Traveling in a caravan can be great even over unmade roads and camping out in the natural bush. This is the best part, finding new and hidden treasures.No matter what age you start traveling you will meet and make many new friends along the way. The worst part is keeping the dust out of your caravan, once in you need to get rid of it.

Cleaning pop-top caravan

Most caravans are pretty well sealed, although the vents behind the fridge, microwave and air conditioner do let that awful red dust in. Also the vent at the bottom of the van door often builds up with dust.

I had a problem where normally the dust did not come in. Then one day it was full of red dust. My husband noticed a catch on the front window was not completely locked. I knew I had locked it so I asked him to check them the next day and again it was not locked. That saved any arguments and we soon fixed that retched catch and no more dust. It is often the simple things that cause problems.

We have spent twelve months traveling around Australia and I have just found a few great tips for cleaning it. I wish I had known some of these ideas while traveling on the road it would have made life easier.

2 Pack WD-40 10032 Spray Lubricant with Smart Straw - 12-oz Aerosol (10132)
Amazon Price: $32.99 $17.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 26, 2016)
This will clean that tar and bitumen and other grime and grit from any vehicle or caravan. It comes in a 2 pack aerosol with the smart straw that you will never lose again.

Cleaning outside the Caravan

Removing  Tar

I found the hardest thing to remove from all caravans is tar or bitumen.

Here are suggestions to try:

  • CT 18 Truck wash – Spray on and leave for a minute then wipe and wash off
  • WD 40 -use as above
  • Mayonnaise – use as above
  • Butter - I still haven't tried this yet, but I will. Use same principle as others.

Once you have tried these. Make sure that you wash the caravan thoroughly to remove any excess of these products. Now to keep it looking great finish off with a good wax and polish.

Removing bugs

Any of the above will clean these off with the same treatment.

Keep bugs off the Radiator

To prevent the radiator overheating from excessive bugs collecting on the front, you could fix a  piece of shade clothor fine mesh (like flyscreen) in front of your radiator using wire ties to keep it in place. Make sure to leave enough room for air to circulate in betweenthe two.

Napisan Oxyaction - 2 Jars
Amazon Price: $49.97 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 26, 2016)
This remove all those nasty stains if left to soak for a couple of hours. The Napisan Oxyaction Max comes with a new stain release enzyme.

Cleaning inside Caravan

Empty Caravan

The best way to do the inside is to empty the caravan out or at least put everything away in cupboards. Yes I know that is not always possible when traveling. Start with the curtains. Pick a sunny day and take them all down and wash. I also soak in Napisan to remove any stains.

No Ironing Curtains

I remembered a sailor telling me that they never used an iron. Instead they put their clothes under their bed. The art of doing this is to make sure you fold them correctly.

Using this principle (at end of trip) I folded the curtain into their pleats and placed a couple of heavy books on top when nearly dry and left for a couple of hours. It works wonders, no ironing needed.   If you really do want to iron them then that's ok by me, as long as I am not doing the ironing.

Panasonic NI-E650TR Steam/Dry Iron with U-Shape Titanium Coated Soleplate
Amazon Price: $87.25 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 26, 2016)
Wow I love that color. This steam iron comes with a titanium soleplate, retractable cord for easy storage. Vertical steam with anti calcium systm. It also has steam or dry feature for your convenience

Cleaning shower, walls and ceiling

Now do not Laugh!

A friend gave me a packet of 2 magic eraser cleaners, before we left on our trip. Typical me, I put them in the cupboard and forgot all about them. I cursedevery week having to clean the body fat off the shower walls.  I still cleaned them although not happy with the result.

On arriving home, I decided to give them a really good clean. I dampened one of these erasers and wiped the shower walls. I got the shock of my life, they came clean so easy. I used it very carefully on the ceiling wiping off the fly dirt's.  And it removed the red dust marks where the pop-top zips marked the ceiling. I could not believe how great and easy it worked.

Caution: If you are cleaning the walls and ceilings in your caravan, please be very careful.  Most of the walls in caravans may look solid, but the pattern will wear off if scrubbed with any pressure.  It is like paper. So wipe very very carefully.

The disadvantage of these erasers- they break-up and do not last very long, but who cares? They work their magic while they last and without the need of chemicals nor muscle power(elbow grease). They even removed marks off the vinyl floor covering.

Fridges- How many times have you stood bottles, cans or other things in the doors and they leave a mark on the white surface.  No more just use the eraser on them and erase them away.

If you have any other great suggestions then let me know and I will add them to this article.

One more tip: no its not a cleaning one it is to get rid of ants around your van. Buy a container of borax and tip some into another container add the same amount of sugar and mix.  Sprinkle this around your power lead (thats where they climb in, and the jockey wheel and around the wheels.  They love the sugar and eat some of the borax and take it back to their nests. I normally buy this from the supermarkets. They do not return.  I have used this for years in the van and at home.

I have noticed that Amazon also sells Borax ant and cochroach killer too.

Note: Do not mix more than you need as it will go hard.

Good luck and stay safe towing your caravan on your next holiday.

Regent Labs Stain Away Stain Remover, 16 Ounce
Amazon Price: $4.49 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 26, 2016)
This is also great to freshen and clean carpets. Deodorizes too