RV Detailing – How to Make Your RV Look Newer and Increase Its Value

RV detailing is the process of cleaning your RV and can be done by a professional or yourself. It can help your RV look and smell newer, and it can also increase its value when you sell it.

To start, spray one side of the RV with water to soften any dirt and grime. Then, use a soft sponge or wash mitt to scrub that side of the RV.


RV owners who detail their own vehicles often do some of the exterior work themselves. This may include sanding down any areas where the paint is peeling, painting or re-caulking.

If you’re going to be painting your RV, make sure you have the proper equipment. This includes cleaning and sanding supplies, masking tape, and primer. Also, a heat gun can be an excellent tool for getting rid of old sun baked decals before you start sanding.

If you’re not comfortable with sanding and priming, hiring a professional is a good idea. This can save you a lot of time and headaches. If you do hire a professional, remember to tip him or her. It’s a common practice to give about 10-15% of the total cost of the job.


RV interiors are usually neutral, meaning you have a lot of options to dress up your RV and make it feel like home. You can add decorative pillows to your sofa or master bed, a table runner to the dining room table, and even new lighting.

A good detailer will use safe chemicals and proper cleaning techniques to wash the inside of your RV. They will also clean the awnings that provide shade and remove mildew from the slide-outs.

Older RVs may need a more in-depth cleaning and possibly some paint polishing to remove oxidation caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. This work can cost an additional $100-$200 on top of the base detailing price. Consider tipping your detailer, similar to how you would a car detailer.


Depending on whether your RV is equipped with an aluminum, rubber or fiberglass roof, you may need specialist RV detailing supplies to ensure that the surface stays in good condition. Look for non-toxic formulas that won’t erode the protective film and easily remove road salt and other common contaminants.

Also consider purchasing a quality pole-mounted brush to tackle any hard-to-reach spots on your RV. Many of these brushes have soft bristles and are designed to not damage the exterior.

Check your RV for any roof-to-wall or roof-to-cap transition joints that need to be sealed. You can use EternaBond tape, available in 4- to 50-foot lengths, to repair small tears and seam separations. It can even be used to seal snags or holes caused by trees.


An RV’s awning is often the first thing people notice. So, if your awning is in need of some detailing work, look for an RV detailer nearby that offers mobile services. This will cut down on the detailer’s traveling costs, which may lower your detailing prices.

Most awnings are made from man-made fibres, typically polyester. These fibres can be solution dyed to give a range of colours without compromising strength. In addition they can be spun to produce a range of sizes and thicknesses. These properties can be rated by a denier count.

Inflatable awnings are increasingly popular with caravan owners. These dispense with conventional poles in favour of inflated tubes making them easier to pitch and put away. They are also less likely to damage your leisure vehicle in stormy conditions.


A full detail will include cleaning the tires, using a product made specifically for them and UV-coating to protect from harmful sun rays. Tires that have been sitting too long can also suffer from ozone damage or dry rot, which is when the rubber and fabric deteriorates.

A spare tire should always be covered to keep it protected from sunlight, and the tires on your RV should be replaced with those that are designed for trailers or light truck radial tires (LT). The ST tires are specially designed to handle heavy loads for longer periods of time and have stiffer sidewalls than those on a car or truck.

A good detailing service will address the awning, as well, which may have mildew or mold build-up from being rolled up wet. A thorough wash will remove any built-up and a quality wax will prevent oxidation.

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