Great RV Exterior Care Tips
Here are Cool Fun RV’s Great RV Exterior Care Tips for our beloved customers.
A large part of keeping your RV looking and running like new is committing to regular maintenance upkeep. Taking small steps to prevent issues from occurring is far less time-consuming and expensive than having to repair significant damage later on.
The outside of your RV is exposed to harsh weather elements, as well as grime and debris, that can wreak havoc on your RV’s paint, vents, and sealants if you don’t intervene to control the damage. If you want to keep your rig looking polished and performing optimally, brush up on the best ways to take care of the external parts of your RV.
Best RV Exterior Care Tips
To help you get started in the right direction, keep the following tips in mind:
1 – Protect Your RV Awning
RV awnings provide travelers with relieving shade during times when the temperatures are
scorching and the sunrays are glaring. They are an essential part of the travel experience, and
when well-maintained, they can supply years of well-shaded adventures.
Effectively preserving your awning comes down to a few crucial points:
● Keep your RV awning clean, and watch for signs of mold or mildew forming. Most
awning canopies are made from either acrylic or vinyl fabric, so follow the
cleaning instructions that best fit your awning’s fabric type. Your manufacturer should be
able to provide direction on what products and tools are best to use and to avoid.
● If you notice your canopy is fraying, molding, tearing, or sagging, look into RV awning
replacement fabric before investing in an entirely new awning.
● Inspect the hardware for rust. You can help keep the mobile parts functioning optimally
by using a light layer of silicon spray.
● Dirt-built up along the hardware can prevent your awning from opening and retracting
smoothly, so keep those areas clean as well.
● Avoid leaving your awning out during harsh weather conditions; strong winds and heavy
rains can cause the hardware to weaken and the fabric to stretch and distort.
● Avoid rolling your awning up while it’s wet, as mold and mildew will be more likely to
form. If you must retract it while damp, such as if you’re leaving a campsite after it
rained, unroll it as soon as possible and let it dry completely.
● Always triple-check that your awning is safely locked into place before hitting the road. If
it were to open while driving, it could ruin the awning and potentially pose a
danger to you and others on the road.
Never allow a broken seal or another opening to go un-fixed. Moisture can get inside, leading to mold/mildew formation, insects can enter and start multiplying, and rodents can make their way indoors, possibly leading to chewed-up wires and other interior damage. Make it a point to regularly walk around your RV to look for damage, as catching any problems early will prevent them from festering into a more prominent issue
2 – Maintain Good Roof Condition
The roof is a commonly neglected area of the RV. You can’t easily see any damage, and it’s difficult and sometimes nerve-wracking to attempt to get up there. That being said, it’s also the area of your RV that most easily accumulates leaves, sap, insects, bird droppings, moisture, etc.
Pooling moisture can weaken sealants, damage paint, and collect debris that can settle into
the cracks, making it extremely hard to clean.
To safely clean your roof, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual. Not all RV roofs are designed for people to stand on, and even for the ones that provide you with a ladder to access the roof, it’s essential to take all safety precautions to protect yourself adequately.
As mentioned above, repair any sealant leaks as soon as you can. Water leaking into your RV and causing mold and mildew would be a big hassle to solve. It’s also essential to ensure that your vents are clean and clear and that no mold forms in those areas. The products you use will depend on what material your room is made from (most are made from rubber, fiberglass, or aluminum, so make sure the tools and materials you use are compatible.
If you’re uncomfortable cleaning your RV’s roof on your own or there is significant damage, consider finding a professional to patch things up for you. Safety should always come first!
3 – Clean Regularly and From the Top Down
While it sounds like a bit of work, your RV’s exterior will hold up the best if you take time to clean it every time you get home from a trip. Letting grime build up and settle in will lead to a dull and damaged-looking finish.
The owner’s manual will have specific recommendations on how to best clean your RV’s exterior, and it’s essential to heed that advice thoroughly. For example, certain RVs can handle stiff bristle brushes, while others need to be cleaned with softer materials.
No matter the cleaning guidelines for your particular model, always clean from the top down. If you clean from the bottom up, debris from the top will fall down and dirty up the areas of your RV you just worked so hard to polish.
Even if a product says it’s compatible with a certain material, it’s a good idea to always test it out on a small area first to ensure it won’t harm your RV’s finish.
Lastly, always inspect for sealants and ensure vents, doors, and windows are sealed and shut before cleaning your rig to avoid moisture from getting inside.
Keep Your RV Covered and Protected From Sunlight
Ideally, your RV should be stored in an indoor, temperature-controlled space, though that’s not realistic for many people.
If you don’t have a way to keep your RV away from the elements, do what you can protect it from the damaging effects of too much sunlight. Sun rays can cause your RV’s finish and decals to fade, leading to a rough, worn-down appearance. Your roof is especially vulnerable since it’s most directly exposed to sun beams, and too much exposure can cause materials like rubber to dry out and crack. UV rays entering through your windows can also cause your interior paint to fade.
Prevent these issues by parking in the shade if possible, and invest in a high-quality RV cover and tire covers designed to protect against the damaging effects of UV rays.
Hopefully, this information will give you a solid starting point on how to best care for the outer elements of your RV. By consulting your manual and committing to regular cleaning, inspecting, and protecting the exterior, you’ll be able to preserve your RV’s appearance and mitigate issues that could get in the way of experiencing more thrilling adventures.
Besides RV Exterior Care, please read our more Tricks and Tips for RV Fridge.