Finish Line - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Finish Line

by | Aug 3, 2022 | Cool Gadgets, RVEXPERT

RVs will get dirty while on the road. But while RV parks are not keen about washing a rig on your site, waterless cleaning and detailing will keep park managers, you and your neighbors happy.

Keeping an RV clean while on the road can be challenging. Beyond the dirty film that loves to cling on RVs, there are bugs that accumulate quickly and road construction debris that can play havoc with any exterior. Most RV parks prohibit washing rigs on a site, and in most cases it’s not convenient — or economical — to call out a detailer.

To keep any RV and tow/dinghy vehicle clean while on the road, I have assembled a “perfect” kit to get the job done — without incurring the wrath of RV park managers.

Most parks will allow cleaning with waterless products, and that’s the impetus for my bring-along kit (besides being cognizant of storage space). If the surface is only dusty, a California Car Duster will remove unsightly particles quickly with little effort. Just make sure it’s the real deal; cheaper spin-offs of the original California Duster do not work that well.

Instant detailer is also your friend. Again, there are several spray-on/wipe-off products on the market, but the one I’ve latched on to recently is Torque Turbo Waterless Detailer. This stuff works miracles. It cleans easily and leaves behind a slick surface with plenty of shine. The 16-ounce spray bottle is not cheap ($29.95 on Amazon), but you use very little to get the job done. Buying multiple bottles or the gallon container ( will reduce the cost substantially — and watch for sale pricing.

I always cringe after driving on wet roads, especially during a light rain that doesn’t wash away the road grime. Removing the ugly film/dirt requires more than an instant detailing, but again, using a hose in camp is usually not an option. For these circumstances, Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine comes to the rescue. The only water you’ll use is 2 gallons in a bucket for mixing 1 ounce of the cleaning solution. Just wipe the dirt off with a wet rag and dry immediately with another (microfiber works best). Immediately, the dirt is gone and a glossy finish is left on the surface. A gallon container sells for $58.99 on Amazon and it lasts for a very long time.

technician uses an original California Car Duster to wipe the surface of a car
Wiping away thin layers of dirt/dust with an original California Car Duster is a quick and easy way to keep the surface clean on a daily basis. While there are several spin-off products on the market, the California Car Duster brand has proved its worth over time (available on Amazon for $31.85).
technician uses Torque Turbo Waterless Detailer along with a bright yellow microfiber cloth to polish a car surface

Torque Turbo Waterless Detailer is a great go-to product for keeping the exterior surface looking new between washings. A light spraying lifts dirt and leaves a super smooth surface. A microfiber cloth does the best job of wiping off the detailer and “polishing” the surface.

Hauling around a bucket may not practical when storage space is limited unless it doubles as a holder for hoses, etc. If space is at a premium, the use of a collapsible bucket is a great option. My bucket, purchased at an outdoor store at least 10 years ago, collapses to just a few inches, making it easy to tuck into a storage compartment. These products come and go on the Internet, but RV parts supplier Camco offers a 3-gallon collapsible bucket that can be found on Amazon for $12.99. After measuring and adding two gallons of water, a line marked at this point in the bucket with a Sharpie makes it easy to fill the required water repeatedly for the No Rinse Wash & Shine.

A microfiber towel is the most versatile cleaning implement for RV use. It works perfectly for washing the exterior, polishing the surface, applying instant detailer, cleaning bicycles and just about anything else in an RV. One of the best products is the Costco Kirkland Signature Ultra Plush, 16- x 16-inch, yellow microfiber towels (36 for $18.99).

Keep these items handy and your RV will always look nice — and you won’t get yelled at when in an RV park.

a container of Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine cleaner
technician uses a microfiber cloth to wipe on/wipe off the Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine cleaner

Washing an RV in RV Parks is usually prohibited and finding mobile detailers takes some time and is expensive. Rather than let the rig stay dirty, Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine keeps dirt at bay (and ends the dirty looks from camp neighbors). It’s an easy wipe on/wipe off process.

technician demonstrates the collapsing of a collapsible bucket

Storing a common bucket takes up valuable space in most compartments. A collapsible bucket occupies a fraction of the space and is surprisingly durable.

technician uses a sharpie to mark a fill line in the collapsible bucket

You’ll need 2 gallons of water to mix in 1 ounce of Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine. Measure out 2 gallons of water and mark a fill line with a Sharpie, making it much more convenient to fill with a hose for the next washing.

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