These Are Your Must Have Caravan Wash Products for 2021

Caravan on the Road

Caravan on the road

Keeping your trusty caravan clean and shiny can be a challenge when it’s often on the road, taking you on your solo or group adventures. Add to this the fact that no one -- practically NO
ONE in the history of ever -- have said they look forward to scrubbing surfaces and getting things organised on their caravan journey.

This is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to present some industry leading and much raved about caravan cleaning products today, specifically must-have products for every dirt-related concern.
These and some nifty tools will leave your RV or motorhome sparkling clean without any need for tough buffing or too much time investment.

But first, let’s talk about grease, light scratches and everything in between when you’re on your caravan trip.

Key Differences When Cleaning Your Caravan Vs Car

Parked motorhome

Parked motorhome

The first place you need to start with is knowing the differences between the two, and what their cleaning do’s and don’ts are.

A car usually has four layers of paint covering the metal surfaces of the bodywork. These layers include two primer layers along with another two coats for colour and clear coated paint areas.
Typically, these vehicles are made from steel panels, therefore needing multiple layers of protection of rusting or corrosion issues.

In contrast, caravan bodywork is usually made from aluminium added with a thin layer of paint on top of it. This is a key point to know: if you use abrasive cleaners suitable for use on car
paintwork, it can damage your caravan’s paintwork, which is too much good paint going to waste. Thus it makes perfect sense to use cleaners as well as polishes that are designed for caravans.

How to Clean Your Caravan and Not Spoil the Good Paint Underneath

Now it's time to dive deep into the do’s and don’ts of caravan cleaning, especially if you’re particularly new to the endeavour and are looking for some guidance and help from your more experienced mates.

Should You Use a Pressure Washer?

It’s not uncommon to find professional caravan cleaning services using a pressure washer to get the job done. This, however, might be ill-guided. 

One of the first rules is to proceed with caution. Think twice about cleaning the caravan with a hose or spraying water directly at one of the fridge vents or chimneys. Here’s why: Doing so could get water inside of the fridge unit or gas heater, causing a barrage of problems. 

You may perhaps think, “I’m responsible enough to use a hose” Sure, point well taken. But take note that a pressure washer should never be used to clean your van, mainly because of the seals. While caravans are built efficiently using woodless construction, adhesive sealants are still used across the process. Pressurised water puts these sealants under blunt force, unless it’s a low- water pressure unit you’re considering.

This way you won’t wonder at the end of a night out of your off-grid adventure: Did I damage a seal while washing my caravan today?”

How About Clay Bar?

What's a clay bar after all, you might wonder.

It's deemed useful for removing stubborn grime as well as things like dead bugs, sap and bird droppings off your caravan's duco. It's simple to use, namely:

  1. Pull off a piece and flatten.
  2. Wipe the section you want to clean using soapy water. This will lubricate it.
  3. Rub the clay backwards and forwards over the surface to remove stubborn contaminants.

Where Should You Start the Deep or Quick Rinse? 

EcoTraveller Foaming Gun

EcoTraveller Foaming Gun 

Great question. It's best to start with a pre rinse foaming solution to remove bugs, excess dirt and dust. This will avoid causing micro-scratches in the paint work. Using a low pressure foaming gun is very satisfying.

We suggest starting with the caravan roof, as it usually incurs the most dirt on the surface and addressing that last means you will wash down the already clean sides of your caravan. 

If you find cleaning this portion super taxing, then you don’t have to do it every time. Just clean the roof before packing up the vehicle for the winter and at the beginning of camping or caravanning season. This will make your caravan “green-free”, as algae and biofilm likely collect on the surface during storage. 

Once you’re done washing your caravan, make sure to dry it off with a soft towel or microfibre cloth and leave it out in the sun to fully dry before storing it under a cover. 

Should You Always Do It Yourself?

There’s value to getting help when you need it. Apart from your regular use of cleaning products and techniques, explore annual wash services. These may be part, whether paid or free, of services around caravan repairs, storage and overall servicing. 

You will thank yourself for the annual scrub, specifically if you’re not too fond of the regular wash and think you’re doing a less than optimal job every time.

Caravan Polish and Cleaning Products to Consider 

If you’ve come this far in this article, you may already have an idea on the basics: Use a quality household detergent or soapy water to wash the caravan's exterior, avoid high-pressure water hoses and start with the roof first before going to the sides. Afterwards, wipe the surface clean using a dry towel or microfiber cloth to prevent water spots. 

Knowing these steps is getting half the job done. The other half involves finding appropriate products and tools to complete the wash. Here are some featured cleaning products that are making waves in the market today for specialising in this goal. Take note that we are featuring two products each from two manufacturers, mainly because they cover different aspects of the washing. 


EcoTraveller Glass and Solar

 EcoTraveller Glass and Solar

EcoTraveller Glass and Solar 

What it is

A wash product specifically designed for glass and solar surfaces on caravans, RVs, boats and motorhomes. It’s said to be designed with safety in mind for effectively cleaning windows, glass surfaces as well as photovoltaic solar cells. 

