How to Clean Your RV: Wash Guide

When you know how to clean your RV properly, you keep it adventure-ready. Washing your recreational vehicle is one of the main responsibilities of RV life. On top of keeping it looking sharp, it helps your motorhome last longer. 

Not everyone realizes how outdoor elements lead to permanent stains when left alone. From bird droppings to road salt, they cause damage to the paint and RV body

Below, we break down everything you need to know to wash your rig. 

How to Clean Your RV: The Exterior

Unfortunately, washing an RV is not like scrubbing down your car. To start out, it’s important to pick a nice pat of the day when the temperature is cool. Then, park your rig in a shady area and gather your supplies. 

Where to Park to Wash Your RV

Before we start, know when and where it’s okay to wash your RV. Oftentimes, RV campsites and campgrounds don’t want people using their water to wash their rigs. 

Once you know it’s okay, here are a few things to consider. 

  • Water spigot location. It takes more than a few buckets to clean your RV. Be sure there’s a water source nearby. 
  • Park in the shade. On top of keeping you cool, the shade helps you avoid soap spots from evaporation. 
  • Park on solid, even ground. Generally speaking, washing on RV requires a step ladder at least. It’s important to know the ground is flat enough to support you. 
  • Land or concrete? Speaking of ladders, you don’t want your equipment sinking into the mud. Try to find an even concrete surface. 

Gather Your Equipment

Before you get wet, gather the supplies you need. 

  • Soap – a mild car-washing soap works
  • Water hose or pressure washer or both
  • Sponge, car washing mitt, soft-bristly brush – whatever cleaning tool you prefer 
  • Ladder or step ladder
  • Rubber roof cleaner – if the roof is rubber
  • Wax – specific to your RV type (metal, fiberglass, etc)

Special note: If you decide to use a pressure washer, practice caution. Stay a safe distance from your rig as you clean your RV. Be extra careful as you clean seals, decals, and gaskets. 

Unfortunately, when the pressure gets high, it has the potential to loosen these parts. When you aren’t sure, err on the side of caution. Stick to a hose and sponge. 

How to Clean Your RV: The Process

Before you start, close the windows, doors, and vents. This keeps your interior dry. Next, follow these steps. 

  1. Double-check that everything is secure. 
  2. Rinse away loose dirt from the RV. Start at the top and slowly work your way down. 
  3. Next, get to scrubbing. Again, it’s a good idea to start at the top and work down. This avoids dirty runoff on areas you just cleaned. 
  4. As you scrub your rig, rinse your sponge/brush often. When you don’t, you risk damage to the finish as your sponge picks up grit. Moreover, change out the water in your bucket frequently. 
  5. Wipe down the tires and spray down the undercarriage. This eliminates some of the debris and road dirt. 
  6. When you finish the scrubbing, give your RV one more rinse to wash away the soap. This avoids soap stains as things dry. 
  7. If you want to, use wax. This gives your rig a little extra protection against the world. 

How to Clean an RV Roof and Awning

When you want to wash an awning, it’s important to take extra care. Since it’s made from a different material, you need to use the right soap. 

  • Vinyl – avoid cleaners with bleach 
  • Acrylic – mix in a small amount of bleach to remove stains

Similarly, the roof of your RV needs some added care at times. If your motorhome has a rubber roof, use a cleaner specific to that material. 

Additionally, this is a great time to check your roof for damage, problem areas, or broken seals. With a simple inspection, you avoid costly leaks down the line

Questions? Our Team Is Here to Help

While it’s not the most fun activity, especially in Houston summers, it’s important work. When you know how to clean your RV, you stay ready for your next adventure. Moreover, it gives you a chance to look for any issues. 

Should you find any problem areas, call on the trusted technicians at TX RV Repair Shop. We offer thorough inspections. Moreover, we have experience with a broad spectrum of RV repair services

Among these, we offer RV detailing services to keep your RV looking crisp, clean, and adventure-ready.