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How To Clean Your Entire Motorhome
Motorhomes are made for adventure and designed to withstand the worst that the weather can throw at them, from blistering sun to driving rain to freezing snow.
But when your motorhome is exposed to the elements, it can quickly get covered in all manner of grit, dirt and dust – a problem that can be made even worse if it gets ingrained or baked on by the sun.
Even if you put your motorhome away over the winter months, it can still get covered in dust and dirt if stored indoors or green algae and rotting leaves if it’s kept outside.
A quick way to get the dirt off is to reach for the pressure washer, but we don’t recommend this as the high-pressure jets can damage the window and door rubbers and seals. And if you’re out on the road, a pressure washer may be too cumbersome to pack up and take with you.
If you want to keep your campervan spotless, our caravan cleaning tips will help keep it in impeccable condition, both inside and out.
Motorhome and caravan cleaning tips
The best advice for cleaning your motorhome is to clean it little and often – when on the road, a hose down every few days will be enough to clean off any loose dirt and stop it becoming bonded to the surface, when it will become almost impossible to fully shift.
How to clean your motorhome
Prepare your motorhome for cleaning
How clean you get your campervan will be determined before a drop of water has even touched the paintwork, as it’s all in the preparation – here’s how to properly prepare your campervan for cleaning:
- Position your motorhome so there’s enough room to fully walk around it
- Get together all of the materials you’ll need to clean it, including:
- A hose and a bucket of cleaning fluid
- Sponge or wash mitt
- Extendable or long-handled mop
- Body shampoo (never use washing up liquid, it can be corrosive)
- Window cleaning solution
- Wheel and tyre cleaner
- Small cleaning brush (a toothbrush will work)
- Microfibre drying cloth
- Silicone blade
- Polish and finishing wax
- Start at the top and work your way down. This is especially important if you’re giving it its first clean out of storage, as the roof is where most of the dirt will accumulate.
How to clean a caravan roof
Starting at the roof, set up your stepladder and give your motorhome a thorough hosing down to remove any loose dirt and grit – the last thing you want to do is grind any loose grime into the paintwork when cleaning.
Then cover the end of your long-handled brush in cleaning fluid and start working your way across the roof in horizontal strokes, applying extra pressure where necessary to remove more stubborn marks and any residual grime that could cause mould or damp. Finally, give the roof another hosing down before moving on to the rest of the van. You can repeat this washing and rinsing cycle until the roof is spotless.
If you have solar panels on the roof of your motorhome, these will need extra care and attention, as grime and dirt can gather underneath them. To make sure your solar panels are spotless, you’ll have to get up close and clean around the seals using your small cleaning brush with plenty of soapy water. Then hose around it to get rid of any residual grime, before giving the roof a final hose down.
How to clean the side panels on your motorhome
To clean the sides of your motorhome, you should first get to work on the dirt around the window seals and skylights, using the cleaning brush and soapy water to get right into the nooks and crannies, before hosing off any residue.
Then it’s time to clean the sides and front, one panel at a time, by repeating the process you used when cleaning the roof, but using the sponge or wash mitt instead of the brush. It’s also worth leaving the cleaning solution on for five to ten minutes to let it really get to work.
Then hose down each panel, and take off any excess water using the silicone blade, before drying each panel using the microfibre drying cloth. Finally, clean the windows with the window cleaning solution and a microfibre cloth, and then move on to the wheels and tyres, using a brush to clean off any ingrained grime.
Polishing and waxing your motorhome
With the deep clean done, it’s time to polish and wax your motorhome – not only will this give it a showroom shine, it will also make things a little easier next time you come to clean your van.
To polish, pour a small amount of polish onto a cloth and work a thin layer into the paintwork in overlapping circles, making sure you avoid any rubber seals and plastic trims. Leave the polish to work for about 15 minutes before buffing your motorhome with a clean microfibre cloth.
It’s now time for the final, but arguably the most difficult part of the process – waxing. Apply a little wax to a cloth and work a thin layer into the paintwork of each panel, using the same horizontal motion as when you were washing the roof. Leave the wax to work for about 20 minutes before buffing with a clean microfibre cloth or, preferably, an electric polisher.
Although it can be tiresome, waxing your motorhome is a vital part of the cleaning process as it protects the shine and acts as a barrier between the paintwork and any grime and dirt – thoroughly waxing will prolong the life of the paintwork and make life easier the next time you clean your motorhome.
Don’t forget the inside
Remember, it’s not just the inside of the motorhome that needs cleaning, and having a family live in such close quarters for weeks on end means the inside can quickly get messy. So, just as with the exterior, short but frequent rounds of cleaning, including dusting, hoovering and polishing the inside of the windows, should help to keep the living quarters clean.
In order to make sure the cleaning doesn’t fall on the shoulders of one person, it’s worth creating a rota so everyone chips in to lighten the work load.
Make sure your motorhome is fully insured
After putting so much effort in to keep your motorhome spotless, the last thing you want is to lose it in an accident or to the hands of a thief. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re fully insured to cover you against such situations and to protect against all eventualities.
To find the right policy to suit your needs, give our insurance experts a call on 0800 0304 206 – our unrivalled choice of policies, is what makes 98.8% of Comfort Insurance’s customers say they’re happy with our service and would recommend us to a friend*.
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