Brown Water Stains - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-25-2020, 11:02 AM   #1
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Brown Water Stains

Hi All,

Prologue - Laura and I purchased our ‘05 Casita 17 FD in late 2015. It was in great shape. From 2016 to June, 2018, I washed it before every camping trip (1 to 2 times per month from March to November). We covered it with our Calmark cover from late November to early March. However, in our quest to simplify our lives as empty nesters that are moving toward retirement we have sold houses, moved a parent, moved two adult daughters, moved ourselves, moved to an apartment to remodel a house, remodeled a house, etc. I now have the Casita stored in a 24 X 25 metal garage. However, from June, 2018 to April, 2020, the poor Casita barely got washed and was not covered this past winter. As the Poli-glow etched off and the mildew built up, I was shocked at how grimy the roof had gotten.

I am in the process of stripping the remaining patchy Poli-Glow from the Casita. I used a “Magic eraser” on the roof. I have also used Poli-Ox cleanser from top to bottom. I am mildly dissappointed that the Poli-Ox and TONS of elbow grease only removed 80% of the old Poli-Glow. It did a great job of removing the mildew and giving the Casita surface a thorough cleaning with the exception of the remaining wax and some brown water stains. My next step is to hit the whole camper again with Poli-Strip in and attempt to get rid of more of the old Poli-Glow.

My final step will be to apply 5 to 6 coats of Poli-Glow. I used Poli-Glow on the top half in April, 2017. It turned out fairly nice. The key was to apply as thin of coat of Poli-Glow as possible and avoid having it run. I would work a small area and move on. By the time I finished with the first coat, the area where I started was dry and I could apply the next coat. My plan will be to apply 5 to 6 coats this time as well for the whole camper.

My issue is some residual brown water stains on the roof and on the curved area as the roof becomes the side walls. Technically, no one sees the roof other than me, but I still want it as clean as possible. I am more concerned about figuring out a way to spot treat the brown water stains in a few areas. Any thoughts about how to remove brown water stains? Despite the Poli-Ox claiming that it removes brown water stains, it does not.

I would like to remove the brown water stains before applying the Poli-Glow. Once the Poli-Glow is on, it is a done deal.

I know some folks like Meguairs, others have used Zep, as well as other methods for the cleaning and waxing the Casita. The previous owner did an outstanding job maintaining the Casita. He used used Poli-Glow. If it was good for him, I figured it was good for me! In any case, I am using Poli-Glow, but I would love to figure out how to remove some of the brown water stains before using the Poli-Glow.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:10 PM   #2
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Name: Charlie Y
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Try a powdered cleanser with oxalic acid and make a paste to spread over the stain, and let it sit for a half hour or so before scrubbing it off. Oxalic acid has removed stains from rust and leaves for me. https://www.amazon.com/Zud-Heavy-Duty-Cleanser-Powder/dp/B00DH4MOSM
Then consider a polymer finish instead of Poli Glow. I've used Rejex for decades, once a year and no need to strip before re-applying.
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Old 06-08-2020, 02:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Try a powdered cleanser with oxalic acid and make a paste to spread over the stain, and let it sit for a half hour or so before scrubbing it off. Oxalic acid has removed stains from rust and leaves for me. https://www.amazon.com/Zud-Heavy-Duty-Cleanser-Powder/dp/B00DH4MOSM
Then consider a polymer finish instead of Poli Glow. I've used Rejex for decades, once a year and no need to strip before re-applying.
Hi Charlie Y,

Thanks for the help. The Poli-Ox that I had been using contained oxalic acid. However, when I was running low, I replaced it with a much cheaper product, Barkeeper’s Friend cleanser that had oxalic acid as well for an active ingredient.

Thanks for the tip regarding Rejex. I had already purchased Poli-Glow and their supportive products, but Rejex next time possibly.

Thanks!

Dean
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Old 06-08-2020, 02:48 PM   #4
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Hi All,

Well, that was a ton of work. My best advice, don’t neglect your egg camper’s exterior!!!

