Cleaning And Washing Your Travel Trailer: 68 Actionable Tips | Blackseries RV
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Cleaning And Washing Your Travel Trailer: 68 Actionable Tips

Published on Aug-16,2023 by BlackSeriesCamper

Travel trailer cleaning is more than just maintaining a neat appearance, it's about ensuring the longevity of your prized possession and creating a safe, healthy environment for your travel adventures. Regular cleaning of your travel trailer will keep it in top condition and save you from expensive repairs down the line.

 

А travel trailer, commonly referred to as RV (recreational vehicle), is a type of trailer that provides both transport and sleeping accommodation. They are typically towed by a car, truck, or SUV, and offer a comfortable, compact, and versatile living space for outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, and campers.

Why Cleaning and Washing Your Travel Trailer is Important?

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Cleaning your travel trailer is not a mundane task; it is an essential part of RV ownership. Regular cleaning ensures:

 

  • Preservation of Value: Regular cleaning and travel trailer maintenance can help maintain your vehicle's value, making it easier to sell or trade-in in the future.

  • Prevention of Damage: Dirt, grime, and other contaminants can damage your trailer's exterior and interior surfaces. Regular cleaning can help prevent these damages.

  • Health and Hygiene: A clean trailer promotes a healthier living space, reducing the risk of allergies and illnesses.

  • Enhanced Comfort: A clean and well-maintained trailer provides a more comfortable and enjoyable living and travel experience.

 

What You Need to Clean Your Travel Trailer?

 

To effectively clean your travel trailer, you need a set of specific tools and supplies. Here's a list to help you get started:

 

  • Cleaning Solutions: An RV-specific cleaning solution, dish soap, vinegar for general cleaning, and specialized cleaners for specific tasks.

  • Cleaning Tools: Extendable brushes, sponges, microfiber cloths, buckets, and a good quality hose with various spray settings.

  • Protective Gear: Gloves, non-slip shoes, and sun protection if cleaning outside.

  • Miscellaneous Items: A ladder for accessing high areas, tarps for protecting the ground, and bags for trash.

 

Now that you are well-versed with the importance of cleaning and the tools required, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of how to clean your travel trailer.

 

How To Clean a Travel Trailer

Ceilings

Cleaning the ceilings of your travel trailer involves a few specific tasks:

 

  • Clean Out Air Vents and Filters: These can become dusty and affect the quality of your indoor air. Use a vacuum or a damp cloth to clean them thoroughly.

  • Remove Black Streaks: These can be removed using a specialized black streak remover or a mixture of water and vinegar.

  • Look for Maintenance and Repair Opportunities: Cleaning is an excellent time to look for any signs of wear, tear, or damage that may need repair.

  • How To Clean Your RV AC Filter: Regularly cleaning your AC filter can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system. You can do this by removing the filter, washing it with warm soapy water, drying it completely, and then replacing it.

 

The ceilings are now clean and moving to the next section, the bedrooms.

 

Bedroom(s)

 

Here are some tips to keep your travel trailer's bedrooms clean and fresh:

 

  • Freshen Up Your Mattress and Linens: Wash linens regularly and consider using a mattress protector to prevent stains and spills from reaching the mattress.

  • RV Living and Sleeping Area Organization and Cleaning Tips: Use storage boxes to keep items organized, vacuum regularly to keep dust at bay, and clean surfaces with a gentle cleaning solution.

 

Next up, the bathroom..

Bathroom(s)

 

Bathroom cleaning tasks include:

 

  • Wipe Down All Surfaces and Fixtures: Use a bathroom cleaner to wipe down countertops, sinks, faucets, toilets, and showers.

  • Don’t Forget Your Window and Door Seals: These areas can accumulate dirt and grime. Wipe them down with a damp cloth.

  • How To Clean Your RV Toilet: Use a specialized RV toilet cleaner and a toilet brush to thoroughly clean the bowl. Make sure to also clean the toilet seat and handle.

  • RV Bathroom Cleaning and Organization Tips: Use storage baskets to organize toiletries and regularly check for any plumbing issues.

 

Once the bathroom is sparkling, let's move to the kitchen.

 

Kitchen

Key tasks for cleaning your travel trailer's kitchen include:

 

  • Clean Fridge, Freezer, and Cabinets: Empty out these areas and wipe down all surfaces with a mixture of water and vinegar.

  • Wipe Down All Surfaces and Fixtures: This includes countertops, stovetops, ovens, sinks, and faucets.

  • Empty Your Fridge: Before each trip, empty out your fridge to prevent food from spoiling and creating unpleasant smells.

  • RV Kitchen Cleaning and Organization Tips: Use pantry organizers to keep food items neat and easy to find. Wipe down surfaces after each use to prevent food debris from attracting pests.

  • Conserving Water? Try This When Washing Dishes: If you need to conserve water, try washing dishes in a tub and using a spray bottle to rinse.

 

Once the kitchen is clean, let's move to the living area.

 

Living Area

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To keep your living area clean and comfortable:

 

  • Clean Window Screens: Use a soft brush and soapy water to remove dust and dirt.