Glass and Solar offers a newly developed nano-additive for hard surface cleaners, forming a protective layer to repel scale and soil. It’s positioned as a spray and leave solution for glass and solar panels. 

Why try it

Residues and contaminants building up on solar cells, including mould, smog and droppings, can significantly reduce the photovoltaic efficiencies of solar cells by up to 15% to 25%. 

In addition, EcoTraveller, which claims all its products are Australian made, says that Glass and Solar is made with the environment in mind, using only biodegradable formulations and no phosphates, chlorine, ammonia or toxic chemicals. For added love for the planet, they also use reusable and refillable spray bottles. 


EcoTraveller Foam Rinse

EcoTraveller Foam Rinse

EcoTraveller Foam Rinse

What it is

Touchless pre-wash rinse designed to get rid of bugs, small particles and salt residue that can lead to nasty micro scratches and swirl marks to your precious paintwork and gel coat. Key to the foam rinse is a pH neutral formula that ensures no lasting damage usually caused by high-acidity cleaners causing dull finish to the RV.

Why try it

It has a biodegradable formula that means you're helping the oceans, waterways or even your lawn. By using the foaming applicator with adjustable nozzle, you get a perfect foam every time.


EcoTraveller Outback 2 Ocean Wash

EcoTraveller Outback 2 Ocean Wash

EcoTraveller Outback 2 Ocean Wash

What it is

A cleaner specially formulated to attack the harsh conditions of highway travel head on, from bugs and insets to tar and road grime. The new-gen formula is more effective than a truck wash and ensures a streak-free finish and no harm on paint, aluminium, chrome finish or powder coated vans. This is also perfect for brand new vans or your camper trailer.

Why try it

Like the Foam Rinse, its biodegradable formula means you're not hurting the oceans. Using an extendable microfibre pole compliments this cleaning product and certainly makes reaching the highest points ma breeze. 

 


EcoTraveller Vinyl Protect

EcoTraveller Vinyl Protect

EcoTraveller Vinyl Protect

What it is

This solution provides long-lasting protection against weathering and sunlight, restoring all types of vinyl, upholstery, rubber surfaces, door trims, vinyl roofs and dashboards. 

Why try it

Dull vinyl surfaces inside your caravan, which can be large surface areas, deserve some rapid curing shine. We like that EcoTraveller’s formula is also non-silicon. Again, the manufacturer claims the product contains no poisons, known allergens, corrosives, phosphates, ammonia or chlorine. 


EcoTraveller 4-in-1

EcoTraveller 4-in-1

EcoTraveller 4-in-1

What it is

A multipurpose probiotic solution for caravan bathroom needs, from the flush rinse to the tank cleaner to your toilet bowl. It also works amazing as a cleaning solution for removing mould from your caravan awning.

Why try it

It's a pro-strength yet eco-friendly awning cleaner that helps promote dry, smart storage. Hose off excess dirt from your awning then solve stubborn marks with our 4in1 cleaner, applying with the trigger bottle provided.

Extendable Microfibre Wash Mop

Extendable Microfibre Wash Mop

Bonus: You'll benefit greatly from the company of a microfiber wash mop in your cleaning adventure. Try an extendable one that's lightweight and can either be double extendable or collapsible for storage. The material is machine washable, too. It comes in handy for washing your caravan, 4WD and boat.


Help: There's Polish Residue and Other Unwanted Things

Polish, wax, glazes along with even quick detailers can contain oils. Some of these oils dry up with a slight, unattractive white haze.

More than being unsightly, polish residue can cause surface damage when rubbed over paintwork. So here are some tips to tackle dried-up polish.

Dried up polish can be very unattractive. It is also a hardened substance that can cause surface damage when rubbed over the paintwork. Although the detailer should have removed this, it can be encountered on some jobs. Dried up wax residue can generally be approached in the same way.

  1. Soak while washing. Relatively new polish residue can be soft enough to be washed off. As polish contains oils, it is recommended to follow up with a relevant product to remove the oily residue.
  2. Scrape it off. For older dried-up polish, use a plastic razor to gently remove big parts of the residue. Take note that while the plastic razor won’t be a problem, the polish particles can still be abrasive while rubbing around. This method could work on older bits or dried up polish.
  3. Wipe it off. When soft enough, residue can be wiped off using a reliable microfibre wash mitt or soft microfibre cloth. A microfibre drying towel is also highly absorbent and offers a gleaming, streak-free finish with no scratches.

Microfibre wash mitts can save your knuckles when washing a car or van

Microfibre wash mitts can save your knuckles when washing a car or van

Final Notes on Safe, Efficient Caravan Cleaning

It’s important not to cut corners or take unwise risks when washing your caravan, whether involving clay bar, vinyl cleaners or simple paraphernalia against bird droppings. Use the appropriate tools, such as a safety ladder, good quality wax or brush on a pole, and elbow grease. Get proper support when getting up high. 

If you already clean your car with utmost care (which we’re sure you do), then wash and clean your caravan with double the level of care. This is because the paint surface on cars compared to caravans is much more durable, and you wouldn’t want to make the rookie mistake of going hard and fast. 

Keep posted because we’ve got more choice picks and top tips for cleaning your caravan!