Part of the joy of owning your own motorhome involves a little TLC from time to time. If your motorhome or campervan is laid up for a while, there tends to be a build-up of deposits from environmental surroundings.
This can be anything from bird droppings, dust particles and surrounding trees which can lead to moss and algae growth. If this builds up over a sustained period of time it can get into the seals and cracks on your mothorhome causing unnecessary wear and tear. This is why it’s important to wash you motorhome fairly regularly and keep it looking as sharp as the day you bought it.
There is no question - it is a big job, so here are some tips to get you off to a good start:
Use a soft brush with wrap around head that won’t scratch the surface, a microfiber cloth or noodle mitt to clean down each panel thoroughly. You can get special cleaning agents for washing motorhomes and we would certainly recommend using such solutions so you can protect the paintwork. The following are a list of tools you would ideally need before you begin:
- A folding ladder with scaffold plate
- Hose /Power washer on soft setting
- Soft Brush, Microfibre cloth or noodle mitt (avoid sponges as they can hold grit and scratch your motorhome)
- Body shampoo– preferably customised for motorhomes
- Acrilyic motorhome window cleaner (optional)
- Black Streak remover (optional)
- Flannnel for chamois for drying off
Start by rinsing down your motorhome to remove dust, dirt and grit before you begin the cleaning process. Always start at the roof and then hose from top to bottom. If using a pressure washer keep it on a low setting and keep it a safe 12 inches away from the body, be careful not to damage seals on your campervan which could potentially lead to water ingress.
- Clean around the rims of your window seals, doors and lockers with an old soft tooth brush to remove algae.
- If you see black streaks on your motorhome they can be tricky to remove, you might be glad to know that there is a special “black streak remover” agent you can buy which makes this task very easy and painless.
- When cleaning your motorhome prepare you solution in a bucket and start with brushing on your cleaning solution starting from the top down, one panel at a time. If you prefer use a microfiber cloth or noodle mitt instead and try to do this in the shade to prevent spotting. Rinse off the solution before it dries in and use a freshly rinsed flannelled cloth to assist if necessary.
- For stubborn dried-in insect residue, cover with a cloth soaked in hot solution and leave for a few minutes before rinsing off. Alternatively, there are specialised products you can get to tackle this and it can make your job a whole lot easier.
You can choose to dry naturally or either use a chamois leather drying cloth or microfiber flannel to dry the motorhome yourself. Some people prefer to aid the drying process in order to minimise the risk of streaking.
Take extra care when cleaning the windows on your motorhome as they are made of acrylic. Do not use an abrasive cleaning agent which will scratch the surface. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals that may discolour or react with the acrylic composition of the material. Either use a gentle detergent, or you can buy specialised window cleaning kits designed for motorhomes, which are a safer option.
When cleaning the wheels, use a soft brush to help remove dirt, and rinse regularly. There is a range of spray on tyre detergents that do a great job of removing brake dust and grime. If you have alloys, it’s a good idea to use a special alloy cleaning agent, but try opting for an acid free cleaner to protect the lacquer coating from peeling. When you apply the wheel cleaner, use a non-scratch wheel brush to tackle stubborn areas and then you can also go the extra mile and apply instant tyre dressing to the rubber tyre if you want to go all out.
Now that your motorhome is looking squeaky clean, and if there is anything left in the tank - you may want apply a coat of wax. Just be sure that the motorhome is fully dry before applying. When buffing off, have plenty of clean dry microfiber cloth to get a mirror shine. Don’t overdo the wax as a little goes a long way.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Avoid washing on a hot windy day – this is to prevent the dirty washing solution from drying in to the exterior of your motorhome making it harder to remove.
- You can always wash your motorhome in stages, maybe clean down roof and panels one day, follow with a polish or wax, pick another day for the wheels and windows.
- Use specialist cleaning products if possible, they will do most of the hard work for you.
Now you have a motorhome that looks brand new! Time to feet up and relax!