RV Service Tips – Cleaning Oxidation Run-off

by Wendy on June 27, 2013

Lose those unsightly white streaks on the coach exterior

by Gary Obermire of Premier RV Services

Are you noticing white streaks on the sides of the RV? Wondering what the cause is, how to clean the unsightly streaks, and how to avoid further oxidation from occurring?

The white streaks you’re seeing are oxidation run-off from the gelcoat on your roof fiberglass. Gel coat is the smooth outer special resin layer of the fiberglass used in the build of our coach. Oxidation is a result of the sun’s UV exposure on the gel coat.

Although it does not present any structural concerns, of course you’d like to avoid this. Regular maintenance will help protect the roof surface from ultraviolet radiation. First let’s address removing the streaks.

Cleaning the streaks on the side of the coach and the coach roof fiberglass

Try a solution of one cup of detergent and a gallon of warm water to remove the streaks. Add a cup of bleach to this solution to take care of any mildew that may have formed on your roof.

If the streaks remain after washing with the soap solution, look for a fiberglass cleaning product that should be readily available at any good RV or marine accessory store. (For example, Gel Gloss Heavy Duty Cleaner and Wax from Camping World is one.

Some RVers swear by Simple Green cleaner…just enter RV Fiberglass Cleaner into your favorite internet search engine and you’ll discover a wide offering of products. Just be sure they are nonabrasive.)

To prevent the oxidation from recurring, apply a coating of 303 Aerospace Protectant to your roof’s surface every six months to year depending on the level of sun exposure. 303 Aerospace Protectant info is available on the manufacturer web site at www.303products.com.

Fiberglass Care Basic Do’s and “Don’ts

DO clean fiberglass as dirt and residue appear.

DO avoid cleaning fiberglass surfaces in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

DO start at the top and continue to lower levels

DO soak fiberglass surface with clean water and soap to loosen debris (rinse off excessive dirt/debris as a first step)

DO use a mild, non-abrasive commercial cleaning solution as needed, but remembering to thoroughly rinse off all of the cleaning solution.

DON’T use scrapers of any type when cleaning fiberglass.

DON’T allow residue/dirt on the exterior for extended periods of time.

DON’T clean fiberglass in direct sunlight/extreme temps.

DON’T use abrasive cleaning solutions or materials.

DON’T allow any metal parts of cleaning equipment to make contact with fiberglass.

DON’T allow abrasive debris/dirt particles between cleaning materials and fiberglass surface.

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