Rv Rubber Roof Q& A: Clean And Protect Epdm
One of the greatest things to happen to RVs was the introduction of the EPDM rubber roof. Leak-proof and UV-resistant, this long-lasting synthetic rubber compound can stand up to all kinds of weather, wear and tear. Most RV industry experts consider EPDM rubber roofing membrane the most dependable, cost-effective and easy to maintain roofing material there is.
Properly cleaning, repairing and maintaining any EPDM roof systemwhether on your mobile home or RVrequires a little know-how and the right materials. To help, weve compiled a list of our recommendations to some common questions:
How To Wash Rv Curtains
One method to cleaning your RVs curtain sis to hand wash them in cool to lukewarm water. Use a gentle cleaner and then hang dry when the washing is done. Another method is to wash them in cool water using Woolite as the cleaner. Be gentle though and use a lower wash setting.
A third way to wash your RV curtains is to hang them outside, then saturate them with Spray n Wash. Then use a nail brush to get the heavier stained areas. After that, just rinse them off with water from a garden hose.
Can Dawn Dish Soap Remove Tree Sap
Most of the time you want to have your rig in the shade when you camp. However, tree sap is a tough trade off to keep your RV out of the hot sun and ease the work of your air conditioner to help cool down your RV in the summer. Dawn dish soap can be used to remove tree sap. The grease-cutting properties will help dissolve the sap.
Rubbing alcohol can also be used to spot clean your metal trailer. Use a rag moistened with alcohol and rub the sap. If it does not come off, lay the moistened rag on the spot to let the alcohol soak in. Be sure and wash it off with soap and water once the sap is removed.
Other products that can remove tree sap include turpentine, Clorox Clean-Up spray, peanut butter, and Formula 409.
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Risk Of Using A Pressure Washer
The difference between using a pressure washer and handwashing your RV is mainly the amount of physical labor you end up using to scrub all the dirt off the roof.
A pressure washer can usually get everything off without having to scrub much, but it comes with too many risks for most people to be okay with.
Handwashing takes a bit longer but usually does not cause near the problems that pressure washing can.
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What To Use To Clean The Top Of A Rubber Roof Travel Trailer
Knowing that water damage coming through your roof can cause an excessive amount of damage and cost a fortune to fix, its important to keep your RVs roof in good shape. And this means cleaning debris, sap, mildew, and mold off of it a few times a year. In really hot climates, maybe a bit more frequent that that.
So whats safe to clean the top of a rubber roof travel trailer?
Vinegar. Not 100%, but a mixture of about 1. cup vinegar and 1. gallon of water. Works great for my roof and rinses off easy without worrying about it fading the colors or damaging the decals and graphics.
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What Is The Best Soap To Wash An Rv
Mild soap and water are a great, and inexpensive, way to get your RV clean. Some recommended RV cleaners include Simple Green, Star Brite, Gel Gloss, Reliable 1, and many more which can work wonders on your rig. Be sure and read the directions carefully and use the appropriate cleaner for your fiberglass or aluminum RV.
Store bought solutions such as Valterras RV Awning Cleaning, can help to remove dirt, mold, mildew, and tree sap and can condition the fabric of your awning. Be sure to find a cleaner that is made specifically for awning fabric. Avoid solutions that are oil-based, caustic, or abrasive. Homemade cleaning solutions include Dawn dish soap, bleach, and water. Some manufacturers recommend bleach and some do not. Check with your manufacturer before proceeding with a bleach solution. Removing all the cleaning solution is vital to keeping your awning from being damaged in the process.
How Do You Take Care Of A Fiberglass Rv
Protect your Fiberglass RV from irreparable damage by washing it once a month to prevent buildup. Choose a cleaner with a wax additive to help with a clean finish and makes dirt harder to settle. It is prudent to have your RV waxed, with liquid or paste wax, at least once a year to maintain the gloss.
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Why You Should Never Pressure Wash Your Rv
You should never pressure wash or power wash your RV because of the high-pressure of the water will damage your RVs exterior surfaces and components. As well, pressure washing injects water into crevices that may seep into your RVs interior.
Most importantly though, if not used correctly, a pressure wash tool can also cause personal injury.
So, those three reasons is why I absolutely cringe when I see RV owners or RV detailing services using pressure washers to clean the exteriors of motorhomes and campers.
The several-hundred-hertz fluctuation from near-zero pressure to even 1500 PSI or more can damage anything in the pressure nozzles aim.
If you do hire an RV detailing service, make darn sure they are qualified to pressure wash your RV and know what theyre doing. A simple oversight or mistake can result in hundreds to even thousands of dollars in damage.
