Question Ceramic coating worth it or not?

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sheridany

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I have been reading up on ceramic coating and making a decision eventually whether I want to ceramic coat my coach or not. I hear a lot of different opinions from experienced detailers about it and it’s very expensive. The process is a minimum of 3 days and one quote I got was $105 a linear foot for paint correction (which is a must) and coating.
 

Joe Goodxrvn

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$$o_O
 

Neal

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What does Marathon say on this? I know what someone else 'round here is gonna say :) If you have the right people and vault of 💰I'd say do it.
 

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I know @redbaron had his previous coach completely done with scratches/swirling removed, clay treated and ceramic coating applied. I think he swears by it. Wonder if the new LA will get the same treatment. Personally I’m happy with a good yearly waxing, but that’s just me.
 

sheridany

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Personally I’m happy with a good yearly waxing, but that’s just me.
Hopefully we will hear from @redbaron about what he thinks and whether he will do it to his LADP.

I had an experienced detailer tell me he was not sold on ceramic as his testing on his own cars did not yield that much better protection than good routine waxing and proper washing. If you take the quote I got at 105 per foot you are at almost $5K. How much is a good wax and I wonder how many wax treatments can I get before I am at the same cost is the question going around in my head.

What does Marathon say on this?
I have not asked them yet but I will at delivery.
 

TJ&LadyDi

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We considered having our coach ceramic-coated and got a quote from a trusted detailed. It was $6K for a 40’ coach. That’s $150/foot. He did stress the need for careful preparation (clay treatment) in order to get a good finished result. The quality of the paint finish apparently has everything to do with the quality of the ceramic coating. We opted not to have it done.

TJ
 

J&JD

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How much is a good wax and I wonder how many wax treatments can I get before I am at the same cost is the question going around in my head.
$10/ft for a wash and hand wax with two guys working all day on my 40 footer. That gives me 10-15 years of a top notch cleaning & waxing of my coach, having it done each year.
 

MichaelMdG

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I am with J&JD. It is not worth it. 6 months after I got my Mountain Aire I paid $6000 for ceramic coating with a 2 year warranty, I was not impressed. I should have invested in a top notch cleaning & waxing every year and used the $6000 to buy bitcoins. 😂
 

redbaron

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As you all know, I have spent a lot of time researching and talking about ceramic coating.

Let me clarify briefly some of the major points of ceramic coating.
* Protects the clear coat
* By protecting the clear coat, it protects the paint
* Replaces the need to wax. The purpose of wax is to protect the clear coat
* The hardness levels determine how long the product will last-- under perfect conditions
* Must still wash *regularly* and protect the paint from normal things like bugs, bird poo, etc
* Must check the consistency regularly.
* Forget about the warranties---they don't matter
* Paint correction is the key, and the reason you pay the big bucks.

Now for some details:
My 2019DSDP looked terrible from the factory. It had many burn marks from a poor polishing job. Every time you wash a BASF clear coat, it will show micro scratches. It is very soft. Newmar recognized this early on, and blamed the brushes, saying go with lambs wool.

Anytime you wash anything, you should use the 2 bucket method, with a soft (micro fiber / lambs wool) material, that is then rinsed in 2 buckets between each stroke.

I will not get into the great detail about washing--I could do a whole series on that. The point is that paint correction, once done, should be protected. I had my coach paint corrected, and then protected that finish with ceramic coating.

The ceramic coating I chose was a 9H, and I put 3 layers on. The marketing tells you this is a 7 year guarantee. Read the fine print and you realize there is nothing really being guaranteed.

Annually the entire coach needs to be washed and inspected for hydrophobic properties (does water just run off easily or collect). A good installer will charge $10/ft to do an annual maintenance on a ceramic coated RV, and include a top coat of ceramic that will build up whats already there. By starting with 2 layers of 9H, and keeping up with annual top coats, you will never have to strip the ceramic and start over. Even better, you will never have to paint correct again.

The cost of paint correction is what you are really paying for in that $150/ft price. That is on the high side, but about what I paid for one that needed 40+hrs of paint correction. You don't want to rush this job.

If you don't care about the micro swirls, and don't see them, then you can save yourself a lot of money by skipping the paint correction and doing just the paint prep and ceramic coating. Those prices go for $30-40/ft for an RV. They call this a 1-stage paint correction and it involves a clay wash, and quick pass polish before coating.

The next level from ceramic coatings is the Paint Protection Film. I did 80% of my 2021 BMW M3 CS with PPF, and then ceramic coated ontop of that. The PPF is much better than the junk that Newmar installs on the front of our coaches. It is self healing, prevents scratches, and does not require any special maintenance. Bugs clean off so easily, I have already decided that I will be doing this on the LA, covering the entire front cap, and then down both sides on below the slides.

This year I have had PPF and ceramic coating done to 4 new vehicles, and 1 older car. My 2011 black suburban was showing signs of clear coat failure. By doing the paint correction on it, and then applying ceramic coating, I have frozen the failure in place. It looks so much better now, and I know it won't get any worse.

