It seems at this time of the year, there is an endless demand on outgoing funds for the Motorhome.. Service, Insurance, COF and a rattle or two you’ve discovered that could be silenced.
This year, the big one was repainting the Bumper just to add to the list.
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To be fair, a new vehicle where ever it is made should not have to have its bumper repainted after only 6 years so that grates a wee bit, but not being one to dwell on these things, it had to be fixed.
The deterioration started about three years ago and when I raised it at the time with the dealers, I was told it came under the Fiat warranty which had by then expired. ….Hey Ho as they say.. Lets get on and get it fixed…!
It started with the whole bumper going a yellowy colour and then the paint peeled off in bits. I progressively sanded parts of it to blend the colour and make it look a bit better as it got worse.
After talking to one of my favorite RV repairers Peter at RV repairs who is also a qualified spray painter, he advised that I should leave it as long as possible so as much of the peeling paint would fall off and remove the need for a massive sanding job!
.. It couldn’t wait any longer !!
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
In Devonport where I live, there is a great family run business which many of my mates at school have worked at over the years, run by Dennis and Nathan Hale, called Fleet St Panel beaters. They have a great reputation for doing things properly and are well known around the community as being really nice people.
Where they are next to the supermarket in Devonport is pretty tight for big vehicles so it was a case of getting the bumper taken off and taking Rafe back home until the painting was finished.
The bad news came on day 1 when after taking it off, we found that the bumper was actually fiberglass, not plastic. This meant it couldn’t be dipped to strip the paint off and they couldn’t bake the new paint on. It also needed to be sanded thoroughly before applying a special primer for the fiberglass. The good news part of this is that fiberglass is really strong.
Nathan was telling me it they budget on a couple of hours to prepare a plastic bumper. This one needed a day and a half of sanding as a lot of it was by hand. .. I could see my budget being blown sky-high and Fiona giving me a stern talking to 😐
Unfortunately, they had a couple of staff off sick and with the extra preparation, the 4 day job turned into two weeks but the outcome was well worth the wait. The finish was just sensational.
Although I was given the German paint codes, Kris the painter used a fancy machine that could read the colour off the side of the van and match it wirelessly to paints in NZ that can deal with our UV.
An amazing colour match and friends who have known the van from new and know a bit about paint reckon it looks better than it was at the beginning.. I agree!!
Yes, it cost a bit more but I’m not complaining with such a great paint job.
I’ve ordered a new logo sticker from Dethleffs and have my friendly local signwriter Tom putting the blue and white decals on over the next few weeks.