RV Armor: How Do You Protect An RV Paint Finish?

As an outdoor enthusiast, you know that one of the greatest joys of RVing is the freedom to explore new places and embark on exciting adventures. But as much as you love hitting the open road, you also know that it can be tough on your RV. From the sun’s UV rays to dirt and debris on the road, your vehicle’s finish is constantly exposed to a variety of hazards that can cause it to deteriorate over time.

That’s why it’s so important to take steps to protect your RV’s finish. Not only will it keep your vehicle looking good, but it can also help ensure that it remains in top condition for many years to come.

Today, we’ll explore the best ways to protect your RV finish and keep it looking like new, from understanding the different types of RV finishes to tips for washing and waxing your vehicle. So whether you’re a seasoned RV owner or a newcomer to the world of outdoor adventure, read on.

Understanding the RV Finish

Your RV’s finish is one of its most important features, as it not only enhances its appearance but also protects the underlying structure from environmental damage. But to effectively protect your RV’s finish, it’s important to first understand what it’s made of and how it functions.

Types of RV Finishes

There are a few different types of RV finishes that you might encounter, including gel coats, fiberglass, and painted finishes. Gel coat is a common finish for fiberglass RVs, and it’s known for its high shine and durability. Fiberglass itself is a lightweight and strong material that is often used in RV construction.

Painted finishes are also common and can provide a custom look to your RV. Understanding which type of finish your RV has is important in choosing the right maintenance and protection products.

Common Materials Used for RV Finishes

Regardless of the type of finish your RV has, it’s likely made up of a few common materials. These can include resins, pigments, and other additives that work together to provide a durable and long-lasting finish.

These materials can be affected by a variety of environmental factors, such as UV rays, moisture, and extreme temperatures, which can cause fading, cracking, or other damage over time.

Characteristics of a Well-Maintained RV Finish

A well-maintained RV finish will have a few key characteristics. First, it will be clean and free of dirt, debris, and other contaminants that can scratch or dull the surface. Second, it will be properly waxed and sealed to provide a protective layer against UV rays and other environmental factors.

Third, it will be free of cracks, fading, or other signs of damage that can compromise its effectiveness.

By understanding the different types of RV finishes, the materials they’re made of, and the characteristics of a well-maintained finish, you’ll be better equipped to protect your investment and keep your RV looking like new for many years to come.

How do I protect my RV paint finish and keep it from fading?

Your RV’s paint job is one of its most visible and important features. Not only does it make your vehicle look good, but it also provides a layer of protection against the elements.

To protect an RV paint finish, wash it regularly using a gentle soap and soft brush, apply a high-quality wax or sealant to create a protective barrier, use a UV-resistant cover when parked, and avoid parking in direct sunlight for extended periods.

Let’s take a deeper dive into how to keep your RV looking new:

1. Wash your RV regularly

Regular washing is the first step in protecting your RV’s paint. Dirt, grime, and other contaminants can scratch or dull the surface, so it’s important to remove them as soon as possible. Use a gentle soap and a soft brush or cloth to avoid causing damage to the paint.

2. Wax your RV

Waxing your RV provides a protective layer against UV rays and other environmental factors that can cause fading or cracking. Apply wax to your RV’s paint every three to six months to help maintain its shine and integrity.

3. Use a paint protection film

A paint protection film can be applied to your RV’s paint to provide an extra layer of protection against scratches, chips, and other damage. This film is transparent and can be applied to any area of your RV’s paint that you want to protect.

4. Park your RV in the shade

UV rays from the sun can cause your RV’s paint to fade and crack over time. Whenever possible, park your RV in a shaded area to minimize exposure to the sun’s harmful rays.

5. Cover your RV when not in use

Covering your RV when it’s not in use can provide an additional layer of protection against the elements. Choose a cover that is designed specifically for RVs and made from breathable material to prevent moisture buildup.

6. Use UV protection products

There are a variety of UV protection products available that can be applied to your RV’s exterior to help prevent fading. These products come in the form of sprays, waxes, and coatings, and they provide an additional layer of protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

Related: Why Does My RV Stink When I Shower?

Additional ways to protect your RV finish

In addition to regular washing, waxing, and UV protection, there are a few other ways you can protect your RV’s finish and keep it looking great. Here are some additional tips to consider:

1. Avoid harsh chemicals

When cleaning your RV, avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the paint and finish. Instead, choose gentle cleaning products that are specifically designed for use on RVs.

2. Repair damages promptly

If you notice any scratches, chips, or other damage to your RV’s exterior, be sure to have it repaired promptly. Small areas of damage can quickly turn into larger problems if left untreated.

3. Use wheel covers

In addition to protecting your RV’s exterior, it’s also important to protect the wheels and tires. Use wheel covers to protect against UV rays and other damage, and keep your tires properly inflated to prevent cracking and other problems.

4. Maintain the interior

A well-maintained interior can also help protect your RV’s finish. Keep the interior clean and free of moisture to prevent mold and mildew growth, and use UV protection products on interior surfaces to prevent fading and cracking.


Keeping an RV paint finish in great condition involves some basic steps. These include regular washing with a mild soap and soft brush, using a high-quality wax or sealant to form a protective layer, utilizing a UV-resistant cover when the RV is parked, and avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

Remember to wash your RV regularly, wax it every three to six months, and use a paint protection film to protect against scratches and chips. Park your RV in the shade whenever possible, and cover it when not in use to prevent exposure to the elements.

In addition to protecting your RV’s finish, it’s also important to maintain other parts of your vehicle, such as the engine, tires, and interior. Regular maintenance and upkeep can help ensure that your RV is always ready for your next adventure.

Happy Camping!

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