How to wash small FGRV safely/efficiently? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:11 PM   #1
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How to wash small FGRV safely/efficiently?

I have seen LOTs of talk as to what products to use to shine our FGRVs but I want to know how to safely and efficiently wash our small FGRV. I have a 13' Scamp which is stored outdoors at a mini-storage facility one-hour drive from my home. I live in California where we have a serious drought. I wash my car in a self-serve carwash near my home which recycles the water. It's great because it also has an awning that keeps the car in the shade while I dry or wax it. I'm thinking that this kind of arrangement would also be good for washing my Scamp.

The difficulties in washing my trailer are:
1. The nearest self-serve carwash is far from where my trailer is stored.
2. The drive-through carwash near my trailer storage only allows single vehicles, not trailers.
3. There is a hose at my trailer storage facility (no awning) but it's a serious waste of water. I do use a spray nozzle with a shut off valve.
4. The most difficult part of the trailer to clean is the top. I don't feel safe standing on a wet stool or ladder.
5. I really cannot bring a lot of equipment to my trailer in order to clean it because I have a sedan, not a truck. I keep a large tub in the trailer with cleaning supplies such as stool, soap, soft towels, spray nozzle. I put the tub in my parking space when we are on the road.

I am curious. When we are on the road could we go to a truck stop with a truck wash or would they just laugh us out of there? What does a wash cost? Is there a place that will wash my trailer? What do you all do?
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:30 PM   #2
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I normally wash my camper with a spong and a bucket of water. I also use a magic cloth which is like a shammie to wipe it clean. Doing this I can do the whole camper with a gallon jug of water. Where I store trailer they have a wash station, but the trailer doesn't get all that dirty so wiping it down works well. Sometime when I get back from a tip the underbody is very dirty then I wash the underbody with a hose and let it air dry. I do find that at times i have to use a bit of Bartenders Friend to get off really bad crude. I try to wax the area as soon as I clean off all the residue.

I also wax the trailer 3 times a year as it sits outside year round.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:35 PM   #3
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On the road I rarely wash our trailer. I usually go out in the morning after a dew and wipe the trailer down with a chamois. Other times I just wet a chamois and wipe it down, continually wetting the chamois and wringing it out.

I usually wipe off the front and rear after a days travel using the wet chamois'wring it out approach. We have a number of the cloth chamois.

We carry a little stool that I stand on. It's not too tall. If we're in a traditional campground I will sometimes borrow a ladder from a fellow camper to do the roof.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by captsteve2002 View Post
I normally wash my camper with a spong and a bucket of water. I also use a magic cloth which is like a shammie to wipe it clean. Doing this I can do the whole camper with a gallon jug of water. Where I store trailer they have a wash station, but the trailer doesn't get all that dirty so wiping it down works well. Sometime when I get back from a tip the underbody is very dirty then I wash the underbody with a hose and let it air dry. I do find that at times i have to use a bit of Bartenders Friend to get off really bad crude. I try to wax the area as soon as I clean off all the residue.

I also wax the trailer 3 times a year as it sits outside year round.
We wash and wax the trailer before going on longer outings (Not just for weekend trips) . We wash /wipe down the trailer using a bucket of water with a sponge or chamois when on the road . Most campgrounds frown on washing your trailer with a hose but no one has objected to using a bucket . I do not know how one could wash the roof without standing on a ladder . We wash our roof and underbody when we get back home. I also wax the whole trailer in the Spring and in the Fall before storing it for the winter . Keeping the trailer waxed makes removing bugs and road grime a lot easier
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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Gilda, there are ladders that are not very big with large flat steps. You can use a long-handled soft brush to clean the roof using a bucket of water from fresh tank,
and another and another and another.

We apply 303 Aerospace which is a UV inhibitor and will also make it easier to clean the road grime off.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #6
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We apply 303 Aerospace which is a UV inhibitor and will also make it easier to clean the road grime off.
The "UV inhibitor" caught my eye, wondering if could be used in combination with the Zep threads elsewhere here on the forum. So I checked the manufacturers website and found some contradicting information.

Well it sounds good. Easy Fiberglass Boat Restoration: Never Wax or Buff Again! | Gold Eagle
It does say somewhere that it can be applied over a wax that is 3-5 weeks old.

Until you read some more:
This page says it dries to a matte finish 303 Protectants and Cleaners is the premium choice for car enthusiasts, avid boaters and home owners since 1980

And this page says "this product does not air dry. Extra buffing with a dry cloth INCREASES bonding, repellency & longevity. Apply every 3-5 weeks for maximum UV protection." 303® Marine & Recreation Protectant™ for ALL Boat Maintenance

Too much conflicting information for my liking. Matte vs shine, longetivity vs 3-5 weeks etc. Please let us know how it works in the long run Cathi.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:49 PM   #7
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What is used to get the black streaks off the body and the mold from the A/C Cover as well as belly band seal? My Scamp is a 2012 so don't want anything harsh as the gelcoat is still nice and shiny. Gotta love Florida Humidity
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
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Hi, Roy,

Quite a few people use the 303 on their fiberglass trailers and like it. After traveling, it makes cleaning the mess including much of the tar off much easier but we still have to use a tar remover for some marks and especially the wheel wells.

When applying 303, we use a cloth or towel and the 303 must all be wiped dry immediately to avoid streaking. There was already some chalking on our trailer at about a year (before using any 303). I did not notice that this last application but will have to look closely for it. Then again, it could be that I mistook white product for chalking. I believe people are happy with this product but maybe someone else does not like it??

