How to Make an Old RV Look New?

How to make an old RV look newSo you’ve owned your RV just long enough now that it feels like home, but unfortunately is starting to look a little too lived in for your liking and you want to bring back some of its original charms?  We have a few suggestions to get the best refresh on your RV without breaking your bank account or your back that will have you falling in love with it all over again!

To get your home away from home back into pristine shape lets talk about a few key ways you can spruce up your home on wheels:

  • Removing oxidation
  • Great waxes to use, and how long it’ll take you
  • Professional detailing versus doing it yourself

It may seem complicated for a do-it-yourselfer, but it really isn't if you know how to do the job right. Keep reading for more details.

Washing and Oxidation Removal

Step one in bringing back your ride's original shine is getting rid of that oxidation that may be bringing your shine color down with a yellow tinge to the film or just not quite as nice as it used to be.  Oxidation of your topcoat can lead to this less than the pristine look on your RV, but the good news is it’s almost as easy as washing your RV.

The first step in shining up your home away from home is to give it a good wash.  Not just a wash and rinse mind you, but a good wash with some elbow grease, really taking the time to scrub the surface well to get allow our next step to really do its job.

Once you’ve washed your RV, the next step is to get a good quality Oxidation remover.  A great product for this is Meguiar's M4916 Marine/RV Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover. This affordable product gives you the best bang for your buck, providing you have the elbow grease, extra hands or machinery to help you out! Everyone has their favorite product brands that they’re loyal to, but we would recommend ensuring your product has safe yet effective abrasives to break down the petty worn top level of coating and something (like oil for example) to help restore your RV to its original shine.

Waxing your RV

Next up is the waxing!

Use a quality product and follow the instructions. Stay safe! Your RV is tall so you need a very stable ladder to reach the upper areas. You can use something like the Protect-All Wax (Amazon link) -

Or this Star Brite product, made especially for RV's (Amazon link there too) -

So you might be saying, now that I have bought all this wax, how long is it going to take me to wax this behemoth? The answer is it all depends!

If you’re going to do it yourself we recommend going to your local hardware store and getting an orbital buffer. With nice even pressure, your RV will be looking showroom ready in no time. Or you could go with the traditional wax-on wax-off karate-kid maneuver. Just keep your schedule clear for a few days and book a massage for those aching arms!

Professional or Do-It-Yourself Interior Cleaning

After all that, you are sure to be ready to relax for the rest of the evening, so we recommend having your interior cleaned by a professional for many reasons. Judging from the average size of RVs this is well worth the money at a national average of $600 for an interior only cleaning.  This will be a head-to-toe, left-to-right complete interior detailing of your RV.  Between the time required to a thorough cleaning, in all the places you don’t want to look and deep clean of all the important areas like the driver area, living room area, bedroom, and even the bathroom.

To rent the equipment to shampoo your carpets and seats alone will run you at least $100 at your local hardware store, and doesn’t include the pain of going to the store, dragging it out to your vehicle, buying the special soap, the chiropractor bill for your back when you’re done shampooing all those areas, and cleaning and returning the machine.  It’s a no brainer.  Just think how excited you’ll be to walk back into your refreshed home away from home and you can take the time you would have been cleaning and waxing it yourself to plan your next great adventure.

If you don’t have a full day to devote to washing, and waxing your RV, a full interior detail with a wash and wax for the exterior will run you about $1000 for an average size Class A RV (approximately 33 ft).  You can add the roof as well for not much more (typically less than $100), to ensure your vehicle is cleaned everywhere.

Now that you’ve got your vehicle back looking showroom beautiful, get back out on the road and enjoy it!

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