LAST UPDATED: September 27, 2019
Best RV Roof Cleaners: Prevent Sun, Dirt, and Rust Damage
Clean and protect your RV’s roof with these top RV roof cleaners
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON September 27, 2019
Making sure your RV is in peak condition will ensure it gets you through several long trips. One thing you should always make sure is in the best condition is the roof. The strongest RV roof cleaner will keep it free from rust, UV ray damage, and grime. It also protects the paint and materials from damage while you drive. Consider one of these high-quality RV roof cleaners before heading out on your next journey.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of RV Roof Cleaners
- Cleaning and protection. Roof cleaners are designed to resolve dirt, pollutants, grime, bug deposits, and other harmful buildups. All these things can damage the roof on the RV and reduce its lifespan. By keeping the surface free from contaminants and residues, roof cleaners protect the RV roof in the long term and make it more durable.
- Convenience. Instead of rubbing all kinds of abrasive cleaners and harsh chemicals into the RV surface, you can use roof cleaners to remove buildups on the roof with ease. RV roof cleaners are easy to apply and rinse off, making the entire maintenance process quick and effortless.
- Safety. Regular household cleaners that contain abrasives and bleach can significantly damage the RV roof. When you choose a roof cleaner according to the surface type, you keep it safe from harm.
- Saves time and money. With the right RV roof cleaner, you can reduce the time necessary for regular vehicle maintenance. Most newly designed products leave a protective film over the surface and repel water, pollutants, and more. That means you can prolong the time between cleanups and save money in the long run.
Types of RV Roof Cleaners
Roof cleaners that come in spray bottles are incredibly popular among RVers. They are easy to use and safe enough to prevent damage to the surface. These products allow you to spray the substance over the roof in a few quick motions and wipe it clean with a mop within several minutes. Spray-bottle roof cleaners are mostly recommended for light cleaning and maintenance when the RV roof is not very dirty.
Those who need to clean large RV roofs and surfaces covered in excessive dirt might want to consider getting a concentrate. This type of roof cleaner comes in a container that allows for more coverage than the one in a spray bottle. It sometimes also serves for more applications, especially when it is highly concentrated and needs to be diluted in water. The concentrated formula is powerful and can get rid of heavy dirt in a breeze.
RVers who are always on the road might also find rinse-free roof cleaners perfect for their needs. These cleaners are ideal when you're not near a water source or you want to save the supply. They don't require excessive rinsing with lots of water. All you need to do is to apply the product on the surface and wipe it off.
Camco is a reliable company that produces all kinds of outdoor and camping gear, home, and vehicle products. It all started in 1966 in Greensboro, North Carolina, when Camco made an antifreeze. Today, the company prides itself on a wide range of different tools, cleaning and detailing products, and more. We find the Camco Pro-Tec RV Rubber Roof Care System ideal for those who need a budget-friendly yet an efficient option for maintaining their RVs.
Aero Cosmetics was founded in 1987 and is located in San Antonio, Texas. For many years, the company has proven to be one of the first options among drivers who need vehicle cleaning and detailing products. Aero Cosmetics offers a wide range of interior and exterior cleaning products, as well as cleaning tools and accessories. When it comes to RV roof cleaners, our top pick is the Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit.
RV Roof Cleaners Pricing
- $10-$20: At this price range, you can find effective RV roof cleaners in spray bottles. They are mostly designed for light cleaning and detailing, but are quite efficient and incredibly easy to apply.
- $20 and up: If you have a few more bucks to spend on a roof cleaner, you can get concentrated ones designed for cleaning large and extremely dirty surfaces. Pricier products sometimes even last for longer and allow for a lot of applications over time.
First things first, the RV roof cleaner should be completely safe for the materials on your vehicle. It has to be free from abrasives and bleach so it doesn't harm the roof and cause corrosion and other permanent damages. We recommend avoiding soapy, silicone, and petroleum-based cleaners. Products with safe formulas don't contain any harsh chemicals and are biodegradable.
Another thing you might want to consider before the purchase is the type of your RV roof. Not all cleaners are the same and compatible with all materials. To make sure the cleaner will work and be safe for your vehicle, look for the one that matches the surface material. Most RV roofs are made either of fiberglass or rubber. The former is rarely made these days, while the latter is the most common. Fiberglass doesn't require much maintenance, and rubber materials need soft cleaners.
Ease of Use
It's crucial to determine the ease of application of each RV roof cleaner as well. Some people prefer products that come in spray bottles, and others like to use rinse-free ones that don't require excessive rinsing off. Determine what works best for you and then opt for a particular option. Although most newly designed products are easy to apply and wash off, that's not always the case, so be careful which one you choose.
