May '18

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44 • RV PRO • May 2018 rv-pro.com A F T E R M A R K E T T here's always something about that first "oh-oh" – whether it's a spill on a new shirt, a spot on that just-installed carpet, or a ding in the paint of a recently purchased RV. The latter is especially upsetting because while shirts come and go, and so does the carpet steamer, that paint ding didn't need to happen in the first place. The idea of paint protection, for the front of an RV and beyond, is an option that's finding more favor in the industry. Whether it's using a vinyl film or a spray-on coating, installed by the OEM or as part of an aftermarket package, buyers are embracing the idea of keeping their RVs looking better longer. Growing & Evolving For vinyl films, at least, paint pro- tection is just one step in the evolution of a product that began decades ago as pinstriping and decals for cars and trucks, and later expanded into printed images as graphic wraps for semi-tractors, buses and smaller vehicles. Katie Johnson, global marketing manager for the 3M Automotive and Aerospace Solutions Division in St. Paul, Minn., says her company is seeing more interest across the board in paint protec- tion film products. "It's aligned with customer needs and helped the market grow," she says. "There's much more awareness at the consumer level, probably because the value of the investment has become so The newest generation of paint protection products help preserve RV exteriors while offering a profit center for aftermarket retailers. By K. Schipper PHOTOS COURTESY OF 3M, ARMORCOAT AND DIAMONDSHIELD Offering a Clear Advantage

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