RV detailing 101: Knowing the basics

Keeping your RV in clean, pristine condition is important for many reasons – after all, nobody wants to be the grubby one in the lot! But it’s about so much more than aesthetics. Regular RV detailing helps to maintain the quality of your vehicle, so you can fight against corrosion, mold, pests, and other threats.

It’s all about comprehensively cleaning the outside and inside of your vehicle in (as you expect) detail. Here, we explain how to clean your RV yourself and what to look for in a good RV detailing service.

What does RV detailing include?

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If you’re booking in for a professional RV detailing service, the process depends on the provider. However, you should typically expect roof-to-toe service, including:

  • Roof clean
  • Washing sides
  • Cleaning awnings and covers
  • Cleaning front (including bug removal)
  • Clean tires and wheels
  • Glass cleaning (inside and out)
  • Waxing

How much does RV detailing cost?

The cost will vary, depending on the service provider. Most RV detailers will charge based on the size of your vehicle, and will may generally charge around $15 to $40 per foot.

DIY: How to clean an RV

If you’re planning on rolling up your sleeves and detailing your RV yourself, you’ll need a good chunk of time and a long list of equipment, including:

  • Buckets
  • Sponges
  • Brushes
  • Rags
  • Ladder (to reach the roof)
  • Hose
  • Hose mounted foam gun
  • Buffer tool
  • Vacuum
  • Specialized cleaning products (for specific sections)

A step-by-step guide to RV detailing

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1. Start with the roof

Be sure to check what material your roof is made out of and choose an appropriate cleaner. Apply the cleaner to a small area, scrub using a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt, wipe the area clean, and repeat.

2. Wash the sides

Spray the entire side of the RV with clean water. Use a hose mounted foam gun to spray the cleaning product onto the side of the RV. Use a mitt or tool with a handle to wipe it down, one small area at a time, working from top to bottom. Rinse it clean and repeat on the other side and the back of the vehicle.

3. Clean awnings

Spray the awning and sides area with clean water. Use a foam sponge or soft brush to clean the ridges. Rinse with clean water and repeat. Allow them to dry completely to avoid mold and mildew from growing.

4. Tackle bugs on the front

Using a specialty bug remover product (or, throw a little elbow-grease in there and use soap and water!) scrub until clean and then repeat the same process as you followed when cleaning the sides of the RV to finish off the front.

5. Clean and polish tires and wheels

Use a specialty tire cleaning product, water, and a sponge to scrub down the tires. Apply wheel cleaner to the rims and use a microfibre cloth or sponge to polish the area. Finish by spraying the tires with UV protectant spray.

6. Clean the glass (inside and out)

Spray glass cleaner on the windshield and windows. In a smooth motion, use a microfibre cloth or buffer and evenly distribute it across the area.

7. Wax the outside

Allow the RV to dry fully, and then use a large sponge to apply a small amount of wax in wide circular motions across the sides and front. Once the wax is dry, remove residue with a clean, dry cloth.

8. Clean hard surfaces inside

Just like you’d clean your home not-on-wheels, use cleaning spray and a dry, clean cloth to tackle all the nooks and crannies inside your RV, including cup holders, all surfaces, the dashboard, cupboards, etc.

9. Soft surfaces inside

Deep clean all fabric and upholstery inside your RV, including carpets, benches, chairs, and mattresses.

Why hire professional RV detailing services?

rv cleaning san franciscoIf you’ve got the time, the kit, and the willpower, it’s entirely possible to clean your RV yourself! However, it’s important to remember that you’re handling a big (and, likely, favorite!) investment, so be sure to do your research on the products and practices that suit your RV before you get started.

Booking a professional RV detailing service will save you time and ensure a thorough and comprehensive service. Auto detailers will be able to identify the correct materials and practices to use on your vehicle – and they have the specialty equipment required to use them effectively.

Many RV detailing packages don’t include professional cleaning on the interior of your vehicle – and those that do likely don’t have the same level of fabric and carpet care that a dedicated interior detailing service can offer. Keeping up with regular interior care for your RV is an important step to remember, as it will help to fight off mold and pests, as well as maintain the quality of your investment.

Professional interior RV cleaning can also help reduce the effect of allergens that blow through your RV and settle into your upholstery (which is inevitable when you have doors and windows open to enjoy that sunny weather).

How often should I clean my RV?

rv cleaning san franciscoYour RV cleaning schedule depends on the way you use your vehicle.

If it’s your primary residence, you’ll need to stick to a regular cleaning schedule in order to maintain it as a safe and comfortable living space – vacuum and clean the interior at least once a week and wipe down the outside every 2-3 weeks.

You should have it fully detailed every 6 months, and have the carpets and upholstery cleaned professionally every 6-12 months. If you stick to a consistent cleaning schedule, you can utilize our maintenance discount and save 15% off any items we cleaned previously when booked again within 12 months.

Our RV cleaning service takes care of the carpets and upholstery inside your RV – we’ll carry out a deep clean (and get into all those cramped, awkward areas!), providing odour removal and an optional allergy treatment. If it’s time to tackle the interior of your RV, reach out to our team for more info.

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