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How To Clean Your Caravan Correctly

20 May 2021

How To Clean Your Caravan Correctly

Investing your time and attention to cleaning your off road caravan correctly is worth it. After a trip your van is often looking worse for wear with dirt, dust, mud and bugs. Not only that, but leaving this dirt and debris on the exterior can lead to damage and rust. Washing and ventilating your van will also help to prevent mould growing.

We recommend to give your rig a thorough clean a few times a year, even when not in use and always at the end of every trip. This will keep your investment in its best condition and looking good for many years to come. Plus while working around the van you can identify any loose or damaged items on the exterior.

A word of caution, always check the cleaning advice from your manufacturer before starting. This way you are aware of their recommended method and wont risk voiding the caravans or camper trailers warranty.

No High Pressure Hoses

First of all avoid high pressure cleaning! With high pressure hoses you run the risk of getting water into your van’s seals, causing costly water leaks. Also the force from these hoses can cause damage to delicate parts of the caravan.

It Begins With The Right Equipment

Cleaning your caravan correctly begins with using the right equipment. We recommend using your garden hose, along with a bucket, large sponge and of course a little bit of elbow grease. You’ll need to reach some high spots, so an extendable brush will help make the job a lot easier. The brush needs to be soft though, as a hard bristled one will scratch the body.

Next, make sure you use the right cleaning products, only a gentle detergent is needed. However, you can always purchase a specialised RV cleaning product from your dealer. Avoid any harsh chemicals and abrasives that can cause damage to the exterior.

Start From The Top Of Your Rig

Obviously before you start washing ensure the roof hatches, windows and doors are closed firmly.  It also helps to give your van a spray all over to remove dust before washing.

Start from the roof and work your way down.  Just think if you start on the body and then wash the roof, dirty water will run off onto your clean exterior. And no one wants to double clean!

You’ll need to use a ladder to reach the roof, but please do take extra care when there’s soapy water about. In fact, for your safety we recommend having another person hold the ladder for you while cleaning.

Once the roof is safely washed, work your way down the caravan using only mild detergent or a specific caravan cleaning product. It’s important to avoid washing the windows with detergent. This can cause a reaction between the products and can damage your windows. Give your windows a wash with just water and your cloth, if you want them to sparkle, you can use a specialised window cleaner.
If you have an awning or annex all you need to do is spray it with your hose and leave it fully open until completely dry. Occasionally you will need to scrub your awning to remove stubborn marks.

When you’ve finished washing, rinse off and dry completely with a towel or chamois to avoid water spots.

For that extra shine you can always polish the exterior with a good quality RV polish or wax. Remembering it’s important to dry your van thoroughly before polishing.

Well Worth The Extra Attention

Cleaning your caravan correctly may take you a little longer, but you’ll know for sure that each part is getting the right attention without causing damage. You’ve invested a lot of money, so it’s necessary to look after your rig and take the time to wash it correctly.

Likewise, you need to take care of your rig with regular caravan servicing and maintenance. Our workshop team can help you with any RV advice. Contact us on 08 8281 6696.