Signage on the caravan

This is Part 5 of a COVID-19 special – what we did during the lockdown and how we went about signwriting the caravan.

Read our other COVID-19 lockdown posts.

Signwriting the caravan

After the drawn-out process of deciding on what sort of signage we wanted on our newly cleaned caravan, we finally completed our design and had it all printed and cut out.

Now was the fun part – applying all the signage to the caravan.

Al was an old pro at doing this, having been in the sign industry for 0ver 20 years. However, this was totally new territory for me. Although I understood the overall concept of signwriting the caravan, I had absolutely no practical idea of how it was done or what processes were involved.  That coupled with Al telling me that the metallic vinyl we used for the Jayco decals could tear like tissue paper if we weren’t careful, I was very trepidatious about “signwriting day”.

Step 1:

Al said that the most important thing was preparation so we gathered the necessary tools.  This included vinyl, scissors, single-sided blade, spray bottle with water/vinyl application solution, and applicators/squeegees (both foam and plastic). We then laid it all out so we could see what we had in front of us and where we needed to start.

Step 2:

We had received back from the printer four rolls of vinyl – one metallic burgundy, one metallic gold, one metallic gunmetal grey and one white – with all the printed artwork.  Working out which ‘swish’ or ‘swirl’ went on which part of the caravan was the next challenge.  Even working out which was which from the three different “Sterling’s” and three different Jayco “birds” was interesting.  Lucky we had the ghost outline from the previous decals to give us a clue.  Each decal needed to be cut out in preparation for the application.

Step 3:

Here is where I stepped back and let the master take charge.  Happy to say now that weeding, negative space, removing the backing paper, wet application, dry application and app tape are all terms I now understand.

It was great to see it all come together. Such a transformation from a huge white box to the finished product.  We ended up re-applying the original Jayco Sterling graphics as well as some of our own personal touches.

We are so impressed with the way it has all come up!

Step 4:

Seeing how well the new decals looked against the polished caravan, we very quickly realised that the front of the caravan needed work.  The damage it had received over the years due to stones, insects, etc, left it looking worse for wear.  We needed to paint the burgundy at the front of the caravan, the drawbar and the pole-holder.

  • Burgandy stone deflection area: A local paint store recommended we use the Rust-Oleum Gloss Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint from Bunnings.  The closest colour was ‘Colonial Red’ which we originally discounted as being too red.  But with no other options, we decided to give it a go.  And it looks fabulous!
  • Drawbar: We coated the drawbar with Dy-Mark Silver Gal from Bunnings.
  • Pole-holder: We gave the pole-holder a new lease of life with some White Knight Squirt Paint and Prime in Gloss Metallic Charcoal.
  • Sway-bar brackets: The sway-bar brackets were coated with Motortech Spray Enamel in Gloss Black.

Wow! What a difference it made to the front of the caravan.  We finished it off with a small graphic of our caricature of car and caravan.

Have a look at some of these images of the end result. We’d love you to let us know what you think of the caravan now.  And if you have any questions about signage for your own caravan, let us know!

*Note: To clarify for some good friends 🙂 we have not “signwritten” the caravan.  Signwriting, in its traditional form, is the art of creating signs with brushwork.  What we did was redo the graphics on the caravan and updated the design which, as many traditional signwriters will attest, is not true signwriting.

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