Home » RVing » RV Living » Keeping Your RV Clean

Keeping Your RV Clean

If you’ve recently purchased a new or used RV, one of the first things you should do is get a hand wash and wax. Sounds like no big deal right, something you can easily do yourself? You can, if you don’t mind spending 10+ hours on the process! Our personal preference: save yourself the hassle, and take it to a professional.

Here are a few details you need to know whether you wax the RV yourself or pay someone else:

  • Use a Teflon based wax, it will last the longest
  • Don’t forget to wax the painted parts of your slide-out
  • Keep out of direct sunlight during the wash and wax process to prevent ‘hazing’
  • Wash the roof! Black streaks after washing are from the grime on the roof.
  • Use a soft bristled brush or soft rag when cleaning to avoid scratching the finish.
  • Use non-abrasive cleaning supplies designed for the type of material you are cleaning.
  • When washing your RV start from the top and work your way down.
  • Save the windows for last, and use a non-streak formula. For extra water protection, follow up with a Rain-X type product.

Once you have a nice wax base you’ll be good to go for about a year. Some salesmen claim a wax is needed every six months, but a good rule of thumb is: It’s time for another wax when water stops beading off your RV.


Some of the most exciting environments are also the hardest on your RV! Wash your RV immediately after departing any of the following conditions:

  • Saltwateris horrible for your paint and any exposed metal or chrome parts. If you plan to camp at the beach for more than two weeks make sure you wash your RV during your stay.
  • Salt on roadwaysduring the winter has the same effect as ocean saltwater.
  • Desert sandcan damage your paint!
  • Bird Poop is toxic to paint and wax, remove immediately.

If you’re hanging around a campground for more than a few weeks, you may need a wash during your stay. Most RV parks don’t allow washing; here are a few alternatives:

  • Purchase a waterless wash – It’s a cleaner and wax in one. Simply spray the product into a soft cloth and wipe. Follow up with another clean cloth to ‘wax’. Simple, effective, and GREEN!
  • Hire a mobile cleaner – Many companies offer mobile RV washing. Check with your RV park to see if they allow this; if so, they will usually recommend a quality company and sometimes will give you a coupon.
  • Disconnect and wash – If your RV is extra dirty, or the RV park doesn’t allow cleaning, disconnect and drive to the nearest wash.

Here’s a general guideline of what you can expect to pay for cleaning a 30’ RV:

  • $10 Do-It-Yourself Wash (Purchase cleaning supplies)
  • $20 Self-Service Wash ($5=10 minutes, bring quarters or small bills)
  • $45 Truck Wash ($1.50/ft)
  • $105 Hand Wash and Hand Dry ($3.50/ft)
  • $210 Hand Wash with interior detail ($7/ft)
  • $450 Hand Wash and Wax ($15/ft)

Now that you have the dirt on cleaning, it’s time to go camping and get dirty!