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Washing your Travel Trailer or Motorhome

Prosser's | 08/04/2021

Pulling your travel trailer along the road to the next camping site is a sure way to collect dirt, mud, bugs and all other sorts of debris. Prosser RV Outlet wants to make sure you know the best way to handle keeping your travel trailer clean in between adventures, so we are presenting just a few of our favorite tips and advice.

PRESSURE WASHING ADVICE
Pressure washers are a great way to wash your RV, if used properly. A pressure washer will quickly strip off dirt, grime, and bugs, however they can also strip the finish off of your trailer, peel away decals, rip away seals, and cause water intrusion into the structure of your RV. When washing your RV with a pressure washer, always keep the nozzle around a foot away from the RV, and sweep the stream horizontally starting at the top of your RV and working down. If you try and use vertical passes with the pressure washer, you'll probably wind up pushing dirt back up the body of the RV which will waste time and water.

WASHING THE ROOF
Washing your RV's roof should be your first step when you decide to wash your trailer. There are two types of roofs on most RVs, each with different cleaning methods, so equip yourself properly before you start. If you choose to pressure wash your roof, use care around protrusions like your AC unit or the tank exhausts, as the seals around these components can be easily blasted away if you're not mindful.

RUBBER
Rubber has long been a standard for RV roofs. While these are becoming less and less common in new RVs, rubber roofs are still very easy to find. Rubber RV roofs are made of a 'flaking' material that naturally erodes so the roof can remain flexible, unfortunately, this flaking leads to dirty streaks of white or black running down the side of your RV. You can wash your roof using rubber roof cleaning supplies (come in and see our service department if you need help finding these) or a pressure washer. Don't use sealants on rubber roofs, they'll degrade the material and prevent it from flaking naturally.

FIBERGLASS
Fiberglass RV roofs are becoming more and more common. Many RV manufacturers are using these in lieu of rubber roofs because of their increased durability and ease of care. If you're washing a fiberglass roof you can use most normal automotive cleaning supplies.

WASHING THE BODY OF YOUR TRAVEL TRAILER
Not all travel trailers are created equal. Over the years different manufacturers have used plenty of different types of materials to make RVs, but the most common are metal, and fiberglass, so we'll focus on cleaning tips for these.

METAL RVS
Painted metal RVs are easy to wash, as you can use most of the same chemicals or products that you would use on your car. The major caveat here is that the overlapping metal siding of these RVs is vulnerable to water intrusion from a pressure washer, so if pressure washing is your preferred method of cleaning you will need to keep the nozzle farther away from your RV than normal, a minimum of about 1 ½ feet.

FIBERGLASS RVS
Older fiberglass RVs are typically unpainted, with a few flashy (and usually faded) decals. The fiberglass itself should be washed using an RV wash and wax product which are made specifically for these fiberglass materials. When pressure washing, make sure you avoid the decals, or they'll peel off in no time. If your fiberglass trailer is newer, it may be fully painted with clear coat on the top, these should also be washed using RV cleaning products, however you can get away with automotive products in most cases.

GASKETS AND SEALS
The gaskets around your RV's windows have a pretty rough life. These rubber components are exposed to the heat, cold, and sun day in and day out. To make sure these are able to provide the tight seal and solid fit you want, spray your gaskets with a silicone based spray once a year or so to protect from UV degradation, and keep the seals supple.

WHEELS AND RIMS
Your wheels need love too, so here are cleaning tips for the three most common types of rims you'll find on an RV: painted, aluminum, and chrome. Painted metal rims can be cleaned with standard automotive cleaning products, but should be waxed once a year, keep an eye out for rust and corrosion. Aluminum rims should be cleaned using specific aluminum cleaning products for best results. Chrome rims should be cleaned using chrome cleaning products and a mechanical buffer. If you're using the wrong brushes to clean the chrome you may strip off the protective coat on the rim and blemish the finish, so if you have questions about getting the right product come in and talk to our expert service department.

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you on the road to getting your travel trailer clean and ready for your next trip, but if you have any questions or are in need of supplies come meet our friendly staff at our dealership proudly serving the cities of Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; as well as Chicago and the Northern Illinois region!


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