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Outdoor elements can take a huge toll on an RV roof!
In the long run, regular cleaning is a must to keep your roof in great shape for many years down the road!
After a few products and a couple hours– backed by a good amount of elbow grease– you’ll have a squint-worthy, sparkling roof, ready for the season!
Cleaning and Conditioning Your RV Roof
If using a pressure washer, be careful about how much pressure is applied to the RV roof and materials. High pressure washing can damage fiberglass and seals, crack plastic covers, and remove decals. Also, it’s important to refer to your RV manual for appropriate cleaning products and methods for your specific unit!
- Water Source
- Water Hose
- Extending Scrub Brush
- Roof Cleaner
- Roof Conditioner
- Roof Repair
Products & Supplies In Detail:
- Water Source Look for a nearby water spigot! Limited water? No worries, keep reading below!
- Water Hose or Low-Powered Pressure Washer Consider the Flexi Hose with an eight function nozzle that’s both lightweight and easy to maneuver. Also, pressure washers are amazing for cleaning! However, high PSI can damage RV materials and decals! If you do use one, use a fan-shaped stream, low pressure and be careful around AC units, fans, antennas, satellites, etc.!
- Bucket Whether filling up water or carefully transporting cleaning supplies up to the roof, a handy bucket, like here, is a must! Plus, collapsible anything is perfect for taking in the RV!
- Broom A simple, basic angled broom will do!
- Extending Scrub Brush An extendable, no-scratch, scrub-brush, like Eversprout’s or Camco’s Flow-Through Wash Brush, are great for getting this job done!
- Roof Cleaner Again, refer back to your owner’s manual for this one and remember, although a cleaner might work for the roof, it must work for the paint, and well, the ENTIRE rest of the unit! When in doubt and for rubber roofs, consider cleaners like Thetford’s Premium Rubber Roof Cleaner or Protect All Rubber Roof Cleaner. Both are specially formulated for RV rubber roofs that work to remove stains and grime, yet are gentle on roof materials and protect against UV rays. For Fiberglass roofs, consider Dicor Fiberglass Clean and Prep!
- Roof Conditioner Protecting your RV roof is helping protect your hard earned investment! (Keep in mind, protectants can make roofs extremely slippery– even months down the road! Be careful climbing up there!) Protect All Rubber Roof Treatment provides a barrier against damaging UV light and outdoor elements. Similarly, Star brite Ultimate Xtreme Protectant repels dirt and stains while protecting surfaces from fading and cracking.
- Roof Repair Be prepared for quick fixes! Flex Tape or Gorilla Tape work great for this and instantly seal cracks, keeping water and moisture out. For larger and more long-term jobs, EternaBond RoofSeal has always been popular with RVers and is a one-step roof repair offering UV stable backing to protect against damaging rays. Quick Roof Extreme Repair Tape is similar, permanently repairing EPDM, TPO, metal, fiberglass, vinyl, wood, OSB, PVC, and most other roof materials!
Cleaning and Conditioning Your RV Roof
What To Do
1.Climb your brave-self up that skinny, RV ladder! Or… Better yet, do some stretches and get ready to hand up supplies to someone else nominated for roof duty! Now, again, be careful. It’s high up there and things are slippery!
2.Sweep and brush off debris, leaves, and surface dirt.
Again, any basic angled broom will do! The angled bristles work well removing dirt, leaves, and debris around AC units, vents, fans, and in the cracks of the awning.
3.While sweeping, look for any concerning areas, such as: cracks, broken seals, gouges, or scuffs.
If anything is in need of prompt repair, do so before taking a hose to it! Keep in mind, however, you should spot clean the area, removing the dirt and grime. This preps the material so that repair tapes can properly adhere. Either Flex Tape or Gorilla Tape would work great for quick patch work– instantly sealing cracks and keeping water and moisture out for the time being!
