Can you do car wash for RVs let’s find out

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  • Posted in Maintenance
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Car wash for rvs or in more simple term can you take your RV to a car wash either manual or automated for a detailed cleaning is a question that needs to looked at in detail. There are number factors you need to consider before even taking your RV to a local car wash.

Can you go to a local car wash for rvs?

Plain and simple answer to that is NO. Almost 100% local automatic car wash won’t accommodate an RV just due to the size difference. Common clearances on an automatic car wash are around 7’2″ in height and 8′ to 8’6″ in width. This allows for most standard-sized vehicles and SUVs.
Self service car washes is another option you would think but again they are suitable for most domestic cars. Bay sizes can vary, but a standard size might be around 10′ wide by 20′ long. This offers enough space to maneuver and clean most vehicles comfortably. You might be able to fit in a small campervan but do ring them before going there and confirm weather your small campervan can fit in there.

Size guide of different types of RVs

Below is information regarding different types of Campervan available in the market and there typical dimensions. This will give you an idea before going to a open space car wash.

Overall Length: Ranges from 12-15 feet for small campervans to 40-45 feet for large luxury motorhomes.

Class A Motorhomes (Largest): Average around 36 feet in length, but can reach up to 45 feet.

Class C Motorhomes (Mid-Sized): Range from 20 to 30 feet on average.

Travel Trailers (Towed): These vary the most, with standard sizes being 10-35 feet long.

Fifth-Wheel Trailers (Towed): While the trailer itself might be 30-40 feet, the total length with the hitch overhang can reach 38 feet or more.

What about going to a Truck Wash

Yes it is possible to take your RV to truck wash and get it serviced because mostly all the automatic Truck wash will be able to accommodate campervan of any size. but the problem is that most of the truck wash are built for some strong and sturdy trucks made of steel with minimum windows, doors and other stuff you commonly find on the sides of an RV.

Possible downside of taking your RV to Truck wash is that truck washes often use large brushes to clean vehicles. These brushes can be too harsh for the delicate paint and decals on an RV, potentially causing scratches and fading. Many truck washes won’t wash the roof of your RV due to safety concerns.

Possible upside of going to truck wash specifically if your RV body is made of metal then Truck washes can be a quick and easy way to get a basic exterior wash on your RV. Truck washes can be cheaper than taking your RV to a dedicated RV wash.

Is going to a dedicated RV wash a better option?

Yes it is. The better option is to go to a dedicated RV wash and get your campervan serviced and in tiptop condition for a better life and a trouble free ride. Dedicated RV washes have high bay wash bays specifically designed to accommodate the height and width of your RV. This ensures a safe and thorough cleaning process without any risk of damage.

Below table will make it easier for you to decide that dedicated RV wash is far better option then going to a Truck wash. There are few constraints when it comes to a dedicated RV wash station.

FeatureTruck WashDedicated RV Wash
Cleaning MethodsMay use harsh brushesUses gentler methods or touchless wash
SizeMay not be tall enough for RVsAccommodates RV height and width
ServicesBasic exterior washRoof wash, awning cleaning, undercarriage cleaning
Staff ExpertiseMay not be experienced with RVsTrained in cleaning RVs
CostGenerally cheaperMay be slightly more expensive
AvailabilityWidely availableMay be less available
Table: Truck wash vs Dedicated RV wash

If nothing is feasible washing at home is always there

If car wash for rvs does not work, you are a bit hesitant that the truck wash might damage your RV and you cannot find a dedicated RV close to the home and at a reasonable cost then washing at home is your best option.

Space and Setup

You’ll need a large, level area where your entire RV can fit comfortably. This allows you to move around it freely for cleaning. You’ll need a steady water source, like a garden hose with a good spray nozzle, to wash and rinse your RV thoroughly.Check local regulations for proper disposal of soapy wastewater. Some areas might have designated wash areas with drainage, or you might need to collect the water for disposal at a designated facility.

Cleaning Supplies and Equipment

Use a soap specifically formulated for RVs. These are gentler on fiberglass and gelcoat surfaces commonly found on RVs. Avoid harsh detergents or household cleaners. Get an assortment of soft wash mitts, long-handled brushes for reaching the roof, and sponges for detailed cleaning. Avoid hard brushes that can scratch the surface.

A sturdy ladder is essential for reaching the roof and upper portions of your RV.

Waxing the RV after wash

Applying wax to your RV after a wash will keep the paint work going for a longtime. It will protect the outer glossy look of your RV and will prevent the paint color fading. Read our in depth guide on how to do wax to your RV or any car at home.