Workin’ at the Car Wash Yeah – What you Need to Get your RV Sparkling Clean

RVing is pretty awesome. But sooner or later, your precious rig is going to get dirty — and if you travel as often as we do, the “sooner” option is much more likely.

But getting your rig all squeaky clean again isn’t always as simple as driving it through the scrubby suds at your local gas station. After all, that motorhome or travel trailer of yours might be pretty darn big… not to mention the complexity of dealing with your ceiling HVAC system, vent fans, and other miscellaneous parts you might not want to be inundated by a regular car wash’s jets of water.

Fortunately, it’s not too tough to bring your RV to a spit shine all on your own — or, if you’d rather skip out on the elbow grease, to find the answer to that all-important question, “How do I find a reliable RV wash near me?”

Whether you DIY it or hire someone else to do the dirty work, here’s what you need to know about getting your RV so fresh and so clean.

RV Wash: How the Heck Do You Do It?

Even if you’re an old pro at car washing and frequently tackle your automobiles yourself, taking on an RV wash can be a little bit intimidating. Depending on the rig you drive, you may be faced with the project of cleaning an actual bus, which isn’t everyone’s idea of a relaxing afternoon.

That said, the equipment you need and the steps it takes actually aren’t all that unfamiliar or difficult. It’s just that everything needs to be done on a bigger scale… which means you might just need a ladder!

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Most RV owners who wash their own rigs recommend purchasing a scrub brush with a long handle — preferably an extendable one, so it can fold up smaller when it’s time to store it. Camco makes a nifty one of these that features an integrated squeegee so you can wash and dry your RV’s exterior, and it’s available through Amazon for less than $30. It even hooks up to your hose so your water supply goes right on through, allowing you to seamlessly and easily clean your RV without switching between your soap brush and the hose spray.

That said, you can definitely wash your RV without purchasing any fancy equipment. A plain old garden hose and sponge will do the job… you just might have to get creative about finding ways to reach the higher portions of your rig. Along with climbing your RV’s back ladder to get the roof and the upper portion of the sides of the rig, you might also benefit from a regular step ladder and a spray nozzle to give your hose a little bit of extra water pressure and power.

Once you’ve got the physical equipment you need to get going on your homemade RV wash, you may still be wondering about soaps. What’s the right product for bringing your rig to a mirror shine?

This question is actually important enough to warrant its own section — so let’s move on to learn more.

RV Wax, RV Wash, and Other Products

While it might be tempting to head out into your driveway to wash your RV with regular old dish soap, it’s probably not a chance you want to take. Your RV’s finish isn’t just decorative and expensive — it’s also your main defense against water damage, which is the boogeyman that comes to kill most RVs in the end.

That’s why it can be a good idea to instead invest in a specific RV wash and wax product, which can help you effortlessly clean your rig and leave a lasting wax shine that’ll mean you can go a little longer without having to do the whole thing over again. There are many, many such products available on the market, and figuring out the best RV wax and wash will likely take a little bit of trial and error, but as long as it’s an RV-specific product, you should be on the right path.

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We also recommend making sure you use a little bit of the RV wash product on an inconspicuous section of your RV before you commit to using the wash all over. After all, even with gentle soaps, there’s always the possibility that something will go awry, and it’s not a chance you want to take by splashing RV wash all over the broadest side of your rig!

You can choose between an RV wash and wax that performs both functions in one simple step, or separately purchasing RV wash and a wax product to apply afterward. Of course, if this all sounds like a lot of work, we won’t lie… that’s because it is. Which brings us to our next consideration.

RV Cleaning Service

Depending on the size of your RV, giving it a thorough cleaning can be a pretty major project. You could be talking about hours of work, and that’s not counting all the separate items on your maintenance list, like cleaning the RV awning, scrubbing your holding tank sensors, and going through your RV’s interior with a spring cleaning touch.

This is why some RV owners prefer to hire an RV cleaning service instead of doing the whole thing themselves: they can outsource the time and energy to a professional, ensuring a job well done and giving them the option to choose to do something else with their day. Of course, these professional services aren’t always cheap, especially if you’re looking for deep cleaning and detailing services that will scour every single part of your RV.

We’ll dive further into RV detailing in the next section, but for now, keep in mind that some car wash companies do allow RVs, or at least offer an RV car wash service that may not involve actually driving through the main wash like you would with a normal car. However, not all car washes are equipped to offer RV cleaning service, so if there’s one you have your eye on or visit frequently, we highly recommend reaching out ahead of time and asking about whether or not RVs are eligible — and if so, about their prices.

How Do I Find RV Detailing Near Me?

Looking to get your RV shined up before a big trip or brought back to rights after you come back from one? Or maybe you’re getting ready to list your RV on the peer-to-peer market, and you want to make sure it’s looking its absolute best.

Either way, RV detailing is a great way to ensure every single inch of your RV looks spic and span, both inside and out. Of course, getting that project done can take a lot of work — or cost a pretty penny.

Fortunately, the rise of RVing in general does mean that there are more RV detailing services available nationwide, sometimes including mobile RV wash and detailing services that will bring their business to you. You may also be able to find RV detailing services at truck wash stations or as a standalone, specialized business, though the amount you can expect to pay for different services varies greatly depending on where in the country you’re situated.

If you don’t have a rig of your own quite yet and just the idea of going through all this maintenance is making you tired, don’t fret: you can still enjoy the RV lifestyle without ever having to touch an extendable scrub brush. Renting on the peer-to-peer market gives you the opportunity to experience an authentic RV vacation without having to sign on for all of the expense and responsibility that comes with actually owning one of these vehicles, and since you’ll be renting from regular people just like you and me, you’re likely to save a bundle of money in the bargain, to boot.

Here’s how it works. RV owners usually don’t get to use their RVs as often as they’d like. In fact, most RVs end up sitting empty a full 50 weeks out of the year. That’s no fun! So motorhome and travel trailer owners can list their rigs on RVshare and rake in some extra pocket money when their rigs would otherwise be collecting dust — and expenses.

Our easy-to-use platform makes the entire transaction safe, effective, and even fun. So if you’re ready to try out RVing for the first time or plan your next adventure, check out the RV rental listings available near you today

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