Owning a Big Rig can be a taxing effort requiring a lot of work washing and waxing plus maintaining these behemoths on wheels. To protect our investments it is critical that we proactively take care of the expensive paint jobs and protect all the external rubber parts including rubber seals and tires.
Over the years we have learned a lot about how to maintain the coach the hard way. But as with all RVer’s sharing information is the foundation of our society :).
We were at an American Coach Rally several years ago and as we were walking the park looking at all the beautiful paint jobs, we came across one of our friends who had an older coach but once we saw it, it immediately caught everyone’s eye. It’s paint even thought much more than 10 years old shined better than all the brand new coaches at the rally. This was even more interesting because this friend of ours was a full-timer. He did not keep his coach in a indoor facility. A large percentage of the time the coach was outside in the blistering sun (and in Florida mainly for that matter).
He shared with us his routine and this foundation has become how we maintain our paint and Rubber for our coach as well as for most of our friends. Surprisingly, it is MUCH easier to do it this way than the buff waxing efforts we used to do .
Washing the Coach
We wrote a previous article about using Blue Beacon Truck washes as a mechanism for cleaning the coach. Where Blue Beacon does a good job of getting the dirt and grime off the coach they do not do a good enough job of prepping the coach for waxing it. It is very important that all dirt and grime is off the coach prior to waxing it.
We use a soft bristle brush (Something like this). It is important to use a good soap that does not leave residue and also lessens watermarks when done. Our favorite is Gel-Gloss RV Wash and Wax. It has a Gel substance to it and really sticks to the walls. Does a great job of getting the dirt off. You can buy this on Amazon or at Camping world.
We wash the Front then one of the sides, then the back and then the other side and then the Front again. Mainly because the front gets so dirty. Lastly we go back through and wash the wheels. There is a method to our madness.
- We want to wash the front twice because the bugs and stuff sometimes get missed and we usually get them on our second wash.
- We wash the mags and wheels last because they can be quite dirty and we do not want the dirty water to get on the paint (Prepping for waxing)
This is how we wash the coach. Whether prepping to wax or just whenever we want to clean it. Normally for us with a 43′ it takes around 45 minutes.
Waxing the Coach
Over the years we have paid people to Wax our coach using buffers and even compound tough spots. They have done a great job and it usually costs around $400. But still it did not hold up as well as our friends and it was way more work than we were willing to do ourselves.
Bring on Liquid Glass! Liquid Glass is a secret that the Car Dealers have known about for years. Simply lay it on with a clean cloth very lightly and then take a rag and wipe it off. It gives great protection and gives a beautiful glassy wax coverage of the coach. We normally do 1 side of the coach putting it on and then go back and wipe it off. Does an amazing job. My friend and I have tested multiple coats and learned that 2 coats does make it look even better but that is where it stops. One important point. One on it is tough as nails so make sure you have prepared your paint ahead of time. If you have dull sections compound them first. We normally do 1 coat every 6 months or so.
Protecting Rubberized areas of the Coach
Michelin and others recommend using 303 Aerospace Protectant.
Think of it as a 50+ UV Level Sun Tan Oil for Tires and Rubber. We try to do this to all rubber on the outside of the bus once ever month or so depending on where we are. Only takes 5-10 minutes. We also do this for all rubber parts on the roof as well (Air conditioning covers, etc. )
Motorhome Magazine did a great article about Tire Maintenance back in 2014 here
So that is what we use. Would love to get your feedback on what you use and what you have learned about maintaining your coach. Let us know!
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