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How Often Should You Wash Your RV Exterior?

maintaining an RV

Between water spots, bird droppings, tree debris, dirt and
dust, and much more, there’s a lot to consider when you wash your RV exterior.

Sure, washing your RV exterior regularly should take care of
most problems. But just how
regularly? After all, washing it once a year is “regularly,” and that probably
isn’t enough to keep it well protected.

The truth is, the answer to the question posed in the title
is “it depends.” Your RV is big, after all, and unless you want to wash it
every single week and spend all of that time and water, you’re going to want to
make the most efficient use of your time. So let’s take a look at some considerations for washing your RV exterior and what they mean:

Living Near the Ocean

Salt air is a very real thing, and it can potentially do
damage to the underside of your car or RV. So if you live near the shore,
you’ll want to be sure that you err on the side of washing your RV more
often—and making sure that the underside of your RV is washed as well.

Living in
Cold-Weather Climates

Salt isn’t limited to the ocean. Salt is, after all, a
common way of treating roads that are slick with snow in the winter months. That’s
good for the roads, of course, but it can do a number on the underside of your
RV if you spend a lot of time driving on said roads.

Bird Droppings

One of the most underrated threats to the quality of your
exterior is that of bird droppings. These bird droppings will eat away at your
paint, and if left unchecked, could eat away at the metal of your RV. You’ll
want to wash your RV as soon as you notice a lot of bird droppings piling
up…and in the future, you might want to think about finding a more “bird-free”
parking spot.


Getting away from the trees and into the city might not be
that great for your RV’s exterior, either. Pollution is a real problem if your
city struggles with it. Luckily, many of us live in relatively clean air, but
if pollution has been a problem for your city, it might also be a problem for
your car.

Okay, you’ve read all of the different elements that go into
determining how often you should wash your RV. What about an answer?

You’ll want to start with a baseline of about once per
month. Some people will skip that and do once a quarter (or every three
months), and if you live in a relatively clean and clear area, that might work.
But start at once a month and see if any adjustment needs to be done; if your
RV is clear of bird droppings, salt, and the like, you might be able to relax
and wash it less frequently.

The true answer, of course, is how often you
wash your RV does depend on where it is. If it’s in a garage somewhere, chances
are it’s not going to get very dirty. If it’s parked under a tree, chances are
it will. Start with once every month or even six weeks and re-evaluate after a
few months to see if you need to increase or decrease the frequency of

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