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When adventuring in an RV, you might lose yourself in the fantastic sights, fabulous campgrounds, and excellent opportunities for relaxation and unwinding. However, all that traveling can leave your rig pretty grimy looking. It can even get dirty sitting in your driveway. But washing an RV isn’t like washing a car or truck. Some compare it to cleaning the outside of a house instead! We’re breaking down everything you need to know to leave your RV sparkling, including our top picks for the best RV cleaner.
Let’s dive in!
What Should I Clean My RV With?
The right RV cleaner for your rig will depend on the material of your RV’s exterior. As you’ve likely noticed around the campground, RVs can have painted or unpainted metal or the standard fiberglass. Each style requires slightly different cleaning materials and equipment for those looking to protect their precious rig.
You can clean unpainted metal like Airstreams relatively effortlessly with water and an RV-specific cleaner or gentle soap and water. Using non-abrasive pads, sponges, or brushes is crucial to avoid scratching the exterior. Painted metal is hardier and can withstand more aggressive spraying and scrubbing, much like a typical car or truck.
What Can I Use to Clean My Fiberglass RV?
Fiberglass is one of the most common RV exterior materials and requires unique care methods and cleaners. Like unfinished metal, you should ensure any brushes, pads, or sponges you use to clean fiberglass are non-abrasive so you won’t leave scratches on the exterior. You can wash fiberglass with gentle everyday soap or even liquid laundry soap, but many RVers opt for a unique RV cleaner that can make your rig genuinely shine.
The Best RV Cleaner for a Gleaming RV
There are many cleaners, so how can you know which is best? We’ve scrubbed, rinsed, and repeated these options to find these top picks.
Our Pick: Wash Wax All
As the name suggests, Wash Wax All has it all! It’s one of the most straightforward cleaners and can even clean your rig without water. Just spray on and wipe dry for a clean rig, complete with a UV-protective wax coating. Frequently part of a kit, the package also has microfiber towels and a unique scrubber to get those gross and hard-to-remove bug stains off your rig. It’s also eco-friendly and biodegradable, protecting the environment from other potentially harmful vehicle cleaners.
Keep in Mind: Can you power an RV with a solar generator? Let’s find out!
Runner Up: RainX Spot Free Wash
For those with access to water and who want an easy drying experience, RainX Spot Free Wash is a perfect choice. It produces what RainX calls a “high impact foam” that clings to dirt, grime, and debris and conveniently removes them. Afterward, special rinsing polymers allow water to flow off your rig, speeding up the time it takes to dry and preventing spots. This means no towel drying is needed!
- Convenience From Start to Finish - Deep Cleaning Foam Car Wash Cuts Through Dirt and Debris; Saving Time and Promoting...
- Environmentally Conscious - The Formula is Safe For The Environment, Biodegradable and pH balanced to not harm any...
Budget Option: Star Brite RV Wash & Wax
If you’re regularly washing your RV every few weeks, it can get a bit expensive. Those who need a budget-friendly option should try this Star Brite formula at just over $32 per gallon. With the recommended use of one ounce per bucket of water, money-conscious RVers can get up to 128 washes, which comes to 25 cents each. Cost aside, users praise Star Brite for its ease of use and clean shine, making it a bargain and a quality pick.
- ONE-STEP CLEANING SOLUTION - STAR BRITE RV Wash & Wax is your one-stop solution, easily removing road grime, debris and...
- ENHANCED SHINE & PROTECTION - Our unique formula contains polymers that not only enhance shine but also add UV...
Best Waterless Option: Meguiar’s Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax
It can take ample water to wash a medium or large RV. If your rig needs cleaning and water isn’t available in the quantities you need, this cleaner from Meguiar’s is your best bet. Apply and wipe off with a microfiber towel. It doesn’t get any easier than that! It’s available in a simple spray bottle, making it simple to pinpoint your cleaning efforts without wasting RV cleaner on unnecessary areas.
- ONE EASY STEP: Premium formula conveniently and gently washes and adds wax protection in one easy step. Can be used...
- WATER SPOT-FREE: Advanced chemistry contains a water spot-free formula coupled with a high-lubricity that protects the...
