Woman cleaning caravan roof

RV Cleaning, Storage and Maintenance: Must-Have Products

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Woman cleaning caravan roof

Squeaky Clean On and Off the Road

It’s your home away from home — or if you’re a full timer, just… your home. So why shouldn’t your RV get the same kind of care and attention as your house or apartment? In fact, since your RV has got a lot less space than even the average studio, it’s even more imperative to keep everything neat, clean, and organized. Otherwise, your beautiful getaway vehicle will transform into a claustrophobic nightmare, not to mention drawing pests and insects.

Keeping your RV sparkling requires a little bit more than buying some Windex and Clorox wipes — but not much! It’s pretty simple to ensure your rig stays in peak condition, ready for whenever the travel bug bites again. So without further ado, here are our best tips, tricks, and ideas if you’re looking for the best RV cleaner and storage solutions.

Note: It’s a good idea to clean your RV in accordance with CDC guidelines if you will be renting it out to others. Additionally, RVshare has named an official cleaning partner, TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit will help match RV owners with local cleaning pros – individual contractors called Taskers – to effectively clean their RVs pre- and post-rental.

Related: 18 Reasons You Really Don't Want to Buy an RV

Camper Van RV Washing

Reliable Exterior RV Cleaner

Whether you’re getting ready to put your rig in storage for winter or it’s just well past time for a bath, you may be wondering how to clean the outside of a camper trailer. It might look like a big project, but it’s not a whole lot different than washing up your day-to-day vehicle! 

There are lots of RV cleaners and polishes on the market to help make the job easier, like this heavy-duty gel gloss cleaner and wax solution that RV owners swear is magic.

Related: Easy RV Cleaning Hacks for People Who Hate Cleaning

Splatter of flying fish insects on a windshield
Colby Lysne/istockphoto
Woman Cleaning and Doing Maintenance of Camper Trailer

Try Your Hand

Of course, there are plenty of other RV cleaning products on the market, both online and at your local camping store. But if you’re feeling a little crafty — and maybe brave — you could even try mixing up some of your own.

Many owners swear by their own homemade RV cleaners, even for really dirty jobs like cleaning out and deodorizing the RV’s wastewater septic tanks. Some campers use a treatment of dish soap, water, and mineral spirits to clean delicate rubber RV rooftops or RV vinyl awnings.

Related: How to Clean RV Awning: A Step by Step Cleaning Guide

Close-up of girl hands hand squeezing green sponge in bucket filled with soap
Nenad Cavoski/istockphoto

Create Your Own Car Wash

In our experience, the most reliable cleaner, whether you’re talking about your RV’s interior or exterior, is good ol’ elbow grease. Some stains and residues take a little bit of scrubbing.

When you’re washing your rig down, an extendable car wash brush can really help, not to mention a high-pressure hose nozzle. Turn it into a fun and productive outdoor activity for the whole family.

Related: How to Spruce Up the Exterior of Your RV

Young woman washing dishes inside a motor home

RV Interior Solutions

Once your RV’s exterior is handled, it’s time to get inside. You might be surprised at how disorganized and dirty that tiny living space can get.

As far as cleaning your RV’s interior, it’s fairly similar to how you’d clean your home. You should have disinfectant solutions available formulated for kitchen or bathroom surfaces in order to kill germs and help keep everyone safe — Clorox and Lysol are popular options, but you can also find adequate natural alternatives (though they might be a little pricier).

Related: 32 RV Tips For Laundry And Cleaning On The Road

Young woman cleaning the floor of her RV

Do a Clean Sweep

You should also sweep, vacuum, and Swiffer or mop your RV’s floors with the correct kind of cleaner for whatever material it’s made out of. Never leave an RV floor wet for long periods after mopping — or else.

Cleaning now

Don't Forget the Loo

Don’t forget that your RV’s toilet is different from the one you’ve got at home. Although regular toilet cleaning chemicals might work, they can also interfere with the specially-created deodorizers you need to keep your RV smelling fresh and that help break down waste solids. Be sure to check the packages of all your bathroom cleaners to ensure nothing will interact badly.

Related: The Ultimate RV Holding Tanks Guide

Young Woman Cleaning her RV
Packing RV

If You Take It Out, Put It Back

The first rule is to make sure everything has a place, and to keep it there whenever possible. That might mean using hanging closet organizers or drawer separators to create more distinct spaces inside your RV’s storage zones to help keep everything organized. (Don’t fall into the trap of just throwing everything in a “junk drawer.")

Open Cargo By Camper

Use Every Inch of Space

You should also take advantage of any excess storage your RV has built in, such as the under-RV storage compartment. Obviously, it’s not the most convenient place to put items you need to access every day, like clothing or toiletries, but if you’re traveling with large pieces of outdoor equipment or gear — or even next season’s clothes neatly folded in plastic storage containers — the underside of your RV is a great solution.

Rv cavaran with bicycles on road in Costa Smeralda Sardinia

Don't Forget to Look Up

You might also be able to utilize RV rooftop storage, especially if you have a small, foldable camper trailer. Many people utilize this sturdy, flat space to store large items like bicycles and kayaks. Of course, on a larger model, adding on rooftop storage can significantly increase your possibly-already-pretty-significant clearance height, so be careful before you decide to take on this option.

Related: The Ultimate RV Roof Guide

RV Kitchen

Think Outside of the Box (or Rig)

There are many other RV storage accessories and creative containers available on the market, not to mention all kinds of crazy-clever DIY ways other RVers have gotten around the space crunch problem. Just check out these RV storage solutions you likely haven’t already considered.

Caravan parking

Parking It (Just for A While)

If you’re looking to store your actual RV and not just the stuff inside it, you’ve come to the right place. Check out this running list of the best RV storage facilities by state, which is constantly being updated to bring you the most valid and up-to-the-minute information.

Related: Bucket List RV Trips for 2021