How to care for the interior of your RV
To help keep your motorhome or caravan in tip-top shape, it’s important to plan a regular maintenance schedule for your RV’s interior. Staying on top of cleaning and maintenance is the best way to protect your RV from unnecessary wear and tear.
Read on for everything you need to know about how to keep your motorhome or campervan looking its best! Once you’ve got the interior sparkling clean, we’ve got great tips for taking care of the exterior too.
Why caring for the interior of your RV is important
Looking after the interior of your campervan or motorhome is not just about keeping it looking nice and feeling comfortable to travel in. It’s also a vital step in helping to reduce the signs of wear and tear which can make a big difference when it comes to the resell value of your RV. Your motorhome or caravan is a big investment, so it’s worth taking the time to protect your asset – while you also enjoy travelling in a clean and tidy motorhome!
Must-have tools and equipment for interior maintenance
Before you get started on cleaning and maintaining your campervan’s interior, it’s a good idea to have some good-quality tools on hand to make the job easy. Here are a few to help you get started:
- Vinyl clean spray and vinyl guard
- Grey water tank cleaner
- Bathroom cleaner
- Windscreen cleaner
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Toilet and waste tank treatment
- Cleaning wipes (for stubborn grease and grime, scuff marks, and heavy stains)
- Toilet sanitiser
- Brush and dustpan
- A collapsible bucket
How often should RV interior maintenance be done?
When you’re using your campervan or motorhome, it’s important to keep on top of regular cleaning, just like you would at home. Wiping benches and surfaces, vacuuming or sweeping, and sanitising bathroom facilities should be done at least weekly, or more often depending on the number of travellers and level of use. You might need to step it up to daily if you’re staying somewhere dusty, sandy, muddy or if you’ve got small children on board!
Before you put your RV into storage, we recommend a deep clean. This includes:
- Removing all items from cupboards and wiping them out
- Cleaning out the fridge
- Cleaning, flushing, and drying out your water tanks
- Stripping bedding for washing and storage
- Cleaning filters and vents
If you plan on putting your campervan or motorhome into storage for an extended period, we recommend regular visits to check that it’s secure and to take care of any maintenance issues. You might also like to give your RV a freshen-up before you use it again.
How to care for the interior of your RV
Keeping your campervan’s interior clean, tidy, and ready for the road needn’t take hours or feel like a chore. Once you’ve got a bit of a routine going, you’ll whip through it in no time – especially if you can recruit a helper! Here’s everything you need to know about caring for the interior of your RV:
Caring for cabinets and drawers
The cabinets and walls in motorhomes and caravans are generally constructed from marine grade plywood with a heavy-duty vinyl laminate finish. They are designed to be hardwearing and are usually resistant to water and moisture. All cabinet doors and drawer fronts are vinyl laminate over MDF. To keep them in top form, they should be cared for in a similar way to the furniture in your home – using a good quality furniture polish which will help maintain the beauty and shine of the wood finish. Caring for carpets (H3) The carpeting installed in most campervans and motorhomes is marine-grade nylon, which makes it easy to maintain. Most campervan carpet can be removed and shampooed, or water blasted if necessary. Be sure to hang it out to dry in a warm dry area before putting it back into your motorhome, as a damp carpet will quickly start to smell very unpleasant. Vacuum your carpet regularly to remove dust, dirt, and abrasive grit. Water-based spills and spots should be removed immediately with a damp cloth. Grease or oil-based stains and spots should be spot cleaned with a good commercial cleaner made for this purpose.
Caring for the ceiling and walls
Regularly wipe down the ceiling and walls using a mild detergent in warm water only. To avoid damage, use a soft cloth to clean the ceiling. Never use strong chemicals, bleaches, or excessive amounts of water in your campervan, as these can cause permanent (and expensive!) damage.
Caring for laminate countertops
Most motorhome and caravan countertops are made of high-pressure plastic laminates and are highly resistant to normal spills and scuffs. Dust and clean your motorhome’s laminate countertops with a soft, damp cloth or chamois, wiping the surface gently. Use pure soap and lukewarm water to clean. Strong soaps and abrasive cleaners should not be used. Light scratches can be removed by waxing with a good quality automotive car wax. Always use a chopping block or cutting board when using knives. Pots and pans straight from the burner or oven should be placed on heat-resistant stands and not directly on the counter surface.
Caring for taps and fixtures
To protect the finishes on your kitchen and bathroom faucets and fixtures, use only a damp soft cloth or sponge with a suitable cleaning spray. Do not use abrasive cleaners or materials as they can damage the finish.
Caring for flooring, and vinyl
Because they’re relatively small in area and those on board are constantly coming and going, motorhome floors get dirty quickly. To keep your motorhome’s floor clean and well maintained, it’s important to sweep or vacuum floors regularly. Remind fellow travellers to remove shoes before coming inside, and keep a brush and dustpan near the front door for sweeping off excess sand or grass from feet. Once the floor is swept or vacuumed, use a damp mop with warm water to clean a small area at a time. Rinse the mop frequently to avoid redistributing any dirt picked up. If a deeper wash is needed, use a quality, non-abrasive product suitable for your campervan’s flooring.
Caring for glass and mirrors
To help keep your campervan glass and mirrors sparkling, clean them just as you would at home using a cleaner designed for glass. To reduce ‘spotting’ on outside windows, use a squeegee promptly after rinsing with water. For stubborn spots, cleaning with a mixture of vinegar and water is recommended and is safe for most finishes.
Caring for fabric and upholstery
Do not launder your motorhome upholstery fabrics. Blot up stains promptly and use an upholstery cleaner or mild solvent, depending on the stain. Never soak the fabric and use as little water as possible. To prevent damaging the fabric, blot rather than rub. Towel dry or have professionally cleaned. Upholstery can be vacuumed regularly using a soft brush attachment.
Caring for blinds and shades
To keep your campervan blinds and curtains free from dust and debris, simply give them a regular vacuum using a soft brush attachment. For blinds, occasional light cleaning with a soft cloth and mild cleaner will help keep them looking fresh and new. For fabric shades, upholstery cleaners are not recommended. Instead, spot clean when necessary, using a mild soap and water solution on the area.
Stay on top of water and waste management
To keep your motorhome toilet clean and hygienic, empty the toilet cassette or black water tank regularly, wash thoroughly, and rinse out with fresh water. Remember, only empty your toilet tanks at an approved RV dump station. Check the thl Roadtrip app to find your nearest facility. Clean the toilet bowl using a non-abrasive all-purpose toilet cleaner and rinse well with fresh water. Remember, never use strong chemicals or bleaches to clean bathroom surfaces in your campervan, as these can cause permanent damage. After prolonged use, odours from black and grey water tanks can be a problem. To help eliminate this issue it is helpful to add recommended Bio-Pak products or similar into the tank on a regular basis. These work immediately to control odours and break down solids in waste tanks.
Caring for sinks, tubs and toilets
Many of the surfaces and products used in campervan and motorhome bathrooms are made from lightweight acrylics, plastics, or composite materials and the use of non-abrasive cleaners is recommended to protect the finish. Don’t be tempted to use bleach or harsh chemicals as these will slowly and irreparably damage and degrade these materials.
Need to stock up on supplies?
Feeling inspired and ready to give your campervan’s interior a spring clean, or to schedule a regular interior cleaning plan? RV Super Centre has a wide range of RV cleaning products and camper accessories so you can stock up on everything you need to clean, freshen, and maintain the interior of your RV.