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10 Deep Cleaning Tips For RVers

This post was updated on May 11th, 2024

The Best RV Deep Cleaning Tips And Tricks

Spring is just around the corner, and that means a new season of RVing is almost upon us! To get ready for the upcoming travel season, there are a few things you might want to do to get your vehicle ready. Although you probably do some general maintenance to keep the space livable, sometimes deep cleaning is necessary.

If you want to get your RV sparkling clean and ready for adventure, you can’t overlook anything. The walls, ceilings, floors, cabinets, kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms all need some help. And that’s not even counting the exterior upkeep and regular maintenance. Deep cleaning takes a lot of work, but it will get you and your RV ready for a great camping season.

Below we have 10 things you should do if you want to deep clean your RV. It’s easy to forget about the small things, but try to clean each part of your vehicle so you can start off the camping season with a clean slate. Each RV is a bit different, but almost all of them can benefit from the following cleaning practices. 

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1. Wash and wax the RV exterior

Before we move to the interior, it’s important to make sure the outside of your RV is spick and span. Washing your RV is probably already a standard practice, but when you’re deep cleaning it’s a good idea to apply a nice layer of wax too. Proper wax can protect the RV from sun damage and mildew growth, plus it will help prevent delamination. 

As long as you’re giving the RV a nice wash, don’t forget about the undercarriage. This area is often overlooked, and it’s easy to forget about because it’s usually out of sight. But if things start to rust and break beneath your RV, it can cause major problems. So, invest some extra time and effort in your deep cleaning washing process. This is also a good time to check for any cracks, chips, or rust spots. 

2. Clean all windows, inside and out

If you’re not paying attention, your windows can become filthy before you even know it. If you want to fully enjoy the natural lighting from outside, you need to clean windows. However, they can become dirty from both sides, so it’s important to wash the interior and exterior of all your windows. 

While you’re at it, don’t forget about the screens. Even if these don’t look dirty, they can attract lots of dirt and dust. Remove each screen and give it a nice thorough rinse. Plus, you’ll want to clear out any dead bugs and grime that may have built up around the window panes. 

3. Unclog the vents

Every RV has a few vents. These are essential for regulating your temperature and humidity, as well as expelling smoke and steam. They’re usually small and easy to overlook, but they deserve a good cleaning every now and again. Dust can build up quickly in vents, and it’s a constant battle to keep them clear. 

Remove the exterior screens and rinse/wipe them down. Replace any necessary filters, and vacuum up dust bunnies that might be clogging the vents. 

4. Steam clean the carpets

RV carpets are usually pretty low-maintenance, but they can absorb a lot of dirt and hair over time. Part of your deep cleaning process should always include a nice carpet cleaning. Begin with a simple once-over with the vacuum so you can pick up the major debris. 

Next, remove all the furniture that you can and pull out the steam cleaner. If you don’t have your own model, it’s easy to rent one or hire someone to clean the carpets for you. Steam cleaning removes all the deep-set stains and dirt, plus it refreshes the natural color of your carpet. You probably won’t even realize how dirty everything was until you’re done!

5. Completely empty all the cabinets

Even if you store your RV for the winter, it’s likely that you leave at least some things in the cabinets all year long. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but if you’re deep cleaning, you need to get into all the nooks and crannies you can. It’s also a good opportunity to look at your inventory and replace/get rid of anything you don’t need. 

Completely empty out all of your cabinets and storage compartments and wipe them down. This is especially important in the kitchen because food crumbs and stains can attract pests. Make sure you don’t leave any remnants that will tempt them. 

6. Clean your appliances

Speaking of the kitchen, remember to thoroughly clean your appliances from time to time. Even if they still work fine, crud can sometimes build up.

In order to get the best performance out of them, give everything a nice wipe down and check for any areas that are stained or dirty. For instance, you should take a close look at your microwave, oven, toaster, kettle, coffee maker, refrigerator, and even your garbage can!

7. Wash RV textiles

Chances are, there are a lot of fabric items within your RV that don’t get washed very often. Bedding, towels, and clothes are probably cleaned on a regular basis, but what about your curtains, rugs, and furniture covers? These can sometimes fade into the background, but they can get dirty and dusty too. 

Clean or wash these fabrics however you see fit. If you have pets, it’s usually a good idea to run a lint roller over these textiles before you wash them. Additionally, some rugs need to be beaten out, but you can also use a vacuum cleaner or throw them in the washing machine. Get rid of as much debris as possible before you wash these items. 

8. Don’t forget the light fixtures

When you’re doing your deep cleaning you can’t ignore the light fixtures. A lot of RVs have recessed lighting, so it’s easy to forget about it. But dust builds up around these items, and it might start clouding up your source of illumination. 

Wipe everything down with a damp rag, and/or use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suck up the worst of the dust. This is also a good time to replace light bulbs and check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Maintenance is always important!

9. Clean out the water tanks

Once again, draining and refilling your water tanks is a common part of RV life, but you probably only occasionally deep clean these areas. If you don’t properly maintain your water tanks (especially your black water tank) you might have a nasty plumbing issue on your hands in the future. 

To avoid this problem, empty, clean, and sanitize your tanks every now and then. You can use a spray wand to remove any solid buildup, and may want to use small amounts of bleach to clean out your tanks and water lines. When you’re finished, thoroughly flush out the bleach and contaminated water before refilling everything. Then you can add an enzyme cleaner to the black tank to speed up the process of waste breakdown. 

10. Make sure the awning is in good condition

Almost every RV has an extendable awning. When these are out in the open, they can become covered in sap, pollen, bird poop, dirt, and anything else that the outdoors has to throw at them. Because the top portion is the part that gets dirty, you might not notice the problem at first. That’s why it’s a good idea to add the awning to your list of deep cleaning to-dos. 

Extend the awning or remove it if you can’t reach the top. Use a gentle cleaner and a stiff brush to scrub away any stains or buildup. You may need to apply a waterproof coating at the end, especially if it’s a vinyl awning. Let it dry completely, then roll it up and store it again.

Get your RV ready for spring

Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.

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