How to Wash Your RV with Little to No Water

A short and simple video tutorial for washing your RV.

Kenny & Sabrina Phillips Kenny & Sabrina Phillips  |  04.20.2018

Keeping our RV clean and well maintained is important to us. When we started to travel full time we were surprised by how many campgrounds would not let us use their water to wash our RV, so we had to come up with another way to keep it looking good.

Initially, we tried to take it to a truck wash where they used pressure washers. After watching them spray pressurized water into various exhaust vents, I decided to start washing it by hand with FW1 waterless cleaner/wax. I have been using this product for the last five years on our cars and it performs very well.

I also use washing the RV by hand as an opportunity to inspect the overall condition of the exterior of our RV. Looking for any signs of wear and tear along caulk joints, slide toppers, window frames and more.

We hope you find the above video helpful and we wish you safe travels!

Products used in this video:

[Note: All products mentioned here and used in the video are being recommended by this GoLife contributor. Winnebago is not associated with any of the products listed.]

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  1. Kayla Posted on 02.04.2019

    Can this waterless wax product be used on travel trailer exteriors made of fiberglass?

  2. christine jensen Posted on 12.14.2018

    OMG, so we decided to jump in and try. cant begin to tell you how FANTASTIC this method is. this stuff works. Our new to us motorhome had not been cleaned on the outside and it really needed it especially after we took it on the road for 3 months. easy peasy and the bugs are even gone. Thank you

  3. Keith Jowers Posted on 08.31.2018

    Thanks for the tips as I was thinking of using a long brush. Glad my wife found your videos first. Look forward to learning more about our new travel vehicle. Maybe you have a tip on how to find more time to use it…lol.

  4. George Rink Posted on 05.11.2018

    Where can you purchase FW1 cleaner/ wax ?

  5. Russell Posted on 05.10.2018

    Nice video, I will have to try FW1. I don’t always want to wait until I’m home to wash our trailer. Do you have any tips for getting tree sap off the side windows? I’m not sure if they are glass.

  6. Tina Posted on 05.10.2018

    When washing walls always start from the bottom! My Mother always told me that. If any water would streak down thru the dirty bottom part you would never get that streak out!

  7. Kenny Phillips Posted on 05.09.2018

    Hi Everyone thank you so much for watching the video and for all of the great questions, I hope to answer all of them here in this comment.

    I use 10 towels during the wash process, as the towel I use to do the dry wipe becomes more and more damp it then takes the place of the wet towel I started with and and I add a new dry towel to the process, I keep repeating this until I’m done.

    It takes me a full 8hrs to wash and inspect the RV

    I do not wash our tires, I feel the best thing to do is leave them alone, a lot of tire cleaners will dry tires out, even the ones that are supposedly putting a seal coating on them. I think the best thing to do is just inspect to be sure there are no signs of cracking in the tires and pull any large stones out of the tread and when parked at campsites or boondocking spots keep your tires covered to protect them from the sun. If you feel as if they need to be washed only use a mild detergent, the dawn soap can be used for this as well and only needs a small amount similar to the roof.

    as for the scratching the RV, I personally have not experienced any scratching from washing the RV this way. The foam breaks and loosens up the dirt and I am not applying much pressure when wiping it down, there really is very little scrubbing or elbow grease put into it.

    Thanks again and safe travels everybody!

  8. Marj Posted on 05.05.2018

    Where can the ladder and FW1 be purchased? Want to use it on our Chieftain!

  9. charles stewart Posted on 05.05.2018

    Have you ever used wash wax all. Someone said this was good for our Rv’s.

  10. Fred Posted on 05.05.2018

    I’m curious as to how many micro fiber towels you used for this project?

  11. E.G. Hennis Posted on 05.05.2018

    How many towels did it take and how long did it take you? The video didn’t show doing the complete MH , and you sure was moving fast. I’m 85 years old and I just can’t move that fast any more. It didn’t show you washing the dual wheels either. You didn’t wash the tires .
    I guess I will still take ours to the truck wash.

  12. Jack Ferrell Posted on 05.05.2018

    Thanks for the insights, Kenny. The presentation is excellent. I just waxed my ’18 Navion last weekend for the first time. I have been cleaning many autos and RV over the years, but FW1 is new to me.

    My question: Using FW1 on a dirty, gritty surface. Most paint finish connoisseurs would say that is a big NO NO. What is your feeling about scratching the finish with that spray on wipe off method? If you add it all up, how many continuous hours did it take for you to clean your Class A?

    Thank you!

  13. Robert Foss Posted on 05.05.2018

    Hi Kenny:

    Thanks for the well done, informative video.

    I do have one question, though. We just spent nearly 6 months traveling throughout FL, AL, & MS. It was a blast, but the exterior of our Navion got really filthy from road dirt/grime, dust at many campgrounds, and salt from strong ocean breezes at 3 of the parks we visited.

    Are you concerned about scratching the exterior surfaces and vinyl graphics by essentially wiping them when dry? I realize there is some lubrication from the cleaner wax, but it would seem there’s also a lot of grit being rubbed around in the process.

    I can’t argue with your success using the FW1, and further realize it works for you. Alternatively, I washed our Navion by hand four different times on our trip using a mild automotive soap, a soft brush on an extension pole, and a bucket of water. I finished by applying 303 Protectant to the exterior, and “polished” (removed) it with a microfiber towel Our 2011 RV looks exceptionally well, and we get lots of positive comments in that regard.

    Thanks again for your video.

    PS. I do want to mention I always asked the Ranger, or Park Management for permission to wash on-site. There are several places where that activity is strictly prohibited. Make sure you check beforehand.

  14. Camper Ken Posted on 05.05.2018

    Great video. I’ve been using a similar product on my classic car. I’ll have to fry the FW wax as it seems to work well for more heavily soiled areas as was with this motorhome. The only thing missing was a cleaning of the tires!

  15. Gary Gonzales Posted on 05.05.2018

    For in between wash, I’ve used 2 (28oz) spray bottles. One filled with distilled water (leaves no water mineral spots). Wipe with micro fiber towel. Second bottle contains Maguiars mirror glaze misting liquid and apply with micro cloth and wipe as soon as applied with clean dry micro cloth. I was able to do this on my 40’ Vectra with spray left over. Key thing was using distilled water.

  16. LovingAtlanta Posted on 05.02.2018

    Terrific article & video. Thank you.
    Adding FW1 to my checklist for if/when I ever get an RV.

  17. Lisa Dennis Posted on 04.25.2018

    It looks great! Thank you for sharing! God Bless!

  18. Ronald Papa Bell Posted on 04.21.2018

    Great job

  19. Jonathan Busch Posted on 04.21.2018

    Good job. This vid cost me money. FW1, micro wash cloths, rain x, induction cook top,magma pot set and magma colander.
    Please! No more tips for two weeks. Have to pay off Amazon. Lol. Like your u tube channel and love your Bride. Those looks you get from her remind me of my bride. I get those a lot.
    Be Safe.

  20. Lou @RVHabit Posted on 04.21.2018

    I am always looking for ways to clean the rig with little to no water. Never heard of FW1 but have it on my list of must tries. Great video.