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QuiGonJohn

Exterior Maintenance - Cleaning and Waxing Fiberglass

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Recently had my RV (26' Winnebago Aspect) worked on at my local RV shop.  Whilst there they cleaned it up a lot, really well.  The owner was telling me I had a lot of mildew in the fiberglass and they probably cleaned about 90% of the coach real good.  A few places, roof, along awnings, etc. still need some cleaning.  So I am looking for something to use to clean all that real well.  Then, the owner also told me I need to wax it, and make sure I use a certain type of wax meant for fiberglass, not regular wax for an auto.  I think he said something like a marine wax.  Can you help me with these products and tips for doing all this?

While always conscious of cost, I don't mind spending a little more when it is well worth it.  For example, if PRODUCT A is very expensive and PRODUCT B is a good bit more reasonable than PRODUCT A, but does nearly as good a job, I might go with B.  However, if PRODUCT A does a fantastic job and nothing else even comes close in comparison, then I'd spend on A.

Also, recommendations for rejuvenating the decals that came on the motorhome.  These are the design and name decals originally supplied from Winnebago.

footnote: I looked for an EXTERIORS SUB FORM but did not see one.  But did see another post here about RV Roof Armor Product, so I figured this was along similar topic lines.

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Hi John,

Regarding your question, on recommendations for rejuvenating the decals that came on the motorhome, originally supplied from Winnebago, if you reach out to Winnebago directly, at winnebagoind.com/contact, they will be able to supply you with replacement decals.

Regarding your question on a general cleaning product that will wash roof, along awnings, etc., I use cold water tide.  Yes, Tide, the laundry soap.  Not the liquid or pod type,  or added bleach type, just plain old fashioned cold water crystals. 

Half a cup, dissolved in a bucket of cold water does the trick.  I use a long handle wash brush to gently wash and simply rinse with my garden hose.  It removes all dirt and grim, and rinses off nicely and easily.

Has kept all three of my motorhomes (two previous and my current one) sparkling and looking like new.

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John, just make sure you get a wax on the gelcoat, the UV will destroy it over time and it can also make the gel coat leach water through the surface.

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jleamont, thanks.  I clicked that link.  Which product there is the gel coat restoration kit?  Which one of their wax's would you recommend?  Are you saying to clean first, then use Gel Coat Restoration and then follow it up with the Gel Coat Wax?

Ian, will try powdered Tide to clean.  I cleaned the roof a couple weeks ago with soap and Dawn and a hand held scrub brush.  I got it much better, but did not get all of it completely clean.

Any of these products good to use on the decals, without actually replacing the decals?

 

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Dawn is great for grease and petroleum product removal, but Tide is great for algae removal, add a little Clorox to the Tide for an even easier removal of algae, as well as  a deterrent for early reformation of the algae. Algae is what becomes that black hard to remove substance on the exterior. And of course a good wax job after the scrubbing is a must, as the Tide will remove the previous wax coating. Also rubbing alcohol applied with a soft cloth on smaller areas of the black crud will remove it very easily. And while on the subject of cleaning, ammonia and alcohol added to water (PLEASE NO CLOROX in this mixture", the fumes are DEADLY") makes one of the best glass cleaners available.

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Is your gel coat chalky and dry? If so I would use the kit. If not just the gelcoat wax will suffice. It will take a lot of elbow grease but the finished product will be great. After you can just keep the wax on it and it will look new

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On December 10, 2016 at 7:14 PM, wolfe10 said:

Do not use chlorine, harsh detergents or petroleum-based products if you have vinyl stripes.

I had good results using 303 on vinyl graphics.  Mine lasted 20 years until I finally had a full body paint job.

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On 12/13/2016 at 9:34 AM, wolfe10 said:

I agree, 303 Aerospace IS the thing to use on vinyl graphics.

...yep, and add tires to the list.

