Washing my Scamp on the road - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:33 AM   #1
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Name: Nigel
Trailer: Scamp 13
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Washing my Scamp on the road

By the time I reach Florida, after three days driving from Minnesota, my 1997 Scamp 13 will be coated with dirt, salt, etc etc. In previous years I have broken the rules at a campground and hosed it down after sponging with a little dish soap. I have noticed I am not the only person to do this. But is there a way to clean it and stay legal? Perhaps a truck wash? My TV is a Ford Escape.
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:46 AM   #2
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There are many manual car washes that have a bay high enough for our fiberglass trailers. I have used a few of them; easier to find to west. I'd be wary of a truck wash - many use very high pressure sprays.

It is always worth asking at a campground. I've found a few that have no problem with trailer washing.
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:52 AM   #3
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A Scamp 13 should fit into just about any self-service car wash bay (be cautious if you have roof A/C or other tall stuff on top). I’ve done it numerous times. Be careful where you point the high pressure wand, avoiding window and door seals and vents. A step stool is helpful to clean the top, but of course you’ll be more concerned about flushing the undercarriage thoroughly. A chamois or microfiber cloth to dry down will prevent water spotting, especially on the windows.

Just be prepared to fend off purchase offers!

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:25 AM   #4
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I'm too lazy to really wash my trailer (hand washing with sponges, waxing etc.), and it helped that the gel coat was already long gone when I bought it, but I only wash it in manual car washes. I live in the west so I can't say what car wash bays are like in the east, but here, I have no problem fitting my Bigfoot, which is taller than most fiberglass trailers.

Jon is right about the high pressure wands, though. It's best not to use the trigger, and just keep the spray on "low". I like to live dangerously, and I'll squeeze the trigger to blast off caked on mud and bugs, but it is dangerous, even though I try hard to avoid windows and vents. The high pressure is way to high for seals. It even damages some car & truck parts.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:09 AM   #5
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Two years in a row when we left upstate in NY, heading for Florida, in mid November, the roads were wet and salted. First trip, after we got into the Carolinas I found a truck stop that had a self service wash bay. Did the truck, then turned around and backed the trailer in and did it. Next year we had got off the interstate for gas and just by luck there was a self service car wash that had high bays. Later we spent a couple days at a private campground on the coast of Georgia. At check-in the lady told me if I wanted to wash the trailer it was OK but not to use the spigot I would connect the trailer to, but use the other spigot on the site that was not connected to treated water. Some self service car washes have an open bay for high vehicles.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:36 AM   #6
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Three measurements

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeleccleston View Post
By the time I reach Florida, after three days driving from Minnesota, my 1997 Scamp 13 will be coated with dirt, salt, etc etc. In previous years I have broken the rules at a campground and hosed it down after sponging with a little dish soap. I have noticed I am not the only person to do this. But is there a way to clean it and stay legal? Perhaps a truck wash? My TV is a Ford Escape.

All RV owners need to know three measurements. Height, width, total length of the total unit. Scamps will fit camp sites that many others will not.

Make a small label and stick it to the dash of the tow vehicle. Remember that most 8-foot doors are not a full 8 feet.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:07 PM   #7
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Name: Henry
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I used to wash the Casita while on the road. In Oregon it cost me almost 50 bucks using a spray wand and brush. I now own a taller Big Foot. The first season I did not bother to wash it until after I got home. Every now and again while on the road I use Meguiar's Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax, before it gets too dirty.

Driving through Northern salt roads requires something a bit stronger, like a manual car wash, or at least a hose and plenty of water. Follow up after a good water wash with the waterless wash.

I came up on four or five guys washing their truck at a country boat ramp, using buckets. I got upset but nothing I could do: Not willing to risk getting my butt kicked for a dodgy car wash.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:55 PM   #8
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Gallon water jug trailer/truck wash

Usually it's just the front of the trailer that gets the most mud, snow, dirt, dust, bugs, and salt, and I prefer to wash it off each time I stop overnight. I use a gallon water jug, a rag and a non-scratch pad if needed to get the stuck on bugs. It takes 1-3 jugs of water and only a few minutes. I also do the front of the truck, front and back lights, mirrors, windows and the back trailer lights. Safety first! lf I see a self-serve car wash that has an opening I usually stop and I've never found one I could not fit into.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:53 AM   #9
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I think the OP is driving through winter conditions to get to a warm place. Road spray- including de-icing chemicals- is a bigger problem than bugs and road tar. That requires a thorough flush with plenty of water, and not until you get to a warm place. I love my trailer, but I’m not going to do a daily spit and shine when it’s 35 degrees at midday and the wind is blowing!

