RV Cleaner Wax
You are asking the wrong questions

Let me guess...

you are here looking for the best RV cleaner wax? But what if I told you that a cleaner wax for your RV is not always the best choice.



I accept the appeal of being able to not only wax your RV, but simultaneously removing some oxidation and staining from your RV with a your choice in a top rated cleaner wax.

What if I told you that not all RV's are created equal, and a cleaner wax may not be the most ideal route for you?


You and Your RV

rv cleaner wax

"I have found that most RV owners don't understand their RV. They don't understand the actual material they might be working on, and therefore don't actually go looking for the most appropriate product for their RV."


In the name of simplicity, I am going to break down the subject into two distinct types of RV's that comprise 99% of all RV's out there. Most likely your RV or trailer will fit into one of these categories.

(If by chance you have one of the odd-ball versions, I will address those in my actual RV cleaner wax recommendations.)

  • Fiberglass/Gel Coat
  • Full Body Paint

And the ironic part of this is that really, both types of RV's are actually of the same construction. The only difference is that one has been painted, while the other is left unpainted.

And that is the critical factor you need to understand before you go shopping for the best RV cleaner wax.


cutaway of RV sidewallsThis is a cross section of your typical RV sidewall. Plywood sandwiched between fiberglass reinforced gelcoat resin, or gelcoat resin only as the top coat.

Fiberglass and Gelcoat: The problem with these two terms is that very few people understand the difference. Gelcoat is actually the top layer of your RV that you will be dealing with. Gelcoat is a polyester resin that is applied directly over the wood sidewalls of your RV that give it that durable and shiny appearance.

Fiberglass: Fiberglass in the context of building RV's is used as reinforcement of the sidewalls. The fiberglass can be in the form of a textile fabric made with woven glass filaments, or simply glass fibers that have been added to the resin matrix or composite. Not every RV will be made using fiberglass as a reinforcement and matters not at this point.

Gelcoat: Gelcoat is the top layer and is the critical part of the equation here as this is the top layer or surface material you will be dealing with as an RV owner. The only difference comes as to whether you have an RV where the manufacturer has painted the gelcoat surface just like a car is painted, or the gelcoat is left exposed.

Gelcoat:
The Good and the Bad

RV polishingHere I am atop of this C class RV polishing the front overhang to remove the oxidation from the gelcoat

The point should be clear that you as an RV owner you are contending with gelcoat that is either bare (typically white or a light beige) or has been painted.

Gelcoat is also the same material that boats and bathtubs are made with as the top coat. If you are a boat owner, the only difference is that boats are generally made with color pigments added to the gelcoat process to create the colors, where RV's are either painted like cars, or decorated using cheap (yes I said it) vinyl graphics.

Gelcoat is a great material to manufacture with as it is cheap to use, strong, and durable. The problem is that it is also very prone to oxidizing as it is exposed to the elements of weather, sun, and dirt.


RV Cleaner Wax:
What, Why, and When

What: An RV cleaner wax is a two-in-one product that removes oxidation and staining from your RV while at the same time leaving a layer of protection in the form of waxes. silicones, or synthetic sealants.

Why: To remove light oxidation while applying a coat of wax or sealant.

When: This is really the million dollar question of this page. And this is where most people get tripped up. The simple answer is that any RV cleaner wax can be used on your RV whether it is painted or unpainted gelcoat. But RV cleaner waxes are actually designed to be used on the un-painted gelcoat RV's where the siding becomes dull, chalky, blotchy, and stained.


RV Cleaner Wax:
Light Duty Oxidation Removal

If your RV, boat, or toy hauler have little to no oxidation I recommend a simple cleaner wax like the one's below. What most people don't realize that even if your boat or RV has some shine to it, there is always going to be some degree of oxidation and a cleaner wax is always my first pick even if I think the RV or boat is in excellent condition and appears to have no oxidation.

A quality cleaner wax will always prove to deliver better results over a straight RV or marine wax and is a great way to maintain your RV or boat in excellent condition.



Meguiar's M5032 Marine/RV One Step Cleaner Wax - Liquid - 32 oz.

  • Top rated RV cleaner wax.
  • Perfect for ongoing maintenance waxing your boat and RV will require on a regular basis.
  • Recommended even if you think your RV is in excellent condition and has no oxidation to it.
  • Recommended for your un-painted RV. (can still be used on painted RV's, but this wouldn't be my first choice)
  • Can be used by hand or machine (as a rule, I always recommend using a quality dual action polisher whenever working on RV's and boats. Any cleaner wax will prove far more effective and you will stand a fighting chance against trying to wax such large items without rubbing until your arm wants to fall off)



3M Marine Restorer and Wax (33.8-Ounce)

  • Another top rated RV cleaner wax (labeled as a marine restorer officially, but formulated for any gelcoat/fiberglass surface)
  • From a long established trusted name in all types of polishes and compounds.
  • Can be used by hand or machine. (as a rule, I always recommend using a quality dual action polisher whenever working on RV's and boats. Any cleaner wax will prove far more effective and you will stand a fighting chance against trying to wax such large items without rubbing until your arm wants to fall off)

Heavy Duty Oxidation Removal

Many of you will be up against serious levels of oxidation and only the most aggressive compounds will prove effective. While these types of heavy compounds seem scary to most, you need to understand that because gelcoat is such a tough and durable material, it would be very difficult to mess up. This is not car paint you are working on!



Meguiar's M6732 Marine/RV One Step Compound - 32 oz.

  • This is not an all-in-one type of cleaner wax like the ones above.
  • This is a heavy duty compound that will be required to remove moderate to heavy levels of oxidation.
  • Can be used by hand or machine. (as a rule, I always recommend using a quality dual action polisher whenever working on RV's and boats. Any cleaner wax will prove far more effective and you will stand a fighting chance against trying to wax such large items without rubbing until your arm wants to fall off)
  • Follow up with a cleaner wax (yes; I always recommend a cleaner wax on any RV or boat despite how perfect it is)

All-in-One RV Care



Meguiar's M4965 Marine/RV Fiberglass Restoration System

  • This kits has all formulations designed specifically for each step of the process.
  • The compound in this kit is less aggressive than the stand-alone compound of Meguiar's just above (Meguiar's #67)
  • I recommend this kit for the seriously committed and for RV's with light to moderate levels of oxidation. (for heavy oxidation, I definitely recommend the heavy duty oxidation compound #67 above from Meguair's)
  • Follow up with a cleaner wax (yes; I always recommend a cleaner wax on any RV or boat despite how perfect it is)

rv cleaner wax on fiberglass rv siding

In closing, I hope I have helped you become an informed consumer with my page on RV cleaner wax, and helped your relationship between you and your RV become a better one!

Sincerely,

Darren priest signature

”Serving Orange County, CA for Over 25 Years”

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