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On purchasing 3030 Aerospace to use on my decals (and tires).  I see regular, automotive and also marine.  Each one is a little more costly than the previous.  Is the regular good enough or should I get one of the others.  My thinking was right now I have none on the decals, so even the regular should be good.

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I don't know how much the difference is just marketing or actual difference in the product. Like you said using something is better than nothing. Let us know how it works.

Bill

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I am very happy with Meguiar's Flagship Premium Marine Wax on my fiberglass. It keeps it looking shiny and lets the bugs wash off easily. I could not find it locally, but order it via Amazon. My 13 year old fiberglass roof still looks new.

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I never use anything other than baby shampoo to wash my coach and NEVER use a wax with petroleum distillates. My coach is 12 years old and looks like new. Also, don't forget to wax the roof, as it takes on all the elements.

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jeannie.kathy,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Many (particularly RV techs) would caution against waxing the roof, as it makes footing dangerous for those working on it.  And assume you have a fiberglass or aluminum roof, as  waxing other types would degrade them.

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Started this project this weekend.  Yesterday we did about half of the driver's side. (our dining room slideout).  We planned on doing the other half of that side today, Sunday, but too rainy today.  But the part we did looks great, so over the next few weekends we hope to do all of the RV fiberglass areas.

UPDATE - Feb 4th - we did the second half of the driver's side, everything aft of the dining room slide out.  Looks good so far.  Next up, we hope to be able to do the entire passenger side next weekend, (but it may take 2 weekends, we'll see).

UPDATE - Feb 12th - we did the whole passenger side, front half on Saturday and rear half today.  It's really looking good.  Next up we will do the back end one weekend and then the front end, just the fiberglass, not the metal cab, another weekend.  Then I will probably follow that with doing the roof, over several sessions.

UPDATE - Feb 26th - we did the back end today.  RV is looking good and nice to know I am protecting the fiberglass.

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If you want good guidance on cleaning and protecting your RV, go to the website "GOCLEAN.COM".  Several informative videos.  It is run by an expert in the RV industry. 

They recommend Baby Shampoo and Heinz Vinegar for cleaning.  No brushes, only lambs wool.  No microfiber on paint, only high grade terry cloth.

No wax is recommended, only polymers.

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OnTheRoad.

Before you throw things out about cleaning, please let us know what kind of coach you have, also is yours a full body paint?  Why should I buy a brand name vinegar?  After 50 years of cleaning Class A's...I have never used any of the above!  I advocate the KISS program!

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8 hours ago, OnTheRoad4Fun said:

They recommend Baby Shampoo and Heinz Vinegar for cleaning.  No brushes, only lambs wool.  No microfiber on paint, only high grade terry cloth.

This is what Newmar recommends also but I have a problem using vinegar in my wash water. 

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I have used just plain tap water with vinegar which is supposed to eliminate spotting and streaking. Still had both. So I just rinse with tap water dry and then Lou's Slick Mist. Said that it can be used on both the vehicle finish even decals and the windows. Works good on the finish but I don't care for it on the windows. Seems to leave a film which really shows up when going into the bright sun. Still it is a great product and easy to use. 

Herman

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I don't use water...well once in a while or I have it done "professionally."  I use Wash-Wax-All, a water-less procedure.

Oh, wait, there was a product by Mr. Clean that used a polymer based soap and a d-ionization filter that was absolutely great and did not leave any water marks.

Our previous MH, 2008, had a shine in 2017 just as it did in 2008. Microfiber was the only thing "I" used on it. No brush marks, no swirl marks and no water marks.

Unfortunately the new to us MH has swirl marks from previous owner that are visible when the Sun is shinning on it.

I can guarantee their will be no additional ones added.

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I use Lucas Slick Mist and it has eliminated 90% of the swirls, I got from a wash/wax job, in Mexico 3 years ago! 

Had mine washed for the 1st time in 3 years, at a Lone Star Rally, 2 weeks ago!  Linda had hers washed/wax also...her 1st in 2 years, she uses the same as me!

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