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According to the Unicorn manual, it is suggested to use dish washing detergent to wash the GRP panel. my question is which is the best detergent to use?

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The one that's kindest to your hands, always works for me !

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If it's washing up, sorry can't help, wife's department. :lol::lol:

 

 

tin hat on and taking cover

 

kot

pigs

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Washing up liquid usualy contains salt and is not recommended for car paintwork, caravan paintwork seems to be more fragile so maybe car shampoo or stardrops would be a better bet?

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We've been doing our business for a long time now and unless GRP has moved on considerably, this has to be one of the most ridiculous pieces of advice we've ever seen given. One thing we know after all these years, is that dishwasher detergents have to be one of the top reasons that GRP goes flat so quickly. We have huge amounts of experience in restoring Motorhomes which are more commonly built using GRP panels.

We are always keen to educate ourselves on different causes of the issues we rectify, and time after time we see people using Washing up liquid, Dishwasher tablets, Ciff, Mr Muscle and all sorts of kitchen or bathroom products. Call it coincidence or call it just plain bad luck, but these are always the examples that we need to restore.

Also, we work on many GRP Motorhomes, GRP Abbey Caravans and GRP Adria Caravans that have used correct cleaning products and still after several years have a good factory shine.

I'm not here to tell anyone whats best to use or whats worse as that is the choice of the owner. However, I will happily say that the advice given by certain manufacturers on how to look after the exterior is not something I would personally follow.

 

Just for the record, a GRP constructed Caravan or Motorhome will cost almost 50% more for us to restore, than a more traditional Aluminium construction. Reason being it takes a lot more work and a lot more product to restore a GRP panel, than an Aluminium one. Also, GRP will fade far faster than Aluminium as we have proven, with our most popular Caravan Front panel restoration service that we pretty much do daily.

Edited by Tourershine
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Tourershine, I respect the work you do with caravan as per all the recommendation from your customers.

 

this is a quote from my Unicorn owners manual.

The exterior of your caravan is very durable and easy to clean owing to it's high exterior gloss properties. To maintain a showroom finish one only needs to wash the caravan monthly (or more frequently) using a mild dishwashing detergent, but to avoid using strong alkaline ( e. g. tri- sodium phosphate) or acidic cleaners or abrasives. Waxing the components once or twice a year with a good grade paste wax will help to maintain the colour and finish.

 

Am I to assume that this is wrong.

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I would never use washing up liquid to wash a van, it is a very poor piece of advice, anything made to wash a car is good, not something made to clean stuff in your house.

Land Rover Discovery and Conquerer 630

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Are we being advised to use what we would use in a dish washing machine or in the bowl/sink?

Regards, David
Peugeot 308 GT Premium, 1.5 diesel 2021

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It's not for me to say what's right or wrong, only pass on what we personally know about the problems that can occur with the use of incorrect products. Like I said, it's the owners choice what to use, but I'd suspect that any future issues would be blamed on other factors and not the facts of what we already know with experience. The Senator is a perfect example of this. Try going back to the manufacture with the problems that plague the side panels of many older Baileys, where as the sides fade in exactly the same places, under the decals. We do dozens of these a month and it's always the same problems. I would suspect any dealer or manufacture won't have a reason why this happens. Also, many Unicorn owners remove the eyebrow decals from the fronts. Why in such a short period of time, do they change the colour of the panel where the decals were so fast?? Again, no one knows. We all have our theories.

At the end if the day, I can almost guarantee that anyone not using the correct products to look after their exteriors, will soon be calling specialists like us. The manufactures build the caravans, they may take advice from the GRP suppliers on how to maintain the finish, but I don't suspect that the glossy finish will last more than a couple of years if people use washing detergents. I guess only time will tell on the newer caravans and I only hope we are wrong.

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Have I got this wrong?

 

It is my understanding, that the Alu-Tech construction is GRP on the inside and aluminium on the outside.

 

See here: The important bit is 40 seconds into the video.

 

http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=p_x8bDuOVO0

 

In which case, I see nothing wrong with using a car wax-wash product to clean the outside of the van.

 

Washing up liquids for dishes washed by hand, contain salt to give the liquid a thicker consistency. Not good for any aluminium panels

 

Dishwasher tablets are highly corrosive and will eat their way through aluminium and your skin with ease, so not a good idea either!

Bailey Orion News & Information - 

 

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My U2 is GRP on the outside. I use Autoglym shampoo regularly and Autoglym super resin polish twice a year. Washing up liquid is stupid and if Bailey say use it then Bailey are stupid. Simple as that. Oh, and if you think anyone knows better than Tourershine then good luck to you

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It's funny, I'm currently doing a CT members brand new GRP constructed Elddis (yes I am working Spencer)

I've just had a look through the Elddis aftercare advice and this not only contradicts the advice given above be Bailey, but states the 'Under no circumstances should household cleaners be used' Elddis confirms all the advice we give after we've visited a customer.

So I can see why people are not overly sure what the best thing to use.

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Looks like I got it wrong then.

 

I found this from the brochure - I've never seen the brochure before!

