Monday, May 23, 2022


Deep cleaning your RV for a quick sale

By Silvana Clark
When we listed our Alante Class A motorhome for sale on Craigslist, we had numerous potential buyers look at the RV. I expected that. What I didn’t expect was how many people said, “This RV is so clean! We’ve looked at lots of RVs and none are as clean as this one.” I assumed everyone deep-cleaned their RV before putting it on the market. Some people told me of looking at RVs with rotting onions in the refrigerator, muddy steps and dried food on the countertop. Some mentioned litter boxes that definitely hadn’t been cleaned in weeks!

While some potential buyers can overlook a dirty RV, most people are inclined to have a favorable impression of your RV when it sparkles in like-new condition. It’s easy to believe a clean RV has also been well-maintained mechanically. So if you are planning to sell your RV, here are a few tips to make sure prospective buyers step inside your unit and say, “It looks and smells like new!”

Naturally you’ll wash off the dust and bug splats from the outside of your RV. Pay attention to your tires as well. Clean, shiny tires enhance a buyer’s first impression. After scrubbing tires, simply finish with a tire shine spray.

Ready to start cleaning inside? Stock up on “magic erasers”. These erasers truly feel like magic as they remove dirt and stains. They even helped me get rid of permanent marker scribbles on my upholstered couch. (That happens when you look away from a toddler for 12 seconds.) I buy generic magic erasers at the Dollar Store or from Amazon at a very reasonable price. They work especially well removing grime from your dashboard and steering wheel.

Remember the rotting onions? Don’t forget to deep clean your refrigerator. Yes, it’s clunky and awkward to pull out the drawers and shelves, but the end result is a sparkling fridge. You want to convey that the person buying your RV can immediately load the refrigerator with food and take off on their first road trip. When our RV was for sale, I had a plastic bowl filled with lemons inside the refrigerator. Helped convey freshness!

Sanitize the entire bathroom. Use a squeegee and mild cleaner to get rid of shower scum. Remove your toothbrush holder and any makeup, brushes and shampoo bottles displayed. I put on my trusty rubber gloves and cleaned the toilet with an old toothbrush. It surprised me how many people looking to buy our RV lifted the toilet seat to get a closer look. It’s always a good idea to flush the black tank and add deodorizer as well.

Wash windows inside and out. With a large rig, you may need to buy (or borrow!) a squeegee with a telescoping pole to reach windows. Most likely, screens could use a little scrubbing as well. This results in a bright and airy atmosphere inside your RV.

Before prospective buyers arrived, I always added a few fresh flowers on the kitchen table and next to the bed. Having a sparkling clean unit can help you quickly realize your goal of selling your RV.

On Silvana’s first RV trip, she was told to “Use the #12 Pull-thru.” She looked and looked, but couldn’t find any hose or cord to “pull-thru.” Since then, she and her husband have been brand ambassadors for several companies, driving branded RVs through 47 states. She frequently presents at RV-related conferences. Check out Silvana’s numerous books on Amazon, including her latest book, Millennials vs. Boomers.



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Kathy Niemeyer
6 months ago

We bought a brand new Class C last year and needed to sell our 2002 Class C. Husband and I spent 3 days cleaning it up and patching a couple of things. I put a Teddy Bear in the cab over bunk and fresh flowers in a vase in the bathroom. I put place mats with dishes and silverware on the dining table. I also placed a large bowl with bananas and apples on the kitchen counter. We left the Class C on a vacant parking lot that a lot of people use to sell cars. We sold it in 9 hours with a bidding war! We also had many, many people comment how clean it was. One couple told us about looking at a Class C that was at the back of a pasture and hasn’t been used in 5 years. It was a mess. Another couple told us that a Class C seller told them if they wanted to drive it then they had to buy it first!

6 months ago

I am the cleaner of our motorhome. We are on the road about 6-7 months per year, every day something gets cleaned so over a two week period the inside gets a real good cleaning, floors vacuumed every other day, front cap and windshield is usually cleaned after setting up or next day after arriving in a new park, It does not take much time to keep up with it if you do a little every day. Be careful with the magic eraser as they are abrasive and can remove more than what you bargain for. Roger Marble does not recommend tire shine for the tires as it degrades the rubber

Susan Winnie
1 year ago

I’m still searching for my first rv. I look at the pictures posted and I’m amazed how dirty, junk filled, some rvs are. When you bring in a car for trade, don’t you clean it?

Rick & Sara Edgar
1 year ago

Just sold our 2003 Jayco Designer 31RLS. The wife had detailed the inside. It was always clean but now super clean. Less than 2 weeks on FB Market Place and sold. New owners drove 6 hours to see it and purchase. Pictures did it.

1 year ago

We just sold our 2005 Newmar Dutchstar to someone out of state. They of course saw all the pictures I posted which I’m sure made the difference to drive from Ohio to Florida.
After the buyer got home he called and asked about a couple of things. He also mentioned how clean it was and especially on the ceiling over the stove.
He knew we lived in it fulltime for 6 years.
So yes clean your RV just like you would if you were selling a stick and bricks home.
BTW. We sold it in just a week.

1 year ago

I’m shocked to hear that everybody trying to sell an RV doesn’t do this. We sure will!