Best RV Washes: Maintain and Protect Your Camper

Effectively wash away all the dirt on your RV with these cleaners

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Taking care of a recreational vehicle requires a lot of time and effort to keep it in good shape. It gets exposed to harsh weather elements and often gets dirty if you are a frequent camper. RV wash products help make your work easier because they are great for cleaning the RV’s body, and most are formulated to add a layer of protection. Our buying guide features some ideal RV wash options for your consideration. 

  • Best Overall
    Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss
    Summary
    Summary
    A citrus-based wash and gloss that allows for a scratch-free rinsing.
    Pros
    Pros
    Biodegradable formula. Nice citrus smell. Fast penetrative action against dirt. It provides a streak-free, glossy finish. Ultra-high foaming capabilities. It can be used to prepare surfaces before detailing.
    Cons
    Cons
    May leave a yellow residue. The product may separate in the bottle if left unused. It can take hours to work on tough stains.
  • Best Value
    Gel-Gloss RV Wash & Wax
    Summary
    Summary
    An affordable cleaning wash with carnauba wax that cleans and protects your RV’s body.
    Pros
    Pros
    No water spots or streak marks on painted surfaces. Works in minutes. Non-abrasive. It contains no harsh chemicals. Lubricates and leaves a long-lasting shine. Doesn’t remove the previously applied wax coating.
    Cons
    Cons
    May leaves streaks on windows and the mirror. May leave a pink residue on white paint. Not strong enough for tough stains.
  • Honorable Mention
    Meguiar’s Marine/RV One Step Cleaner Wax
    Summary
    Summary
    A one-step cleaner and car wax that works on RV and marine surfaces.
    Pros
    Pros
    Protects the RV’s body against corrosion, acid rain, salt, and UV rays. Leaves a smooth shine. Removes swirls, minor scratches, and light oxidation. Easily restores color and brilliance to the gel coat. Long-lasting protection.
    Cons
    Cons
    Has a strong chemical smell. May leave a residue if applied on a warm surface. Small bottle for cleaning a large RV.

Tips

  • Most RV wash agents leave a residue if applied on a warm or hot surface. To prevent this, you can wash your RV under shade or on a cloudy day and ensure that the surface is cool before applying the wash. 
  • Do not use a hard-bristled scrubber or brush to apply the RV wash. Some harsh chemicals may remove the wax or the paintwork, and the scrubber may leave scratch marks on the body. Instead, use a cloth or a sponge to work the wash over the surface. 
  • If you are using a pressure sprayer to rinse the wash, hold the nozzle at correct angles to avoid detaching or breaking the side mirrors and windows. Change the pressure setting to low when you get to those parts. 
  • Consider using a ladder when cleaning the roof of the RV. You should have someone else around to hold the ladder for you and dry the steps as you come down. Get on all fours to avoid sliding off the roof.

FAQs

Q: Can I use an RV wash to clean the interior?

A: Most RV washes can be used to clean insect residues, food stains, and other dirty surfaces in your vehicle’s interior. However, most of the cleaning agents have a strong smell that you may not want lingering in your vehicle’s interior. Do not use it to clean your upholstery. Check the instructions on the packaging to determine where you can use the product. 

Q: Will RV wash remove car polish?

A: It depends on the chemical formulation of the product you choose. Avoid using products with harsh chemicals if you want to preserve your RV’s original wax coat. A safe bet would be an eco-friendly cleaner with no harmful chemicals that may strip off the polish. However, most eco-friendly products aren’t the best at removing tough stains. 

Q: How often should I wash my RV?

A: Ideally, you should wash your RV with a high-quality RV wash and wax at least twice a year. If it’s a great product and you don’t use your vehicle often, your RV will look clean and glossy for most parts of the year. You can clean it more often if your RV is often exposed to dirt to keep it well protected from weather and road elements. 

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss. It’s helpful when removing dirt from your RV and offers long-lasting protection from harsh road and weather elements. 

The Gel-Gloss RV Wash & Wax is a budget-friendly RV wash that’s capable of maintaining the mint condition of your vehicle. It’s protective and adds a layer of UV-resistant carnauba wax. 

Share your thoughts on RV cleaners in our review in the comment section below.