 

"A vehicle designed to allow you to get the most from the great
outdoors Orion offers you the flexibility of use as a mobile base from
which to enjoy your chosen leisure activity.
It is built using the same high performance Alu-Tech construction system featured in
the other Bailey ranges and it also includes a GRP outer skin for extra durability. This
provides the vehicle with numerous benefits of ownership including a comprehensive
manufacturer’s warranty and an extended bodyshell integrity guarantee* for
additional peace of mind."

Bailey Orion News & Information - 

 

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I've no great experience of cleaning caravan exteriors but I'm rater fanatical about my car. Just picked up a 2nd user Senator S6 and whilst it's not too bad it could look better. For now it will get a good wash, with a good quality car wash fluid and get covered for the winter. Come spring I'll be giving the exterior a good going over and using the same approach and products I use on the car.

 

So this is what I'll be going and dishwasher or washing up liquid won't come into the equation, that's just plain stupid.

 

Wash with good quality car wash fluid on an shaggy pile car wash glove, rinse with water being careful not to get water into the firdge vents or use too much pressure on seals. I might cover the fridge vents with plastic.

 

Once it's dry it will get a going over with detailers clay. This is completely non destructive and removes particles that have become embedded in the paintwork. After this the paintwork will feel glass smooth. any dull areas/scratches will get polished out with a mild abrasive polish (NOT T cut, that's way too abrasive) this will be followed by a regular polish such as Meguires NXT or Autoglym. I'd suggest care in polishing over decals and such to avoid damaging the finish on the decal.

 

The key to all this is the claying to prepare the surface for polishing. Whilst it will take a good half day it's not physically hard work and is easy to do. Check out the many YouTube videos for how to do this. Clay kits are increasingly available on the high street, Halfords usually stock the Meguires kits.

 

That's just my 2p and what I'll be doing to my van.

Unicorn IV Cartagena 2019my | Mercedes-Benz GLE350d (W166)

Senator Series 6 Indiana Now sold

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Have I got this wrong?

 

It is my understanding, that the Alu-Tech construction is GRP on the inside and aluminium on the outside.

 

See here: The important bit is 40 seconds into the video.

 

http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=p_x8bDuOVO0

 

 

The original Alutech was aluminium on the outside but this was changed to GRP first on the Orion and in the last year or so on other models so they are now all GRP.

My 2012 Pegasus is aluminium.

The video is dated Feb 2010 so naturally shows aluminium.

 

To answer the original post, I would not use any dish washer detergent on my car or caravan

Brian

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Like others I wouldn't use dish-washing detergent on the car or caravan, I wonder what they were thinking about when they thought up this advice :blink:

 

This topic has been covered before http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/81262-cleaning-products-with-grp-alutech/

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Well not had time to clean mine before it went into storage but my plan for it's first proper clean will be:

hosepipe rinse

snowfoam and left for 10 minutes

hosepipe rinse

poorboys suds wash with microfibre mitt using 2 bucket method ( dirty mitt gets cleaned in a different bucket of water prior to wash bucket)

hosepipe rinse

microfibre towel dry

poorboys white polish

collonite wax

My toys get something similar but obviously they are a little smaller

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Tourershine

 

Please tell us what shampoo and polish to use on a Bailey GRP

 

Thanks

 

John

 

We have always used the same product from day one on everything we initially wash, Autoglyms Shampoo and Conditioner. It's quite a mild shampoo and won't remove any stubborn stains, but that's where the Autoglym Caravan and Motorhome Cleaner works wonders. Bare in mind that 90% of our work is more specialist restoration jobs and the initial wash is only something we do to get the jobs clean before we start the more difficult work. Many of my customers use other products, Fenwicks being one of the most popular and we see no reason why they are not as good as any others. The only reason we don't use some of the other products is because they don't supply to the trade like Autoglym in bulk and to my door.

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20 years ago I was advised NEVER to use washing up liquid on cars as the salt would not only damage the paintwork but would induce rust as salt is corrosive. I would think that it would have a similar effect on GRP but not the rust obviously. My Orion has a GRP outer skin and this is washed with car shampoo the polished with Autoglym polish to remove the stubborn streaks and provide a nice shine. The GRP finish is quite high gloss and not dissimilar to painted aluminium when polished. I have noticed that the polished van seems to collect more streaks than if the van is just cleaned with 'Silky' and believe this is caused by the rainwater running down exactly the same channels on a polished van, leaving residue on the chanels whereas on non polished areas the rainwater runs down more in sheets. This was very noticable where I cleaned the van with silky once and when I polished it I could not get very high on the front roof and the unpolished bit was much less streaked than the polished bit. This is my theory anyway.

2004 Citroen C5 2. 0ltr diesel auto VTR and 2011 Bailey Orion 430/4

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General maintenance section 5. 1. 1 of the Baileys Unicorn handbook

http://www. bailey-caravans. co. uk/651/images/downloads/2010%20Unicorn%20Hbook_21188. pdf

 

Wash with a car shampoo & goes on to say (amongst other things) under no circumstances use washing up liquid

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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General maintenance section 5. 1. 1 of the Baileys Unicorn handbook

http://www. bailey-caravans. co. uk/651/images/downloads/2010%20Unicorn%20Hbook_21188. pdf

 

Wash with a car shampoo & goes on to say (amongst other things) under no circumstances use washing up liquid

This is not the up to date Unicorn Manual!!

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