@sheridany I think your coach would greatly benefit from a ceramic coating. Every time you wash it, the coach will look like it was freshly waxed. The paint you have on there is some of the very best, and this is an investment in protecting it for the future.
 

DHudson

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It's a very labor intensive process. My humble opinion, if you spend the same amount to time prepping the paint and used a quality wax at least once a year, your results would be the same.
I have spent a week detailing the paint on my cars that already look showroom nice. Most of them have been black or red. Have not used ceramic on one yet.
Here is a Wizards video showing the process to give you a idea just how labor intensive it is.
 

redbaron

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Every time you prep the paint, you are removing some of the clear coat. That is the entire reason I do this once--and then ceramic coat it over. The paint prep takes 40 hours. The coating process for the entire coach takes 4 hours per layer, and has no scrubbing, no muscle work...just a wipe on, wipe off. This is the advantage of advanced materials. Aviation has been using ceramics for years now, as it holds up much better. There are a lot of myths about what ceramics can do or cannot do.

Think of ceramics as a longer lasting wax, that if you maintain it properly, you never have to strip off. Its a wax that once it is applied protects the hard work of paint correction and protects the clear coat--just like a wax. Unlike a wax, it doesn't wash off.
 

sheridany

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@redbaron Thank you for that write up. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about ceramic coatings as this is a fairly new approach in the detailing world as many have shifted from paint correction wax/sealant to ceramic coatings in the past 5+ years. I have run into some detailers that won't do wax or sealants anymore as coatings are more lucrative for them given the high price point. The ceramic coating qualities themselves have evolved as well and there is not one that doesn't say they are better than the competition.

The biggest challenge as I see it is finding a qualified individual that is experienced in paint correction first and foremost because that is not trivial to do and then the application of the coating. You mess up the coating application and it is nothing short of a pain to unravel it I have read.

An interesting counterpoint is I was chatting with Andrew Steele a couple of weeks ago and he came from a detailing background and he is not sold on ceramic coatings. He is not detailing anymore but he felt that you could do fairly well with good quality paint correction and waxing and save some money in the process as long as you followed good wash procedures and keeping the coach clean while having it detailed and waxed by an professional. Of course if someone wanted to do it themselves they could.

If my memory still works right, you had a few Mecum auction detailers that you found do the work I think over the course of days. How did you find them?
 

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If you wanted to get REALLY trick, Sherwin Williams offers a paint that with a additive they add especially for concrete mixing trucks, you literally rinse it off with a hose. NOTHING will stick to it. Of course it is about $3,000.00 per gallon, so just a little bit pricey. The finish is so hard that it increases the strength of the Abrams tank skin.
 

redbaron

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Go to an auction early, and find the staging area where cars are being prepped. You will be able to observe the work of many different detailers, and see their attention to detail.
 

sheridany

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Maybe we can coerce @ARD to get hers done and get a 3 bus price with your team? Your neighbors won't mind right? ;) I am forbidden to go to a Mecum auction because the DW feels I will come home with the bus pulling a new stacker and an automobile inside.
 

CaptainGizmo

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Sheridan,

I just had my 2015 Newell professionally detailed, and posted a video on the FB group. It got a lot of comments and praises, just off of a video.

I went through a long (year's worth) of research and deliberation along with interviews of the best detailers. My decision came down to the fact I had a 7 year old coach and, even though it looks stunning, I knew it would need correction. Also, I never know where I'll be in a year or two, in terms of keeping or selling this baby. So, would I REALLY gain something by spending over double? Also, we store INDOORS and keep it clean.

So, with all these factors, we made the decision to use a special new technology COATING, NOT just a wax. Yes, coatings have evolved just like paint!!! So, don't listen to those who'll just tell ya to use good old Turtle Wax or Mop-n-Shine like they've used for 5o years...that's BS! I used a Pro name Kyle from XTREME DETAILING and he's been around the country doing training and professional shop setups, as well as being on the Air Force 1 detailing team. He's got contracts with DELTA and has had products made with his name. I trust his expertise and, believe it or not, he 100% agreed that ceramic wasn't the best choice for "ME" and "OUR COACH".

His team spent 2 days of prep and application. The product he uses actually has a base of ceramic in it, and is a spray on. It's mind-blowing how good it looks!!

I think that IDA is one of the organizations he teaches for. But just be cautious of other "find your detailer" services such as Ceramics Pro...because that's nothing more than an ad service and is FILLED with HACKS who will ruin your paint job! You've heard it, that Paint Correction is PARAMOUNT...but I know someone who actually had to strip his entire coach of all the ceramic coating that wasn't applied correctly and do it all over again!
 

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Fwiw..I would not use ceramic pro. There are many superior products now. 3 years ago it was the best. Now it's not even top 10.
 

DHudson

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Fwiw..I would not use ceramic pro. There are many superior products now. 3 years ago it was the best. Now it's not even top 10.
How long should you wait for new paint job to cure before applying a ceramic coating?
 

redbaron

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For basf...90 days.

For most cars 30 days is long enough.
 
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