Best Color Restorer: Meguiar’s G17220 Ultimate Compound
Those needing the additional benefits of a color restorer should try this one for size. It promises to remove paint defects, oxidation, blemishes, and other marks while leaving a glossy, protective finish to keep your RV looking pristine. While this won’t replace your RV cleaner, it can be a valuable supplement to ensure that a like-new appearance never entirely disappears.
- REMOVE LIGHT PAINT DEFECTS: This car paint restorer effectively removes oxidation, scratches, water spots, and blemishes...
- BEST SCRATCH AND SWIRL REMOVER: Meguiar's Ultimate Compound quickly restores surface clarity, using modern innovations...
Other Items You’ll Need to Clean Your RV
Now that you have your cleaner, you can’t forget the other equipment you’ll need to leave your RV sparkling. Here are some must-haves.
Many RVs and trailers can be tall, making it difficult to reach some spots without a ladder. Avoid this hassle and potential danger by using brushes or pads on an extension pole. This simple, affordable equipment allows you to stay safely on the ground and scrub every inch of your RV.
- Soft Bumper Guard Around The Head Keeps The Head From Hitting The Body Of The Vehicle
- Features Foam Grips For Extra Control
Microfiber Wash Mitt
There’s no easier way to get a good, non-abrasive scrub on dirty patches of your RV than with a microfiber wash mitt. Stick your hand directly inside to apply power to stubborn dirt or gunk, which will dissolve with the help of soft scrubbing fingers. The microfiber material ensures it, no matter how hard you need to work.
- GENTLE ON PAINT, TOUGH ON DIRT - The Chenille Car Wash Mitt is made with premium 70/30 blended microfiber for extra-soft...
- EXTRA PLUSH - The Chenille Car Wash Mitt is made of extra plush microfiber that holds tons of clean water and soap to...
Having various microfiber cloths or towels on hand is also crucial for cleaning hard-to-reach areas or removing extra-difficult grime. You can also use these for drying, as they produce a scratch-free shine to many exteriors. In addition, they’re among the more affordable pieces of cleaning equipment, meaning you can buy a large pack and always have fresh ones on hand.
Keep in Mind: Now that you know what you need to clean the outside of your RV, here are RV Cleaning Products Every Experienced RVer Owns for the inside!
- ✅ SUPER SOFT & SCRATCH-FREE – Mighty Cleaner edgeless microfiber towels for cars are perfect for cleaning and...
- ✅ EXCELLENT ABSORBANCY – Our premium car microfiber towel easily absorbs and holds water without leaving streaks or...
Opt For a Kit
If you’d rather avoid assembling cleaning equipment, you can purchase a pre-assembled car or RV cleaner kit. These kits include various equipment, towels, scrubbing mitts, squeegees, and more. They can also come with a handy bag or case to stow your cleaning materials. While you might pay more than purchasing the items individually, you’ll save stress and hassle knowing everything you need is in your kit.
- ULTIMATE CAR WASH KIT – Featuring the DocaPole 5-12’ extension pole, 5-sided soft bristle scrub brush, classic car...
- THE “ULTIMATE” SOFT BRISTLE SCRUB BRUSH – The 5-sided, angled-face DocaPole Soft Bristle Brush is our most...
How Often Should I Clean My RV?
The frequency of washing your RV will depend on a few factors, including how often you use your rig, where you take it, and your tolerance for dirt and grime. Frequent or full-time RVers may need to clean their RV once a month or more frequently in some circumstances. However, occasional weekend campers or light RV users may get away with three to four washes yearly.
Those who enjoy boondocking or travel in dusty or muddy areas may encounter more dirt than others, necessitating more frequent washes. However, RVers may differ when they believe their RV needs cleaning due to their tolerance for a dirty rig.
Keep Your RV Squeaky Clean
RVs and trailers get dirty. It’s a fact of life when traveling and camping. However, cleaning them no longer has to be a time-consuming, water-intensive chore. Whether you’re looking for a quick, waterless touch-up or a thorough wash-and-rinse that leaves your rig shining, remember these excellent RV cleaner choices. Your beautiful, sparkling rig will appreciate it, as will your fellow campers!
How often do you clean your rig?
Last update on 2024-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API