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Old 12-06-2021, 09:38 PM   #1
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What fiberglass roof clean and protect products do you use?

I just loaded up on compound, polish, wax, random orbital buffer (Griots G9) pads, and tons of other stuff. Over the next month my Newmar Mountain Aire is going to my own RV spa. It should look real spiffy when I'm done.



The question is, what are you guys using to wash and protect your fiberglass roofs? I have read some about guys using 303. I looked into 303, and they make many, many products. Those oof you using 303, which 303 prodcut do you use? Is there something better than 303 for the roof? Once the roof is cleaned (again, what's best to clean it with?) how do you apply the 303, or whatever is better, to the roof? Do you just spray it on and wipe it with a rag?


This is my first time doing this, so any input any of you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:44 PM   #2
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Great question!!

I am trying to figure out how to get on the roof?
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:52 PM   #3
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I just use Turtle Wax ICE over the paint.
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Old 12-06-2021, 10:56 PM   #4
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After washing the roof with my normal car wash, I dry it completely. In the shade, I then apply 303 using one microfiber cloth to apply and one to remove excess. I change them out if they get dirty. I apply to everything on the roof, including AC shrouds. Hope that helps!
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug427 View Post
I just loaded up on compound, polish, wax, random orbital buffer (Griots G9) pads, and tons of other stuff. Over the next month my Newmar Mountain Aire is going to my own RV spa. It should look real spiffy when I'm done.



The question is, what are you guys using to wash and protect your fiberglass roofs? I have read some about guys using 303. I looked into 303, and they make many, many products. Those oof you using 303, which 303 prodcut do you use? Is there something better than 303 for the roof? Once the roof is cleaned (again, what's best to clean it with?) how do you apply the 303, or whatever is better, to the roof? Do you just spray it on and wipe it with a rag?


This is my first time doing this, so any input any of you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Well Doug,
There's lots of opinions on this and here's mine. In short, it's a fiberglass roof. To *coat* it with just about ANYTHING, is in my opinion, not the best route for these roofs. It's a choice thing. You do what you feel is right for you and your roof. On mine, It wasn't in too bad of shape when we took the coach over, about 10+ years ago. It's an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP. So, I've done quite a bit of paint "Cut-n-buff" operations and my roof was in need of something similar.

So, I got up there and first thing was to wash it thoroughly with good soap and water and some cleanser to rid it of oxidation. Then, I had to scrape off the blobs of Silicone that the folks that did the King Dome install, got all over the place. Once that was done, out came my 100' extension cord, my Dewalt professional buffer (not a random orbital but, a real buffer) and some 3M polishing compound.

It took me two days, start to finish which included a wax job with Kit car wax when done. The results you see below. I myself, will never put any product on that roof. It doesn't need it. The pics of what you see, were taken several years ago when I first did it. It has dulled quite a bit but, still has a great finish with ZERO streaking whenever it rains, or I wash the roof off. I'm due for another couple days up there and to that process again.

Yep, it's work, no doubt about it. But, when you're done, the fiberglass surface is in seriously better shape than just putting a coating on it. Anyway, again, it's a choice thing. Oh, yes, for those worry warts that yell and scream "it's gonna be real slippery" when it's wet up there. Duuuhhhhh, OF COURSE it's gonna be slippery when wet. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that. Nobody said to get up there and square dance when it's raining!!!
Scott

P.S. Some will comment on why do that much work when no one will see it. First off, I WILL SEE IT. Second, that roof is now PRESERVED.
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well Doug,
There's lots of opinions on this and here's mine. In short, it's a fiberglass roof. To *coat* it with just about ANYTHING, is in my opinion, not the best route for these roofs.

...

P.S. Some will comment on why do that much work when no one will see it. First off, I WILL SEE IT. Second, that roof is now PRESERVED.
Great job! Yup, that's what I would do too.
But since mine lives in the woods, the first step is power wash the leaves, branches and major dirt off first. I hardly ever get to the second step but maybe in the spring...
Don't you have the pontoon boat with the toons that are polished to mirrors?
I thought I remember you posting some pics on that...
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Old 12-07-2021, 06:09 AM   #7
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After washing the roof with my normal car wash, I dry it completely. In the shade, I then apply 303 using one microfiber cloth to apply and one to remove excess. I change them out if they get dirty. I apply to everything on the roof, including AC shrouds. Hope that helps!
I do the same thing. I take a microfiber towel and attach it to a Swiffer stick and use it as a mop. I do my roof quarterly.
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Old 12-07-2021, 06:55 AM   #8
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I use products by Aero Cosmetics and am very happy with them.

Following is an article in Motorhome Magazine on their products.

https://www.rv.com/archive/dry-cleaning/

The article focuses on cleaning the roof, but they have products for the sides.

