It’s spring cleaning time here at The Touring Camper! In addition to taking our camper in for her annual check-up (i.e., state inspection), we are working to get her gussied up for her summer trips. Here’s a look back at one of our popular posts about how we clean the camper’s exterior.
A few years back Kristin purchased some Charlie’s Soap laundry detergent after a friend raved about how well it cleaned–and at the time we were thrilled with its ability to remove baby poop stains. When I learned the company made a general purpose cleaner I decided to give it a try–and since then it has been my go-to cleaning agent.
This post contains affiliate links. Our disclosure policy can be found here.
When I use Charlie’s on the camper (or on our cars, lawn tractor, etc.) it not only cleans but it adds a bit of a sheen to the surface. I have found that future dirt build-up will slide off easier after using Charlie’s, sometimes with just a simple rinse of water. I have never waxed my camper but I know one person who used to wax his camper twice a year. I suggested he try Charlie’s and since then he no longer feels the need to wax his camper as he agrees that Charlie’s adds a protective sheen to the camper surface.
Below are some photos showing the camper before, during, and after cleaning:
And proof that I did get up on the roof to do the work. 🙂
Please note: Not all cleaning products are safe to use on all camper roofs. Although we have had great results using Charlie’s on our camper, before cleaning your camper we always recommend checking with your camper manufacturer for cleaning recommendations.
I also created a quick video showing me at work using Charlie’s:
The content of TheTouringCamper.com is intended for entertainment and information use only and is not to be construed as providing professional advice. Extra precautions, additional expert input, and additional research are always advised.
I live in California, where can I find this soap?
Hi Charlie! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! Do you use Amazon? If so, this link will take you to the cleaner: https://www.amazon.com/Charlies-Soap-Outdoor-Surface-128-Fluid/dp/B004X0B2T6?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004X0B2T6&linkCode=as2&linkId=MIAILSVUC7WHEAQT&redirect=true&ref_=as_li_tl&tag=thetoucam02-20
And if not, you could also find it (or a store near you) by visiting the Charlie’s website: http://www.charliesoap.com/order.asp.
Good luck and happy camping!
Carol Bazemore says
Do you think you could use this in the pressure washer?
Hi Carol! Hmmm…not sure on that one. Anytime you use a pressure washer on a camper you have to be cautious, especially because the seals and decals are vulnerable. We have only sprayed the cleaner on using the squirt bottle, and then we use a low pressure setting on the pressure washer, or lots of elbow grease. All the best! 🙂
Beverly Jones says
We have a Viking pop up. This should be awesome on the box & roof, but can it be used on the outside canvas? Thanks.
Hi Beverly–thanks for stopping by and reading! That’s a great question, but I’m not sure on the answer. If there’s a way to check with the manufacturer about what types of products are safe on the vinyl, I would do that. We have used Charlie’s on our camper awning with no problems, but I’m not sure if pop-up canvas is made of a similar material. Another option would be to check out the The Pop Up Princess’s recommendations over here: http://www.thepopupprincess.com/pop-up-camper-maintenance/cleaning-the-pop-up-camper-canvas/
Happy camping! 🙂
How do u clean the awning- ours is gross
Hi Becky–thanks for stopping by and reading! When we bought our awning, it came to us already stained and moldy from being rolled up wet. We used the Charlie’s all-purpose spray cleaner with a soft bristle brush on it and that helped tremendously. We’ve also used soft scrub with bleach (not sure if this is safe for the awning, but we were desperate to get sticky pine sap off). Unfortunately we have found that our awning gets moisture in it even when it has been rolled up dry, so keeping it mildew free is an ongoing battle. Hope that helps–happy camping!
Regarding your awning and keeping it dry, you can use PVC pipe. Cut it the long way so it can slip over your awning. Just a suggestion 😎
Hi Tina–thanks so much for stopping by and reading! And thanks for your great suggestion! That’s one I had not heard of–pretty nifty! 🙂
Lee Mullen says
Another great cleaning product is LA Awsome which is found in any dollar type store and its very inexpensive. I also have used Charlie’s Soap and really like it and I also use their laundry soap but it has to be ordered over the internet where I live and it cost quite a bit more than Awsome. There is a YouTube video of a guy cleaning the black streaks off his RV with Awsome and a magic eraser and that is where I found out about it. I also use it to clean the wheels and tires on my truck and am very happy with it.
Hi Lee–thanks for stopping by and reading! And thanks for the tip! 🙂 Happy camping!
Rebekah Brading says
I’m getting ready to reseal my roof due to massive leaks! Would this cleaner be good for that? Also, do you have any suggestions on what I should use for resealing my rubber roof? I’m at a loss on this project!
Hi Rebekah–thanks so much for stopping by and reading! While we have had good success with Charlie’s on our whole RV (roof included), we recommend that readers first check with the manufacturer guidelines since RV roofs are made from various materials, and some cleaning products could potentially damage roof material. As far as resealing a rubber roof, we have only resealed an aluminum roof, but we did use the same materials that Ray over at Love Your RV used on his RV. You can learn more here: http://www.loveyourrv.com/resealing-rv-roof-eternabond-tape/ Good luck!
At what strength have you mixed the Charlie’s in the spray bottle to wash your travel trailer? The bottle we have bought shows for RV exteriors it is 10:1. Thanks.
Hi Debbie! Jarrett doesn’t measure exactly how much he uses, but he says that a 10 parts water to 1 part Charlie’s solution is probably pretty close to what he mixes up in the spray bottle. 🙂
Eloise Hayes says
Thank you for such a great write up. Dirt is tracked in from outside, and those tiny kitchens and bathrooms have a curious way of gathering large amounts of grime.