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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Acid wash my new baby?
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 17:01:43 -0400

Jennifer wrote:
> as noted in another post "I did it", I purchased a 78 Tioga. Someone has
> recommended taking her to the local truck wash for an acid bath. I thought
> those were only for aluminum trailers and such. however, he said he did his
> pickup and it does look great.

I wouldn't do that.  The acid is a bit harsh for RV metal and it
isn't necessary.  The strongest cleaner that you're likely to need
is the Purple Power-type liquid degreaser sold by car parts stores
and lots of other places.  It contains strong detergents and lye.
It will remove almost anything including wax and surface
oxidization.  Because the lye will etch exposed aluminum if allowed
to remain in contact, it must be washed off THOROUGHLY and then any
painted surface immediately waxed.  Unwaxed paint will oxidize in
literally days after this sort of cleaning.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Paying to have the RV washed?
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 19:19:44 -0500

On Sat, 9 Mar 2002 18:11:57 -0800, "ben hogland"
<> wrote:

>> And you don't think Soft Scrub with chlorine bleach will damage the finish?
>I agree and will ask the person<s> that wash my RV to use Simple Green ahead of
>time.. If they frown on that, I won't let them wash it.
>Thanks for the info, Janet.

In this case, the advice is worth just about what you paid for it -
nothing.  Bleach, in the concentration used for this sort of washing,
will NOT harm the RV's finish.  dishwasher detergent is some of the
strongest detergent available to the consumer. It probably won't hurt
the RV (but who knows without looking under trim strips and such where
it can get trapped and corrode the aluminum.) but it damn sure will
remove the wax.  Wax and food grease is similar enough that the only
way of knowing that the wax is safe is to use a known compatible
cleaner.  The advice about Meguires was excellent.  Most any car wash
ought to be OK.

If you have black streaks, you're going to have to use something
fairly strong, once the wax has oxidized and the black gets a good
bite.  I use the very strong Purple Stuff alkaline degreaser.  I know
that it strips wax (including the black stained wax) and I also know
that it is corrosive to aluminum so I limit the exposure.  I follow
the cleaning with multiple rinses and then a good wax job.  Meguires
seems to last the longest.  If you wax often, several times a summer,
the black streaks will wash right off with car soap.  If you don't (I
never seem to) and the wax oxidizes again, you're going to have to
strip it and rewax.

BTW, I'd jump on $2 a foot in a heartbeat.  I've been paying that much
to street bums who happen along and I have to stay right with them to
make sure they do what I want.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Cleaning AC Coils  ??
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 22:24:34 -0400

Depends on which flavor of cleaner you like.  There are both acid and basic
coil cleaners.  The acid ones usually contain phosphoric acid.  The basic ones
sodium hydroxide.  Generally the acid cleaner is used with aluminum coils and
the basic one used on copper or brass.

I don't see any problem with using the acid cleaner on an RV as long as lots
of water is used to wash it off.  Phosphoric acid doesn't do much of anything
to anodized or painted aluminum.  It might streak paint if left in contact for
some period of time.

When I clean my unit I first wet down the whole rig and flood the roof.  The
cleaner only needs to be in contact for a minute or two so I spray it on and
immediately start flooding the area around the AC with water.  A few minutes
later I blast the coils with a pressure washer, then use the washer to sweep
all loose liquid off the roof.

I routinely use Purple Stuff which is very alkaline to clean my rig.  It does
a fine job of stripping wax (and black streaks) plus paint oxidization.  Gets
the rig as-new clean, followed immediately with a waxing.  No staining on the
aluminum.  Considering how many years I've done this I'd expect stains to show
by now if they were going to.

As usual, YMMV.


On Sun, 10 Aug 2003 16:23:37 GMT, Chris Bryant <> wrote:

>On Sun, 10 Aug 2003 16:02:23 +0000, Lee Bray wrote:
>> I noticed that recommendations for cleaning coils did not include coil
>> cleaner itself, is there a reason for that like rubber roofs or what?  I
>> mean Fantastic or Formula 49 or whatever was recommended.  Just curious why
>> the product designed to clean them was not put up.  Also a tank sprayer
>> would make the job somewhat easier to spray the coil cleaner (Home Depot)
>> and keep it off everything, plus you could use it to spray water in there to
>> wash it down.  I use it to do household AC's so that is the reason for my
>> questions.
>	The main reason is that most coil cleaners (though not all)
>contain materials that shouldn't really be running down the side of an RV-
>I *think* a lot of them contain phosphoric acid- though there are more
>and more non-acidic cleaners out there. Raelly, the coil cleaners are made
>to clean the coils and then run right out the drain- not over aluminum,
>rubber or fiberglass- though some might be OK.

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