And guess who will be on the hook for that damage? Yep, you guessed it. You!
So, lets take a good hard look at why you should never pressure wash your RV.
To Pressure Wash Or Not Pressure Wash
All RV owners are faced with continuing maintenance once an RV is purchased. A clean RV looks great. More importantly, a clean RV has a longer functional life and a higher resale value. There are many ways to clean your RV, but whether you are a DIYer or hire out, the question of pressure washing is bound to arise.
Before we continue, those of us at RVROOF.COM have one important caveat: always follow your manufacturers recommended instructions when cleaning your RV. No matter what the experts say, what the internet gurus recommend, or what your RV owning neighbor swears by, you MUST ALWAYS follow your manufacturers instructions to maintain your warranty. Nothing is worse than being denied a damage claim because you decided to use the witchs brew your neighbor swears by instead of the cleaner recommended by your manufacturer!
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Can You Pressure Wash Rv Roof
You can use a pressure washer on your rubber or fiberglass RV roof. For the former construction material it is okay to use normal car wash soaps and polish. Or you can spend a few dollars more and purchase cleaners made for a fiberglass roof.
The only thing you need to be concerned about is to avoid cracking any seals around vents, antennas and other roof top seals. Seals are usually made from silicone and they can easily be damaged when direct water pressure is sent their way.
Cleaners To Avoid Using On A Rubber Rv Roof
There are many more products that you can use to clean your RVs roof than you cant, but youll definitely want to avoid any petroleum-based or citric acid-based chemicals, as well as anything with mineral spirits.
These distillates can spell disaster for your rubber roof because of a chemical reaction that causes the rubber to swell and detach from the structural substrate below. This makes the rubber more prone to damage, not to mention these chemicals also discolor your roof.
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How To Clean A Rv Rubber Roof
Alongside the freedom and adventure of RV ownership comes the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep for its various components. As it endures the elements on your journeys, the roof of your RV is subjected to pounding rain, blazing heat, even possibly snow and ice. Preventing problems is far better than emergency fixups in the pouring rain!
With proper cleaning and repair, the roof of your RV should last about 20 years. Generally speaking, you should clean the roof of your RV every 3 months or so, with more frequent cleaning if youre actively traveling. Pay close attention to the caulking to avoid leaks.
Good RV roof maintenance requires knowing which type of roof you have rubber-coated, fiberglass, or aluminum. Rubber is the most popular RV roof coating material as it is inexpensive and lightweight. If you have a rubber RV roof, check to see whether yours is made of either Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or Thermal Polyolefin . EPDM roofs may need to be resealed every 3-4 years, regardless of upkeep attention.
The cleaner you use on your RV roof is important. EPDM roofs have less solvent and oil resistance than TPO. For this reason, most manufacturers warn against using harsh, abrasive cleaners or petroleum distillates to clean them. You should also avoid using citrus-based cleaners or mineral oils, which could dissolve your EPDM rubber membrane.
Basic Cleaning Tips For Rv Rubber Roof
Below tips will help you cleaning a rubber RV roof in a better way.
1.Wear good grip shoes for safety
Whenever working from a high place, its best to watch out for yourself. It is advised that whenever you climb at the roof of your RV to clean it, ensure you wear shoes with a good grip. Also, do not step backward- you could fall and sustain major injuries.
After you begin the job, you still have to bear in mind that soap and water make a surface dangerously slippery. You can still try to be safer by using a spotter to keep watch on you.
The ladder you use to climb should also be firmly secured against the RV. Everything else youll need for the job, such as water in a bucket, should then be hoisted up using a rope.
Walking across the RV is also big as it significantly increases the risk of tripping and tumbling down.
Once everything is set, its time to clean the roof.
2. Sweep bigger debris first
Just like youd do on any other cleaning job, getting rid of the bigger pieces of debris is the better way to begin cleaning the RV roof.
Next, inspect the RV roofing for defects such as bumps, cracks, soft spots, and ripples on the roofing material. Check for any mold or mildew, or any other contaminant that could be destroying the roof. Clean the mold/mildew with bleach or vinegar diluted in water.
Closely examine the caulk and seams on windows, doors, and any other edges to ensure they still perform as expected.
3. Rinse off loose dirt first
4.Use long handle brush
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Best 55048 Rubber Roof Cleaner
A reasonable price, fungal growth prevention, and protection against UV rays these are some of the first-rate traits this camper roof cleaner has to offer.
Lets face it, mold is a problem experienced by many RV owners. The thought of mold growing on the roof of a camper and scrubbing it off can make anyone cringe in disgust. Thankfully, this RV rubber roof protectant removes and prevents that filthy substance from growing. Aside from mold, this product can also eliminate other substances like grime, dust, dirt, and black streaks in one cleaning session.
