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Washing Your Travel Trailer

Keeping your travel trailer clean is an important part of maintenance. Not only will it make your RV sparkle like it’s brand new, it will also help prevent damage from things like corrosion, mold, and pests. This guide offers a few tips and tricks for keeping your RV clean so you can make it last longer and look great doing it. If you need parts or service for your RV, stop by Ryan’s RV Town in Everett, Washington. We work on all makes and models and can handle projects big or small!

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is a fast and easy way to wash your RV, and it removes most of the elbow grease from the process. This is especially helpful if you have a buildup of algae or moss that’s formed over the off-season. It’s important to test the pressure washer out on an inconspicuous part of your RV, though, as some materials respond better to this treatment than others. You want to make sure you don’t accidentally blast the paint, graphics, or topcoat off your RV in your attempt to clean it!

If you want to pressure wash your RV, start at the top and work your way down. Hold the nozzle about a foot away from the RV and make a sweeping motion with each pass. Each pass should slightly overlap the last. Always keep your pressure washer moving, as holding it in one place will increase the chances you cause damage.

Washing the Roof

It’s important to wash your RV’s roof as this is the place debris is most likely to collect. Debris can give mold and bacteria a place to congregate, which can lead to damage. It can harbor insects, which can be harmful to your roof, and it can trap moisture that leads to serious corrosion. If you’re going the power washer route, you should be able to use it on the roof, too. Otherwise, use a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly with water. If you have a rubber roof, you might want to look into rubber roof cleaning products to prevent accidentally using the wrong soap. Fiberglass roofs should be easy to clean, just like the rest of your RV.

Washing Metal RVs

Metal RVs are generally the easiest to clean. They can be treated basically how you would treat your car. Motorhomes are commonly sided in metal, as are the iconic Airstream brand trailers. You generally don’t have to worry too much about doing damage to these resilient trailers. When you’re done, make sure to squeegee your travel trailer dry and then finish with a towel. If you are washing an Airstream, look into buffing products, as the aluminum shell can take a brilliant sheen with a little bit of polish.

Washing Fiberglass RVs

Fiberglass RVs are also quite tough. They don’t face the same corrosion problems that metal does, and their lightweight design makes them ideal for many travel trailer applications. You can usually wash fiberglass travel trailers with a pressure washer. However, if you choose to use soap and water, pay attention to the gaps, seals, and seams on your RV. This is where most of the problems will occur, and because you’ll be going over every inch of your trailer, washing is the perfect time to inspect them and make sure they’re all in good condition.

Tires and Wheels

It’s easy to forget about your tires and wheels when washing your RV, but keeping them clean will be helpful in the long run. Tires can pick up salt and de-icing chemicals from the road which can corrode and damage them. Likewise, your rims can pick up these chemicals and start to rust or corrode, depending on the material from which they were constructed. Make sure to give them a little TLC during the washing process. If you like a fresh, clean look, you can also add some tire shine to make your tires look brand new!

Washing your travel trailer is just one element to a complete maintenance program. If you want to keep your RV around for as long as possible, maintenance is the key. If you find any big problems with your RV during the washing process, call Ryan’s RV Town in Everett, Washington. We proudly serve Tacoma, Seattle, Bellingham, and Vancouver, Washington and we can help get your RV in tip-top shape once again!

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