We picked up our new RV on May 17th, 2005. For its 8th birthday today, we’re going to do a quick exterior cleanup to show you how we keep it looking good between washings. As long as you haven’t driven in the rain since the last time you washed your RV, this quick tip will spruce up your rig in about 10 minutes or less.
Even when the weather’s dry, dust accumulates when driving, especially at the rear of the RV, or when boondocking in dusty areas. To quickly remove dust from an otherwise clean RV, our favorite cleanup tool is the original California car duster. Just give it a good shake before and after each use to quickly, easily and safely remove the dust from your RV.
The long head and long handle make it perfect for cleaning large areas and reaching high places. Of course the California duster was originally designed to clean cars and your toad is no exception.
We’ve had this duster for several years now, and even though it actually works better once it gets a bit dirty, it’s finally time to replace it with a brand-new one. Now we’ll retire our old duster to dirtier jobs, like cleaning wheels, tires and mud flaps, without having to use it on painted surfaces any more.
Before using a new California Duster for the first time, place it on newspaper for 48 hours. The duster works by using paraffin wax to attract dust particles, and the newspaper absorbs excess wax. It might leave some streaks during the first few uses, but that will stop once it gets a little dusty.
I used to work in the car industry and attended several auto shows as a manufacturer’s rep. The California Duster was THE standard for keeping cars dust-free at the shows. Even many of the most exclusive luxury and sports car makers used them on their cars, so we know they’re designed to be safe and scratch-free, even on the most expensive finishes.
We’ve been using a California duster for years and think it’s the best 10-minute spruce up you can give your RV.
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Richard (Dick) Conquer
Wednesday 5th of June 2019
Hello RV Geeks. I enjoy and "go-to" your videos for ideas, and love to send your links to people in need of trustworthy instruction.
Do you have advice or instruction on how to safely get up and down from your roof? I see you up there a lot it seems and that impresses me, but I'm nervous to try. Not sure how to get back on the ladder. (2007 Fleetwood Bounder Diesel 38S)
Thanks for your help and awesome instruction, you are both great teachers.
Wednesday 5th of June 2019
Thanks so much for the nice note... and for spreading the word about us! We truly appreciate it and are thrilled to hear that you find our content valuable enough to share it with others!
How you get up onto the roof of your RV may vary depending on what's available. For us, our RV came equipped with a pretty sturdy ladder built into the rear... which is what we use 99% of the time for getting up and down onto the roof. We're always careful doing it... and take our time... to be sure we don't get hurt. But, so far (knock on wood!), no accidents in 16+ years of full-timing!
Of course, not every RV HAS a ladder built on... which can make things more precarious. You'd need a very tall (and difficult to store) step ladder if you want to be able to get from it onto the roof without stepping on the top ("Do Not Use — This Is NOT A Step") step of the ladder. Plus, in order to get the ladder positioned as close to the RV as possible, you usually have it turned sideways so that as you climb the ladder, you're moving up along the side of the RV... which means you have to twist 90 degrees as you step up onto the roof. That can cause your weight to shift and can unbalance the ladder a bit. Totally doable, but takes some practice.
You can also use a collapsible/extension ladder and lean it against the side of the RV... but you're going to want to be sure the sides of the RV are protected against being scratched/damaged by the ladder as you climb it. And be careful what you use, as you don't want to make the ladder slippery against the side of the RV... as that could make it more susceptible to tipping over!
The long and the short of it... go slow! And be careful! And, of course, if you're NOT comfortable doing it... DON'T! Better to get someone else to do it for you than risk hurting yourself!
Sunday 5th of October 2014
Great website and videos...do you have anything on washing your entire motorhome? I have a new 33' MH and would like to read/see how you wash your MH! Thank you!
Sunday 5th of October 2014
Thanks Jim. We don't have a video about washing the RV, but that's a great idea, and we should make one. In the meantime, here's a couple of basics that we follow.... nothing too fancy. Other than the need for a long-handle brush to reach high enough, we wash our rig just like a car. Using a bucket full of water with car wash soap in it (we use a 5-gallon pail) we start with the roof so that anything that washes down the sides gets taken care of afterward. Then we work from front to back down the sides, doing the rear last, since it gets dirtier the further back you get. If we're in an area with hard water, we make sure to keep the paint wet so water spots don't form before we can dry it. Then we use our California Water Blade to squeegee off the excess water. Once a year os so, we use a good quality automotive wax, always a polymer liquid, since easy on and off are important on such a large surface area. ;-) After typing this, I realize that there's plenty to show in a video about washing, so we'll add it to the list. Thanks for the suggestion, Jim!