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Routine exterior cleaning and washing

Cool Ghoul

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Hello - I was wondering how people clean the exterior of their Oliver trailer?  Is it ok to wash them using a pressure wash at a typical car wash?  Do you recommend waxing these trailers?  Also, is the roof safe for walking?  What's the best way to clean the roof without damaging equipment?

I don't yet own an Oliver.  Just looking into these and learning about the RV life as retirement approaches.  


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I have used a car wash a couple of times when we were on the road and I couldn’t stand the dirt/mud all over my trailer.  Normally, I give it a good wash when we get home.  I use a bucket, microfiber wash mitt and a good quality car wash.  I use a ladder to get to the top, the extendable type that I carry when camping.  I cut a couple of pool noodles for the part that leans against the trailer.  While the roof is strong enough you don’t want to be walking around up there.  Except for the middle the rest is rounded and slick when wet.  I can reach everything on the roof without actually getting up there.  Once or twice a year I wax it.  I’ve used a number of waxes over the years, a good marine fiberglass wax is best.  You’ll get some good recommendations here, I’m sure.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L


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I do not take months long trips, so I just live with a dirty trailer, I would not suggest a commercial car wash, the detergents are really harsh and the brush will destroy your fine finish. One time I used one to remove mud, and I avoided the brush and soap entirely, I just used the cold water rinse feature. Never blast the external openings, like fridge vents and water heater access panels. At home I use a pressure washer, good carnauba car wash soap, a soft mitt and patience. Followed by a complete dry using a gas leaf blower and cotton rags. It takes some time but it looks factory new afterward.

I do clean bugs off the front of trailer and truck by hand when traveling using 100% cotton rags and a detailing spray (Speed Shine), they come off more easily if you do it early in the morning when it is soaked with dew. 

The roof is fine to walk around on, in theory, I would never stand up because it is very slick if waxed; there is no non-skid material anywhere. I use a corrugated foam camping pad to kneel on, placed behind the street side awning, and scoot around on my knees. Most sections can be reached from a ladder, but to get good access to the central part you must crawl up there. You can prop the solar panels up at a 30 degree angle using some home made supports, for easy access to that part.

I use Rejex and it works great, but it is a huge PITA to apply correctly, the prep work is very important. You have to remove all debris like sap and tar, so it is baby butt smooth, using a paint prep solvent to remove any existing wax. I do it every other year, since Mouse is stored indoors. Most folks who are not so anal just use a good marine (boat) wax, more frequently.

If I were unwilling to wash like this, I would seek out a good car detail shop that does trailers, and have them do an exterior detail and wax, right before winter storage. The inside is so easy to clean, that is best done at your leasure.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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Being a retired Body Shop  Mgr. for a large DFW auto dealer I'm pretty much into keeping my stuff in top condition. After one year of ownership I intend to lightly buff the trailer with Meguiar's Fine-Cut Cleaner, this is a machine use product, but most of the time I use it with a polishing rag in small areas, but for the complete trailer I would machine buff.  I then use a quality fiberglass wax, that would be your choice as some work different then others. Any products that you just wipe on and off, I wouldn't use as you are just covering over the problem and in time the degraded fiberglass will built up. This is what I do, I realize that we all do what works for us, I just do what works for me.


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2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears. Oliver was sold.

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