Tom & Cathy's RAV4-EV
Last Updated April 23, 2009
We wanted to provide information about the RAV4-EV and electric vehicles in general. We got
this idea from Dan Davids, and originally used a method similar to his: 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of
paper in the windows. This worked great (we saw footprints in snow from where people walked up
to the windows!), but we decided that we wanted something that looked a little more integrated
with the look of the vehicle.
So, we designed a graphic using the entire area of the cargo-area side windows. We planned to
have it printed on a transparent material to minimize the impact on visibility. We are very pleased
with the results, but of course this is an incredibly difficult thing to photograph.
A photograph of the driver-side sticker is on the right; here's a link to a
higher resolution photograph (JPG, 120k) of that sticker.
To apply the sticker, we used soapy water and flexible plastic scrapers that we got at Schuck's.
They're pictured on the right. I've also seen suggestions to use kitchen spatulas (the rubber kind,
not metal!). Basically, you want something that won't scratch the sticker, but has a straight edge
and is firm enough to squeegee out water and air bubbles.
This task is easier with two people: one to do the application and the other on the outside of the
vehicle providing feedback on the positioning.
Here are the steps we used:
- With the sticker still on its backing (and before spraying anything), hold the sticker up to the
window to make sure it's trimmed appropriately and to get an idea of how it should be positioned.
- Clean the inside of the window thoroughly. Make sure to get all lint and dust particles
off the window.
- Put water in a spray bottle and add a little liquid dish soap.
- Spray the inside of the window until it's dripping wet and making a soggy mess of your car.
- Peel the backing off the sticker, lay the sticker flat on a clean surface, then spray it thoroughly.
- Lift the sticker up to the window and position it. The soapy water will make it possible to slide
the slicker around. But, since the surface is vertical, you're racing against gravity. I found
it worked best to position the top (leaving the rest hanging and dripping), which I was able to slide
around a bit. Once I got the whole sticker against the window, it wouldn't slide any more, although it
would come off if I peeled it gently. I was able to reposition until I was satisfied with the result.
- Be sure you're happy with the positioning at this point. After the next step, you probably won't
be able to remove the sticker without damaging it.
- Starting at the center of the sticker and working slowly and carefully, use the plastic scraper
to squeegee the water and air bubbles toward the perimeter. I held a paper towel in my other hand to
mop up as I went.
At this point, you're probably wondering why we didn't just use window clings. We originally planned
to, but found out that they're not really intended for long-term use and would probably end up wearing
out and peeling off before we were ready to replace them.
If you're interested in having stickers made for your RAV4-EV, you are welcome to use
the following files with a few caveats: (1) No warranty from us - you are responsible for making sure
that the files will give the results you want with the printer you choose; and (2) you
may not sell or otherwise make a profit on these files (including after making your
The yellow outline in the files in the 'cut line,' which results in the sticker being slightly
larger than the clear area of the window. The edges of the sticker extend slightly onto the black
area of the window, meaning no edges are visible from the outside.
These files are raster images that show the content and layout for the stickers. These are useful
for seeing what things will look like, but are not what you'll want to print.
Original Artwork Files
These are Adobe Photoshop files with multiple layers and formatting. You can make modifications
to them as you desire, but be aware that the text is manually wrapped to achieve the angled layout,
so you'll need to make adjustments. These are the files you'll need to have printed.
We had Stella Color print our stickers and are
very pleased with the results. They can print and ship to you.
A couple suggestions if you would like to have them print for you:
- To ensure that the final prints reflect the desired layout, include a preview file
like the TIF files above. Use a raster format like TIF, JPG, or PDF.
- The quickest way to describe the product we got is "print flopped
on Oracal 3620 clear adhesive vinyl with white ink behind to make 2nd
surface window graphic." The translation of this is that we're printing
a mirror image (flopped) because we're sticking it to the inside of the window,
and that we want white behind everything to get the image to stand out better
on the clear material.
- Approximate cost for printing and packaging two 18" x 15" clings would run
$120. They expect freight to be in the $15 to $20 range for ground
service to California, which would usually take 3 days. That pricing
could change given the volatility of fossil fuel costs.
Tom and Cathy Saxton. You may not copy or reproduce any content from this site without our consent.