If you own a fiberglass RV, regular waxing is crucial for keeping that smooth, shiny exterior protected. Wax creates a barrier against UV radiation, water, dirt, and other environmental contaminants. It also makes your RV easier to clean and preserves that showroom shine.
In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the complete process of waxing a fiberglass RV from start to finish. You’ll learn how to prep the surface, choose the right wax products, properly apply the wax, buff it out for a flawless finish, and maintain your RV’s exterior in between waxing.
Step 1: Prep the Fiberglass Surface
Thorough surface prep is key to getting the best results from waxing a fiberglass RV. Start by giving the roof and sides a good sweep to remove any loose dirt or debris. Use a soft bristle broom or roof rake to avoid scratching the finish.
Next, give the entire RV a wash from top to bottom using an RV-safe soap or mild detergent and a soft sponge or wash mitt. This removes contaminants like dirt, dust, bird droppings, bug splatter, road grime, and oxidation. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water when done.
For tar, bug splatter, or other stuck-on gunk, use a specially formulated bug and tar remover spray. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing with a bug sponge. Rinse off completely.
Examine the surface closely and use a 3000 grit wet/dry sandpaper to gently smooth any oxidation, clouding, or scratches. Be careful not to cut through the gelcoat. For deeper scratches or gouges, you may need to use an RV gel coating repair kit.
Proper surface prep ensures the wax can bond tightly for maximum protection.
Step 2: Select the Right Wax for Fiberglass
With the RV prepped, it’s time to choose a wax formulated specifically for fiberglass. The main options are liquid waxes and paste waxes:
- Liquid waxes spread easily and offer good durability and protection. They’re the easiest for DIYers to use.
- Paste waxes tend to be thicker in consistency. Some RV owners believe paste waxes provide a more durable and longer-lasting shine. However, they’re messier to apply.
Whichever you choose, check that the label specifies the wax is safe for fiberglass. The wax should contain UV inhibitors to filter out the sun’s damaging rays. An all-in-one cleaner wax can save you time and effort.
I recommend Meguiar’s Flagship Premium Marine Wax for fiberglass. This liquid wax contains Brazilian carnauba to maximize shine along with polymers for long-lasting protection. It repels water, resists yellowing, and buffs to a brilliant finish.
Step 3: Apply the RV Wax in Small Sections
Once you’ve prepped the surface and chosen your wax product, you’re ready to start applying. Work in small manageable sections for best results, like a 2ft by 2ft area.
For liquid waxes:
-Dispense a dime-sized drop of fiberglass wax onto an applicator pad.
-Use gentle circular motions to lightly rub the wax over the surface.
-Take care to spread it evenly and thinly.
For paste waxes:
-Use a damp applicator to scoop up a small amount of the thicker paste wax.
-Massage it into the fiberglass in an even coat using small circular motions.
For spray waxes:
-Mist a light even coat over the 2ft section according to the label directions.
-Use a sponge or microfiber cloth to gently spread the spray wax and work it into the finish.
On large flat sections like the roof, you can save time and effort by using a random orbital buffer. Apply the wax first then use the buffer to work it in. Take care not to burn the finish.
Continue applying the RV wax in small sections until the entire exterior is covered, including the roof. Be thorough but efficient to prevent over-curing or drying.
Step 4: Allow Proper Cure Time then Buff Out
Once the fiberglass RV wax has been applied to the entire exterior, allow it to dry and haze completely before buffing. This usually takes 5-10 minutes in direct sun. Longer cure times may be needed in shade or cool temps.
If any sections feel gummy or sticky, that means the wax has been over-applied. Quickly wipe off any excess with a clean microfiber towel before it fully dries.
Use a fresh, dry microfiber cloth to buff off the dried wax residue. Apply gentle pressure in small circular motions. Take care not to scratch the finish.
Frequently fold the cloth to reveal clean buffing areas. Buff thoroughly to reveal an incredibly slick, glossy shine. Repeat the buffing process over all waxed surfaces of the RV.
Properly curing and buffing out the wax is the secret to achieving that wet, mirror-like look on your fiberglass camper.
Step 5: Regular Maintenance Keeps Your RV Gleaming
To keep your freshly waxed motorhome, camper, or trailer looking its best:
- Wax at least once annually to maintain the protective finish. Wax more frequently if you’re a full-time RVer.
- Wash monthly when camping season is active using an RV-safe soap and plenty of water. Avoid automatic car washes.
- When storing your RV, keep it covered to prevent exposure to the elements. Use a breathable cover allow airflow and discourage mold/mildew growth.
With regular waxing and proper care, the fiberglass exterior of your recreational vehicle will maintain its glossy gelcoat finish for years of camping adventures to come. The effort is well worth it.
So there you have it – a complete guide to waxing your fiberglass RV for maximum protection and eye-catching shine. Prep the surface, choose a quality wax, apply with care, buff thoroughly, and maintain regularly. Your home on wheels will look slick as glass all camping season long.