- Conditioners. Not all RV roof cleaners leave a protective film over the surface after the application. If you need extra protection against sun, water, bug deposits, and other residues, consider getting a cleaner with a conditioner. That way, you can clean and protect the roof in the long run.
- Quantity. Determine how much of the product you need according to the size of your RV roof. You don't want to get through the half of the cleanup and then realize you lack the cleaning liquid to finish it up. We recommend getting a larger bottle for more than one application, especially when you're planning a long trip.
Best RV Roof Cleaners Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Thetford's Roof Cleaner and Conditioner is ideal for all newly designed RVs that have rubber surfaces. Those who have their RV roofs EPDM rated can be sure this product won't damage the material in any way. The best thing about the cleaner is the 100 percent biodegradable and non-toxic formula. It makes the product an eco-friendly solution that works safely and efficiently.
The Thetford cleaner works as a cleaner and a conditioner. It removes and dissolves dirt and grime buildup on the roof during rides and creates a protective coat over the surface. The product doesn't leave streaks on the paint, and due to its biodegradable and soft formula, it prevents oxidation and other damages.
Although the product works efficiently, you'll have to apply some extra elbow grease to get the job done. It's sometimes tricky to rinse off the product in several simple motions, and two applications might be required for cleaning extremely dirty surfaces. Also, keep in mind that the RV roof might be very slippery after the application, so walk on it carefully.
The Camco Pro-Tec RV roof cleaner is one of the favorite options among RVs due to its price, efficiency, and longevity. It comes in a 2-gallon bottle that lasts for several applications and thorough cleaning. The product works on all EPDM RV roofs, resolving all kinds of dirt, dust, and debris. It also repels chalk and other road grime, making sure the surface stays clean for longer.
The Camco cleaner offers a two-step treatment you can perform quickly and effortlessly. No excessive rubbing and rinsing is required. The product cleans the surface effectively and prolongs the lifespan of the roof by protecting it from dirt and harmful UV rays. It also reduces the time and money necessary for the overall maintenance of your RV roof.
However, the cleaner is not suitable for TPO roofs. If you don't know what roof type you have, make sure to determine the material before the purchase. In case you do end up buying this product for rubber roofs, make sure to be extra careful after the application. The surface might be too slick to be safe for walking. You also might empty the bottle quickly, so consider getting more than one.
The Aero Cosmetics Car Wash Kit is one of the most versatile products on our list. You can use it to clean your car, motorcycle, RV, boat, and all kinds of other vehicles. Usually, that type of versatility makes the cleaner less efficient, but that's not the case with Aero Cosmetics. This product removes everything from road dirt to bird droppings without leaving streaks and residues.
The cleaner features a biodegradable formula and is safe to use on all kinds of surfaces, including aluminum, plastic, rubber, leather, and more. It even contains wax to protect the surface and make it super shiny. With it, you don't have to buy any additional products such as conditioners and waxes. On top of that, the package includes a 1-gallon container, a 16-ounce spray bottle of wash wax, and four microfiber towels for long-term use.
The product might work better on rubber and painted surfaces than fiberglass, though. If you have an old-fashioned fiberglass roof, this might not be a perfect solution for you. Another thing to keep in mind is that this product is a little harder to buff clean. You might spend more time and effort wiping it off the surface.
The 303 Products cleaner and protectant is one of the top picks on the market. The product is so versatile you can apply it to all kinds of surfaces, including rubber, leather, fiberglass, plastic, vinyl, PVC, and more. That means you can use the cleaner to maintain and protect both the interior and the exterior of your vehicle and RV.
The 303 Products protectant cleans dirt from the surface without leaving greasy residues and streaks. It provides a matte finish and creates a protective film that repels water, dust, stains, and UV rays. The formula is non-toxic and water-based, so you don't have to worry about damaging the roof during the cleaning process. The product also comes in many different-sized bottles, from 2 to 128 ounces, so you can pick the one that works the best for you.
Only two things might bother you with this product. The first one is the wiping-off process. It requires some extra effort, so you might need to let the product dry overnight. The second drawback regards the time of application. The product is not that durable and requires frequent reapplication for the best results.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use roof cleaner, the Gel-Gloss one might be an excellent choice for you. It's a product that comes in 1-gallon and 32-ounce bottles and contains carnauba wax for ultimate protection. Along with cleaning the roof, the Gel-Gloss RV Wash and Wax also coats and protects it for superior shine and durability.
