Washing your RV Front-End – ECO-FRIENDLY


We all need to adjust our lives towards a more Eco-Friendly lifestyle.  As Campers and RV owners, we should adopt as many habits, tools, and lifestyle changes as possible to preserve and improve the environment we live in.

To this end, here is a great ECO-FRIENDLY TIP for washing your RV. Sometimes these ideas are just small steps, but if we all use them we can make a big difference for the health of our Planet.

Washing Your RV Front End:

Probably one of the most intimidating jobs as an RVer, to me, is the task of washing that enormous RV when you arrive at your home, or Campground, and have been driving through all kinds of weather, dust, grime, grease and worst of all, BUGS.

Let me tell you a story.  

Last year, while I was at a campground in Florida for our Winter stay, an elderly Canadian couple pulled their RV into the campsite next to me.

Needless to say, after such a long trip, their RV was pretty dirty and the front was covered with bugs.  We met, shook hands, talked a while, and we became good campsite friends while we were both at that campground.

Well, the next day, in the cool of the morning, I noticed he was cleaning the front of his RV, then to my surprise, he stopped and started again on a section of one of the sides of the RV and then quit again.  He continued this routine daily on a small section of the RV until he had a totally clean RV after a week.

The point is that he had figured out how to pace himself, as well as the use of campground water, and cleaning materials and ended up with a very effective way to clean his RV; avoiding the one-time effort, had less sore muscles, and he used of less water overall.

My Methods:

I on the other hand, had spent several hours one day, in the heat, continually; wetting, soaping, washing, and rinsing the whole darn RV, and when I had finished, I had wasted a lot more water, cleaning materials, and muscle power than my Canadian friend.

I hurt for days, so a couple of campgrounds later, I jumped on having a local crew come in and wash my RV for me. It ended up costing me several hundred dollars.  The RV looked great, but my wallet was a lot lighter.

I don’t know where this kind of commercial cleaning stands on the ECO-Friendly scale, but as I sat there, with my glass of wine in hand, watching the 4-man crew spend right at 45-minutes to clean and hand wax and polish my whole RV, I am sure that they were more efficient, thus more ECO-FRIENDLY than my personal work.

My lesson-learned was to follow my friends process the next time I washed my RV myself, and to look closer at the materials I would use.

What I mean is, that I now take a good close look at my RV and use the appropriate materials to clean the different areas of my RV, and to get rid of the different types of dirt, grime, grease, and stains.

My “Front of the RV” tip:

The front of an RV will collect, along with the dirt, a lot of dead bugs.  Remember, if they have dried up, they are even harder to remove, but here is a great hint;

  1. Take 2 buckets, fill one with clean water, and the other with a dish-washing detergent/water combination.
  2. Use a soft-bristle brush with a long handle, and thoroughly soak the whole front end of the RV (and thus the bug bodies) with water, then let it sit for 10-minutes or so.  This will allow the bug bodies and dirt to soak up the water and soften.
  3. When you come back, wash the windshield and front of the RV with the dish-washing detergent and water combination, and then go away again for about 10-minutes, to let the bug bodies to soak up some of this cleanser.
  4. When you come back, get your ladder out, and using a rag, hand scrub the front of the RV starting at the top with your ECO-Friendly cleanse (like dish-washing detergent).
  5. When finished scrubbing, rinse the front with a fresh bucket of clean water, and then you should be rid of 98% of the bug bodies, and all of the dirt,
  6. And you will have your  shiny front on your RV.

The great thing is; you used less water, less caustic chemicals, and you had a couple of nice rest periods during the cleaning process.

By the way, as to that other 2% that you could not clean with the dish-washing detergent, well it is highly likely that those expensive, and often caustic cleansers that you did not use, would not remove the remaining bugs any better. These remaining bug bodies, etcetera, require individual attention with the application of good old elbow-grease. Sorry!

Preventive Medicine for Bugs:

Another hint for you, is to try to minimize the number of bugs that stick to your front end when you are traveling.

I have heard a lot of suggestions from my fellow RVers, and the best I have found for the body part of the front end, is to use BABY OIL.

Yes, thats right, Baby Oil!

Just before we pull out on a trip, we soak a couple of paper towels in Baby Oil, and thoroughly rub the front body parts down, including the headlight lens’.

Then when we get to our campsite, we just hose what is left along with most of the bugs off of the front end.  It only takes a little water, and what can be safer and more ECO-FRIENDLY than Baby Oil?

by Don Bobbitt, 2015
Copyright, Don Bobbitt, 2015, All Rights Reserved — You are free to use and enjoy this article, and hopefully share it with your friends. But, if you wish to use it commercially, then you must get the permission of the author, in writing.

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