Monday August 12, 2019
There's nothing that says 'summer holidays' quite like a motorhome gleaming in the sun. Keeping your motorhome in pristine condition will not only win you admiring looks as you hit the roads, it will also protect your investment by stopping it developing mould or damp.
If you and your motorhome have been on some muddy adventures together, you could have quite a task on your hands. Read on for our guide to sprucing up your motorhome!
Pick a dull, wind-free day for your cleaning endeavours, otherwise your motorhome may dry too quickly and look streaky.
First, assemble all your equipment. Check your handbook to see if your motorhome manufacturer advises against any cleaning products or techniques.
You’ll need cleaning tools like:
• A hosepipe or buckets of water
• Cloths for cleaning, polishing, waxing and buffing
There are all sorts of specialist cleaners and shampoos on the market. Don't use washing-up liquid as it can be corrosive and remove the layer of wax, which protects your motorhome’s paintwork from the sun. You might also need window cleaner, wheel and tyre cleaner, camper van polish and wax.
Next, park your van where you can easily walk all around it. If you have a sloping drive, make sure the front is lower than the rear to allow the water to run off.
Hosing down your motorhome
Start by cleaning off the loose dirt by simply spraying thoroughly with a hose or throwing buckets of water over the van.
Start at the roof, as this is where the worst of the dirt, moss, leaves and bird droppings will collect. Use a stepladder, but don't walk on the roof without checking it is safe to do so in the manual – it may not be designed to take your weight, and will get slippery.
If you use a pressure washer, take care the water doesn't seep in through window seals or damage areas such as the TV antenna.
Cleaning your campervan
Spray your cleaning product onto a section of the roof. Rub it in with a sponge or soft-bristle brush, but don't allow it to dry. Then wash off with clean water.
If you have any black streaks on your minivan body from snow or other harsh weather, you can buy specialist removers.
Then move onto the next section, and repeat.
Once you've cleaned your roof, give it a final rinse with hot water to remove the dirt you've lifted.
Repeat your cleaning process around the body of your motorhome. Remember to start at the top and work your way down; otherwise you could wash dirt onto newly cleaned areas.
Once finished, you can either let it dry naturally or use a microfibre cloth or chamois to get rid of any streaks.
It's a tough and time-consuming job – but well worth it when you consider you're protecting your investment.
Another way to protect it is with good motorhome insurance, but we’ll come onto that later!
Polishing and waxing your motorhome
Is your motorhome’s paintwork looking a little dull? This is caused by paint oxidising in the sunshine, and is called a 'bloom'.
A good polish once a year will keep your van sparkling.
Pour a little polish onto an applicator or cloth and apply in overlapping circles. Leave for 15-20 minutes, or according to the manufacturer's recommendations, then buff off with a finishing cloth.
To keep your van looking pristine, finish your cleaning routine with a layer of wax, which protects it from sun damage. Again, apply a thin layer in circles and leave it for 30 minutes or so before buffing.
You're now almost ready for your next trip away. Have you got your motorhome insurance?
Wheels and windows
Your wheels will have picked up a fair bit of grime on your travels. You can buy dual-action products that clean both the tyres and the wheels. Hard-to-remove dirt can be scrubbed away with a non-scratch brush and a toothbrush comes in handy for those hard-to-reach areas.
It’s important to keep your windscreen clean and bug-free. Windscreens can also get smeary from sap if you park under trees when you’re out and about. A good spray with a window cleaner, a quick polish with a clean cloth, and your windows will be sparkling in no time.
The tricky bits!
- Each van has its own design quirks or weak spots when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.
- Seals around solar panels and antenna can easily get damaged and let in water.
- Many vans, such as VWs, have extendable or pop-top roofs. These are susceptible to mould and mildew growth if closed while still wet, which can not only damage the canvas, but also cause health problems for occupants.
- To clean such roofs, you need to raise them, brush off any dirt from the canvas, apply mould remover if necessary, and make sure they're totally dry before you lower them again.
- It's a good idea to spray on a waterproof coating once a year to prolong the life of the roof canvas; you can buy specially designed products from camping supply stores.
- That way, you'll be exploring the world in your camper van for years to come. Just remember to protect your investment with good motorhome insurance!
Cleaning inside your van
When it comes to cleaning inside your motorhome, start by wiping down surfaces with an anti-bacterial spray and vacuum any carpets and upholstery. Dust down shelves and wipe down cupboards. Clean the bathroom, fridge and sink.
You can buy multi-purpose sprays that work on both the inside and outside so you don’t have to keep switching products.
While you're working, open all the doors and windows to get air flowing around your van.
After you've cleaned, you should make sure everything is thoroughly dry before you lock up again. Otherwise, your van's interior could develop damaging damp, condensation and mould.
Finished? Congratulations! You're ready to hit the road but only if you have your motorhome insurance in place.
Insuring your motorhome
Now your van is looking as good as new, you'll want to protect it with motorhome insurance.
Lancaster can compare quotes from a range of insurance providers, so you can choose the right one to protect your motorhome and its contents wherever you travel within the EU.
So you're ready to take off at a moment's notice in your fresh-as-daisy motorhome. Safe travels!