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Ask Dave: What is the best and safest way to clean my RV’s front cap?

Dear Dave,
How do you recommend cleaning the front over cab cap on a motorhome safely? I have tried different methods with not much success. Thanks. —Dave

Dear Dave,
The front roof cap of your rig is typically made of hard fiberglass with a gel coat glossy outer layer. I have used three different methods over the years, depending on the type of unit as well as where I was cleaning it and what materials or equipment I had on hand.

Using ladders to clean RV’s front cap

If you have ladders available, the best method is to place them on each side and run a 2×12 or scaffold plank across and have full access. You can get by with just one, but it’s sometimes hard to get to the middle if there is a deeper front engine compartment on a gas version.

Clean the RV’s front cap from the roof

Another option is to clean it from the top, as we did in an RV Repair Club video. Depending on the type of unit, you should be able to access the cap with a soft brush or foam mop and a longer handle.

You need to verify that the roof can hold the weight of someone walking on it and take caution with your footing. If you do not get the roof material wet, you should be able to clean the cap and have a dry roof to stand on.

Using a telescoping wand to clean RV’s front cap

Another option is much safer from the ground—using a telescoping wand and rotating brush. There are also flow-through brushes and other equipment, but we have used this model from General Pump on many RVs and buildings. This model works with a pressure washer. However, it does not produce a high-pressure stream, but rather a nice even flow with the brush rotating.

Wet the windshield and sides, too

Whatever method you choose, I would suggest wetting the windshield and sides down thoroughly as you will get some chalking and dirt flowing down. It can be a mess if it dries. Use a mild detergent such as Dawn Dish Soap (blue) in a bucket of water to wash and brush, and rinse with a garden hose.

If you do go up on the roof to clean, make sure your garden hose is away from the slide room awning if applicable. We had the hose laying across the top of the slide and it ripped the awning at the corner.

After you clean…

After you clean your RV’s front cap and rinse it off, let it dry. I would suggest using 303 Protectant or ProtectAll All-Surface Care to provide some UV protection. You can also apply Meguiar’s Pure Wax with Carnuba to not only provide UV protection, but also a shine.

Related:

Ask Dave: How can I restore my RV’s dull fiberglass end cap?

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

Read more from Dave here

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Crowman
2 months ago

There’s people that specialize in cleaning and applying protective products on RV rigs that are worth it. We have that done once a year to protect the fiberglass and makes it easier to clean.

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