Our RV looks as good as new! We just had our motorhome professionally detailed and wow, does it look good! It looks even better than when sitting new on the dusty RV sales lot! We have been keeping up with it for the last four years, sometimes hiring someone to wash and wax or just doing it ourselves, but we have never had a detail job done. These tips from professional RV detailers are helpful for every RVer.
Fowler Detailing in Red Bay, Alabama, are professional detailers and had a team of eight people working all over our motorhome: washing, scrubbing, buffing, waxing and drying. These are the tips they shared with us.
Use the right product
These are the products they, and Tiffin Motorhomes, recommend using to clean RVs.
- Tires and Rims: Dawn Powerwash. (One of our writers, Gail Marsh, likes this product so much that she wrote a whole review about it! Read it here.)
- Body: Baby shampoo.
- Diamond Shield: Baby shampoo and 100% cotton cloths.
- Bugs: Baby shampoo and a small amount of alcohol on a rag for the stubborn ones.
- Fogged headlights: Rupes D-A coarse cutting/polishing compound.
- Roof: Baby shampoo and 303 Aerospace protectant.
- Wax: Nu Finish: The Once A Year Car Polish.
- Windows: Sprayway glass cleaner.
Cleaning tips from professional RV detailers
Fowler gave us these tips for getting the best results:
- Roof: Clean with lambswool pad, baby shampoo, and then dry with a leaf blower (see, we told you leaf blowers can do more than just blow leaves!).
- Tires: Use a soft brush and Dawn. Rinse. Protect with 303 Protectant.
- Rims: Use Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish.
- Body: Wash with a lambswool pad
- Rinse each section immediately after washing
- Squeegee off most of the water
- Diamond Shield/Front cap: Wash and scrub. Use elbow grease! A small amount of alcohol will dissolve bug goo and tree sap without dissolving paint or Diamond Shield but it can strip the wax. Rinse immediately after.
- Fogged headlights: Buff with a polishing compound by hand or with a wool buffing pad.
The best tips they shared with us
- Wipe off and clean the Diamond Shield or front cap every time you stop. In time, the bugs can permanently stick and can destroy the Diamond Shield or paint.
- Only use baby soap to wash and that will preserve the wax.
Professional detailing is not cheap, but neither is our RV. Protecting it is key to keeping it for years to come. The mud flaps are even polished! Hmmm… they do interior detailing too…
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What is the product to use to remove oxidation from fiberglass trailer without using power tools?
Hi, Ray. Here are some products on Amazon for removing oxidation from fiberglass. https://amzn.to/3PzVc2t At a quick glance, both the Meguiar’s and the 3M products can be used by hand or by machine. Maybe our readers can suggest their favorite products for this purpose. Have a good night. 😀 –Diane
What about inside the RV? How does one get rid of mold on the hard to get to rug behind the couch from winter condensation?
Great tips. Thanks. Be carefull what you use on your rims, some are coated and polishers will ruin them. Some want you to use windex to brighten them. Check the literature for your specific wheels.
What about awnings?
just finished washing and removing bugs from the motorhome yesterday after our 8-day trip to Las Vegas (visiting our son, not casinos!), Grand Canyon, and Monument Valley. So I needed this article a couple of days earlier. But I’ll use this info during and after our month-long June trip, so thank you, Nanci!
This week, I used RV wash with UV protectant and wet, used dryer sheets for difficult bug removal. Also used 303 Protectant on the tires. But I will try the baby shampoo and alcohol when we get back on July 1. I will also use the leaf blower on the roof to minimize water spotting of the flexible solar panels, which I have been reluctant to use a squeegee on. Great ideas and very helpful!
Oops forgot one more thing. Try vinegar and water in a spray bottle also works wonders on your glass including bug removal..
Try REJEX it’s fantastic. It’s not a polish. It’s used to polish airplanes and boats. I promise you will not regret it. Also use a wet bounce fabric softener to get rid of love bugs works like a charm…
Interesting and helpful article; thank you! I especially found using baby shampoo and squeegies informative. We have signed paperwork trading our RV for another, but the “other” is just getting finished at Newmar in Nappanee. We will wash Reva the Revolution one last time before heading to Florida to exchange her for Newton the New Aire. I plan to incorporate much of the information you shared here when we do that last wash (yes, quite sad to abandon Reva to a dealer, hopeful her next owners love and care for her at least as much as we have, but also excited to meet and get to know and love Newton, too). Thank you!
NU Finish is a good product but I don’t think there is any UV protection. Our TT sits in hot full sun to the back. Any polish or wax has to include some UV protection so we use Starbright RV boat and RV polish.
Kudos to author and to Fowler family for sharing good advice.
Red Bay is not on the beaten path, but you will find some wonderful camping on the wide Tombigbee in the area, thanks to the Corps. This hilly country where Tennessee meets Alabama and Mississippi, can be a great destination or stopover, especially in spring and fall.
What a timely and informative article, Nancy. We planned to wash our RV this week! Thanks for all the product names and tips.
Now 7:10 am. Went to the motor home and found the product I use on both my car and the motor home front. It is “McKee’s Hydro Blue Sio2 Coating” which is a nano coating that you spray and rinse. The result is a high gloss nano coating that makes it a non stick coating. I was in love bugs several weeks ago and went through a rain shower on the way home and now I can find no love bugs.
Love bugs, that’s those two headed bugs from some strange place unknown to humans not from FL. Lol
Bob, I know of no other bug that can make a white car totally black. Many years ago I had to go to Gainesville from Miami driving a School Board White car. Trying to clean that car was one of the most monumental task I have ever undertaken. Had to stop 4 times just to clean the windshield. A plastic putty knife is handy. From the middle of May until the end of June is the worst of them.
Just wondering about “pro” detailing using NuFinish wax. Been using the stuff for years, but as a second coat is the one that shines and last, I’m getting lazy for my truck and 23 foot trailer, can’t imagine using that stuff on something the size of your motorhome…do your pros come back to finish the job by applying the second coat?
Nanci, wash every time you stop. wax twice a year. We have removed Diamond Shield from my motor home and will never have it again. I did some touch up paint work on several places that were scratched or where paint came off with the Diamond Shield removal. My coach right now looks as good as when I bought it new in 2009.
I have a product that I spray on the front of the coach that causes the bugs to slide of when washing. I will try to find the name of it and post when it becomes daylight here. Right now it is 5:47 in the morning as I write this. Coffee is great. I do need to polish my headlights again and my side mirrors need to come off and be repainted.
Just resealed and coated the roof. No time to rest with an RV.