RVers love the biodegradable formula that proves to be safe for different surfaces and materials. It's free from chemicals and other harmful particles and is super-efficient. A little of the liquid goes a long way, cleaning the surface from dirt and debris and protecting it at the same time. Therefore, one bottle of this liquid will last for several applications and reduce overall maintenance requirements.
We still find the product works better for light cleaning tasks. It removes road grime and dust, but it has a hard time resolving excessive dirt and stubborn stains. For heavily oxidized RV roofs, you might want to find something more powerful. The product also might leave residue when applied to windows. If that occurs, you'll need to wash the glass again after applying the Gel-Gloss cleaner.
The EternaBond cleaner is one of those heavy-duty products you get to remove excessive dirt, grime, oil, grease, tree sap, and even oxidation. It's an excellent cleaner you can use on a wide range of surfaces, including EPDM, TPO, PVC, metal, tiles, aluminum, and more. The application is quite simple, and the product dries fast for more convenience when on the go.
The cleaner comes in a can that makes spraying the liquid super easy. The formula is environmentally-friendly and leaves no residues on the surface. It also wipes off easily and is very convenient for spot-cleaning. Overall, the EternaBond cleaner features a powerful formula and is ideal for removing heavy dirt from your RV roof.
There are still a couple of things you should keep in mind before the purchase. First, the product is not that cost-efficient, considering it comes in a 14-ounce bottle and doesn't last for very long. To avoid running out of cleaner halfway through the job, you might need to get two or three bottles. Second, the product might remove paint, so make sure to test it on a small area before the application.
This is a 2-in-1 product that cleans and protects the RV roof at the same time. The product contains an effective formula and a conditioner that works to resolve light dirt, dust, and residues. It also leaves a protective coat on the surface, preventing mold, mildew, and fungus from building up on it.
Overall, this cleaner is meant to clean streaks, light oxidation, and road film, while also moisturizing the rubber roof. We also like that it prolongs the lifespan of the roof and doesn't contain petroleum or other harmful chemicals. It comes in a bottle of 48 ounces and lasts for quite a while.
Although the product works great in resolving dirt, it does require more scrubbing on old bird droppings. It also might not be able to remove heavy dirt and stubborn black spots. For that purpose, you'll have to get a product with a more powerful formula and maybe spend some extra cash.
If you want to get a professional cleaner for your RV or boat, the Duragloss one might be perfect for you. It's designed to remove mildew and stains within a few moments after the application, keeping the surface sparkling clean. It also works on all kinds of non-porous surfaces such as vinyl, fiberglass, and more.
You can use this product inside and outside of RVs and boats, cleaning a variety of surfaces in a breeze. The application is as simple as it gets—you only need to pour the liquid on the material and wipe it clean. The product dries quickly and leaves a protective film that prevents mold and mildew from building on the roof.
The main drawback of this product regards the design of the bottle and not the performance of the cleaner itself. The cap tends to get loose rather quickly, and we noticed there is no seal on the bottle that would prevent leaks. If you tip over the bottle, the liquid will most likely pour out. Some buyers even received the product that leaked during the shipping.
- Make sure you know what type of roof your RV has. EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, while TPO is short for thermoplastic polyolefin. Not all roof cleaners are designed for both types.
- Consider buying and storing multiple bottles of cleaners to ensure you don’t run out in the middle of a deep clean.
- You should wear gloves when handling the roof cleaner to avoid getting it on your hands.
- Wearing knee pads will help prevent your knees from hurting while scrubbing and cleaning the roof of your RV.
Q: How much RV roof cleaner should I use?
A: Typically, the bottle will come with a detailed description of exactly how much of the product to use. However, if you find that the amount is not enough to clean an area properly, you may want to use more and wait a bit before scrubbing it away.
Q: How do I clean an RV roof?
A: Many products will advise how to effectively clean the RV roof. Generally, each one will come with a multi-step process. The first involves sweeping or rinsing off the surface with a brush or hose. The second involves applying the cleaner, and the third involves washing it away or letting it dry.
Q: How can I tell if my RV roof is EPDM or TPO?
A: An EPDM roof is darker in color and features a thin, single-ply roof, whereas TPO is three times thicker and is welded to the top of the RV. TPO also reflects sunlight. You can always check with the RV guide to make sure.
Consider the Thetford Premium RV Rubber Roof Cleaner to get rid of any built-up gunk or grime on the roof of your RV.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Camco Pro-Tec RV Rubber Roof Care System, which is also very capable of cleaning and protecting your roof.