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Home » Can You Paint An RV & RV Trailer? (Yes & Here’s How)

Can You Paint An RV & RV Trailer? (Yes & Here’s How)

Can You Paint An RV & RV Trailer

Customization is king when it comes to your RV and many van lifers have asked us can you paint an RV trailer? Yes. Yes you can and here’s everything you need to know.

Gone are the days of cookie-cutter RVs rolling down the highway. Today many RV enthusiasts are embracing personalization to stand out from the crowd.

One of the most dramatic ways to transform your home-on-wheels is with a fresh coat of paint. But can you really paint an RV trailer? The answer is a resounding yes.

Painting an RV Trailer

Painting an RV trailer is not only possible but can be an exciting project that breathes new life into your travel van.

Whether you’re looking to update a worn exterior or create a head-turning custom design, painting your RV trailer can be a rewarding process.

It’s important to understand that this is no small undertaking. It requires careful planning, preparation, and execution.

Cost of Painting an RV

One of the first considerations when contemplating an RV paint job is the cost. If you’re hiring a professional, you can expect to invest anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 to paint an average-sized RV.

Smaller trailers may cost less, but the price can quickly escalate for larger vehicles or more complex designs, so keep that in mind.

For the budget-conscious DIY enthusiast, tackling the project yourself can significantly reduce the costs of painting an RV.

It’s crucial to weigh the potential savings against the time investment and the risk of less-than-professional results.

Preparing an RV for a Paint Job

The secret to a successful RV paint job lies in the preparation. This phase is often the most time-consuming and labor-intensive part of the process. It involves:

  • Removing old decals
  • Sanding the exterior
  • Power washing to remove dirt and grime
  • Allowing the surface to dry completely
  • Taping off windows and areas not to be painted

Proper preparation ensures better paint adhesion and a smoother finish. It’s so crucial that professional painters may charge an additional $3,000 to $5,000 just for this step.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your RV

The type of paint you select can make or break your RV makeover. While some DIYers swear by high-quality house paints like Behr’s Marquee and Ultra lines, others advocate for specialized automotive paints.

The cost can range from $35 to over $100 per gallon depending on the type of paint you go for, so budget well for the entire job.

It’s tempting to cut corners with cheaper alternatives like spray paint, but remember that you get what you pay for.

Investing in quality paint can mean the difference between a finish that lasts for years and one that starts peeling after a single season.

Design Considerations for Your RV Paint Job

The complexity of your design will impact both the cost and the difficulty of the project. Each additional color can add $1,000 to $2,000 to the price tag when working with a professional.

Intricate designs or murals may require specialized skills and can significantly increase the overall cost. But if the prospect of painting your RV trailer seems daunting or too expensive, consider some alternatives.

Fiberglass coating is a more affordable option that offers durability and heat resistance, while vinyl wrapping can cost as little as $12-15 per square foot and provides a customizable finish without the permanence of paint.


How long does it take to paint an RV trailer?

The process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the size of the RV and the complexity of the paint job.

Can I paint my RV trailer myself?

Yes, it’s possible to paint your RV trailer yourself, but it requires significant time, effort, and skill to achieve professional-looking results.

What type of paint is best for an RV trailer?

Automotive-grade urethane paints are often recommended for their durability and resistance to weathering.

How often should I repaint my RV trailer?

With proper care and maintenance, a quality paint job can last 10 years or more.

Will painting my RV trailer affect its resale value?

A high-quality paint job can potentially increase your RV’s resale value, while a poor paint job might decrease it.

Can I paint over the existing paint on my RV trailer?

It’s possible, but for best results, the old paint should be properly prepped or removed before applying new paint.

How do I maintain the paint job on my RV trailer?

Regular washing, waxing, and avoiding prolonged exposure to harsh elements can help maintain your RV’s paint job.

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