I don’t think there is a way you can pull your trailer along the road to your next camping site without collecting dirt, mud, and all sorts of debris. After all the traveling, it comes a time to have the RV cleaned. Most people would start asking themselves if they can use a pressure washer for the cleaning. Well, using a pressure washer is a faster way to clean your trailer but not recommended. Why? The pressure might be too high to reap off the paint, rubber, or other materials used on your RV. However, there is a better way you can use the pressure washer and get the perfect result. Read along to find out how to wash an RV with a pressure washer.
Tips on how to use the pressure washer won your RV
A pressure washer is perfect for cleaning an RV if used PROPERLY. It’s a cleaning tool that can strip off dirt, bugs, or grime from the RV surfaces within no time. However, it can also strip off your RV finish, rip away the seals, peel away the decals or even cause water intrusion in your RV structure.
When washing your RV using a pressure washer, it’d be best to keep the nozzle around one foot away from the surface. You should also sweep the stream horizontally from your RV top and work downward. That makes sure you don’t push dirt back up, thus saving you time.
You must also make sure you use the right washing brush to force out the dirt and stubborn grime on the surfaces. The cleaning products must also be right, or you end up causing degradation of individual parts.
How to wash an RV with a pressure washer
Pressure washing an RV is done differently. Every section requires a different pressure setting and pressing. You must get it right, or you might end up messing your RV look ad structure, and it should be done from top to bottom.
Washing the RV Roof
Washing the RV roof is the first step to cleaning your trailer. Most RVs come with two main roof types, each with a different set of cleaning methods. If you decide to pressure wash the roof, here is how to handle the washing properly.
Rubber is the most used material on many RVs and trailers. However, the material is becoming lesser common in new RVs, but you will still find them easily. The roof is made using ‘flaking’ material that erodes naturally to keep the top flexible. Unfortunately, the flaking creates dirty streaks that don the RV sides.
You may decide to use rubber roof cleaning supplies, or you can use a pressure washer. However, you still need mild detergent but not sealants as they degrade the rubber and prevent the natural flaking. Also, make sure the rubbing and brushing are gentle.
Fiberglass is another common material used in making an RV roof. Many RV makers use fiberglass for its increased durability and easy care compared to the Rubber material. Pressure washing fiberglass roof is easy as you can use most of the automotive cleaning supplies. However, keep the pressure low.
Washing the body
RVs and travel trailers have different builds. Over the years, various RV manufacturers used plenty of materials in making travel trailers with the most common materials being metal and fiberglass. I will focus on how to clean these two.
Painted metal is the easiest to wash. You can use most of the cleaning products and chemicals you use in your car. The primary concern here is, the overlapping metal siding on most RVs is vulnerable to water intrusion when you use a pressure washer. If you want to use it, keep the nozzle far from the surface, a minimum of one foot away.
This material is the older of the two. It is mostly found in older RVs, typically unpainted, and has a few flashy decals. It’d be best to pressure wash fiberglass using RV wash and wax products made for purposely for it.
When pressure washing, try your best to avoid the decals. The pressure might cause them to peel off in no time. If the fiberglass is newer, it might have a clear-coat painting. It would be best if you wash it with the right RV cleaning products. You can also get away with automotive products in most cases.
Washing Gaskets and Seals
The gaskets and seals of your RV’s window go through rough. They are rubber components exposed to heat, cold, and sun daily. You have to ensure they provide a tight seal and a stable fit. For that, it’d be best to spray them with silicone-based spray once a year or protect them from UV degradation. You also need to use a rubber-friendly cleaning product, mostly those that you use on your rubber roof.
Washing Wheels and Rims
You cannot wash the roof, body, and gasket and yet forget the wheels and the rims. These are the parts that receive all the dirt from the top. You must shower them too. While wheels are all made from rubber, the rims come in three different types: aluminum, painted, and chrome. Let’s look at each type individually.
You can clean painted metal rims using the standard automotive cleaning products. However, it would help if you waxed them once a year. Also, keep an eye for rust and corrosion. Clean aluminum rims washing products for perfect results. Thirdly, you should wash your chrome rims with a chrome cleaning product and mechanical buffer.
The three use the right brushes to prevent stripping off the surface coating and blemish the finish. Like pressure washing painted metal body, you have to stand some foot away and keep the nozzle one foot away from the rim and rub. I would also recommend you keep the pressure around 1200 PSI.
Pressure washing isn’t the recommended method of cleaning an RV. However, as you might have noticed from the tips I’ve listed above, you can do it right and get the best results. Use the right cleaning products for the various materials and use the ideal RV Cleaning Kit that cannot blemish the nice attractive finish or paint. The pressure washer needs to be appropriately held, too; keep the nozzle broad and 1-foot away.