Also, this variant solidifies its place in the best RV roof cleaner and protectant products list as it protects rubber camper roofs from harsh UV rays. Thus, it extends RV life, especially for trailers that stay under the sun for long periods.
Then, it is found with a reasonable price tag. I did not have to break the bank to purchase this product. This characteristic also makes this roof cleaner an ideal choice for fairly strict budgets.
Additionally, it is quite versatile. I used it on different types of RV roofing, such as rubber, EPDM, TPO, and membrane. Each material that underwent this experiment did not show signs of visual or structural damage.
- Has a reasonable price tag
- Usable on different RV roofs, such as rubber, EPDM, and membrane
- Incompatible with fiberglass resin
Be Open To Trying Different Cleaning Solutions
Most manufacturers and cleaning experts would typically recommend that you use soap or certain kinds of cleaner for cleaning your RV. However, there are times when people choose to try other options that suit them.
If you are in the mood for some experimentation, then why not? You can try different things that suit you.
Popular options that people experiment with include homemade cleaners, vinegar, and baby shampoo. We are not in any way recommending that you try out all sorts of things.
Things like dishwashing soap can be harsh on the exterior of your RV and, as such, should not be used.
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How To Wash An Rv
Washing an RV is not like washing a car. Its a lot more like washing a small housewith wheels. There isnt an abundance of commercial RV wash locations to simply drive your RV through. Rolling up to a high school fundraiser and letting them tackle it is a lot to ask.
Before we get into the details, heres a short overview of the steps for washing an RV:
Well also note here that you should always consult your owners manual for model-specific RV cleaning instructions.
How To Wash An Rv With A Pressure Washer
I dont think there is a way you can pull your trailer along the road to your next camping site without collecting dirt, mud, and all sorts of debris. After all the traveling, it comes a time to have the RV cleaned. Most people would start asking themselves if they can use a pressure washer for the cleaning. Well, using a pressure washer is a faster way to clean your trailer but not recommended. Why? The pressure might be too high to reap off the paint, rubber, or other materials used on your RV. However, there is a better way you can use the pressure washer and get the perfect result. Read along to find out how to wash an RV with a pressure washer.
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Choose The Right Cleaner
Cleaning a rubber RV roof should be done four times a year if you keep your RV in a covered storage, more often if it is not parked in a covered location. Purchase a product that is specifically made to clean a rubber RV roof from a recreational vehicle supply store and, more importantly, one that is recommended by your RV manufacturer. Some RV owners recommend using a mild liquid laundry soap or dish soap to clean the roof. Avoid using harsh products that could damage the rubber such as:
- Petroleum or other solvents
RV rubber roof cleaners are available from Camping World, Amazon.com, and many other traditional and online stores that carry RV camping supplies.
Examples of RV rubber roof cleaner products include:
- B.E.S.T. Rubber Roof Cleaner & Protectant
- Camco RV Full Timers Choice Rubber Roof Cleaner
- Dicor Rubber Roof Cleaner
Its important to note that EPDM is not all made by the same company. The actual length of time the roof on a particular RV is guaranteed to last will vary based on the warranty offered by the company that made it. Additionally, its important to check the guarantee documentation that came with your recreational vehicle so that you can be certain that you are following the recommended maintenance procedures for your particular unit.
Better Safe Than Sorry
People use pressure washers to clean their RVs all the time, and many dont experience any issues or negative consequences because of it.
However, that is definitely not a good reason to try it yourself. When choosing how to clean your RV, you have to figure out what risks you are willing to take, and how much money you could save by not taking those risks.
While some risks may be minimal or not affect much at all, others, like pressure washing, can really cause some major problems.
It really is better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this, otherwise you could end up with a laundry list of problems you have to fix when you couldve avoided it.
Washing a Dirty RV With Beast Wash > > Check out the video below
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What Type Of Cleaner Can You Use On A Rubber Rv Roof
So now that you know what to avoid, youre probably wondering what to use to clean RV rubber roofs thats safe. You can use dish soap like Dawn or a non-abrasive cleaner like Spic N Span, or you can go for one of the store-bought roof cleaning products.
Dawn seems to have pretty good reviews for effectiveness Spic N Span and other cleaners are a little more hit and miss in the forums. If you want to make sure you get the job done right the first time and what youre using is completely safe, your best bet is to go with the a high quality RV roof cleaning product.
For especially tough stains you can use diluted hydrogen peroxide or even bleach, but youll want to make sure they are well-diluted and only use them sparingly to prevent any damage from occurring.