Best method to clean THIS? Compact Jr. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-13-2016, 03:39 PM   #1
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Name: Jessica and Miles
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Best method to clean THIS? Compact Jr.

We are embarking on a complete refurb of this Compact Jr that has been in our family for decades, but has spent the last 20 or so years just sitting around. It's dull, chalky, and very dirty. It is all original down to the decals and hasn't been painted, but there's a lot of caulk smeared sloppily around the windows. We want it to stay the original mint green color.

Can you please tell me if I'm on the right track here...

After reading the forums here, my best idea about how to pretty up the outside of it is:

1) Power-wash the outside, adding some dawn the first time around, and do a second wash with TSP. (Or do I mix the dawn and TSP together at once?) A test area literally spitting on it and rubbing suggests that a lot of the grime should come right off.

2) Peel off the excess caulk once the very wet part of the cleaning is done.

3) Scrub the outside including aluminum trim with Barkeeper's Friend powder and some scotchbrite pads

4) Re-do the caulk with a thin neat line of silicone

5) Coat the outside of the camper including the aluminum trims with several thin layers of Zep Wet Look Floor Polish.

Is that what YOU would do? If not, what would you do? Thanks for your advice and help!
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:56 PM   #2
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I would do a mixture of water and Javex to rid of the mold, then a good wash(without the pressure washer). Forget the silicon, remove the window frames and use rv butyl putty and do the job once with the proper stuff. Barkeepers friend is good for the aluminum and the fiberglass as a pre clean for the Zep

I would clean the window frames while they are removed as cleaning will cause black junk that can get all over the fiberglass

Pressure washer is too strong and you may end up with water getting into the inside through windows, vents and such
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:01 PM   #3
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Thank you Dudley! Javex was new to me, I'd never heard of it. Looks like it is a bleach product. Do you know if that will harm or lighten the coloring of the trailer?

I had also never looked at butyl putty but that makes sense and I'll do it that way. What order would you do things in, regarding removal and replacement of the windows?
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:18 PM   #4
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Javex is just a brand name , good old clorine bleach, mix about 1 cup/gallon. Should be fine on the color. WEAR RUBBER GLOVES and glasses or goggles

The windows look like they are screwed into wood behind the fiberglass, just remove the screws and you will probably need a putty knife to pull the windows away from the fiberglass. Remove all the old putty and get some 3/4" wide butyl tape from a rv place and run it all the way around the frame and re-install with nice new screws. Tighten down lightly to start a then wait an hour and tighten more. The butyl will ooze out the edge and can be trimmed with a plastic knife for a nice finish. I would clean and do any polishing before reinstalling the windows. It helps to do it when its warm outside as the putty is not too stiff.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:28 PM   #5
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THANK YOU! Wow, incredible. I'll post lots of before and after pics. I'm so excited to see how our trailer "Junior Mint" looks when we're done!
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:45 AM   #6
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Another cheap product easily available is a product that WAS called "Westley's White Wall Cleaner". Been around for YEARS and a great cleaning product. It's still available at Dollar General, Wal Mart & Autozone. The product line was bought by "Black Magic" who changed the name. It's in a white bottle with red/blue graphics.

This stuff works great on tire whitewalls and GREAT on under car hood and other applications for removing grit and grime. I use it ALL THE TIME for lots of applications concerning vehicles and trailers.

Spray it on just don't let it dry. Works best with the use of a pressure washer for the application you are trying to clean that are really dirty. I use my pressure washer all time for almost any washing task for convenience more than necessity. In most situations you do not have to rub the item you are cleaning just wash it. Just because I like to I generally take a wash mit with car wash and follow up the cleaning.

$3.00 at Dollar General. $3.60 a bottle at Wal Mart. $4.50 at Autozone.

Black Magic Bleche-Wite Tire Cleaner - Auto Cleaning - Dollar General
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:02 AM   #7
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I came across something the other day when researching the best way to get rid of black streaks which apparently are very common in the RV world. I came across a YouTube video of a guy using a product called LA Awsome that is available at any of the Dollar type stores. There are a bunch of people that just swear by this stuff so I went to Dollar General and found a half gallon jug for $3.00. I came home and mixed up a little bit in a water pail and then took one of those magic erasers and poured a little on it and tried it on the black streaks. I barely pressed on the magic eraser and the black streaks came right off, just like the video I watched. I had previously tried some Black Streak Remover and was not impressed. This Awesome cleaner works much better. Just looking at the picture of your camper if it was mine I would try it out. Check out some of the You Tube videos and see for yourself.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:03 AM   #8
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I found that a strong solution of car wash soap applied with purple Scotchbrite.
Keep the surface and the Scotchbrite wet with the solution.
The result is a squeaky clean scratch free surface with very little effort.
No gloves needed unless you don't want clean hands!
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:18 AM   #9
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Power washers can be too powerful but not all are. Mine is an electric one, cost about a hundred bucks.


It has different nozzles that narrow and widen the stream. With the wider nozzle it's about the strength of a typical car wash.


Would work well on your trailer.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:08 PM   #10
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It would seem that the general opinion on this forum is that silicone and fiberglass does not work well together - other than that elbow grease will be the main requirement.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:06 PM   #11
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The only thing that cleaned my dirty Scamp was Fast Orange Hand Cleaner and a orbital buffer. I tried everything. Car wash soap, something that was supposed to clean the dirtiest of fiberglass, Bleach, Simple Green, Super Clean, Westly's Whitewall tire cleaner. None of them worked. Fast Orange did the job!

Now that my camper is clean, my project this spring is to see if I can bring back a little shine to my 16 year old camper!

--Dan Meyer
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:03 PM   #12
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Great ideas everyone. Thank you SO much for sharing what you know!

Cleaning started off with a good old soap and water wash, which I did with Ajax dish detergent and warm water / a scrub brush. In the limited time I had yesterday I got about half the trailer done, and... WOW.

Here's an example:
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