If you’re starting to think about your first trips of the new season, it’s probably time to think about giving your motorhome a good spring clean. Even if you did a thorough job of winterising your motorhome, you’re still likely to need to give things a good scrub to make things feel fresh before you hit the road.
Winterising your vehicle is very important if you’re not using it over the winter months, however, a spring clean is also an important part of keeping your motorhome in good shape. You won’t have been able to control the weather conditions and wind and rain can deposit dirt on your motorhome. There’s also not much you can do about dust building up, even if you covered all of the soft furnishings before the winter.
The good news is that your spring clean won’t take very long if you’ve done a good job of sorting things out before the winter. You should be able to breeze through the points below.
1. Inspect the exterior of your motorhome
The first thing you should do is have a good look around the exterior of your motorhome. Check for any signs of damage that might have been caused by the weather and note any particularly bad patches of dirt so you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Take the opportunity to check your tyres too. Damage can sometimes be caused when you don’t move such a heavy vehicle for a while, creating flat spots or cracks. Check the tread-depth too and organise replacement tyres if necessary.
2. Hose down the exterior of your motorhome
Make sure you hose down your motorhome’s exterior before you start scrubbing. This will help get rid of any grit that has accumulated and prevent you from rubbing this into the paintwork. It will also start to loosen up any larger bits of dirt that have adhered more firmly to the surface.
While you’re hosing down the exterior of your motorhome, it’s a good idea to ask someone to stand inside and look out for any signs of leaking around windows, doors and rooflights. This will let you know whether there has been any damage to any of the seals.
3. Clean the exterior of your motorhome
If your motorhome hasn’t been covered during the winter, it probably has quite a bit of dirt on the exterior. If this is the case, you might want to consider a concentrated cleaner to start with to really break down the dirt. If it has been under cover, you should be fine to start with your usual cleaner.
Start with the roof, rinsing this down when you’re done so as to avoid leaving any streaks. Then tackle one wall panel at a time, starting at the top and moving down, again rinsing as you go. Most of the dirt is usually at the bottom of the body, so starting at the top will allow more of the cleaner to attack the dirt at the bottom before you start to scrub it.
Pay particular attention around windows and doors as algae can build up here and damage seals. When cleaning the windows themselves, take care with any acrylic windows as these can sometimes be sensitive to chemicals and scratch easily. Don’t forget the wheels. A brush will make this particular job a lot easier, getting into those hard to reach spots.
4. Check for damp inside your motorhome
The first thing you should do when stepping inside your motorhome for the first time in a few months is to check for damp. This is often a motorhome’s worst enemy and can cause all sorts of problems. Check for any musty smell that lingers after giving the motorhome a bit of an airing and take a good look around for signs of damp. Pay particular attention around windows, doors, inside storage cabinets, the soft furnishings, in the bathroom and under the kitchen sink.
5. Get rid of surface dust and dirt
A quick wizz round with the hoover will pick up a lot of the dust and dirt that has accumulated over the last few months. Get into all the corners and you can usually get some of the dust that has built up on the soft furnishings too. Use a duster to get into spots your hoover can’t reach.
6. Clean surfaces with a multi-purpose cleaner
Go round the motorhome armed with a good multi-purpose cleaner and a supply of damp cloths. Clean inside and outside cabinets and drawers and don’t forget to give the fridge a good wipe down. Many motorhome owners like to leave the fridge door ajar over the winter to prevent build-up of mould but this does mean that dust can get in.
7. Clean the soft furnishings
You might want to remove the soft furnishings to give them a good clean and an airing outside the motorhome. You might be able to remove the covers from seat cushions and pop them in the washing machine. There are plenty of good carpet and upholstery cleaners available that will be suitable if not. Giving the soft furnishings a good clean can help the interior feel fresh and can get rid of any musty smell much more quickly.
8. Clean the washroom
After cleaning the surfaces in the washroom, you’ll want to pay particularly attention to the toilet. If you’ve got a cassette toilet, fill the cassette with a cleaning solution designed for the job. You might have to leave this overnight. If you have another type of toilet, a top-flushing toilet for example, you should still be able to clean and deodorise the system with an effective toilet cleaner.
9. Clean the water system
You should have drained down your water system completely before laying up for the winter. However, you will still need to clean and sterilise the system again before using it, especially if you’ll be drinking the water. There are some great cleaning products that have been designed for this purpose. You will usually need to add a solution to the system, leave it overnight and then flush it through with clean water.
10. Other things to remember before you hit the road
Check your paperwork: Make sure you have everything you need, including insurance, breakdown cover and that all the servicing is up to date.
Check under the bonnet: Just as with a car, going a few months without running might mean a few teething problems when getting back on the road. You might find that your battery is flat. You’ll also want to make sure to top up your washer fluid and check your oil levels.
Check your leisure battery and gas: Test your appliances and make sure your leisure battery is all charged up and ready to go and that you have plenty of gas and that all the hoses are still in good condition.
Check your safety devices: Check that smoke detectors and security alarms are still working and don’t need their batteries replacing. Check that fire extinguishers are still in date and make sure your vehicle tracker is working properly if you have one.
Giving your motorhome a spring clean should be a relatively quick and easy process if you made sure everything was in tip top condition when you put it into storage for the winter. It can be tempting to just hop back in the cab and hit the road, however, you’ll have a much more pleasant experience if you follow these steps first. It will help keep your motorhome in good condition for longer and doing things like cleaning and sterilising your water system are essential for avoiding mould and bacteria. Give yourself plenty of time before your first trip to sort out any issues that you might discover and happy motorhoming!