RV Advice

Choosing the Best Exterior Products for Your RV

October 1, 2019

FMCA RV Club shares tips to help you find the perfect RV exterior care products.

5 Conditions That Affect Product Performance

Consider this scenario… Did a polish work great for you, living in a cool climate, but not so great for your friend who lives near the beach? Simply put, some exterior products work better in different conditions.

So, before choosing any RV exterior product, keep in mind these factors:

1. Climate

Variations in temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and even the proximity of the sun can have an effect on how well a certain product will perform on your RV.

2. Location

Does the RV spend an abundance of time parked in an industrial area, a wilderness area, the city, or in the country?

3. Environment

The air quality of your RV’s environment can have an impact. How much smog or airborne pollutants are present in the air?

4. Age

Certainly, the older the RV, the more chance of it sustaining a deeper level of oxidation.

5. Your Effort During the Cleaning Process

The elbow grease you employ when using a particular product may be directly proportional to your success.

Class B RV

5 Steps to Choose the Perfect Product for Your RV

Hopefully the factors listed above will help you set realistic expectations when it comes to cleaning your RV’s exterior. Read on for five tips for choosing the best product:

1. Know Your Material

First of all, be sure you know the type of material you are attempting to protect or restore. Some products, when applied to an incompatible surface, may actually cause more damage than any pre-existing condition. For instance, never use petroleum products or wax on vinyl stripes/design elements.

2. Read the Label

Read the label carefully and follow the directions explicitly before applying the product. Understand the supplier probably knows more about its product than you do. It can be difficult to succumb to “reading the directions,” but in this case, it is the best advice.

3. Test!

Try the product on an inconspicuous location first. See whether you can obtain a small sample of the surface you wish to clean, polish, wax, or otherwise restore and test the product on that piece. If that’s not possible, try the product in an area that is hidden or not readily visible, such as inside a wheel well, behind a bumper, etc. Better to discover its effectiveness, or lack of, prior to slathering it on the entire sidewall!

4. Pick a Reputable Brand

Stick with a reputable brand name. Check for contact information printed on the label or container. Notable product suppliers will have their address, phone number, and website info prominently placed on the product. The good companies will have a toll-free phone number. Any reputable product manufacturer will welcome feedback, whether good or bad.

5. Don’t Mix!

This is your RV, not a cocktail. DO NOT MIX PRODUCTS! Find the preventive maintenance products that work best for your RV and stick with them. Avoid switching products every time you hear of something new. If your travel habits or home base changes, then it may be necessary to switch to a different product; however, until one no longer works for you, staying loyal will have a positive outcome most of the time.

Take it from the experts – maintaining your RV’s exterior surfaces can be a challenge if the products you choose don’t have the intended results. Hopefully these tips will help you maintain that showroom look for many years or at least reap the return on your investment come trade-in time.


FMCA RV Club brings you this monthly tip to Enhance Your RV Lifestyle. FMCA delivers RV know-how and exclusive travel discounts to its members. Join and save $10 — a special savings for KOA Blog readers. Learn more.

This information is for educational purposes. FMCA shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional.

When caring for your RV it's important to ensure you're using the correct products to get the job done. FMCA RV Club shares tips to help you find the perfect RV exterior care products to care for your rig.

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