TOYHAULER MAGAZINE JUNE/JULY 2005
A couple of times every year you're faced with the somewhat
daunting task of washing your toyhauler.
Looking for some advice from the pros on the best way to
do this, we contacted Jim Mengos of RVPowerPowder. Jim
is not only the distributor of this RV soap, but he also owns
a RV detail business that he currently operates in Southern
California. Since he deals with all the high-end coaches on a
daily basis we thought who better to give you some tips on
the best way to clean your rig.
By JIM MENGOS
REMEMBER. Washing a RV can be very dangerous. Conditions
will be very slippery. Use proper care and wear proper
shoes whenever climbing onto the roof of a RV.
RV's are different animals compared to cars and trucks.
Fiberglass, gelcoat, baked aluminum siding, rubber roofs,
plastic vents and rubber insert moldings, oxidation and black
streaks and mildew all present diff rent cleaning challenges.
In the last 15 years numerous products have hit the market
each related to these individual cleaning tasks. One to clean
your roof another to wash the siding, something to remove
oxidation and yet another to remove black streaks and lets
not forget bug splatter. If you followed this course you may
walk out of your local dealer with a half a dozen products!
I'm simply here to tell you I use one product in my service,
RvPowerPowder to solve all these cleaning chores for my RV
Most owners know how to mix up some soap and scrub
their vehicles no matter what class of RV; toyhauler, fifth
wheel, travel trailer, Class A,B, or C motorhome. Though it
may not be practical for you to acquire all the equipment
that I use in my commercial service I
will attempt to explain certain washing
techniques. RvPowerPowder is a powdered
formula. You make it yourself.
Mix it as strong or mild as you need
in proportion to bucket size & amount
of water. I suggest an initial washing
at full strength (1 cup per 5 gallons of
water) mix with a hose till the solution
turns white. Depending on your washing
frequency you will discover just
how much solution you will need for
removing oxidation, black streaks and bug splatter. I suggest
washing exteriors at least every 3 months and experiment
with milder strengths. Tools/supplies: feathered 10" brush,
white tampico hand brush, 6ft. or 4ft.-8ft. telescoping pole, 5 gallon
bucket, 75ft. hose with on/off water nozzle, rubber gloves,
synthetic chamois, and RVPP soap.
Put the RVPP in the bucket and climb to the roof. Do not
attempt to fill the bucket with water at ground zero and carry
it up a ladder. Hoist up your pole brush, hand brush and hose
and simply rinse the entire roof of loose dirt then proceed
to fill your bucket with water to make your solution. Brush
the roof as if you were washing a kitchen floor. Use the hand
brush for tight areas. NOTE: it may not be always necessary
to scrub your roof each and every time but at the very least
rinse it down thoroughly each and every time you wash. Tip:
Depending on your RV vehicle (trailer, Class A or B) you may
or may not have a built on ladder. I suggest if possible to
have one installed. Its extremely difficult to work standing
on a ladder or even leaning one up against the side. There
is a tendency for the ladder to fall to the side scratching and
damaging the vehicle. Built on ladders will allow easier access
for you to service vents, antennas, air conditioners etc.
BLACK STREAK REVIEW
They simply appear when dust and dirt rolls off your roof
and down the sides caused from morning moisture (dew) or
rain. They dry and form the notorious black streaks. Best tip
for any RV is to install aftermarket rain gutters if they didn't
come standard. Check with your local dealer you may be able
to purchase them and install them yourself. Certain awnings
act as rain gutters so only purchase lengths of gutter to fill
the voids at your roof line. Tip: Make your own blackstreak
remover in a spray bottle for small spot hand cleaning.
SIDE WASHING (4 sides of your vehicle)
Choose a side, any side. First rinse thoroughly with nozzled
hose. Using a soft bristle brush (a mitt for painted/ clear
coat surfaces) literally paint the soap on the sides in 6-8 foot
sections (depending on the length of your vehicle) working
from the bottom to the top overlapping your strokes from
(44 June/July 2005 www.toyhaulermagazine.com )
RV POWER POWDER (Continued)
left to right and vice versa. On a high profile Class A or C
switch to the soft bristle brush on a telescoping pole to reach
higher areas and brush vertically overlapping your strokes.
