RVs and WD-40: Unusual combinations that work!


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Base photo: Mike Mozart on flickr.com

Seems like every RV has at least a can or two of WD-40 for lubricating various parts. But there’s more use for old WD-40 than just the occasional thread loosening. Here are a few tips that may make for slicker RV trips.

Galley and household tricks:

Why on earth do RV manufacturers use light-colored carpets in RVs? Maybe they’re in cahoots with the carpet cleaning industry. But if you’ve got ink or other hard-to-lift stains in the carpet, here’s something to try: Hit the stain with a squirt of WD-40, let it stand for a couple of minutes, then use a sponge and warm soapy water to work over the stain. You may need to repeat a few times.

When we put our new RV vinyl floor in, we hadn’t even got our first road trip in when “you know who” left those nasty old heel scuff marks on the new floor. Too bad we didn’t know about the quick removal tip of shooting them with WD-40 and buffing them with a rag. Use plenty of ventilation if there’s a lot to remove.

If the stuck-on food in the RV fridge won’t come loose, then shoot it. Not the refrigerator – the stuck food, with WD-40. Wipe out the remains with a rag or cleaning sponge. Take after the area with soap and water before reloading the chiller with food.

Rattling down the road, it’s easy for “nested” glasses to get stuck together in an almost death-embrace. Don’t smack those glasses, squirt WD-40 around the rim of the stuck glassware, wait a few moments, and gently unstick ’em. And unless you’re the Tin Man of Oz, be sure to wash the glassware before taking a drink.

Does your barbecue need a resurrection? With time, grills can look like “death and Hades.” With a COLD, NOT LIT UP barbecue, shoot the grids down, wait, scrub with a wire brush.

Working around outside the rig:

Rig license plate looking a tad rusty? Spray with WD-40 and wipe away with a rag. Small amounts of rust will come free, and new rust will be discouraged from settling in. Too bad it doesn’t wipe out the high cost of license tab renewals!

Got stickers stuck on your bumper – or elsewhere on your rig where you don’t want ’em? Phaser-blast the offending “cling-ons,” with WD-40, let ’em sit for a minute, then wipe them off. Really hard ones may require more than one application and a gentle nudge with a plastic scraper.

Did your RV come from the dealer lot loaded with window stickers? Don’t scratch the glass – or the UV blocking film. Shoot the offenders, wait, then use a plastic scraper to remove.

Bug splats on the grill of your tow vehicle or the end cap of your rig will come off easier if you “pretreat” the areas with WD-40. Newly smooshed bugs may slide off on their own, or be convinced to come free a whole lot easier than without treatment.

Mechanical tricks:

Greasy hands but no hand cleaner? Shoot a bit of WD-40 on your hands, rub together, then wipe off with a rag or paper towels. Follow up with water and soap.

Got a stuck spark plug in the generator or tow vehicle engine? A shot of WD-40 near the threads, allowed to soak in, will often loosen a stuck plug.

Rainy day hard-start problems? Sometimes humidity can creep into ignition wires. Spray WD-40 on the plug wires and try starting again. WD-40 can displace the unwanted moisture, helping the free flow of healthy electrons.

Did your motorhome or tow vehicle do a “doo-doo” on your concrete driveway? Shoot oil or tranny fluid drips copiously with WD-40, brush with a stiff brush, then shoot the whole mess with a high-pressure stream from a garden hose.

Use a bed liner on your pick-em-up truck? Before you slide in that bed liner, spray the bed thoroughly with WD-40. When you need to pull the bed liner back out, it’ll come out much more easily.

And others you never would’ve thought of:

Got your fingers stuck in the glue? Grab the WD-40 and shoot a bit on your stuck pinkies, rub them against one another until they’re freed up. It’ll take glue off other places where you don’t want it, too. Shoot a little on a rag and rub away.

As RVers, all of us are soooo careful about cleaning up after Rover, right? Well, sometimes the neighbors don’t read the memo, and hey! You’ve got something on your shoe you don’t want there. If your tennis shoes get doo-dooed, spray with WD-40, and use the dog owner’s tooth brush to clean the crevices. Rinse off under the tap and let ’em dry.

Get too close to another car and now you’re “mixing paint”? A paint rub from another vehicle can often be removed by shooting it with WD-40, letting it sit for a half-minute, then buffing down with a clean rag.

Got bugs? If you don’t have a can of Raid available, shoot those bugs directly with WD-40. If the critters insist on returning despite this warning, shoot a little around screen and door frames, but NOT if there are little ones or babies around!

Editor: Here’s a link if you want to stock up on WD-40 from Amazon.com. (Did you know it’s available from pen-size to gallon-size?)



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Patricia Pflum

Don’t use WD-40 as an oil substitute. It is basically a solvent, and will dry up in no time. Once you’ve used it to loosen or stop squeaking or get a mechanism moving, apply the right type of oil to prevent wear.

Robbie Simons

Works great on keeping my motorhome HWH jacks cleaned and lubed.

Tommy Molnar

My hand crank stabilizers got to the point where when I cranked them down (or up) , especially when using my drill, they screeched loudly. Another RV’er came over and suggested that I spray the ‘worm gear’ with WD-40. Don’t worry, he said, it won’t collect dirt or dust. So I blasted the gears with WD – and VIOLA! No more noise. So far, twice a year seems to be sufficient to keep the noise at bay.