Spring is coming around soon and that means it’s time for a full RV scrub down. Doing a spring cleaning each year will keep your interior and exterior fresh and ready for the road. It’s nice having a rolling home that not only shines but smells great on the interior too!
Washing the Exterior
Your RV is large and it has way more surface area than a normal vehicle. It also has vents, storage compartments and other exterior components that require more attention to detail. If the rig has been sitting for a while, start with a shop vacuum and clean the cobwebs and dust from exterior storage compartments and the areas that house your power cords, heating ventilation and refrigeration components.
Washing the exterior requires a few special tools to really do a great job. Consider washing at a carwash with a large bay to really make the job easier. Be careful with pressure washers however. They are great for hitting the undercarriage and the main RV body but avoid spraying any of the rubber gasket seals and silicone treated surface areas. These seals can break loose with extreme, direct pressure.
The other primary tools required are a long handled, soft bristle brush and a bucket for soap and water. Fiberglass RV’s can skip the brush and go straight to a water wash and wax as well. The brush will not damage the fiberglass material but it can peel paint and decals with excessive pressure.
After washing with soap and water, let the RV dry and move on to the tires. Treating and cleaning the tires is about much more than giving them a nice shine. A tire protectant will reduce wear from the sun. Clean your wheels first then add a spray on tire protectant to finish the job. Don’t forget to cover the tires after completing the cleaning. Keeping them covered while parked prevents rot and deterioration.
If your awning was properly stored, it may not require a cleaning. If you think it’s dirty however, go ahead and pull out the awning so it’s set up and fully exposed. The awning is coated with a water repellant layer, so heavy pressure washing is not necessary. Use a hose with moderate pressure to remove dirt and grime. You can scrub lightly with a soft brush on stubborn areas that have mildew or mold present as well. After cleaning, allow the awning to fully dry before storing. If you store with any moisture, it can lead to serious mold and mildew issues.
Non Toxic Interior Cleaning
Cleaning your interior does not have to be a major chore but using a systematic approach is ideal. Before touching anything, start by cleaning your blackwater and freshwater tanks. Freshwater tanks are cleaned by doing a fill and flush with a treatment specifically for freshwater tanks. This will clean the tank without adding any dangerous chemicals to your drinking water.
Next, do a full cleaning on the blackwater tank. Starting the season with a clean blackwater system always feels nice. Connect the tank to a sewer and open the valve to empty. Enter the RV with a hose and rinse out the interior of the tank. Close the valve and fill the tank with freshwater and a treatment. You can use a household treatment like Comet or a blackwater specific cleaner. After letting it sit, run another freshwater flush, empty and disconnect from the sewer.
After the tanks are clean, your RV is like any other house. Use a non-toxic cleaner like white vinegar and water to wash cabinets, the sink and the bathroom surfaces. Scrub the toilet, wash the hard floors and vacuum everything else. Also do a thorough cleaning of the oven, refrigerator and any other appliances. They tend to catch and hold grease so be very thorough in these spaces. Add a small bowl of baking soda to the refrigerator during storage as well. It will absorb bad smells and keep the fridge fresh for the next use. Without baking soda, the refrigerator can become musty smelling even when cleaned before storage.
Wash and replace linens, cushion covers and all fabrics. You can also run a diffuser with scented oils while cleaning to add a nice aroma to the space. Make sure to open your vents and wipe down the cracks and crevasses where dust and dirt settles on the ceiling. After cleaning, replace any loose items and get ready to hit the road!