4.Rinse off the roof to loosen dirt and grime. (Remember, you’re washing the roof, but really, anything on the roof is going to flow down the sides of the RV. So, ultimately, we’ll be giving the whole unit a good rinse down! (This will help avoid dirty streaks down the sides of the rig!)
5.Scrub ‘er down with your preferred cleaner!
Again, it’s extremely important to check your unit specific’s owner’s manual for proper guidelines and products!
While some RV owners skip the pricey products and use dish soap, our RV manual strictly instructs us against doing so– as it can cause damage to the finish on the coach. Instead, many mild car wash shampoos are safe for your RV roof and clear coat finishes!
For rubber roofs, consider cleaners like Thetford’s Premium Rubber Roof Cleaner or Protect All Rubber Roof Cleaner. Both are specially formulated for RV rubber roofs that work to remove stains and grime, yet are gentle on roof materials and protect against UV rays. For Fiberglass roofs, consider Dicor Fiberglass Clean and Prep!
Keep in mind, you may find that working in sections or scrubbing half, rinsing, then doing the other half works better. Doing it this way can help prevent the cleaner from drying on the spots scrubbed last!
6.Rinse the roof off and make sure to also hose down the sides to prevent streaks!
7.Last but not least, now is a great time to apply a roof treatment. After all, protecting your RV roof is helping protect your hard earned investment!
For example, Protect All Rubber Roof Treatment provides a barrier against damaging UV light and outdoor elements. Similarly, Star brite Ultimate Xtreme Protectant repels dirt and stains while protecting surfaces from fading and cracking.
Keep in mind, protectants can make roofs extremely slippery– even months down the road! Be careful!
Water Usage an Issue?
Many times, campgrounds or storage lots restrict water usage or even prohibit campers from on-site washing due to excessive water usage.
For this, Protect All Rubber Roof Cleaner removes built-up dirt using minimal water plus without needing to be rinsed!
Ultimately, while nothing compares to a good scrub, wash, and rinse with unlimited water, this would be ideal for on-site cleaning or roof upkeep during the season where campgrounds may restrict washing units on the premises.
Cleaning and Conditioning Your RV Roof
I’m sure as an RVer you’ve heard about the latest obsession with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers…
And, seriously, these things work wonders!
What’s not so wonderful? THE PRICE TAG ON THESE LITTLE SUCKERS! (Plus, the way RVers go through these things, can add a wallop to the vacation jar!) However, I’ve found a few alternatives that work great!
Want in on a little secret?
It’s the melamine resin material that gives these guys their super-cleaning ability, even without cleaners! Name brand or not, melamine foam is the main component, being highly abrasive.
It’s the melamine resin material that gives these guys their super-cleaning ability!
In fact, it may be hard to feel (please, don’t scrub these on your skin) but the sponge material is like extremely fine sandpaper–literally, micro-sanding unclean surfaces and scraping away scuffs with NO SOAP or CLEANER required! RVers love these things! From awnings, roofs, exterior scuffs, and more– “magic” erasers work wonders!
Keep in mind, any “magic eraser” sponge uses ABRASION. With that in mind, it can scratch certain surfaces and finishes! Therefore, only use these on appropriate materials!
- Use caution when climbing up and walking on the RV roof! Cleaning products can be very slippery, especially certain roof conditioners months after application!
- If you do use a power washer, use LOW pressure and be cautious around seals, vents, and AC units.
- Follow manufacturer guidelines for unit specific products and cleaning methods.
- Try to plan a thorough roof cleaning at the beginning of the season. I’m talking about a good wash and scrub! Then, work to maintain the roof throughout the season with products like Protect All Rubber Roof Cleaner— that doesn’t require much water at the campground!
- Keep your eyes peeled for cracks, broken seals, or roof damage! Repair ASAP if needed!
- Treat your RV roof! Keep your hard earned investment in tip-top shape for many years to come!
RVING IS BEING clean, for the camping scene!
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