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What Should I Use To Clean The Outside Of My Caravan


chezzer
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Hi, i have just bought a 25 year old caravan and want to give it a good clean before i put it away for the winter. my dad said use Silky but he has not had a caravan for years. is this a good product to use or are there better ones on the market?

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Fenwicks range of cleaners and rinses are favoured on the Forum

 

There is a post on the forum about this subject.

 

http://www. caravantalk. org. uk/topic/54502-cleaning-the-outside-of-a-caravan/page__fromsearch__1

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We clean 50+ vans a year and only use a proprietary car shampoo - never seen the need to spend lots of money on anything else - car shampoo does the job and is relatively inexpensive.

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car wash wax and a polish with any wax cheapo like wilkos is good as little and often seems the best keep on top of it and then a simple wash will be all thats needed stubbern marks try mer.

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started off using wash and wax car stuff which was ok but didn't remove the black streaks completely. ..moved over to Fenwicks and it's fantastc. I use Motorhome Cleaner followed by Bobby Dazzler and it produces a sparking van. (I use motorhome rather than caravan cleaner because it has a rust inhibitor in it so I use it on the car as well and the result is fantastic!).

 

Depends on how much you want to spend I suppose. ..car shampoo around £2 - £3 or Fenwicks £6. 95 or so . Fenwicks does go a long way though as you don't need much and I think my van is worth a little pampering! :wub:

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Hi, i have just bought a 25 year old caravan and want to give it a good clean before i put it away for the winter. my dad said use Silky but he has not had a caravan for years. is this a good product to use or are there better ones on the market?

 

 

 

Caravan or automotive cleaning products fall into three main categories Chezzer.

 

These categories are Shampoo, Polish and Wax

 

 

It's always best to begin by washing or hosing down the caravan with clean water to wash off any grit particles.

 

Shampoo:

 

Fenwicks Caravan Cleaner (or other well known brands of caravan wash shampoo) in common with most caravan shampoo products that are added to warm water work by dissolving tar spots, grease, road grime etc and the chemical make up of these products make them safe and suitable to use on the thin layer of paint on aluminium panels as well as the various rubbers and plastic / grp components.

 

Black streaks are caused mainly by accumulated dirt / dust running down the sides of the caravan from the roof and windows and a spot of Fenwicks Caravan cleaner applied undiluted on a clean cloth will remove black streaks after rinsing.

 

 

After rinsing off soap suds you may notice that some forum members have mentioned that they use Fenwicks Bobby Dazzler.

 

This is best applied via a garden spray bottle (£1 from Wilkinsons) and it's some sort of silicone wash similar to the stuff used in car washes, it leaves a temporary shine on the caravan without the need for buffing etc.

 

 

Polish:

 

Silky falls into this category. Caravan polish is slightly less abrasive than car polish but it is still an abrasive cream which removes a minuscule layer of the surface finish to remove dullness and generally speaking polish contains a mild abrasive, silicon and polymers which leave a clean and shiny surface after buffing.

For dull paintwork polishes such as Silky are a good restorative treatment, polishes are much less agressive and abrasive than cutting pastes such as T cut which would rapidly remove caravan paint surfaces down to the aluminium skin which is why T cut or 'paint restorer' is unsuitable for caravans.

Polishing only needs to be done once a year if the polished surface is protected afterwards by a wax / sealant.

 

Wax:

 

Automotive waxes don't actually clean a caravan, they are designed to provide a durable protective coating over a washed and polished surface.

After regular washing polish needn't be used, but a coating of good wax (products containing carnauba wax are best) will help to preserve the cleanliness and shine given by the annual application of polish described earlier. Wax offers some protection for the paintwork against the longer term effects of the weather, sunlight, road grime etc.

A popular wax product amongst caravan owners is Auto Glym Extra Gloss Protection, after washing apply the wax for a shine that should last around 3 months.

Not all caravan owners use wax, an application of Fenwick's Bobby Dazzler would provide a shine for a time after the caravan has been washed so it's purely a matter of choice and preference.

(personally I use Fenwicks caravan cleaner, an annual polish with Meguiars step 2 polish and an application of Meguiars step 3 wax every 3 months or so with regular wash downs in between to keep the grit off).

 

I hope that my little breakdown of product applications has been of some use, there is often some slight confusion between polishing which should ideally be an annual task and waxing which can be done according to the caravan owners preferences but normally at three monthly intervals with regular washing.

Silky is a good polish product ( I no longer use it because it's stored in an open container with a lid and with the lid off grit and dust could be mixed with the polish, I use bottled polish) but it's not the whole story and an understanding of what the products are designed to achieve can help you to determine what to use.

Edited by parksy
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We clean 50+ vans a year and only use a proprietary car shampoo - never seen the need to spend lots of money on anything else - car shampoo does the job and is relatively inexpensive.

 

I completely agree. I use Tescos budget car shampoo for the car and caravan.

 

I can't see the sense in wasting money

 

Scales

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As a car fanatic i only use the best i can afford on either car or caravan, i never would let anyone else wash my car! I have used just about every product there is out there and i now find ZYMOL products the very cream of the crop. I have a couple of classic cars and being self employed i dont have alot of spare time so when Im taking a car to a show my time is limited so i like a product to last. First clean/wash the car/caravan thoroughly (I use AutoGlym Motorcycle cleaner for black streaks and Bugs) changing the water after each side! then chamois dry and apply ZYMOL Carbon wax. Easiest wax/polish Ive ever used, wipe on in straight lines and buff before dry, covering about 2foot square at a time. I have a Unicorn Barcelona and the whole van can be done in little over 2 hours, windows and all. It leaves an unbeleivable finish and lasts the whole season with out a problem, water even runs off the windows as well as paintwork! Then after washing van through out the season, if needed it gets a quick going over with ZYMOL Field Glaze. These products are fantastic but they do come at what seems a silly price, but I can assure u the wax will last years (I have been using it for 2 years, on many a car, my current and last caravan and have used about a golf ball sized amount!) Their cleaner wax is also good at sensible money but does contain a very light abrasive, and dosent last so long.

Micro fibre cloths are also a great investment, they leave no streaks and are a fantastic all round cleaning cloth, they wash quite well too. My wife even uses them inside the van now, (Fantastic on vinyl floors).

One more tip, my last van, a 2004 Senator Arizona suffered from the plastic locker door trims, thetford toilet door and awning rail insert discolouring in the sun, I used and had great results using CIF Cream on a damp microfibre cloth, being careful not to touch the paint work as its quite abrasive.

Edited by darrenf
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