Now that the soap has been applied with light agitation
return and repeat previous steps concentrating with more
brush pressure and vigor on heavily oxidized & black streak
areas. Rinse thoroughly with nozzled hose pressure starting
from the top to the bottom. Note: if you have stubborn black
streaks that were not removed in this process you:
1) aren't washing enough
2) allowed the sun to bake these deep into the finish. Try
rubbing compound (not on painted clear coat), a buffer or
separate black streak remover solution sold at RV dealers.
Spot brushing is when you determine that the entire rig does
need a full brushdown. Front bug splatter and dirt film 2ft-3ft
from the ground up on your sides may be efficient. Don't
make it so difficult and time consuming when its not warranted.
Heavy bug splatter on the front of
the vehicle may be the most time consuming
task of washing. The process is
identical to washing sides except you
must apply the soap formula more
liberally and allow more time for it to
penetrate and soften the bug splatter.
I often brush on two applications of
soap and while giving the soap time
to penetrate, continue to wash front
wheels or dry some windows from
previous side, etc. Return, apply more
soap and brush the bugs off until you
don't see them. Proceed to rinse from
the top down. Dry windshield immediately
to prevent water spots. These
crusty little bugs are not going away
without completely softening & penetrating
with the soap formula. If you
provide enough soap and brushing
techniques even the stains they leave
behind will come clean. I have yet to
find a soap other than RVPP solution
that softens and penetrates faster.
They've become very popular and made available
through home centers and TV infomercials. Most are for homeowner
use and not continuous or commercial use. Simply
stated not meant to run 8 hours a day 5 days a week. How
to you choose and more important how do you use one? I
first suggest searching your yellow pages for a local dealer
in your area that not only sells but services pressure washers.
If you purchase from one of the above and the machine
malfunctions you may find yourself calling a 800# and listening
to a technician read a list of trouble shooting problems.
That may not always fix your machine so find a real shop in
your area first. Select a machine that delivers about 1200-
1500PSI, anything else will be overkill for washing any RV. If
your machine does not come with a pressure gauge have one
installed. Anything less than 50ft of hose will be frustrating.
Electric power motors will be more economical and practical
than gas. Use a 25 degree nozzle.
Most will come with a chemical reservoir and injector
to spray soap, wax, etc. through the hose but it will be very
diluted when applied.
(46 June/July 2005 www.toyhaulermagazine.com)
RV POWER POWDER (Continued)
(www.toyhaulermagazine.com June/July 2005 49)
There is nothing you can just spray
on and rinse off for the washing cycle
your undertaking. You must agitate the
surface with a brush to remove, blackstreak,
oxidation, bugs etc. Primarily use
your pressure washer for rinsing with
methodical vertical and horizontal overlapping
strokes. Work 12"-24" away from
the surface. Avoid working any closer
especially near, stripes, decals etc. You
will experience faster and more efficient
rinsing for all areas including awning
crevices, under carriages, wheel wells,
side moldings and conserve water at the
same time. Feel free to experiment with
spray wax with your chemical injector.
Personally, I find this more applicable for
car and truck bodies and short lived and
superficial on an RV surface. Tip: Read
the manual accompanying your machine
RVPP should have removed oxidation,
black streaks etc. Apply certain
products yourself to get the wet look if
you so desire. For gelcoat fiberglass surfaces
I prefer 303 Aerospace Protectant
an easier alternative to buffing & waxing.
You can apply it yourself in short order
and use it on tires also. Painted/clear
coated finishes: if you feel the need to
rub something all over your vehicle, I
suggest a longer lasting formula Turtle
Wax F21. Tip: 99% of my customers are
satisfied with a thoroughly clean vehicle
and rarely apply these products or pay
hundreds of dollars to detailers.
RV Power Powder is available nationally
for $19.95 through CAMPING WORLD
you can reach them at 1-800-626-5944.
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