For warm weather travel, I do try to follow your advice to spot clean along the way. The longer you wait the harder it us to get off for sure. Be careful that whatever you do doesn’t take off the wax. Then the next bug will just stick harder.

Agree an older 13’ Scamp without suspension modifications or roof appendages should easily fit into just about any standard self-service car wash bay. I can’t imagine any are less than 8’ nominal. My Scamp 13 is a little less than 7-1/2’ tall.

Cost should be under $5. I always carry a supply of quarters, which are also good for laundry and showers in some places.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:17 AM   #10
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Not sure what your area is like, but around here, if a Scamp won't fit in the bay, neither will most trucks. It's ridiculous how big they've gotten, even before people add their lift kits. USA!USA!
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:00 AM   #11
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keep your trailer waxed so its easier to clean. use a dedicated car wash product not dish soap. dish soap harms the wax coat, then when that's done it is much harder to clean next time and you have lost the wax protection.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
There are many manual car washes that have a bay high enough for our fiberglass trailers. I have used a few of them; easier to find to west. I'd be wary of a truck wash - many use very high pressure sprays.

It is always worth asking at a campground. I've found a few that have no problem with trailer washing.



NOT only high pressure they often use an acid wash.
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Old 01-15-2021, 06:46 PM   #13
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Washing trailer

Getting salt and road grime off a trailer is a good idea for sure! I would try to get your trailer into the hand car wash but if not there re some people at roadside personal car washes that might be able to wash your trailer. They are self employed car washers. they have portable pressure washers and might be the answer if you cannot pull through a car wash.
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:15 PM   #14
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Name: Dave
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Check in the campground office for a rv washing service. In Texas they came to the site, did a power (they are experienced to do this without problems) and hand scrubbed it. Came out looking like new. Cost was $50. They also will polish it for extra.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by nutter_scamp_owner View Post
Check in the campground office for a rv washing service. In Texas they came to the site, did a power (they are experienced to do this without problems) and hand scrubbed it. Came out looking like new. Cost was $50. They also will polish it for extra.
Thanks for the suggestion. It never occurred to me to use an RV washing service at a campground. I would have thought the price would be more like a couple of hundred dollars, at least. I would pay $50 in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:38 AM   #16
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and here's another approach. i personally don't feel like washing my trailer while on the road. in fact, the accumulated grime & grit represents my progress as i make my way. don't get me wrong, if you feel like washing please, by all means do and i'll not make bad stuff of you. i've found that folks are not as eager to try to buy a little dirty trailer.

p@
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. It never occurred to me to use an RV washing service at a campground. I would have thought the price would be more like a couple of hundred dollars, at least. I would pay $50 in a heartbeat.
Itís probably based on the size of the RV.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:09 AM   #18
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I have a 1993 16 foot unit, and have the same kind of a problem. I have commented before that keeping it clean is one way I get around the 10 year rule at a lot of campgrounds. But I think you have missed a point. If it is getting that dirty you have a problem. I had this problem a whole lot until I washed and waxed it.

I washed and detailed the outside of my scamp especially the top. That actually took a scouring pad and about 3 days. THEN I applied liquid wax to it. Actually twice. And now the water and therefore the dirt mostly beads off. I also washed the windows and put rainex on them. I also repainted the frame with black spray pain and did a lot of masking to keep if off the fiberglass.

Chances are that if you prep your camper for the trip the question of how to wash it will not be an issue.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by patrick crawford View Post
and here's another approach. i personally don't feel like washing my trailer while on the road. in fact, the accumulated grime & grit represents my progress as i make my way. don't get me wrong, if you feel like washing please, by all means do and i'll not make bad stuff of you. i've found that folks are not as eager to try to buy a little dirty trailer.

p@
The premise of this post is travel through winter conditions to the sun belt. Appearance aside I’d want to get the corrosive stuff off as soon as practical.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:20 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The premise of this post is travel through winter conditions to the sun belt. Appearance aside Iíd want to get the corrosive stuff off as soon as practical.

I have my frame and bottom undercoated
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