RVs come with a variety of exterior surfaces that need to be cleaned and maintained, from rubber roof membranes to fabric awnings, and each with specific care instructions. Applying protective products is an important maintenance step, as washing alone isn’t enough to keep your RV in top shape. UV rays are one of the leading factors for exterior damage, so it is vital to guard against them.
First and foremost, use products recommended by your RV Care dealer specifically for your RV and region, because recommendations will vary depending on the RV’s exterior material, as well as the climate of your region. We recommend the quality MAGIC-BOSS™ products from Boss Technology, who offer a great range of cleaners and protectants, from awning cleaners to their very popular black-streak remover.
How to clean and protect your RV’s exterior:
Step one: Roof
When washing, start from the top and work your way down. To wash your RV’s roof, be sure to use a cleaner specifically formulated to thoroughly clean rubber roof membranes. The membrane can be damaged by using the wrong cleaner, as some chemicals will break it down.
Once clean, we recommend applying a rubber roof treatment. This will extend the life of your roof membrane by protecting against UV rays, make future cleaning even easier, and reduce the black streaks running down your sidewalls (which are caused by the oxidation of the rubber membrane).
Step two: Sidewalls
Sidewalls should be washed and then waxed to protect and restore, with a cleaner recommended for your RV. If your fiberglass sidewalls have lost their luster and become dull and chalky, the MAGIC-BOSS™ Deoxidiser & Wax works nicely to restore the shine and protect from further damage.
Step three: Slideouts
The rubber seals on your slideouts can break down over time, so be sure to apply a rubber seal conditioner once washed. This will create a water repellant film, providing UV protection and prevent the seals from drying out. These seals are often overlooked, which can result in a costly bill for replacement.
Step four: Tires
Did you know that UV rays are also damaging for tires? Use a tire cleaning product to clean, shine, and protect from UV damage.
Dealing with rust
If you notice signs of rusting anywhere on your RV, give the area a swift coat of specialized paint to prevent further damage. Any exposed steel can start to rust over time, such as hitching mechanisms, steps, or propane tanks.
To pressure wash, or not to pressure wash
If you are using a pressure washer to clean your RV, it is extremely important to keep the pressure low and at a safe distance. High, concentrated pressure can damage your RV.
Protecting decals & paint
Vinyl decals and graphics can fade over time, and it’s hard to find experts that agree on what they should be protected with. Talk to your RV Care Dealer about what they recommend for your specific make and model, and test any products in a less visible area. If your test spot holds up well for a season, you’ll know it is safe to do the rest.
If you added exterior paint protection from your dealer when you purchased your RV, you’ve saved yourself a lot of elbow grease! Your RV will be protected with the built-in UV protection, without the need to apply additional waxes.
Do you have questions about cleaning and protecting the exterior of your RV? Be sure to stop by your local RV Care Dealer and talk to the RV experts!