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Old 03-28-2013, 11:23 AM   #1
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Time for first wash/wax. Need your inputs!

I've had my new 2013 Excel Limited 34IKE a month and I want to prep it before our first road trip with a coat of wax. My previous RV was a 29' TT which I only waxed twice in 3 years. The Excel probably has twice the outside surface area, especially if you include the fiberglass roof. So, what tips do you have in equipment, brand wax, and processes that have worked for you in protecting the outside finish on your toys?

Do you recommend an electric polisher to apply or buff out the wax?

I do have it parked in a covered location, but not enclosed, so hopefully I won't get the severe NM sun damage I've seen happen to so many other RVs here.

Looking for your comments????

Thanks, Gordon
ABQ, NM

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Old 03-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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We hire a professional to wash/wax our motorhome. Mobile detailing companies do our complete unit exterior in 2-3 hours, including buffing. They use a pressure washer with a low pressure nozzle to avoid finish damage and then hand scrub. Cost is, in my opinion, reasonable (varies geographically) and saves me hours and hours of hard labor. We have ours waxed twice per year, and I can use a hose and sponge on a telescoping pole to wash off road dust as needed while traveling.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:15 PM   #3
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We hire a professional to wash/wax our motorhome. Mobile detailing companies do our complete unit exterior in 2-3 hours, including buffing. They use a pressure washer with a low pressure nozzle to avoid finish damage and then hand scrub. Cost is, in my opinion, reasonable (varies geographically) and saves me hours and hours of hard labor. We have ours waxed twice per year, and I can use a hose and sponge on a telescoping pole to wash off road dust as needed while traveling.
Yep. X2. My checkbook does a better job than I could ever dream of.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:19 PM   #4
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I too hire a professional to do our Wild Cargo. I've been to some locations where they charge $10/ft but where we are now they charge half that...got an appt for this Saturday to get this big girl shiny! But one thing is common no matter who we hire, that's the type of wax they use and also recommend - a polymer type wax. The way they explained it to me was that you can use carnauba wax on top of the polymer but if there's already a coat of carnauba on the trailer you have to strip it before the polymer will adhere. Lucky for me I never got gunho and waxed our trailer myself otherwise I would have used carnauba.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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Gordon, I use a Porter Cable 7424 random orbital polisher. I prefer pads by Lake Country. Get the grey ones since you have new fiberglass.

On my previous gel coat fiberglass trailer I used Starbrite Premium Marine Polish. It is easy to apply with the random orbital polisher and wipes off clean with a clean cotton or microfiber towel.

It is not a hard job. Make sure you wash the RV first. I usually split the job up and don't do the whole camper in a single day. I wax the front cap twice as often as the sides or back.

I've been using McGuire's NXT on my Excel with full body paint.

Wax it at least once per year or more. The job gets tougher if the gel coat oxidizes, like most of the older Excels I see. That requires compounding, then waxing. The compound requires a more aggressive pad. I like McGuire's Ultimate Compound. 3M makes a great marine compound, but I find it difficult to remove.

I bought my Porter Cable and Lake Country Pads from Autogeek.net ( We Are Car Care -- Car Wax, Car Polish, Auto Detailing Supplies, Car Buffers & Car Accessories Store ). They have a kit with everything you need to get started.

Contact me if you have questions.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:20 PM   #6
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I was faced with you situation. Seriously!

I found my checkbook. BOOM!
Better than I could ever dream of doing.
I would only mess up what they do so very well.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:28 AM   #7
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Sure if you can afford it have someone else do it.

I like to do it but I take my time and do say the front one day the rear another then a side etc; until I am done. I learned to raise my basement doors when waxing so I do not have to bend over or sit to do them. I used to do twice per year but I cover my rig and have found that once is enough. The front and rear caps take the most abuse so I might do them in between if I notice they are not as shiny.

I use Nu Wax in the orange bottle. Available at Walmart and any auto parts store. It goes on easily and buffs off easily. It has kept my rig shiny and protected. I find hand buffing almost as easy as doing it with a machine and Nu Wax goes on and comes off easily.

The roof, well suit yourself. I have become less fanatic about my roof as time goes on. Waxing it is a pain because you must be on your knees and mine are pretty well used up. Last time I did it I used Mop and Glow which I learned right here on IRV2 and I am happy I did. I could apply it standing up and it has protected my roof just fine. It is not as pretty as it was when I waxed it but I never see it, so protection is all I care about at this point.

There are many wax products on the market Maguires has some nice stuff. Spend some time at the auto parts store, pick one and go to work. That's about it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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Thumbs up RV wax

Check this out for any RV or vehicle. Saw great reviews on other rv sites

Insulator Wax Collinite

google it for the cheapest cost.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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Paint or gel coat?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Russel, the 3M wax 09030 is a great wax. I used it exclusively on the boats I built. It is a UV protected wax that beaded water well, could take cleaning and scrubbing well. The secret is to work smaller areas and don't let it sit. As soon as it hazes, wipe it off with 1 cloth, then wipe again with another to remove any smear thats left.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:09 PM   #11
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Paint or gel coat?
Gel coat white with standard vinyl graphics.





Thanks for the responses! Russell, great "Autogeek" web site! I'm planning on purchasing the Porter-Cable polisher with the appropriate pads. That will also give me the equipment to give my vehicles a regular polish and wax that doesn't show the rubbing marks in the clear coat.

For you guys that pay to have the RV cleaned, I figured that being retired gives me the time to do it myself. Plus I'd rather spend the quoted price of $300 on something else!

Thanks, Gordon
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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Gel coat is a pigmented polyester very soft compared to paint , use marine (boat) products.
Some automotive stuff can remove too much material from the surface over time.
I like the ZEP acrylic that has found a following on many boat/RV forums.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:55 PM   #13
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Gordon, you will enjoy the Porter Cable RO polisher. It does a great job and fast! I use it on our vehicles as well as the RV.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:11 PM   #14
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Hi Gorden, I apply a coat of sealer called Rejex, let it set for at least 12 hours and then I do a second coat with Meguire's Ultimate Liquid Wax, I also use a Random orbital polisher to put both on, The coat of wax is added protection for the sealer and brings out the colors, all can be purchased at Auto Geek
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