  • Clean Out The Storage Area: Remove all items and clean the area thoroughly.

  • Reduce Clutter When Possible: Regularly declutter your living area to maintain a clean and organized space.

  • Keep Things Organized: Use storage boxes and baskets to keep items organized and easy to find.

 

Now that the living area is clean, it's time to tackle the floors.

Floors

Cleaning your travel trailer's floors involves:

 

  • Sweep and Mop the Floor: Start by sweeping to remove any loose dirt and debris. Then mop the floor using a mixture of water and a mild floor cleaner.

  • Wash the Undercarriage: Use a hose to spray down the undercarriage of your travel trailer. This can help remove dirt, salt, and other debris that could cause rust and other damage.

  • Finally, let's move outside to clean the exterior of your travel trailer.

Exterior

 

Cleaning the exterior of your travel trailer involves a number of specific tasks:

  • Clean Your Awnings With Care: Awnings can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. Use a soft brush and a mild cleaning solution to clean them.

  • Fill and Drain the Freshwater Tank: Regularly draining and refilling your freshwater tank can help prevent the build-up of algae and bacteria.

  • Dump Those Tanks: Regularly empty your gray and black water tanks to prevent unpleasant smells and potential damage.

  • Swap Out That Propane Tank: Regularly check your propane tank for leaks and replace it if necessary.

  • Give Your Tires Some Shine: Use a tire cleaner to remove dirt and grime, then apply a tire shine product to give your tires a new look.

  • Think About Power Washing: If your trailer is particularly dirty, consider using a pressure washer to remove stubborn dirt and grime.

  • Always Work Top Down: When cleaning your travel trailer, always start at the top and work your way down. This helps ensure that you don't have to re-clean areas due to dirty water running down.

 

Cut the Work Into Chunks

 

A significant aspect of travel trailer cleaning is to approach the task in manageable chunks, instead of attempting to tackle the entire vehicle in one go. This strategy helps to maintain your focus and attention to detail throughout the process.

 

  • Start by dividing your trailer into sections: front, back, left side, right side, roof.

  • Dedicate specific time slots for each section and follow your schedule.

  • Ensure you complete one section before moving on to the next to avoid missing out on any spot.

Use the Right Cleaners

 

It's crucial to use the right cleaners that won't harm the trailer's surface while effectively removing grime and stains.

 

  • Opt for RV-specific cleaning products, avoiding any strong chemicals that could damage your RV's paint or seals.

  • Simple green, star brite, and dish soap can be effective choices.

  • Always test a new cleaner on a small, hidden area before using it on the entire trailer.

Use the Right Tools

 

The right tools can make the cleaning process faster and more effective.

 

  • Soft bristle brushes are ideal for scrubbing without scratching the surfaces.

  • Extendable brushes can help reach higher sections without a ladder.

  • A quality garden hose with adjustable pressure can be handy for rinsing.

General Cleaning Tips

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Following are some general cleaning tips for your travel trailer.

 

Water Plus Vinegar Cleans (Almost) Everything

 

A simple mixture of water and vinegar can serve as an all-purpose cleaner, effective on most surfaces inside and outside your travel trailer.

 

  • Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle for a handy DIY cleaning solution.

  • Use it to wipe down surfaces, windows, and even to freshen up your fabrics.

Prevent Mold and Mildew

 

Mold and mildew prevention is an important part of travel trailer maintenance.

 

  • Regular cleaning and airing out the vehicle can help in preventing their growth.

  • Using moisture-absorbing products can help maintain a dry environment, deterring the growth of mold and mildew.

  • Always ensure to dry your trailer thoroughly after cleaning to prevent damp conditions that can promote mold growth.

Perform Routine Maintenance

 

Routine travel trailer maintenance is integral to keeping your travel trailer in top condition.

 

  • Regularly check seals and gaskets for wear and damage. Replace them as needed.

  • Clean and lubricate moving parts such as awning mechanisms and window sliders.

  • Regularly check the roof for any potential leaks.

Clean Both Sides of the Windows

 

Cleaning both sides of the windows enhances your view and allows more natural light into your travel trailer.

 

  • Use a squeegee for a streak-free finish on the outside.

  • A simple mixture of vinegar and water can serve as an effective window cleaner for the interior.

How To Wash Your Travel Trailer?

 

Now that we have discussed the cleaning process, let's move on to washing the exterior of your travel trailer. Here, we will provide a step-by-step guide:

 

  1. Start by rinsing the trailer with water to remove loose dirt and grime. A pressure washer can be beneficial in this step but use it cautiously to avoid damaging the surface.

  2. Apply a cleaning solution, specifically designed for RVs, from top to bottom. Avoid letting the soap dry on the surface to prevent streaks.

  3. Scrub the surface gently with a soft bristle brush. Start from the top and work your way down to prevent dirty water from flowing over clean areas.

  4. Rinely thoroughly after scrubbing. Ensure all soap residues are removed as they can leave marks when dried.

  5. Dry the trailer using a soft, clean towel or chamois to prevent water spots.

Should you pressure wash a travel trailer?

