<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> How to detail an RV
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TOPIC: RV Cleaning and Detailing

INSTRUCTOR: Alex Dingwall

This course covered all the steps necessary to clean and recondition an RV, from engine degreasing to the final exterior dressing process.

1. The heaviest contaminants will be on the engine, so you start here. Wet the area, and spray the degreaser thoroughly, avoiding the inner hood liner. Next spray the wheel wells, mirror backs and rocker panels (that area below the doors and between the wheels which is so prone to pick up roadway dirt). For gas cap contamination, mix a multipurpose cleaner 4:1 with water. The grillwork may be cleaned with the degreaser sprayed on a pad (DooAll).

Now pressure rinse in the reverse order, the mirror backs and rocker panels, wheel wells and finally the engine. Hold the wand 8 to 12 inches away from the surface you are rinsing. This must be done in the shade. And remember, product removes product; if it dries, spray it again, and you will be able to wipe it off.

2. For wheel cleaning, wipe the car area with water as a protection . Be sure the wheels are cool. Use and acid based cleaner for 1 minute -- no more -- then pressure rinse thoroughly. The tires should be washed with alkaline based product, again for 1 minute. This alkaline cleaner helps neutralize any acid left by the wheel cleaner. Scrub with still brush and pressure wash thoroughly. Do one wheel at a time. You will be unable to do the inside dual without removing the outer tire.

3.Remove grease, tar and old wax. Use a body preparation solvent and scrub with "dooall" or equivalent. Pressure rinse. Do the lower portions of the body first.

4. Exterior washing. Use car soap. The brand is not as important as the use of car soap. Dish soaps are too harsh and can spot the paint or cause smearing. Waterless car wash products are not recommended, except for very occasional use. Wash out of direct sunlight and wash from the top down. Rise first, apply soap and rub. You may use a pressure wash but only on low pressure. Use a separate mitt for wheel wells.

5. Surface contaminant removal. This is a way to remove tree saps, etc. from your vehicle. For all saps except cottonwood, use a product called Brite Stick Clay Bar (this is Canadian, I am not sure of the US equivalent). This stuff is the consistency of Play Dough and will work until it turns black. Put a light soap solution on a horizontal surface and rub the surface, kneading the Bar and turning clean surfaces to the front. For cottonwood sap, use rubbing alcohol.

6. Engine Dressing. To "shine 'er up" use a water based dressing. Because it is flammable, use it on a dry engine, thoroughly spray on the dressing and let it dry.

Now that the vehicle is clean, to restore it to its original shine:

Paint sealants do work, but must be redone. Waxes are not good for more than 8 months.

1. If there are no scratches or oxidation, just wax it.
2. Light scratches or oxidation, cut polish, use buffer, then step one.
3. Deep scratches and oxidation, use a compound and buffer , then step two then step one.

Buffing tips: Use goggles. Make sure the surface is cool. Use a moderate amount of product, and do not mix products. Keep the buffing pad flat and use only moderate pressure. Work lengthwise. Be sure to lift the buffer off the surface before shutting down. Protect the windshield and wipers with damp towels to simplify residue removal. Change the buffing pad regularly and wipe down with clean soft cloth.

Waxing tips: Apply wax sparingly and never on hot surfaces. Do not use on fresh paint (less than 90 days old) or the paint may cloud up. To enhance gloss, work from the top down and never in direct sunlight. Let dry and buff.

Finally, hand apply exterior dressings on moldings and rubber or vinyl surfaces. Spray the product on a pad and wipe on.

One beautiful vehicle!