We’ve spent a lot of time on the exterior of this monster of a vehicle. The exterior still has more work to be done on it but we’re going to take a break from that and take a little journey into the belly of the beast. Although the interiors of RVs are more like houses than vehicles, they still require an occasional interior cleaning and detailing.
When it comes to the process of RV interior cleaning, there isn’t as much of a strict order for RVs as there is for regular vehicles. It can vary greatly depending on what kind of interior parts and pieces are in there and its it has upgrades and high end materials. It also depends on if you are doing a “quick” cleaning or a deep clean. Since most people hopefully know how to clean a house I will do my best to throw in some pointers about cleaning the inside of an RV. Some of the areas that I will be focusing on are the master bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen area, and the driver and passenger seats to name a few.
RV Interior Cleaning is like Cleaning a House
If you have ever cleaned a house then you usually have a process or at least an idea of what needs to be tackled first. The area I most typically like to start in is the area that is furthest from the side door that you enter the RV from or at the highest portion of the RV if there are stairs.
Vacuuming the RV Interior
I would most commonly start the RV interior cleaning with vacuuming and cleaning the blinds and windows. If there are closet or storage areas, don’t hesitate to vacuum and wipe the insides of them down. If the RV is completely empty, you will have a much easier time in the cleaning process. When vacuuming, you can vacuum sections at a time or vacuum the entire RV. I have done it both ways because there have been cases when doing sections at a time was easier than trying to do the whole thing.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
After vacuuming, you’ll want to wipe down and disinfect. As far as the chemicals you will want to use for RV interior cleaning, just think of the chemicals you’d want to use for house cleaning and typical auto detailing. A simple all purpose cleaner that is environmentally friendly will work great for your basic cleaner. I have also sprayed degreaser on a microfiber rag for some surfaces, such as cupboards and tabletops. This step will help remove most of the dirt and dust that may most common.
Glass Cleaner Tricks
Next, if there are any surfaces that have a glossy surface or finish, you can use a glass cleaner to help remove any dirt and/or streaks. This also helps them shine better and won’t leave behind any cleaning residue.
“The Next Level” of RV Interior Cleaning
After wiping down and cleaning, steaming and shampooing will be the next step if you are wanting to take the RV interior cleaning to the next level, detailing. Like I said, the inside of an RV will be much like a house and most to all of the chemicals and techniques will be the exact same so it will mostly depend on your routine and personal preference on how deep you want your cleaning and detailing to go.
Cross Contamination Safety
A very big thing that you will want to remember while cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen and pay attention to what is being used to clean certain areas. For example, much of the cleaning may be done with paper towels. Paper towels are definitely okay. They are thrown away after use. BUT if you are using microfiber rags or sponges. DO NOT use the same rags on the kitchen counter that you used on the shower or worse…THE TOILET! This will only lead to cross contamination and possibly get people sick. I know it sounds obvious and dumb but it can happen easily if not monitored closely. Especially if you are using rags that are usually washed and reused because sometimes the rags won’t leave your hands from one section of the RV to the next. I highly recommend to have a plentiful amount of rags on hand if that is the route you are taking and to have a basket or bag close by to throw used rags in. Another method is to have 2 or 3 different colored rags and to use one color of rag for surfaces such as the bathroom rags, floor rags if there are areas of the floor that aren’t carpet, and the other color for the kitchen areas and stove tops. And then of course window rags. We usually use 3 to 5 different colored rags for this very purpose. As I said though, paper towels are perfectly fine and easy to tell when they have served their time.
Bathrooms and Kitchens
The big areas of focus that you will want to make sure are done well and thoroughly are the bathroom and kitchen areas. You will want to make sure that said areas are disinfected and wiped down well. If there are chemicals that work well and you are comfortable using, use them. This is one of those things that will largely be up to your own discretion. These are great areas to use a steamer as well to help clean and loosen up gunk and dirt. The steam will also sanitize.
RV Storage Compartments
Some extra areas that are important to keep an eye on are kind of on the exterior but are kind of interior as well. Confused enough yet? I’m talking about the storage compartments that are on the exterior of the RV. It is important to clean these compartments out often and inspect them closely. Rodents, spiders and other insects can find their way inside those compartments and set up a nice little hang out pad.
The storage areas on the interior are important to keep an eye on as well. Taking everything out, inspecting, vacuuming, and wiping down all of the storage areas are important to do at least twice a year. If you have had the RV in storage or it has been awhile since being used it is very important to do a full inspection on the RV. Being on the road or on vacation is not the place you want to be when you discover that you may have some stowaways on the road with you.
Driver’s Cab Area
Lastly you’ll want to approach the driver’s cab area and treat that as you are working on a car. The materials used to clean and protect this area should be auto friendly. If you are cleaning a 5th wheel trailer then you can omit this step obviously.
So basically, keeping the interior of your RV clean is just as important as keeping a clean house. I know most people know how to clean a house and parts of the house including the bathroom, the kitchen, and the master bedroom. Most people probably don’t need to be told how to clean their house but I hope that I said something that will help you in cleaning the inside of your RV. As always be careful with any electronics or specialty equipment. If you don’t feel comfortable with cleaning it yourself or you have better things to do with your time, you can call a house cleaning company or a mobile detailing service to come take care of that for you. The advantage of a detailing company is they can handle the interior and exterior as well. This can take the load off you and make it easier for you to get it all taken care of in one call. An RV is in that awkward area in the middle of a vehicle and a house, just make sure you are thorough and regular in your cleanings to avoid the problems of letting it get too dirty. If you feel like some help give us a call at Onsite Detail, (801) 412-9274 or request an appointment online. We’d be happy to help out with you RV interior cleaning and detailing project. Either way, be careful and safe travels.
by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail