Cleaning Your RV: The Basics Every RV Owner Needs to Know

For some, going to work on a dirty RV is a dream way to spend a Sunday, but for most cleaning your RV is a chore that always comes around all too quickly. RV cleaning is essential, especially for full-timers who want to make sure their home stays in the best possible condition for the years ahead. It’s also crucial for the adventurous RV-ers who expose their RVs to all the natural elements, from the beating sun to downpours, dirt, mud, and more.

In this blog post, we’ll take you through the basics of how to safely, thoroughly, and efficiently clean your RV.

Choose the right time of day

Firstly, cleaning an RV is not a quick (although it can be very dirty) job. It can easily take up to 6 hours depending on the size and depth of cleaning that you want to get into, so it’s more than reasonable to break the job up over a couple of days.

One of the keys is to make sure you’re not sweltering hot. This makes early mornings and late evenings the best times to clean, and mornings especially for tackling the roof before the day – and your RV – becomes too hot.

Start with the roof

The roof is the most exposed, and therefore, usually the dirtiest part of your RV. By starting your RV clean here, you’ll wash all the dirty roof water away without ruining any of the cleaning you’ve done down below.

Washing the roof is also the most precarious and dangerous part of the exercise. Wearing shoes that grip in the wet will make this work a lot safer while grabbing some knee pads for when you’re on all fours washing and drying will make it a lot more comfortable.

Once you’re ready to start cleaning your RV’s roof, make sure the vents are closed, and if you want to secure hoses to use up there, zip ties are a great idea.

Once you’ve finished washing, dry your roof with a towel, rather than leaving it to dry in the sun – this will help reduce water spotting.

Work front to back

Depending on the kinds of conditions you’ve been traveling in, the dirt your RV will have picked along the way will mostly have accumulated at the front and back. Once you’ve finished the roof, pick one side and start cleaning your RV along that side, starting at the front and working towards the back. Leave the wheels and tires for last as you’ll want to tackle those with different cleaning materials.

Make sure that the side of your RV is completely dry before beginning on the other side.

Make sure you have the right cleaning products and equipment for your RV

RVs come in all sizes, ages, and in a variety of different materials that call for different cleaning products and equipment to keep them in good shape. Still, there are basics that every RV owner would find it hard to live without:

  • Pole Mountable brush heads and water blades
  • Extendable poles that reach the heights of your RV are a must-have. A quality brush head will let you brush down surfaces without worrying about leaving scratches, while a quality water blade will help you get rid of excess water and reduce spotting without scratching your vehicle – just make sure to rinse each time before use.
  • Chenille wash mitt for wheels
    • Keep those wheels shiny and scratch-free with a microfiber wash mitt that will buff them up brightly in no time.
  • Microfiber drying towel
  • Drying is key to keeping your RV as free from water spots as possible, so a good soft and absorbent towel will help you do that both safely and efficiently.
  • Use a wash shampoo that’s both up to the job and protects your RV

How dirty your RV is will determine what shampoo is best for the job; if it’s lightly dusty, a top-rated, ideally ph neutral or balanced RV or car shampoo will do a great job at cleaning your vehicle while protecting it. Make the most of your hard work by selecting one with gloss enhancer to give your RV an extra bounce in its ride.

For dirtier jobs, you may want to opt for a degreaser, although always be careful to check that it’s compatible with the materials used on your RV’s surfaces, especially on the roof where materials can vary greatly and require very different treatments.

If you’d rather spend your time doing something else, call in a pro

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to clean your RV, you can leave it to a pro. For Riverbound guests and residents, we can arrange for a full detailing service to be carried out on your RV, so you can enjoy your time while your RV enjoys a premier clean and detail. For more information, drop us a line

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