Regular cleaning of the exterior of your recreation vehicle is important for its maintenance and longevity.
Clean your RV as soon as possible after each trip using high-quality cleaning supplies that won’t scratch or mar the RV surface. Use soft, natural cotton washing cloths and soaps and cleansers made specifically for RVs.
Following are a few RV cleaning tips to use the next time you clean and maintain your RV.
Parking Under Trees
Rinse off any bird droppings and tree sap off as soon as possible. Tree sap is a form of sugar and will dissolve after several washings. Bird droppings can eat into a painted surface if left unattended and should be removed as soon as possible. Lukewarm soapy water can help speed up the cleaning process.
Parking Near Salt Spray
Regularly rinse off the salt mineral to minimize the corrosiveness of the salt.
Ice Or Snow
Scrape from the surface of the RV. Brush off but avoid being aggressive with the brush. Brush scratches may show once the RV thaws out and may be removed by hand waxing with a silicone free liquid wax.
Antifreeze, fuel, or window solutions spilled on the painted surface should be rinsed off immediately with water and allowed to air dry. Wiping dry with a towel may create fine scratches due to the sometimes aggressive nature of these types of fluids.
Antifreeze and window solutions can be diluted and will dissolve with water. Fuel will not and needs the attention of a mineral spirit-type cleaner (like Bug-B-Gone) or a silicone free spray wax and micro fiber cloth to remove the stain left by fuels.
When driving in wintry conditions the road surface may be covered with heavy salts or sand and small stones to improve road traction. These types of road conditions can cause undue surface damage to your RV. If possible, avoid driving in these conditions.
Commercial vehicle wash facilities should be avoided. The truck-style wash centers have high-pressure wands that emit higher than necessary water pressures. These brushes are designed to clean heavy road films on semi-trailers and are not designed for custom painted RVs.
Most truck wash brushes are made from a heavy plastic that increases their lifespan but will scratch the clearcoat finish. Many times the scratches can penetrate the clearcoat finish, causing delamination and/or other paint related issues not covered under warranty.
Wash with cool or lukewarm water. Use a standard RV washing soap such as Meguiar’s to wash your RV.
Never use a bristled brush or broom to wash the painted surface. This will cause scratches in the finish. Use a clean lamb’s wool mitt, sponge, or micro fiber mop to wash your unit. A dirty application can scratch your RV.
It’s best to clean the RV from the top down.
Rinse area to be washed with cold water to remove surface residue. Make sure you are not in direct sunlight.
With area to be washed still wet from the rinse, use the recommended soapy mixture to clean the area. Use care to make sure that a clean lamb’s wool mitt, sponge, or micro fiber mop is used to apply soapy water.
Rinse washed area before soap evaporates.
Dry rinsed area before rinsed area evaporates.
After a general cleaning with the soap and water it’s time to wax the beast using a quality RV wax such as Meguiar’s. Waxing the RV is a huge task. Compared to a car it has a massive surface area. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your particular RV.
And finally, admire a great job well done.
There, what a beautiful RV.
A bad day cleaning the RVing—is better than a good day—working.