While some may not love cleaning, it’s hard to argue that the feeling of a clean RV isn’t great. A clean RV doesn’t only provide a peace of mind, it also helps extend the overall life of your rig and helps to slow the depreciation of its value. Since we’re in the middle of spring, now is the perfect time to brush up on some useful RV cleaning tips and tricks. Without further ado, let’s dive into how to keep your RV clean!
Keeping the Interior of Your RV Pristine
Since RVers spend a good portion of their time inside their RV or motorhome, we’ll start with a few interior cleaning tips. From pop-up campers to the largest Class A motorhomes, these cleaning practices apply to all RVs. The order in which you clean the interior of your RV is completely up to you. Some RVers prefer an ordered approach starting from the front to the rear, while others prefer a freewheeling approach. For this guide, we’ll focus on general areas in your RV.
We’ll start with hard surfaces. These include countertops, appliances, sinks, toilets, the steering wheel, dashboard and more. The hard surfaces throughout your coach or RV will likely take the most of your time since there are so many, but they’re easy to clean with two simple steps. First, scrub them with soap and water. This can be done with just a rag and bucket of soapy water, but feel free to get creative to reach the nooks and crannies. Second, disinfect these surfaces with diluted bleach products or solutions that are 70%+ alcohol based.
Frequently touched or used surfaces like doorknobs, countertops, tables, appliances and more should be cleaned often. Make sure to clean your window and door seals as well. Dirt and dust can build up quickly and deteriorate the rubber. A full wash can be done every or every other week, but make sure to keep up with cleaning these surfaces, especially during a long road trip.
Next on your checklist should be the carpeting (if present), furniture, rugs, drapes and other soft surfaces that you can’t throw in a washing machine. Carpeting and furniture can go through a good deal of wear and tear over the course of an RV trip, so it’s best to clean these areas extensively after every trip. Vacuuming the living and sleeping areas of your RV is a great place to start. Make sure to consult your RV or motorhome’s manual to determine what kind of products you can use on your carpet, linens, furniture and other soft surfaces. Depending on the material, certain cleaners may damage or stain these surfaces.
Finally, you should throw any linens, bedding or clothing you keep in your RV in the wash. Wash with warm water (or as warm as allowed based on the label instructions) and dry in the dryer. Don’t forget to clean your laundry hampers every now and then, as these can get dirty over time.
Cleaning the Exterior
While cleaning the interior RV, take some time to clean the outside of your rig. Regularly cleaning the outside of your RV helps to extend its service life, keep maintenance costs down and maintain its value. Throughout the year, your RV’s exterior faces the sun, rain, snow, dust and other elements that harm its appearance and systems. Those and other things like bugs, mud, and saltwater moisture stain the outside and cause problems in some cases.
The time of year, how often you use your RV, where you live, travel plans, and more all factor into how often you should clean your RV. Full-time RVers should do a basic wash every two to four weeks. If you travel between destinations frequently, two weeks is best. If you stay in one location for longer periods and the weather is nice, every month works.
For seasonal RVers, recommended cleaning schedules vary. During the off-season, all RV owners should store their motorhome or towable somewhere with a cover over it. If possible, keep it in an enclosed area or under a roof. Seasonal travelers should clean their RV’s exterior thoroughly before and after putting it into storage, as well as before and after every RV trip.
Cleaning the outside of your RV can take many forms. For quick, effective cleaning, use a long and short-handled brush, and a mild soap that works with the outside material on your RV. Rinse, scrub thoroughly, and rinse the soap off but avoid getting water into any vents. Black streaks and bugs should be removed as soon as possible. For both, specialty cleaning products are available to help with the process. In addition to a standard wash, inspect the outside systems on your RV. These include the windows, windshield, awning, door, all seals, the roof, and the AC unit. Your windows, windshield, and awning should be included in your regular wash cycle. Check out some of our favorite RV cleaning products and tips for protecting your RV’s roof and AC unit.