It’s finally time!
Time to roll that RV out of storage and let it bask in the sunshine, to open the doors and windows and let the fresh air in after a few stuffy, chilly months. It’s time to get the RV ready for the upcoming season. Maybe you have an early camping trip in mind for before the high season starts. It’s not a bad idea, either, as early camping dates can offer you flexibility and fewer crowds.
Regardless of when you’re going camping, get the RV in top-shape well before the first time you pull out of the driveway. Pick a pleasant weekend to complete these cleaning tasks.
What you need: Supplies
Tip #1: Have cleaning supplies ready. It’ll be easier to accomplish your tasks if you don’t have to be running back and forth for supplies. Bring everything with you when you start.
- Antibacterial cleaning wipes
- Multi-purpose cleaner (saves on having too many bottles around and can be used on a wide variety of surfaces and fabrics)
- Window cleaner
- Fabric and upholstery cleaner
- Baking soda (for the fridge)
- Paper towels
- Microfiber cloths
- Garden hose
- Broom and dustpan
- Shop vac, a cordless stick vacuum, or handheld vacuum
- Dawn dish detergent (for the roof)
- Adjustable wash brush (for exterior)
What to do: Exterior
- Hose down. Before you open the windows and doors to air it out, give your RV a good bath. After months in storage, your RV likely has some dirt, dust, and other grime, especially on the roof. Start from the top down, using cleaning solutions – preferrable biodegradable – that are appropriate for your RV’s siding and roof material. Starting from the top also helps avoid recleaning later, as anything from the top will run down the sides of the RV.
- Clean the awning. It’s better to leave the legs off at this point and to simply spray the cleaner on any black streaks and use a soft bristled brush to work out any stains as the awning lays against the side of the RV.
- Check the tires. Take a look at the condition of your tires. Look for wear, check the treads, look at the sidewalls, etc. Clean out the wheel wells with water first, clean the hubs and tires with a wheel cleaner, and check the snugness of the lug nuts.
- Your RV needs a good wax treatment at least once a year. Not only does it keep your RV looking sparkling new, it helps protect your RV from the sun’s rays. Waxing also helps to keep off bird droppings, water spots, and road debris.
What to do: Interior
- Clean out cabinets. Take everything out, regardless of where the cabinet is located. Yes, everything. Wipe down the shelves and the inside of cabinet doors. Everything you took out should go outside on a tarp or blanket. Review those items and decide whether they can go right back in or need cleaning or need replacing for the upcoming season. This is a great time to take stock of some of your RV’s items. Oh, and don’t forget the space under the bed!
- Clean all vents, windows, and surfaces. Get the vent covers and screens down and give them a good clean with microfiber clothes and antibacterial wipes. A handheld vacuum may work just as well. Wipe dust and grime off the blinds, if you have them. While you’re around the windows, look for signs of mold or cracking. Spray down with mold remover if needed, and reseal any spots that have serious imperfections. All surfaces should be wiped down first and then sanitized.
- Clean appliances. If you did the job right in the fall, then you’ll have less to do in the spring. Here are some tips for cleaning out your refrigerator and microwave. But take a look at your oven and any portable appliances you may have left inside over the winter.
- Clean the bathroom. Wipe down sinks, shower heads, shower walls, toilet seats, etc. Now is a good time to clean out the holding tanks, too, with a garden hose and an environmentally friendly deodorizer and treatment packet.
- Scrub walls. If you cook inside your RV, check that wall in particular for built-up food residue and other unseemly debris. Wipe down all the interior walls of the RV, spending more time on spots with more dirt, and looking for any signs of mold.
- Clean the floor. Save the floor for last. Remnants of dust, dirt, and other grime from your windows, surfaces, cupboards, and appliances, not to mention your shoes, will catch everything. Start with sweeping if you have hard surfaces, then go over it with a lightly soaked mop. Carpets can be vacuumed, and stubborn stains should be pretreated and then scrubbed (a toothbrush might be just the ticket).
- Air out and protect soft fabrics. If you have soft furnishings, spray them with an upholstery spray to freshen them up and to guard against future stains.
- Air out the RV. Open all the windows and ceiling vents. Hook up the RV to electricity and run any fans to help with air movement.
- Organize. If you keep your RV well organized, such as following these tips, then you have less of a job to do. Regardless, the interior of the RV needs a little reorganization every season. Remember everything you took out of the RV to clean the cabinets? Now is the time to decide whether you want it back in and if it should go in the same spot. Every camping experience lends wisdom about what’s important to have onboard, how to better organize an area, etc. If you bought some new baskets this year, now’s the time to add them in – exciting!