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How to wash an RV with a pressure washer: The Right Way

RV can get dirty quickly – but a pressure washer can make short of the dirt and grime.

Not only will your RV be clean, but you will also protect it from corrosion and rust.

A pressure washer is perfect for washing the roof of your RV, as well as all the nooks and crannies.

You’ll be able to get your RV clean in record time without having to spend hours scrubbing away with a brush.

Washing your RV with a pressure washer is a great way to protect your investment!

Keeping your RV clean might be difficult. Over time, the vehicle’s sheer size and exposure to the elements may cause it to get filthy. It’s tough to keep your balance on a ladder when you’re cleaning down your RV, but what else can you do? 

A pressure washer is a powerful cleaning tool that can make short of any grime, dirt, or debris built up on your RV. Using a pressure washer, you can clean your RV quickly and easily, without worrying about climbing up a ladder.

Here is the ultimate guide on How To Wash An RV With A Pressure Washer with some tips and tricks for doing this job safely and efficiently. Read on!

The simple answer is no. You cannot wash an RV with a pressure washer.

Why? 

Power washing can cause some significant damage to the exterior of the RV. The high-pressure water will remove dirt, debris, and any protective coating on the surface, leaving bare metal exposed to rusting or corrosion issues. Not good at all! Also, the wash water will likely be deep inside the seals and seams, resulting in interior corrosion.

How To Wash An RV With A Pressure Washer In A Safe Way

Pressure washing in an RV is done differently than in a house. Every portion requires a specific pressure and pressing, which you must do correctly, or else you might ruin your RV’s appearance and construction.

Washing the RV Roof

Wash your RV’s rooftop with a low-pressure nozzle starting at the top. Then, when you get to the sides of your RV, use another low-pressure sprayer. It is essential! 

Aiming a high-pressure water stream against metal seams and edges on an RV roof could cause leaks if not properly sealed or protected.

Washing the RV Sides and Exterior

Now wash your RV using a high-pressure nozzle on one side at a time while standing in front. Then use another low-pressure sprayer to clean dirt and debris off its other exterior surfaces like windows, wheels, etc. 

When finished with this step, inspect for any leaks that might have happened from pressure washing.

Washing the RV Interior and Windows

Wash the interior of your RV with a wet mop, sponge, or cloth by using water mixed with dishwashing liquid (you can also spray it down). If you don’t like to wash this way, use a handheld high-pressure nozzle on its window seals to wash away dust and dirt.

Washing Gaskets and Seals

Wash your exterior doors, windows, wheel gaskets, or seals with a high-pressure nozzle. It will remove any dirt that has become stuck in its grooves.

Washing Wheels and Rims

You can wash your wheels and rims the same way as an RV roof. Use a low-pressure nozzle to wash the dirt away with water mixed with dishwashing liquid (you can also spray it down).

Metal surfaces

The most simple to clean is metal that has been painted. You may use the same types of cleaners and chemicals you use for your vehicle wash. The primary problem with RVs’ metal siding is that it’s susceptible to water ingress when using a pressure washer. 

If you wish to utilize it, maintain the nozzle at least one foot away from the surface.

Fiberglass surface

It’s often seen in older RVs, generally unpainted, and has a few flashy decals. It would be ideal to pressure wash fiberglass using RV and wax products specifically formulated for it.

When pressure washing, keep the decals out of the way. The force might cause them to peel off soon. New fiberglass may also have a transparent paint coating.

It would be ideal if you used RV-specific washing chemicals. However, you may also get away with auto products in most situations.

Gaskets and Weather Seals: How to Treat Them

The leading reason for leaks on RVs is the improper installation of a gasket or flexible weather sealant. They are rubber and help keep the RV secure from the elements. In addition, maintaining these seals and gaskets clean prolongs their life and aids in preventing costly replacements.

Silicone-based cleansers and lubricants can keep your gaskets and seals from drying out. Many of these chemicals are merely sprayed and don’t need to be wiped or cleaned further. However, read the directions completely before applying them to ensure that you’re doing it correctly.

Following these simple tips, you can keep your RV in top shape and enjoy many worry-free miles on the open road.

Can You Pressure Wash an RV Rubber Roof?

RV rubber roofs are durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. But can they withstand the force of a pressure washer?

The short answer is: it depends.

If your RV has a metal roof, then pressure washing is generally not a good idea. The high-pressure water can seep in between the seams and cause serious damage.

If your RV has a rubber roof, you can pressure wash it, but you need to be careful. The pressure from the washer can cause the rubber to loosen and pull away from the seams.

So, if you decide to pressure wash your RV rubber roof, use a low setting and hold the wand at least six inches away from the surface. And always test it on a small area first to ensure there is no damage.

Safety Advice on Getting on RV Roofs

Whether or not you can walk on your RV roof largely depends on the materials it’s made of. Always check your owner’s manual or ask your dealer if you’re unsure. If it’s safe to walk on, remember to wear shoes with good grip in case the surface is wet.

If your roof isn’t walkable, don’t worry. You can still clean it from the sides of your RV using a telescoping ladder. Just be sure to have a spotter to help you and watch out for any low-hanging branches. Also, don’t forget to bring a hose with a sprayer attachment, an appropriate cleaning solution, and a soft brush.