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Pressure washing can be an effective method for removing dirt and grime from your travel trailer. 

 

However, it should be done with caution. High pressure can cause damage to seals, decals, and can even penetrate through small openings leading to water damage inside the trailer. 

 

A controlled use of pressure washer with the correct settings can help get rid of stubborn grime but always be cautious and consider the condition of your travel trailer.

 

Washing your travel trailer roof

 

Cleaning the roof of your travel trailer requires particular attention due to varying materials used, which can be metal, rubber, or fiberglass. 

 

Each material has different needs and precautions when it comes to washing.

Metal

 

Metal roofs are quite durable, but they can corrode or rust over time.

  • Use a soft brush and mild soap to avoid scratching the surface.

  • Avoid strong chemicals that can cause corrosion.

  • Dry thoroughly after washing to prevent rust.

Rubber

 

Rubber roofs are commonly found on travel trailers, but they can be damaged by harsh chemicals.

 

  • Use a rubber roof cleaner or a mild detergent.

  • Don't use petroleum-based products as they can cause damage.

  • Rinse thoroughly to ensure no soap residue is left, as it can attract more dirt.

Fiberglass

 

Fiberglass roofs are durable and easy to clean.

 

  • Use a soft brush to avoid scratching the surface.

  • A mild detergent or specially designed fiberglass cleaner can be used.

  • Waxing after washing can help maintain the glossy finish and provide a protective layer.

 

Should You Wash Your Trailer Yourself or Go to a Professional?

 

Deciding between washing your travel trailer yourself and going to a professional service involves weighing a few factors:

 

  • Cost: Washing your travel trailer at home will typically cost less than hiring a professional service, although you'll need to purchase some cleaning products and tools.

  • Time and effort: Washing a travel trailer can be a big job, especially if it's been a while since the last wash. Professionals have the right equipment and experience to do the job efficiently.

  • Access to facilities: Some locations have restrictions on washing vehicles at home due to water usage concerns, so check your local regulations.

  • Quality of results: Professionals often have access to high-end cleaning products and equipment that can provide superior results.

Where To Wash Your Travel Trailer?

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You have a few options for where to wash your travel trailer:

 

  • At home: This is the most convenient option, provided you have the space and it's allowed by your local regulations.

  • At a self-service car wash: These facilities often have large bays for washing RVs and trailers. They also provide high-pressure hoses and other equipment.

  • Professional RV/trailer wash facility: These businesses specialize in washing larger vehicles and have the right equipment and products to do a thorough job.

How To Remove Stains from the Side of My Camper?

 

Follow these steps to remove stains from the side of your camper:

 

  • Start by washing the area with a mild detergent and water to remove any surface dirt.

  • Apply a stain remover suitable for your camper's siding material. Let it sit for the instructed time.

  • Use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub the stained area.

  • Rinail thoroughly and dry.

  • If the stain persists, it may be necessary to seek professional help, especially for stubborn or deep stains.

How Do You Dry a Travel Trailer After Washing It?

 

  • Air dry: The simplest method is to let it air dry, although this can leave water spots.

  • Towel dry: Using large microfiber towels to manually dry the trailer can prevent water spots and streaks.

  • Leaf blower: Some people use a leaf blower to quickly blow off the majority of the water, then follow up with a towel to get rid of the rest.

  • Water blade: A silicone water blade can be a quick and effective tool to remove water from flat surfaces.

Waxing a Travel Trailer After Washing It

 

After washing and drying your travel trailer, applying a good quality wax can help protect the finish and make it easier to clean next time.

 

  1. Choose a wax that's appropriate for your travel trailer's material. Some are specifically designed for fiberglass, aluminum, or painted surfaces.

  2. Apply the wax in a small, manageable area at a time. Use a soft, clean cloth or sponge applicator.

  3. Allow the wax to dry as per the instructions on the product.

  4. Buff off the dried wax using a microfiber cloth, using circular motions.

  5. Repeat the process until you've waxed the entire trailer.

What are the Best Travel Trailer Cleaning Products?

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Here are some top-rated cleaning products for travel trailers:

 

  • Car Wash Soap: Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash

  • Fiberglass Oxidation Remover and Color Restorer: Protect All Fiberglass Oxidation Remover

  • Black Streak Remover: Thetford Premium RV Black Streak Remover

  • RV Wash and Wax: Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax

  • Awning Cleaner: Camco Pro Strength Awning Cleaner

  • Wheel and Tire Cleaner: CarGuys Premium Wheel and Tire Cleaner

  • RV Rubber Roof Cleaner: Thetford RV Rubber Roof Cleaner

  • Interior Cleaner: 303 Aerospace Protectant

  • Please note: Always test a new cleaning product on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't discolor or damage the material.

Conclusion

 

Maintaining a clean travel trailer not only preserves its aesthetics but also its functionality and value. 

 

Whether you opt to clean it yourself or choose a professional, regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial. 

 

The right cleaning products, coupled with proper cleaning and drying techniques, can make the task less daunting and more effective. And remember, always end with a good wax to protect your trailer from the elements


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