A caravan is an investment, and like any other valuable possession, it needs to be looked after. A camper or motorhome has numerous huge surfaces that are difficult to keep clean.
However, if you are willing to invest some money and time in maintaining the trim and paint, it will be much easier to clean and last longer.
By polishing your caravan regularly, you can protect it from the elements and keep it looking its best. To keep your caravan looking new, follow these three easy steps.
Cleaning Exterior Caravan Walls
The first step is to give your caravan a good quality clean, remove all bird droppings and other grime. If any marks on the van’s body won’t come off with water and detergent, you can use a light abrasive such as methylated spirits or white spirit on a soft cloth to remove them.
Next, use a clay bar, a synthetic and pliable material, to remove tough impurities from the paint. Nothing beats a clay bar when removing sap, pests, and bird droppings. It’s one of the best ideas in the world of car detailing!
From a clay bar, pull off a 1/5 section and flatten it after your paint surface is clean and dried. Use a lubricant like a ‘quick detailer’ spray or soapy water to help the ‘clay’ glide over the paint surface.
After you’ve sprayed a portion of paint, start rubbing the clay all over it in a forward and backward motion with medium or light pressure until the paint feels smooth, then wipe away any extra lubricant with the help of a microfibre towel.
Polishing Exterior Caravan Walls
After cleaning the caravan, it’s time to polish it. This will help to protect the surface and keep it looking shiny. You can use any good quality car polish, be sure to apply it evenly and give the polish time to dry before you wipe it off with a soft cloth.
Use a minimally abrasive one-step sealer/polish on powder-coated vans that have weathered a little to remove the oxidized top layer but not damage the good paint underneath. A non-abrasive sealer may suffice for brand-new caravans, but even new caravans can have minor flaws that a little abrasive polish will remove.
You may observe swirl marks, holograms, and scratches in the clear-coated paint sections. After a lot of elbow grease, use a couple of phases of a multi-stage light-cutting solution to remove such flaws and make the caravan paint reflect like a mirror.
After you’ve applied a light-abrasive polish, all you need to do now is wash, clay, and apply wax top coater or sealer every 3-6 months to keep the paint looking good.
Pay attention to the polish manufacturer’s directions since they can make a big difference in ease of application of the polish and its duration. When instructed, apply thin coats; otherwise, the paint will splatter and be difficult to deal with.
Using a microfiber towel, wipe away the polish residue. How long it takes to remove the residue depends on the instructions: some should be removed practically soon after application, while others must be allowed to dry to a haze before being removed.
Some polish manufacturers additionally recommend a temperature range for the application. If you labor outside of this range, you may find that it is more difficult than necessary.
Humidity makes it more difficult to remove polish residue because the polish ‘clog up’ in the cloth.
Waxing Your Caravan
This is where your caravan shines. Use a good quality carnauba wax on a clean, soft cloth for this step and buff thoroughly until an even shine develops. If your caravan has a dark paint job, use a little powdered charcoal mixed in with the wax to give it a deep and lustrous shine.
Caravan owners should apply wax every four to six months or any time they notice water spots or minor scratches returning.
Car detailing experts use at least three different grades of carnauba for different purposes: good-quality paste wax for exterior and interior labors, a light liquid polish for the smaller surfaces, and a finer-grade liquid or spray version (the ‘final step’) to bring out added depth from deeper layers.
Maintain Your Caravan Exterior
In between applications of carnauba wax, use a good quality microfiber cloth to ‘dust’ the exterior. This will help protect it from dirt and dust, prolonging its shine for longer periods between waxes.
Use a good quality microfibre towel to dry off any water spots after cleaning your caravan, or else they’ll leave stains that could eventually damage the paint if not removed in time.
Car owners should also watch any rubber seals and body moldings; re-apply carnauba wax to these sections when they appear faded or dry.
Even with regular polishing, your caravan paint job is going to need a little touching up at any one time: rubbing bumps and scrapes after a good wash and drying, restoring the shine if it starts to look dull, and so on.
Regular inspection is essential to keep the caravan looking good for as long as possible without professional assistance. The minor touch-ups generally needed can be performed by any owner using a microfibre cloth or duster, but major work requires the help of a professional automotive detailer.
Why Does Polishing On A Caravan Not Last?
Choosing to employ the wrong tools and supplies is the main reason. Polishing must be done differently depending on the extent of oxidation.
Any caravan that is left exposed to the elements without protection for more than a few hours at a time will begin to deteriorate gradually and invisibly until it reaches the point of no return.
Polishing your caravan is a great way to keep it looking as good as new and prolong the paint job’s life. It’s not a difficult process but requires attention to detail and carefully following the manufacturer’s directions.
Polishing a caravan is a great way to keep it looking as good as new and prolong the paint job’s life. It’s not a difficult process but requires attention to detail and carefully following the manufacturer’s directions.
With just a little time and effort, you can keep your caravan looking amazing with minimal ongoing maintenance. So, what are you waiting for? Get polishing!