why? It’s the tradition, and it’s accepted by the market. We also learned that most of the swirls are vinyl decals and not paint.

The latter is more expensive and more tasking. We checked out some tips to prevent decals from fading and learned why it’s probably not a great idea to paint over decals.

We wrapped things up by checking out why most Class C RVs are white.


Photo which requires attribution:

Jayco Eagle HT 5th wheel IMG_4168 by Terry Bone is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, color-adjusted, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

Top Related Posts