After two years of infrequent care of our older (2005) Casita’s exterior, here is what it took to bring it back in terms of the old wax that was etching off, the grime and buildup, and the brown water stains:

1. Magic Eraser - 3 to 4 hours.
2. Poli-Ox cleanser top half - 5 to 6 hours.
3. Barkeeper’s Friend cleanser bottom half - 5 to 6 hours.
4. Poli-Strip - 5 to 6 hours.
5. Vinegar and baking soda with lots of scrubbing to remove stubborn brown water stains - 8 hours.
5. Final cleaning to remove cleaner residues - 1 hour.
6. 7 coats of Poli-Glow - 6 hours.

Umm, 36 hours of work! Hey, no camping during the peak of the pandemic, so I did not get bored.

Here are a couple of pictures that don’t do it justice, but it looks very nice now!!! And, I have my new garage to store the Casita in when not camping. Hard to see, but nice reflection in the waxed finish of the Casita!

Take care,

Dean
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0DBB256C-91B5-4190-88F2-EE521EE00A09.jpg   FFFBA375-3C04-4BFA-BCF4-3CEC84CDCBD5.jpg  

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Old 06-13-2020, 07:04 PM   #5
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OK ......

So, after your cautionary tale, I just got our trailer out of the cave storage,washed and waxed it, charged the battery back up, etc.

Francie lemon oiled the wooden interior components, checked out the paper goods stores, swept & vacuumed & scrubbed the vinyl floor, etc.

Now .... where can we go ... and how soon?


Ray
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Old 06-13-2020, 08:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
OK ......

So, after your cautionary tale, I just got our trailer out of the cave storage,washed and waxed it, charged the battery back up, etc.

Francie lemon oiled the wooden interior components, checked out the paper goods stores, swept & vacuumed & scrubbed the vinyl floor, etc.

Now .... where can we go ... and how soon?


Ray
Howdy Ray (and Franice),

I bet the Scamp is looking great!

Laura and I leave for Monte Sano State Park on Wednesday to Monday. Our first post pandemic trip. My brother, his wife, and another couple will be there.

Hoping you get out soon!

Much health and happiness. Looking forward to our next visit!!!

Take care,

Dean (and Laura)
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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Name: Lauren
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Dean - Was wondering if, after tackling this on yours, you have any advice specific to removing those stains on your camper? We have a 2020 Bigfoot, and after two nights of camping at a KOA in Illinois - we must have been taking in some pretty bad water - as we have these (photo) streaks coming from our city water connection. Sounds like you did a complete refinish - so just wondering if you have any advice for a spot cleaning.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lauren in Colorado View Post
Dean - Was wondering if, after tackling this on yours, you have any advice specific to removing those stains on your camper? We have a 2020 Bigfoot, and after two nights of camping at a KOA in Illinois - we must have been taking in some pretty bad water - as we have these (photo) streaks coming from our city water connection. Sounds like you did a complete refinish - so just wondering if you have any advice for a spot cleaning.
Hi Lauren,

WOW, that is some intense staining after just two nights!!! Hmm, I am cautious to make a recommendation. Laura and I were working on a 15 year old Casita that had taken about 2 years of continual outdoor abuse. So, it took several levels of intervention, including Poli-Ox/Barkeeper’s Friend cleanser; vinegar/baking soda, and lots of Scotch-Brite green pads. We did all this with the intention of waxing the “cleaned” service with several coats (7) of Poli-Glow wax. With your 2020 surface, I would think it would make sense to be much less invasive than we ended up being. I would love to see what others would recommend for treating stains on a new egg camper surface. BTW, congrats on that 2020 Bigfoot!

Let’s see what the experts have to say.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:50 PM   #9
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Thanks!

Yeah - we don't filter the water we bring in because we don't drink it (we bring big jugs of drinking water from home) - but I'm not even sure how I feel about showering & washing our dishes in whatever we were piping in at that campground! Maybe we should start filtering it even if we don't plan to drink it!

We have been doing some online research - a lot of marine-related advice out there. But figured if we could find someone with more direct experience on this forum - we'll start with what they recommend! :-)

It definitely looks like all that hard work on your Casita paid off!
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:34 AM   #10
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In an interesting "who'd have thunk it" twist, Bill had some "Bug Off" that he'd bought for his truck, and he was using it to remove some bug guts after our big trip. For giggles, he sprayed some on the water stains on the Bigfoot, and the water stains are magically gone. It's a bit bizarre after some of the scrubbing he'd tried before that it would come off so easily, and as far as I can tell, the finish is perfect (i.e. it doesn't appear to have impacted the shiny coat at all). Woohoo!
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