Notes From the Shop – Spring Cleaning Your RV

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April 5, 2013

by Becky Smith

It won’t be long before you’re emerging from your winter hibernation into the sunlight and warmth of spring. As you dust off your golf clubs and remove the cover from your grill, remember your stored RV needs warm weather cleanup and preparations too.

From the Inside Out
Step inside your motorhome or travel trailer for a quick inspection. First, take a deep breath. Does your coach smell moldy or musty? If so, it may be time to replace your moisture absorbing system. The “pouch” or “granule” dehumidifiers are inexpensive yet invaluable for absorbing the moisture that causes mold, mildew and other allergens.

Cabinets and overhead bins may need to be dusted out and cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner. Your all-purpose cleaner will also prepare sinks and shower surfaces for your traveling days ahead.

Flip all switches to test your interior lighting and replace bulbs as needed. A handy broom and dustpan will make quick work of the floors. Pull out the vacuum cleaner and vacuum upholstery, window treatments (curtains, drapes and blinds) and carpeted areas to remove imbedded dirt or pet hair.

Be sure to shine up the windshield too. Choosing a fog-free glass cleaner will not only clean and protect, but also prevent condensation that can obstruct your view.

Next, check the status of your dashboard and other interior vinyl. A spray-on vinyl cleaner plus a clean cotton cloth will remove dust and grime to make the vinyl surfaces like new. Follow up with a vinyl conditioner that protects against sun damage and leaves a non-glare surface. If you have leather seating surfaces, use a cleaner and conditioner that’s formulated especially for leather to keep it soft, supple and protected against stains.

Start at the Top
Now it’s time to give the RV’s exterior a once-over. First, climb up the ladder for an inspection of the roof. Whether your roof has a metal or rubber surface, cleaning, sealing, making minor repairs or entire roof surface will improve its appearance and prolong the life of the roof.

Next, look for damaged storage latches,  gutters and rubber or vinyl trim. Now is the time to replace or repair exterior components to ensure reliable operation and to keep your RV looking like new.

Extend your awning to check for mildew or stains. For awning care, be sure to choose a product specially formulated for the job. Awning cleaners are mild enough to protect the awning fabric yet provide powerful UV protection to prevent fading and deterioration.

Before you wash the exterior, inspect it for black streaks, and bugs. Black streak remover is a concentrated cleaner that loosens and lifts not only black streaks, but other tough grime and debris. Stubborn bug splatters on the front of the RV can be safely removed with a cleaner specially formulated for this purpose without the need for extra scrubbing or damage to graphics.

Now clean and shine your coach’s front, back and sides from bumper to bumper with RV wash. Some products offer a two step system for washing and then waxing; others offer an all-in-one product that waxes as it cleans. Finish your exterior care with a conditioning sunblock for your tires that prevents cracking and weathering.

Spring cleaning your RV is a great way to keep it in tip-top shape and ready to roll on your first trip of the season. A thorough cleaning twice a year makes regular clean-up easier all year long, helps protect resale value and keeps your RV looking sharp.

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