Where To Wash Your RV

If You’re Not At Home

You’re on vacation, enjoying the great outdoors in your RV. But after a few days on the road, your RV looks a little worse for wear. You’d love to wash it, but you’re not at home. Where can you go?

A Truck Stop

Truck stops typically have large parking lots where you can wash your RV. Always ask the manager first and be respectful of other customers.

A Car Wash

This is a great option if you need to wash your RV in a hurry. Just drive through the car wash and let the machines do the work.

A Friend’s House

If you have a friend with a large driveway or yard, they may be willing to let you wash your RV there. Just be sure to ask first and be prepared to return the favor.

A campground

Some campgrounds have facilities you can use to wash your RV. Just be sure to check with the campground first to see if there are any restrictions.

When You’re At Home

If you’re not at home, the best place to wash your RV is probably at your home. Just be sure to ask your neighbor’s permission first if you’re washing your RV in their driveway.

When you’re at home, you can access all the resources you need to wash your RV, including a water hose and electricity. But, of course, you can also take your time and wash your RV at your leisure.

Tips On Washing An Rv With A Pressure Washer

  1. The best way to wash your RV with a pressure washer is by using some dishwashing liquid and doing it on low pressure.
  2. Wash away loose dirt by rinsing it off with water. 
  3. Spray some dishwashing liquid directly onto the surface of your trailer or motorhome where you want to clean – this is where you should use your low-pressure wash hose.
  4. To wash away the remaining dirt, rinse off with water and wipe dry using cloths – this will ensure no soap residue is left on it. You’re done!
  5. When washing, always aim a high-pressure water stream against metal seams and edges on your RV’s exterior; this will prevent any leaks.

There should be no problem following these steps when washing an RV with a pressure washer.

Common Mistakes In Washing Your Rv With A Pressure Washer

Well, it does work for some people. But they’ve all got one thing in common: experience and knowledge on what not to do when washing an RV with a pressure washer!

What You Might Be Doing Wrong When Using A Pressure Washer To Clean An RV:

  1. Using the wrong nozzle size is probably the most critical mistake.
  2. A high-pressure nozzle will wash everything away, including the protective coating on your RV. The result? Corroded metal and an unprotected surface!
  3. Another critical mistake is choosing the wrong pressure setting for your wash hose. If too low, you cannot generate enough water flow to do any good cleaning job; if too high, the wash water might damage your RV’s protective coating.

A Recommended Power Washer, Foam Cannon, And Cleaning Chemicals

We recommend the following cleaning tools if you use a pressure washer or foam cannon to clean your RV.

Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sun Joe SPX1000 is a low-pressure portable pressure washing machine that produces only 1450 PSI. People frequently select Sun Joe items for RV pressure cleaning, one of the most often mentioned products.

Last update on 2022-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This foam cannon, made of high-quality materials and rated for auto detailing, has been on the best product list for years. For truck washing, RV wash, and automobile detailing, this foam cannon has always been one of our top picks.

Last update on 2022-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This car wash soap is intended to clean and care for your RV in simple steps. It is gentle and effective and will not harm your RV’s finish. You can use it on the body, windows, tires, wheels, and undercarriage.

It is a concentrated formula that washes away easily and leaves your RV with a nice clean finish every time.

Alternatives To RV Pressure Washing: Waterless Cleaning Options

With little or no water, you can clean your RV by hand washing it and applying an RV wax product.

Steps

  1. Use a soft cloth to clean the surface and then wax it.
  2. Wipe the skillet with a separate microfiber cloth to remove any remaining food particles. You’ll need a lot of towels to finish the task since the towels will get dirty over time.
  3. When the rags get filthy, replace them. Otherwise, you’ll spread dirt across the RV’s fiberglass surface without cleaning it.

Final Thoughts

Yes, a pressure washer can do quick cleaning work, but follow the safety steps! I hope you find this article helpful in learning How To Wash An RV With A Pressure Washer.

Thank you for reading! Please like, and share if this article has helped you.

FAQs

What can I use to clean my fiberglass RV if it’s filthy?

I recommend utilizing a wax-based cleaning solution. It will clean and preserve your fiberglass.

Is it okay to use Dawn dish soap to wash my RV?

No, that’s not a good idea. The term “dishwashing” implies that you’re washing dishes, and dishwashing products include chemicals. That will remove grease and oils from your gaskets and seals, which can cause harm to them.

What is the most effective approach to washing an RV?

We recommend parking your RV in a shaded area to clean the outside. Spray it with water first to remove the dust. Then, wash your RV from top to bottom using clean water and a car-washing mitt or sponge. You may also use a mild car-washing soap.

How much PSI do I need to wash my RV?

If you want to use a pressure washer on your RV, you should only utilize ones designed for the purpose. These machines are often gentler, with PSI ratings of 1,100-1,300. However, standard pressure washers can cause damage to your RV’s surface and perhaps even create holes in it!

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Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Brett Tyler

Brett Tyler

I’m Brett Tyler, an entrepreneur, but more importantly (well, to me at least), a tool head. I’m passionate about all sorts of machines and how they work – it’s in my blood.

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