The majority of recreational vehicles, or RVs, feature siding that is constructed from aluminum or fiberglass. Both materials have their own pros and cons, but both need to be cared for correctly to extend the life of your RV and its exterior.
Here are a few simple tips to help you get the most life out of your RV’s exterior.
Cleaning Your Aluminum or Fiberglass RV
Cleaning your recreational vehicle’s siding is the most cost-effective way to extend its life. The cleaning process is similar for both fiberglass and aluminum. However, you will need to choose products that are formulated specifically for fiberglass or aluminum. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you effectively clean your RV’s exterior.
- Begin by spraying the RV’s exterior with a garden hose that is fitted with a sprayer attachment. Work from the top down to ensure that any grime, dirt, or debris that is on the top of the siding is also eliminated.
- Mix a cleanser that is formulated for either aluminum or fiberglass in a bucket with water. Choose a product that is wash and wax, meaning that it will eliminate any grease or grime while giving the RV siding a new layer of protection with the wax.
- Starting at the top, use a long-handled scrub brush to wash all the siding. You might need to use a little force if you come across any difficult stains, such as bird droppings or sap.
- Once you are done washing the RV’s siding, rinse off the soap immediately with your garden hose. If there are any black streaks (this often occurs on fiberglass RV siding), choose a product that is formulated to remove these streaks and other difficult stains. Use a hard-bristled brush to eliminate black streaks, mold spots, or any other tricky stains.
After you’re done cleaning the RV’s siding, move to the tires, rims, and windshield. You’ll want to use a product designed to clean tires and rims for best results. However, when it comes to your windshield, go ahead and use an inexpensive window cleaner.
Storing Your RV
Whether you’re planning to park your RV for a few days or are storing it for the winter, protecting your vehicle from the elements is the best way to care for the exterior. If you’re only planning to park your RV for a few days, make sure it is kept in a cool, dry spot that is away from direct sunlight. Never park your RV under a tree. Any bird droppings or sap that ends up on the exterior could do serious damage to either an aluminum or fiberglass model.
If you’re storing your fiberglass or aluminum RV for several weeks or months, including over the winter, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect the vehicle’s exterior. Cleaning your RV’s exterior before storage will help prevent any damage that is caused by moisture, dirt, and grime. Ideally, your RV should be stored in a temperature-controlled facility.
If the RV will be parked in your backyard, purchase a cover. Park the RV in a spot that is protected from the elements, wash and dry the exterior, and slide on the cover.
Taking Care of Repairs Immediately
Even the best drivers can have their vehicle dinged, dented, or worse. Whether you have a fiberglass or aluminum RV, it is important to have the damage repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Most aluminum RVs feature individual panels that can be removed, replaced, and repainted. If the damage is superficial, the paint can simply be touched up.
A fiberglass RV is repaired in a different way. Even if there is a small crack or damage, it needs to be repaired immediately. If water enters the crack, it could lead to far more damage, known as delamination.
Delamination occurs when the fiberglass begins to strip away from the wood or steel cage underneath. If left untreated, the delamination could ruin your RV’s fiberglass shell, which will lead to very costly repairs or even replacement.
Remembering Your Rubber Roof
While you’re busy caring for your RV’s siding, don’t neglect your rubber roof. Caring for your rubber roof is simple, and taking these steps can help extend its life as well.
Cleaning your rubber roof often with a scrub brush and a product designed for your RV’s roof is a great first step. You should also inspect the roof and check for any cracks or damage several times a year. If you notice any damage, do not try to repair it yourself. Instead, contact a professional to have the damage repaired or your roof replaced.
Caring for your aluminum or fiberglass RV’s siding properly will help extend its life. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Central Body Company, Inc.