Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bugs, Dirt and RVs

Dear Joe and Vicki: Nobody told me about the millions of suicidal bugs that would attack the front of my RV. Do you have any tips for dealing with this nuisance? And how do RVers wash their motorhomes and trailers when they are on the road for long periods of time? The campgrounds I have stayed in have rules against washing RVs in the campsites.

Joe: At the end of each driving day I use a boat brush on a telescoping handle and half a bucket of plain cold water to wipe (notice, I didn't say wash) the bug remains off the windshield and front wall of our motorhome. The carcasses seem to come off easier when they are removed on the day of impact.

Most campgrounds, citing environmental regulations, drainage concerns, or water shortages, prohibit washing RVs in their campgrounds. There are some, however, that do allow their patrons to wash their rigs, either in individual campsites or a "wash rack" area. A few even provide a vacuum cleaner. We make a note of these RV parks and return to them whenever we are in the area.

Sometimes, the operators of the campgrounds that prohibit washing of RVs may be able to direct you to a local do-it-yourself car wash that can accommodate an RV. Wouldn't it be nice if they included that information with the printed rule prohibiting washing of rigs in their campground. Occasionally, you'll see these car washes advertised in the campground's site map.

Vicki: Before taking our RV to one of these car washes we use our car to check it out. We want to be sure our rig can maneuver into and out of the wash bay. The RV usually gets washed the next morning after we check out of the campground and before we resume our travels. It's not unusual for us to end up paying for two car washes in order to completely wash our motorhome.

Speaking of the campground site maps … we have seen ads in them by professional RV wash crews who will come to your campsite. Typically, they use a high-pressure water hose that does a long-lasting job. Interestingly, some of the campgrounds that prohibit their patrons from washing RVs in their campsites will allow a professional wash crew to do the job. Go figure. The wash crews have charged us between $1.00 and $1.50 a foot and, so far, have always done an excellent job.

Commercial truck washes can be found along the interstates, frequently in the neighborhood of a truck stop (or travel plaza as they are now called). Most, if not all, will wash RVs. We make a habit of asking before getting into line. Typically, they use high pressure hoses along with mops, brushes and detergents. We've paid anywhere from $1.00 to $1.75 per foot to have a commercial truck wash do our motorhome.

Joe is a tightwad. He prefers to wash our motorhome himself (he lets me help). But, every now and then he treats himself and lets the professionals do the job.

Joe and Vicki Kieva are the authors of a number of how-to books and e-books about RVs, RVers and RVing.

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