If you want to keep your RV looking good, you’ll need to wash it occasionally. However, washing a massive RV is no easy task. Finding a place where you can get the job done can be challenging. Luckily, we’ve found a few places where you can give your rig a bath during your RV adventures.
Here are five places you can easily wash your RV. Grab a sponge and a bucket of suds, and let’s get started!
What Is the Best Way to Wash Your RV?
Unfortunately, the best way to wash your RV will require a little bit of elbow grease and a generous effort. Nothing can beat the results you’ll get from scrubbing your rig with a sponge soaked in suds, letting it soak, and then rinsing it clean. This allows you to get into the nooks and crannies of your rig to get as much of the dirt and debris caked to the exterior.
Since even the smallest RVs have a tremendous amount of surface space you’ll need to clean, you’ll want to focus on washing the rig in sections. Start at the top and work your way down to avoid dirtying an area you’ve already cleaned.
To get the job done, you’ll need a tremendous amount of water, a ladder, a bucket, a sponge, and detergent that’s safe to use on the various surfaces of your RV. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage your rig’s decals and protective coatings.
Is It Safe to Pressure Wash Your RV?
Pressure washing an RV is safe, but you must be extremely careful. Using too high of a pressure setting can cause some serious damage to the various surfaces. You’ll want to be extremely careful when spraying the roof and the seals. A pressure washer set too high could easily destroy these surfaces and cause water to get into your RV when it rains.
If you want to pressure wash your RV, the Lippert Power Pro Max is a great option to consider. It’s lightweight, extremely portable, and has a 520 maximum PSI to avoid damaging your RV. You’ll be able to confidently clean your rig without worrying about causing more harm than good.
Should You Wash the Roof of Your RV?
RV’s have massive roofs that you should clean regularly. You generally want to clean your RV’s roof every three to six months, depending on where you’re using it and how you store it. However, climbing up on an RV’s roof is not easy and is one of the main reasons many RVers neglect this critical piece of routine RV maintenance.
When washing the roof, you want to spray it down to eliminate any dirt and debris. It’s best to start at the front of your rig and work your way back. You don’t want to be walking on a wet RV roof that’s more than 10 feet off the ground. A fall from this level will likely result in a trip to the nearest ER or urgent care center.
Once you’ve sprayed down an area, you’ll want to use a rubber roof cleaner and a soft bristle brush to scrub the area thoroughly. Put pressure on the surface, but not so much that you could damage the brush or the roof materials. After scrubbing the area with the cleaner, spray it down and move on to another section. Repeat this process until you’ve finished cleaning the entire roof.
This is a great opportunity to inspect the many seals on your roof. Look for any signs of cracking, peeling, or any indications of damage. Use painter’s tape to mark the areas so you can quickly and easily come back to address them once you’ve finished cleaning your roof and it’s had time to dry.
5 Places to Easily Wash Your RV
Washing an RV can be a pretty big task and will require a few things. However, we’ve found places that make it easy to wash an RV. Let’s look at the places you’ll want to try the next time you need to wash your rig.
1. At Your House
If you have the space and a water connection, there’s a good chance you can wash your RV at your home. This is an excellent option because you’ll likely be able to quickly and easily gather all the tools needed for the job. You can take your time and make sure you get the best results.
Washing your RV at home is one of the most affordable ways to keep your rig clean. Since you will be using a tremendous amount of water, you may notice your water bill may increase slightly if you do this often. However, the cost is minimal compared to what you’d be paying someone else to do the job for you.
2. A Truck Wash
While you may have seen a long line of big rigs and 18-wheelers lined up at a truck wash, many of these facilities are also RV-friendly. You can get in line with the truckers, pull through the facility, and come out squeaky clean.
Truck washes typically charge RVers by the foot or use adjustable pricing scales based on the size or type of the rig. Depending on the size, the location of the wash, and the services you’re getting, it could cost you anywhere from $50 to about $100 to get your RV clean at a truck wash.
We always warn RVers that they should request the truck wash and only use their scrub brushes on the wheels and tires of their rig. Since these brushes get used on almost every rig that comes through there, they can contain rocks and chunks of gunk that could scratch the surfaces and protective coatings on your rig.
The truck wash will spray your RV with soapy water, let it sit, and then rinse it. While this may not get into every nook and cranny of your RV, it can get the job done.
3. A Mobile RV Wash Service in a Campground
There are mobile RV wash services all over the country. Many will come to a local campground and clean rigs while RVers are set up. These services can be expensive, but the best mobile services provide fantastic results.
However, it’s important to note that you need to get permission from the RV park or campground before hiring one of these services. Many RV parks and campgrounds prohibit the washing of RVs in campsites. This protects the experience of others in the campground and helps avoid flooding campsites and introducing harmful chemicals to the local ecosystem.
4. Wash It Anywhere With Waterless Wash and Wax
If you don’t want to worry about using too much water or flooding a campsite, you can wash your RV just about anywhere. A wet or waterless car wash wax is safe for your RV’s surfaces. It also can help make it easy to clean future dirt and debris.
You’ll need the waterless car wash wax and a clean microfiber cloth. Start wiping the compound over the surfaces of your rig. You’ll quickly see the dirt and debris caked to your RV. Doing an entire RV with this method can be very time-consuming. However, you can do a section at a time if you cannot knock it out in a single day.
5. At RV Dealers or Service Centers
Many RV dealers or service centers thoroughly wash RVs before sending them home with customers. While some dealers or service centers will only offer this when completing a transaction, it doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you’re already there and they’re servicing your rig. They may be willing to do a quick once-over on your rig. We’ve not seen too many RV dealers or RV service centers turn down someone willing to give them money.
How Much Does It Cost to Wash an RV?
How much it will cost to wash an RV will depend on how you’re washing it and its size. If you have a small Class B conversion van, it won’t cost too much more than washing a pickup truck. You may even be able to send it through a standard car wash, which typically costs $10 to $15.
If you have a larger RV, it can cost anywhere from $50 to about $300 to wash it. Some mobile services can be expensive but do a phenomenal job and cover items other services don’t. The most expensive services often extend warnings and clean skylights.
Is It Worth Having Your RV Washed by a Professional?
A professional service can provide fantastic results for washing your RV and keeping it clean. You’re paying for their knowledge and experience in protecting your rig’s various components. Like many services, some professionals are better than others. Make sure you do your research before hiring a professional. You shouldn’t entrust your beautiful RV in the hands of just anyone. However, keeping it looking spiffy for as long as possible is important.
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