You do not just spray it on. Must be wiped well and as they say, that will help it to work. The 3-5 weeks, well, they want to sell lots of product but nobody is going to do that with a big trailer. Someone may for a small boat or other vehicle. That is, as they say, for maximum protection. We will have to do with less than max.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
I have seen LOTs of talk as to what products to use to shine our FGRVs but I want to know how to safely and efficiently wash our small FGRV. I have a 13' Scamp which is stored outdoors at a mini-storage facility one-hour drive from my home. I live in California where we have a serious drought. I wash my car in a self-serve carwash near my home which recycles the water. It's great because it also has an awning that keeps the car in the shade while I dry or wax it. I'm thinking that this kind of arrangement would also be good for washing my Scamp.

The difficulties in washing my trailer are:
1. The nearest self-serve carwash is far from where my trailer is stored.
2. The drive-through carwash near my trailer storage only allows single vehicles, not trailers.
3. There is a hose at my trailer storage facility (no awning) but it's a serious waste of water. I do use a spray nozzle with a shut off valve.
4. The most difficult part of the trailer to clean is the top. I don't feel safe standing on a wet stool or ladder.
5. I really cannot bring a lot of equipment to my trailer in order to clean it because I have a sedan, not a truck. I keep a large tub in the trailer with cleaning supplies such as stool, soap, soft towels, spray nozzle. I put the tub in my parking space when we are on the road.

I am curious. When we are on the road could we go to a truck stop with a truck wash or would they just laugh us out of there? What does a wash cost? Is there a place that will wash my trailer? What do you all do?
At least here in So Cal there are a number of mobile car washing services that come to your office or home and do an entire inside/outside wash job with 5 gallons of water for about $30, less if you have 2 or more to do at a time. You might call around and tell them that you have a small trailer (and providing a ladder might help) and see if there is any interest.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:03 PM   #10
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Ooooh, I LIKE the idea of a mobile washing service. I'll look into it. If anyone knows of one in the San Francisco Bay Area, let me know.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:58 PM   #11
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I'm able to do a 'sponge wash' on my camper by using a spray bottle of all purpose cleaner with bleach, and a medium size bucket of water (probably 3-4 gallons total., changing out the water once or twice).
I spray the soap on (not much is needed) and then wipe it down with the wet washcloth, and sometimes a green scrubby. Then I rinse the cloth and wipe it again.
I dry each area with an old towel and then move on to the next. No water on my stool that way either. I think I would have to use more water, though, if I stored it outside all the time.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:17 PM   #12
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Years ago... and I'm talking YEARS ago.. one of our moderators/members talked about cleaning 1/4 of her all molded towable everytime she went out camping... while parked in camp. She divided her trailer into 1/4s and washed (spritzed water) and waxed (spritzed wax) every time she went out. Camp often enough and you'll ALWAYS have a cleaned/waxed trailer! Something to consider....
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
I have seen LOTs of talk as to what products to use to shine our FGRVs but I want to know how to safely and efficiently wash our small FGRV. I have a 13' Scamp which is stored outdoors at a mini-storage facility one-hour drive from my home. I live in California where we have a serious drought. I wash my car in a self-serve carwash near my home which recycles the water. It's great because it also has an awning that keeps the car in the shade while I dry or wax it. I'm thinking that this kind of arrangement would also be good for washing my Scamp.

The difficulties in washing my trailer are:
1. The nearest self-serve carwash is far from where my trailer is stored.
2. The drive-through carwash near my trailer storage only allows single vehicles, not trailers.
3. There is a hose at my trailer storage facility (no awning) but it's a serious waste of water. I do use a spray nozzle with a shut off valve.
4. The most difficult part of the trailer to clean is the top. I don't feel safe standing on a wet stool or ladder.
5. I really cannot bring a lot of equipment to my trailer in order to clean it because I have a sedan, not a truck. I keep a large tub in the trailer with cleaning supplies such as stool, soap, soft towels, spray nozzle. I put the tub in my parking space when we are on the road.

I am curious. When we are on the road could we go to a truck stop with a truck wash or would they just laugh us out of there? What does a wash cost? Is there a place that will wash my trailer? What do you all do?
I wouldn't take anything other than a truck through truck stop wash. They use a very acidic cleaning solution and pressure higher than standard pressure wash car cleaning places. When on the road we find one of the auto self clean (pressure wash) places wash the trailer that way.

At home I simply wash it a long handle brush and fiberglass cleaning soap. Then wax it. I've never had any trouble standing on a ladder to reach the roof. The long handle brush is the key there.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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I do appreciate all the comments. Donna, I especially like the idea of washing and only 1/4 at a time while in camp! It makes, what seems like an onerous job, doable. That reminds me of the adage; Q. How do you eat an elephant? A. One bite at a time!

Please keep in mind, everyone, my trailer is parked in an outdoor mini-storage with gravel and dirt base (not asphalt). The trailer is further from the water source than the hose is long. The storage facility is 1 hour from our home.

So far, we've been rinsing it either before or after each trip. Realistically, this is tricky too because we are either very anxious to get going or tired after our trip. I realize I may have to make a special trip to the trailer between trips for washing and waxing. I have to wait for a foggy or overcast day, of which there are few now (except in San Francisco where Mark Twain said " The coldest winter I ever experienced was a SUMMER in San Francisco!") So true, as I grew up in The City and visit there frequently.

I think I'll plan to wash/wax in March/April and October/November if I don't adopt the 1/4 at a time method. Remember it does not snow here in the SF Bay Area.
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