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Old 05-19-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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"Dry Washing" and Airstream

Hi all, Our Airstream is in a park that does not allow hoses to be used for washing an RV, and the owner suggested I "dry wash" the Airstream. It has a layer of grime, not bad, but the worst is the bugs that are stuck to the front of the coach. They need to come off. Any suggestions on how a dry wash is accomplished and any products I should use? I already wash and wax the Airstream twice a year - using a hose and car wash and wax - but this looks like it needs immediate attention.

Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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Smooched bugs have enzymes that eat away at anything they are on - there is your mission right there. A hand pumped spray bottle with plain water and let it soak a while then terry-towel it off & repeat is a good start....
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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Just use a bucket and wash a section at a time. There are lots of spray cleaners you can use as well. Jackson Center used and sold me "No- Wet Micro-Mist Waterless Car Wash, Wax Polish and sealant" It reads, "No Hose, Soap, Mess or Clean-up." It came in two parts; one a larger refillable bottle, the other a self pressurized applicator bottle. You aren't supposed to have to rinse first! I would rinse any grit off with a bucket of water or spray bottle just to be cautious. Feel the surface of the Airstream and make sure you are not going to rub and scratch the surface with any residual grime. I was told lots of fulltimers wash their RVs just that way of a small section a day.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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Drive it out

Why don't you just hook it up drive into town to the car wash? Some have bays for trucks and large vehicles. Sounds much easier than paying someone to buff out all of the grit swirls you leave dry washing it. Or wait until you go camping and leave a little early and do it then.

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Old 05-19-2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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A bucket with very wet rag for your first go over works well. Just rinse the rag every few square feet. Then while still very wet, use a chamois to clean the rest of the water off. Doesn't scratch that way. Change water often in the buckets.

For bugs just lay a wet beach towel over the area for about 10 minutes, then repeat above method. A little scrubbing may be in order, depending how hot and how long the bugs have been on there.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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I use Griot's waterless wash and their green microfiber towels. I think it works great.

Complete Spray-On Car Wash Kit - Cleaners - Car Washing - Car Care - Griot's Garage
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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We haven't been too successful finding a place that will wash our Airstream. So we gave up. Plus we are retired with time on our hands. We are here for 2 months at this campsite.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #8
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It is nice to have a clean trailer, but sometimes it cannot be if you can't find a truck/RV washer. My father use to live in a condo where they weren't allowed to wash their cars in the garage, so he'd clean a few square feet every few days.

You can use bug and tar remover (comes as a liquid or spray) on the front. Most of them come with a wax added, so it kind of protects it. I use Griots One Step Sealant when we wax the trailer and it lasts at least a year, so the bugs come off easier.

When the windows get really dirty, I just use use window cleaner. I find Sprayway works pretty well.

Gene
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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Do we read between the lines that it's stormed and rained for three days?
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #10
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Camping last weekend, I was puzzled by a moho owner pumping a large canister garden sprayer. Sho' 'nuff, he then started cleaning off the front of his moho. I'd think about a backpack sprayer but a quick web search doesn't show many that are under 4 gallons -- on the order of 35-40 pounds on my back doesn't seem appealing. Here's a 5 liter "plant sprayer" that seems easier to haul around:
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #11
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I second the use of No Wet. We use it regularly on all vehicles between waxes. Does a wonderful job with just two micro-fiber rags. Get some. You'll love it.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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Envy waterless cleaner works well.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #13
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Avon's Skin So Soft is a great bug, tar and paint remover and very gentle to the hands and may keep the bugs away at the same time.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:42 PM   #14
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Microfiber towels make a huge difference. Used properly they pick up a lot of dirt without scratching. The waterless wash sprays are also a big help with the dried on bugs.

Buy at Sam's Club or Costco because you can get two dozen towels for the cost of 4 anywhere else.

If it's rained you can just damp wash - with a waterless cleaner if you like. If it's dusty/dirty get a bunch of towels soaking. On the front, or wherever there is sap/bird droppings, lay a wet towel on and ignore for 5 minutes. Start with a small area and slop/wipe an area of about 1 sq. yard. Turn the towel over if it turns black and stop if it's getting really dirty. Repeat if needed. Then take a clean towel, wring it until it's damp and wipe the section.

I generally take two or even three days to finish off the whole thing, but I can do it in a day. The really dirty microfiber towels I wring out, soak and rinse - then take to the laundromat. They actually get even softer once they've been through the washer/dryer. They also come a lot cleaner than terry towels though they really grungy ones benefit from the soak and rinse prewash.

Paula
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