Repainting our Sprinter RV


You may have noticed that I sort of talk out of both sides of my mouth when it comes to our RV.  On the one hand, we’re frantically searching for the perfect RV for us, and I hope to get into another one someday.  But on the other hand, I’ve put a lot of time and effort into remodeling our current Sprinter-based Class B (which still beats all-comers on our RV wish list).  Well now, I’m finally getting around to the part of The RV Remodel that I should have done first… never-mind that I’m getting it done last.  We’re having Das Bus repainted.  This is only going to raise the bar even higher for our next coach, as the exterior was the only part of Das Bus that was lacking.

But on to the painting.  I’m pretty handy, but I know my limits.  Painting a 24 foot long by 10 foot high van is beyond them, so I had to find a shop to do it.  This was actually a lot harder than I expected.  I tried several auto body shops, but they didn’t want to mess with something that big.  A couple had spray booths big enough, but gave me outrageous estimates to make me go away.  (Like ten thousand dollars outrageous…)  RV shops didn’t seem to want to paint her either, preferring to work on larger Class A’s with flat and square sides it seemed.  Finally, I found the body shop at Warner Truck Center, in Salt Lake City, who gave me a reasonable estimate and a reasonable schedule.  I have used Warner Truck Center in the past for regular repair work, and their Sprinter techs are good (and those of you with Sprinters know how important it is to find the right shop to work on them).  Anyway, I don’t know why it took me so long to look across the parking lot…

SONY DSCYou gotta love the freezing fog on the trees.

To keep costs down, we decided to keep Das Bus the same color.  Mike Carter, the manager of the body and paint shop, convinced me to paint the grey bumper, wheel well covers, running boards all white to match.  So far, I like the look of it, and right now, it’s just primer!  Here’s Das Bus in one of the “small” paint booths at Warner.  (We had to take photos through the glass.)

Rapainting the SprinterThis is the small booth?

After this coat of primer there will be paint, and then a clear coat.  These older Sprinters never had a clear coat when new, so I’m excited to see what that will look like.  I also learned a bit about their painting process for Sprinters – which they’ve done several of.  They have to paint in sections, because it’s too large to shoot all the paint in one go.  So after we saw her here, she was going to get her roof repainted with the body masked off like you see.  Then the roof would be masked off, and the body painted.  And then the whole process would be repeated for the clear coat.  There are additional pieces, like the sliding door you see in the foreground, and some other parts they had removed for painting separately.  Here’s Mike explaining all this to me in front of the “small” paint booth where Das Bus is.

Small Paint BoothOh.  Yeah.  You’re right, Mike.  This booth is tiny.

I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous about the things they had to take off.  I know what a bear it was to put the trim on the inside of that sliding door, for example, and I hope they don’t break it putting it back.  And I’m dreading having to find and terminate any new rattles, leaks, etc.  I guess we’ll see.  My experience with Warner thus far has been good, so hopefully, it will keep on that way.

Just for grins, when we were done checking up on Das Bus, Mike took us around to see the “large” paint booth.  This thing was ridiculous!  70 something feet long!  When we saw it, they had it divided in two and had a semi truck in each half.

SONY DSCMike, explaining to me that the air handling system in the large booth creates its own weather…

We’re thinking it’s still about a week out before we get her back, so right around or just after Christmas I think.  I’m counting on having to do a little work on her when I get her back – because I don’t think they keep Dicor on hand in Mike’s shop, for example.  I’m just dreading having to do that work outside when it’s as cold as it has been here.

I will definitely post back when we’ve got her home and reassembled.  Stef has been after me to reshoot our RV tour video, and that’s on the agenda once we get her looking good again.

I mean get the RV looking good again…

Not Stef…

Stef always looks good…

But here’s one last shot of Das Bus anyway

SONY DSC



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    2 thoughts on “Repainting our Sprinter RV

      1. James - Post author

        Indeed we are! After the paint job is finished, I have it in my mind to reshoot the Das Bus Video Tour (in a much more high-energy way than last time). Stay tuned!

        Reply

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