Caring for Your RV Interior
September 30, 2019
RV Maintenance Tips
With the freedom an RV provides also comes the responsibility of maintaining its appeal. In addition to the exterior, cleaning your RV’s interior will go a long, long way. And, the only real pain is mustering up the willpower to keep at it.
Now, if you’ve already cleaned your home at any point, then you’re 75% of the way to a proper RV cleanse! That’s because an RV interior works the same way – for the most part.
RV usage varies greatly depending on family size, trip types, destinations, and so forth. So, rather than say you should clean once every month or every two weeks, we believe continuous care is your best option for keeping a tidy RV. If you’re in a particularly sandy or dusty area, a quick vacuum or spot check at the end of the day should suffice. If you park near the water and are getting a lot of water (or ocean spray) coming inside, you’ll want to dry right away and give the RV a solid once-over when you’re back home. At the end of the day, prevention and upkeep is key to maintaining the cleanliness (and resale value) of your travel trailer.
Note: Take a top to bottom approach when cleaning inside. By starting with the ceiling and walls, you’ll be moving any loose dirt and dust to the floor. So, save yourself the headache of recleaning the floor by working your way down.
START WITH THE ESSENTIALS
RV cleaning products are the same ones you’ll use around your home. Odds are you already have most of these on-hand! If not, they’re relatively cheap and last a long time.
- Glass Cleaner (Windex)
- Multi-Surface Cleaner (Formula 409, OxiClean)
- Mild Detergent (Simple Green)
- Disinfectant Wipes (Clorox)
- Upholstery Spray (Febreze)
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner (Lysol, Mrs. Meyer’s)
- Floor Cleaner (Pine-Sol, Bona)
- Wet/Dry Mop
- Microfiber Towels
- Paper Towels
- Broom and Dustpan
- Hand Duster
QUICK RV MAINTENANCE TIPS
Ceiling & Walls
This is where your mild detergent comes in. Using a step stool, carefully clean the ceiling (including any vents) with a damp rag using the detergent. Then, move to the walls. Try not to use too much water as excessive moisture can damage these sections of your RV.
When it comes to RV drapery, you’re most likely looking at a dry cleaner. That’s because most fabrics are required to be fire-retardant-something you’ll want to let the dry cleaner know beforehand.
For blinds and shades, a simple sweep of the vacuum (brush attachment) is good enough.
Countertops & Sinks
Never use abrasive pads (aka scouring) when cleaning off countertops. Not only will this scuff your surfaces, it’ll leave small abrasions that can catch and retain particles, building up over time.
As with countertops, a non-abrasive pad is best when cleaning faucets and fixtures. A damp cloth or sponge won’t harm the finish and still give you a quality scrub.
For instructions regarding your appliances (oven/microwave/fridge/etc.), always refer to the manufacturer’s guide.
Showers & Toilets
We’re going to sound like a broken record here, but when in doubt, go with non-abrasive cloths and mild cleaners. The makeup of these items in an RV are prone to scuffing and dulling when harsh materials and high-strength chemical cleaners are applied.
RV Carpet Cleaning
When it comes to cleaning your RV interior, it’s best to have two vacuum options at the ready. For quick and easy cleanups, a hand vacuum is ideal. Not only does it do the job, it’s compact enough to fit right in with your RV lifestyle. Now, for fully carpeted areas like the bedroom and slideouts, a traditional rolling vacuum will make quick work of large spaces and is best for getting to grit that’s forced its way deep into carpet fibers.
In the past, we’ve written about Easy RV Interior Decorating Ideas, so that’s a good place to start when looking for do-it-yourself projects. We’ve also written about the Best RV Storage Ideas to help you streamline appearances while keeping everything exactly where you need it.
Also, simply updating your space can be as easy as adding new bedspreads or couch covers. Window dressing is also an effective way to spruce up all living areas with just a dash of color and new sightlines. Have decorations you’ve been using for years, i.e., placemats or storage containers, pictures, and the like? Visit a craft store or antique shop to add knickknacks that can really change up the personality of your entire RV interior.
GET AHEAD OF THE GRIME
As with any type of cleaning and maintenance, prevention is key. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you use the RV to save yourself time on the backend.
- Always use cutting boards when chopping food
- After showers, give any glass and walls and mirrors a quick squeegee
- Invest in toilet bowl cleaners that you can set inside the bowl
- Utilize oven mitts and racks to place hot pots and pans on after cooking
- Use placemats and trays at mealtimes in case of spilling
- Keep curtains and drapes closed to avoid bleaching
- Dust/vacuum corners and hard-to-reach places to avoid spider webs
THERE ARE ALWAYS RV CLEANING SERVICES
For quick spot treatments, a damp cloth, mild cleaner, and paper towel should be enough. However, for bigger stains, we recommend calling the pros or renting a steam cleaner to do the job.
FOR MORE INFO
If you’re a Dutchmen owner, pages 89 and 90 in the Owner’s Manual offer some simple tips for various interior components. In case of warranty work, take note of any deep cleaning you perform.
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