It’s never too early for spring cleaning! Airing out your rig, and cleaning it inside and out is an important part of being a responsible RVer. This removes the dust from traveling, as well as the stale air that accumulates during inclement weather. It helps maintain the structural integrity of your motorhome.Also, if you tend to experience seasonal depression for RVers, it is a great way to introduce some productive activity into your day. Whether you’re in a warm environment or are just enjoying an unseasonably warm day, now is the perfect time to get started.
Clean the Exterior
The easiest way to begin this is to take your RV to a truck and RV washing station. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does make it much more convenient. Either way, make sure to work in the shade to avoid streaks.
Use a power nozzle to spray the surface. Use a detergent formulated for RV exteriors and clean sponges and towels. Although many people use their normal household cleaner, the chemicals they contain can damage the paint job or even remove the glossy coat. Then attend to the details by using a specialized cleaner on the rims, tires, and trim. This is particularly important if you have driven part of the winter on salted, snowy roads.
Empty Cabinets and Closets (Above and Below)
Often— over time—things get pushed to the back and forgotten. This is a great time to assess your belongings, reorganize, and thin out.Check clothing. Do you need and wear everything in your closets? If not, sell or donate it. Look through the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Check for expiration dates and get rid of everything that has passed its date. The same goes for the refrigerator. Look for food that can be disposed of, including condiments, etc. Make a list of everything that needs to be replaced.
Check for Signs of Pests
While you have things emptied, check all of the cupboards, underneath cargo compartments, and normally out of the way spaces for signs of pests. Vacuum and clean these areas.Check the wet bay and waterline interface, as well as the rooftop vents and clean them out. Make sure to cover, fill, screen, or secure all of these areas to reduce the chance of an infestation.
Steps for Cleaning the Interior
These address the major areas found in most RVs. It’s a good idea to start at the top and work your way down. This allows dust to fall to areas that have yet to be cleaned rather than on a freshly cleaned surface.
- First, remove and wash all bedding, curtains, and drapes. Return them after the rest of the cleaning has been done.
- Using an extendable duster and an anti-dust spray like Endust or Pledge to reach the ceiling and overhead vents makes removing cobwebs easy.
- Then wipe down the cabinets, walls, and window blinds. I use soap and water on the blinds and a wood protectant on the cabinets.
- Use diluted white vinegar in a spray bottle or a manufactured glass cleaner to clean the interior of the windows and all mirrors. Wiping them with newspaper avoids streaks.
- Use sanitizer to clean your RV refrigerator and stove (make sure to address under the range), as well as showers, sinks, and toilets.
- In the bathroom, excess moisture can cause mold and mildew to form in even the cleanest RV. Remove this by spraying the area with distilled white vinegar (or a commercially prepared formula) and letting it set for an hour before wiping it off.
- Protect any leather, such as on the dashboard and sofas, with a good leather conditioner. This keeps it soft to eliminate cracking.
- Wipe down all appliances, such as toasters, coffeemakers, televisions, phones, and computers. Although this should probably be done regularly, these things often get overlooked.
- Sweep and mop linoleum or tile floors and vacuum carpeted areas.
These are just suggested steps that I use. Although, most people develop their own routine, it’s helpful to be reminded of areas that may be less obvious.
There are several additional things that you might also want to address. For example, it might be a good time to sanitize your water tanks, check your fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as your emergency and first aid kits. Spring cleaning can be as thoroughly or as cursorily as you like.
It is a good idea, however, to periodically address the upkeep of your home, your home-away-from-home, and your investment.