How to care for your masterpiece finish.
Make sure the unit is cool to the touch before washing. Wash your motor coach in a shaded area with warm (not hot) water and a mild automotive wash product (most other liquid soaps, like dish soap, contain harsh detergents that will dissolve wax).
The front of the motor coach is the area that receives the most abuse from the road—clean it accordingly. Pre-soak it with warm, soapy water. After a few minutes, use a bug sponge (available at most auto parts stores) to gently dislodge any bugs from the paint. Use a bug and tar remover only when necessary. Inspect the coach for any other embedded objects and remove them in similar fashion.
Wash the rest of the motor coach from the top down, starting with the roof, if possible. Chamois cloth, terry towels or a silicone squeegee work well for removing excess water after washing.
Always test any new cleaner, wax or polish on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire coach. Rubbing compounds, polishes and waxes are distinctly different products. Always be sure to read the instructions and understand them before using any product.
Rubbing compounds contain an abrasive substance that “sands” scratched or oxidized paint and are not recommended except in severe cases. Rubbing compounds are usually followed by a polishing product.
Polishing products may contain an abrasive substance, but of much finer grit. This type of product is intended to revive tired paint surfaces subjected to several seasons of weathering. Polishing products may also contain chemical cleaners to remove impurities in the paint and fillers that help conceal small scratches and swirl marks.
Wax products are the final step in the cleaning ritual. Which kind you use is a matter of personal preference, but most important is that you apply a coat of wax at least once every six months. A good wax will fill in microscopic scratches, provide a barrier of protection and produce a brilliant shine for your coach.
Apply waxes and polishes using straight-line, horizontal strokes, not a circular motion. This will minimize swirl marks. Don’t let wax over-dry on the coach. Buff with micro-fiber towels, which do a good job of removing excess wax without scratching. Remove wax from a small section; then turn the towel to the clean side and buff to shine. Repeat until the entire coach is finished.
Undoubtedly, one of the best things you can do to protect the finish of your coach is to shelter it from the elements. Storage strategies may include weatherproof coach covers, right up to climate-controlled buildings and everything in between. A general rule is to provide your coach with the best protection you can afford, and use it.