What I really like is that I don't have to do it all at one time and pre wash MH. When I get tired, or it gets hot, I stop. When at a campground, and have some time, I do some.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:18 PM   #9
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I also love the Aero Cosmetics product line. Iíve used Wash Wax All on my RV for 5 years and it still looks new. It can be used waterless with or without washing first, or you can spray it on after washing while the RV is still wet and then use a towel to dry the RV. Iíve used all three methods and all work well. For my roof, I think 303 holds up better, but, if I was out of 303, I wouldnít hesitate to use Wash Wax All on the roof.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:35 PM   #10
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Be careful on the roof if you use 303. That stuff is slippery!
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:42 PM   #11
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Great job! Yup, that's what I would do too.
But since mine lives in the woods, the first step is power wash the leaves, branches and major dirt off first. I hardly ever get to the second step but maybe in the spring...
Don't you have the pontoon boat with the toons that are polished to mirrors?
I thought I remember you posting some pics on that...
Hey Dav L,
Thanks for the nice comments. Yeah, it was a bit of work back when I did it but, as you can see, well worth it, at least to me. And it prepped it for later maintenance.
About the Tri-toon, yep, it's a Bennington 26' Tri-toon with the Yamaha 5.3L V-8 350HP. From the start to the finish, to get those pontoons looking the way they do, was right at 5 1/2 days!!!!!!!! Lots and lots of sanding with a vibrating random orbital. Multiple stages of sandpaper grit. Then multiple stages of jeweler's rouge type bars and a 9" handheld grinder with a 12" x 1" fully sewn cotton wheel.

From that point, it's a very special mix of various rouges and some mineral spirits. And the use of a disc-abrasive sander/polisher. No doubt about it, it's work. But, the results are amazing. That boat is not stopped anywhere without folks walking up to it and commenting on the phenomenal shine.
Scott
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:54 PM   #12
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If I were to use what everyone refers to as "303", which of the 303 products are you referring to?

I see:
- 303 Graphene Nano Spray Coating
- 303 Automotive Protectant
- 303 Aerospace Protectant
- 303 Touchless Sealant
- 303 Marine Aerospace Protectant

Which one of these do you guys use? I haven't decided yet what I'm going to use, but if I decide on 303 I'd like to know which one to use. Does one of these last longer than the other 303 protectants?

There are so many great answers here. I believe the answer from Fire Up is the best way to go as far as ultimate appearance and protection, but quite honestly I don't have the will power and energy to do all that on the roof, then start buffing and polishing the whole coach. The buffing of the coach is a much larger job than I'd like to do, but I'll do it. To do that and also buff and wax the whole roof as well on my lousy knees just might be too much.

In the RV Magazine article that veraken linked to, I had some trouble reading it and keeping heads to tails as it didn't format properly. It seems that they used the Aero Cosmetics Belly Soap, which is apparently a very strong degreaser, in fact so strong that it's not safe for clear coat. I fear that some will inadvertantly drip down off the roof and damage the clear coat on the sides of the rig. Because of this I hesitate to use it. Also, I can't imagine how many of my towels will need to be used and soiled. What a mess. I have no issues getting running water to the roof, so the benefit if the waterless is far outweiged by the mess it'll make and the large number of my microfiber towels that it'll mess up.

I'm sort of leaning toward a very strong cleaner to scrub the roof, followed by either a coat of wax, a coat of 303, or maybe even both? Maybe something like Simple Green as the strong cleaner? The key to the job is the cleaner and scrubber used to clean the roof, as a significant portion of my roof is non-slip textured. What cleaner and scrubber would you guys recommend? I would like the scrubber to be monunted on a pole so that I don't need to be on my knees doing this any more than necessary.

Thanks to all who responded, your input is highly valued. This guy is still on a learning curve.
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Old 12-07-2021, 11:29 PM   #13
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When first cleaning a surface and you are unsure as to the condition, start off light. When cleaning something for the first time I go by the - first, do no harm - rule. Throwing a strong cleaner at a surface when you don't know it's condition can make for an "oh, crap!" moment when it dries.

I've cleaned hundreds of thousands of square feet of assorted surfaces in the last 40 years, and trained a lot of others, and I've seen a lot of damage done by people starting off too strong. A VERY common mistake even with experienced people is going by the - "If a little is good, a lot is better rule." Better to have to ramp up the strength later than to discover you've taken the shine off a surface or worse yet damaged it. Just mild soap and water, or car wash detergent is good. Simple Green is fine as lone as you dilute it properly. Remember start with a light solution first. And rinse as you go. You DO NOT need to use a degreaser.

For textured surfaces - Filon - use a deck and floor brush that'll take a threaded broom handle. You'll find them at the hardware store. Don't get the super stiff brushes.

Work sections at a time, soap, scrub, rinse, then move on. Don't let any solution dry before rinsing. The instructions will sometime suggest a "dwell time" and this can just be a short as 10-30 seconds, just be sure the solution doesn't dry in that time. If you have some mildew, some bleach in the water can help, just make sure the cleaner doesn't contain ammonia, or you'll create Chloramine gas. Not good for you. As you rinse make sure you flush off the sides of the rig as you go to help prevent streaking. Work backwards but but don't trip over objects or back right off the edge!

If your roof has a pebbly plastic finish, it's probably Filon or another brand of fiberglass and polishes or wax could be difficult to apply and remove.

As far as protecting the roof when you are done. The #1 thing you can do for your roof is clean and inspect it at least once a year. Like anything regular maintenance is the key, what you do beyond that is a bonus and is your choice. I like 303, and others use wash and wax products. My 20 year old Filon roof had lost it's shine and had some micro crazing of the surface. I decided to recoat the roof with a gloss paint made for fiberglass. I considered my roof to be in good condition with only light surface finish crazing and it probably would have been fine with regular maintenance, but I decided spending a day to give it a fresh finish was worth my time. If you get it clean, have a dull finish and still notice white streaks after a rain, you might be looking at a top coat.

Good luck, take your time and don't worry if you can't get it perfect. Might take a couple cleanings to get it in shape.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:15 PM   #14
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This is the version I have always used. If any questions they are very responsive to email.

303 30350 Aerospace Protectant 32oz https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000BYMNQ...TZKYK7BER5W90K
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