How much does it cost to wash an RV? (or DIY)

In this article, we will discuss: How much does it cost to wash an RV? We will explain the pros of having your RV professionally cleaned and discuss whether you need to wash it with high-pressure jets. We will also tell you how you can clean and maintain your RV by yourself. 

How much does it cost to wash an RV?

It can cost you between $100 to $450 to wash an RV, depending on the vehicle’s size, whether you want both the interior and the exterior cleaned, waxed and polished. For more details, see the table below. 

Average costs to wash an RV

RV SizeComplete interior washComplete exterior wash –  polishing & synthetic waxComplete exterior wash – polishing, hand polish & natural wax
Small RVs – 21 feet or less$100$150$250
Medium RVs – 21-27 feet$150$250$350
Large RVs  – 28-39 feet$200$300$450

Why wash your RV at a special motorhome wash station?

An RV is taller than a conventional car. It will therefore not go under most of the covered tracks. Their automatic cleaning brushes could damage anything on the roof: antennas, boxes and more.

You will therefore need an open wash area, with access to high-pressure jets. But more importantly, you will need a walkway that will allow you to access the roof safely, in order to wash it in turn. Because this is where bird droppings will accumulate like tree sap. A stepladder will not be stable or practical enough for this use.

It is in this sense that we have installed side walkways for washing tall vehicles, from motorhomes to trucks.

How do I clean my RV myself?

A good thorough cleaning of your RV will prevent the risk of rust and mould and that its general condition deteriorates. We will detail here, step by step, the various cleaning and checkpoints to be carried out. 

Cleaning cannot be done without a few products and accessories:

For the Exterior:

  • Telescopic brush
  • 2 buckets of 60L
  • Microfiber cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Bleach tablets

For the Interior:

  • Vacuum
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Maintenance products
  • Bicarbonate
  • White vinegar
  1. Wash the outside of your RV 

a) Wash the roof and solar panels of your motorhome – To access it, your motorhome has probably been delivered with a ladder. If this is not the case, there are special motorhome stations with a ramp giving you access to the roof.

Be careful, find out before getting on the roof: they are not all walkable!

First, you will need to remove the larger one with a broom. Then using a telescopic brush, clean the entire roof while making sure that the porthole is tight and closed.

If you have solar panels, make sure they are always clean to keep them functioning properly. We recommend that you wash them with a microfiber cloth and a vinegar/water mixture, or a window cleaner.

b) Wash the bodywork, bumpers and rims of your RV – Now that the roof of your motorhome is clean, you can go back down and start washing the bodywork. Given its height, you will probably have difficulty accessing all parts. Once again, your telescopic brush will be of great help.

Using 2 buckets, one of hot water (but not too much) and the other of cold water, wash the entire body, always starting at the top and washing small parts of the body. one after the other. For buckets, you will dip your brush in the bucket of hot water and rinse it in the bucket of cold water. This prevents dirt and dust on your brush from getting into the water you use to wash your bodywork and causing scratches.

You will use this step to check the tightness of the door and window seals.

c) Wash the exterior and interior windows –  For a streak-free result, clean the outside and inside of each window with a mixture of vinegar water. Apply this mixture with a microfiber cloth and dry with another dry cloth. To make it shine, rub each pane with newspaper.

d) Wash the water tanks of the motorhome – For this step, we advise you to do it after cleaning the interior because you will need water and also to rinse the pipes …

To keep the tank in good condition it is important to disinfect it with a mixture of white vinegar and a few litres of water, which you will mix by hand first. Then roll for a few minutes to mix well. Finally, all you have to do is rinse and drain.

For the wastewater tank, first, empty it completely. The easiest way to wash and disinfect it is to fill it with a few litres of water and add 2 tablets of bleach. Repeat the same process as for the clean water tank.

2. Wash the inside of your RV

For a deep wash of the inside of your RV, we have distinguished five steps.

a) Ventilate and sort the interior of your motorhome – After a few hours of driving, it is important to air your motorhome for at least 10 minutes. Take the opportunity to empty all the compartments. The more you lighten it, the better it will withstand staying without moving for several months and the easier cleaning will be. Also remove sheets, tea towels, rugs, curtains and seat covers if they come off. You can then wash everything in your washing machine.

b) Vacuum the interior of your motorhome – Get your vacuum cleaner and sweep around every nook and cranny of the cabin. Do not hesitate to use the accessories to also vacuum the seats, the bench, in the cupboards, on the baseboards …

c) Clean and disinfect the kitchen – Here you will need a sponge, white vinegar and whatever products you normally use for your gas stove or electric hob. Then go to the refrigerator. After emptying it, wash the inside with a soft sponge (do not use a scraper), a little washing up liquid and wipe with a cloth. 

d) Clean the bathroom and the pipes – To wash your pipes, you can pour a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar and let it stand for 30 minutes before running boiling water over it to prevent the baking soda from sticking to the walls and forming a plug.

To remove bad odours and lime from the toilet bowl, pour in white vinegar and let it stand for a few hours. Again, avoid using corrosive products or chlorine. For these two steps, check that your motorhome is level so that the water drains well.

e) Clean the room and floors – With a microfiber cloth, remove the dust from the cupboards. If you have a stain on your carpet, you can sprinkle baking soda directly on the stain, wait 30 minutes and vacuum.

If you have a detachable mosquito net, you can wash it by soaking it for 30 minutes in soapy water and then rubbing it lightly. All you have to do is rinse it off and wait for it to dry before putting it back on.

All that’s left is to mop the floor!

Conclusion

Here is therefore in detail the procedure to follow and the details that allow you to clean your RV. All these steps should be carried out in the shade and on a warm day and in a place suitable for washing your vehicle where you can recycle the dirty water.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to do the cleaning, professional washers can take care of it. They can even come to your place and they certainly have the experience to give your vehicle a boost.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions on how to improve this article,  please let us know!

References

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