When you’re traveling in your RV it becomes your home on wheels, and its exterior performs the same role as the front of your house – it gives the first impression that people will see.
Unfortunately, driving down long, dusty roads can lead to the outside of your RV getting dirty pretty quickly. Most RVs are pretty sizable these days, and cleaning the outside of your RV can be a time-consuming and laborious process, so you’ll want to get it right the first time.
This article will walk you through how to wash your RV’s outer exterior so that it stays sparkly clean and gleaming for longer. We also discuss the dreaded black streaks and how to remove them, as well as touching on pressure washers and whether they’re up to the job.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Can I Wash My RV With Dawn Dish Soap?
You should wash your RV regularly as not only will this help to keep it looking lovely so you can drive proudly past as you travel through towns and villages on your travels, but also because it will help maintain the lifespan of the exterior of your RV.
We would recommend that you wash your RV as soon as possible after taking a trip, as spending all that time on the road is sure to have left you with some telltale signs of travel.
The best thing to use for the outer surfaces of your RV is a mild soap or Dawn dish soap which does an excellent job of removing grime and dirt without damaging your RV. Check the formula and the RV’s care instructions to make sure they won’t react badly together.
Wipe over the external surfaces of your RV with a wash glove or a mitt for the areas that are within an easy reaching distance. For spots higher up, you may need to invest in a long-handled brush that has soft bristles attached to the bottom for scrubbing the dirt.
Start by rinsing the RV all over from the top to the bottom but try to avoid splashing too much of the water mixture into the gaps or appliance vents situated on the surfaces of your RV.
How Do I Get Black Streaks Off My RV?
Black streaks can form stubborn stains if left for too long, especially if you notice them on one any metal sidewall finish. Even commercial cleaners will have a tough time removing these tough stains if you don’t get around to cleaning them quickly enough.
These are usually caused by a combination of dead bugs that collect on your windshield and RV walls as you’re driving as well as degrading window sealant that is breaking up.
In most cases, simple water and mild soap mixture are not going to be strong enough to remove black stains on the outside of your RV, so you will need to turn to something that packs a little more cleaning power, although as we just mentioned, check the formula first.
For the best results, you should try to remove any bugs and black stains as soon as you possibly get the chance, even if that means spending five minutes doing this the next time you stop at a gas station to fill up on fuel. Do this by pouring water over them.
This will rehydrate the bugs and can loosen grime or dirt that is contributing to the black stains on the sides of your RV making it easier to remove. You might need to use a little bit of extra elbow grease, but eventually, the stains should start to fade until it’s all clean.
Can You Pressure Wash an RV?
We’ve already mentioned that cleaning your RV can be a time-consuming process and it’s one that requires more than just a little bit of effort. For this reason, many people wonder if it would be a good idea to use a pressure washer on their RV in order to speed things up a bit.
After all, most people would happily use a pressure washer to clean their car, so why not a recreational vehicle, too? Is this really okay to do or will you only end up damaging the surfaces of your RV?
Camper vans are extremely expensive, so you won’t want to have to fork out for costly repairs on top of the initial costs of purchasing and running an RV.
In general, we would advise not to. There are some cases in which you can get away with using a pressure washer to clean your RV, depending on the type of washer you’re using and how you are using it, but it’s not widely recommended as there is a risk of damage.
You should definitely never use a pressure washer on an older RV as the wear and tear these types of vehicles sustain over the years causes an eventual breakdown in the flexible seals and sealants used around the windows and doorways, causing a breach in your RV.
Using a pressure washer on these areas would be too much for the RV to handle and could cause some serious damage or you could even end up flooding the inside of your mobile home by accidents if there are too many large gaps in the sealant for it to shoot through.
Keeping on top of the cleaning and making sure you regularly wash the outer exterior of your RV (as well as the interior spaces) is a great way to help extend its lifespan but there are a number of other things that can affect your RV’s overall durability which you should consider.
When you’re cleaning the outside of your RV, it is the ideal time to check over the surfaces for any damage or wear and tear that you might otherwise miss.
If you do see anything that needs your attention, make sure to get around to it before setting off on your next trip!