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Although we had used the caravan earlier in the year to go to Oswestry for a couple of days, we had not had chance to give it a wash and polish. As the weather was being kind, we decided to spend a day sprucing the van ready for our trip to Bridlington. Now this was the first time we were going to tackle cleaning the van and where we have it stored, there is not a supply of water, so everything we need would have to be “shipped in” How much water do you actually need to wash a caravan? Hmm… and what is the best product to use? 

Pulling the van forward gave us easy access to both sides

I guessed that if I got three 25 litre containers for water, that would be about right and as for cleaning, I had a good quality auto shampoo from Autoglym and a huge 3 litre container of MER… a product that is usually used on aircraft. I’d bought an extending handle soft brush from Costco and also had one of their packs of 30 micro-fibre cloths for polishing. So steps, water, brush and buckets were loaded into the trailer and off we set down to the compound. Fortunately the compound we use has plenty of room so we could simply pull the van forward to get access all round for cleaning. The first task was to get the soap on… easily achieved, but how easy was it going to be to rinse off the soap? I had taken with us a hand pumped pressure spray, the type used to spray plants with. It holds around 4 litres of water. As the Autoglym shampoo has a wetting agent in it and the fact I’d added some MER to the rinse water in pump spray as a base for polishing, it didn’t prove too difficult at all. In a couple of areas we had the dreaded black streaks, but really this was not a problem as the Autoglym shampoo tackled 90% of them and the odd few that remained were soon seen off by Sue using a deft application of One Dry and a damp micro-fibre cloth.

Once the whole van had been shampoo’d, rinsed and dried off with micro-fibre cloths, it was time to start the serious polishing. If you put some MER into the rinse water, it provides a foundation for polishing, and in reality, it wasn’t too bad polishing the whole van. After a couple of hours we had washed, rinsed had a couple of slices of pizza and started the polishing process. The roof was the hardest to do, trying not to lean too heavily in any one spot. I think I need to take a taller set of steps!

The devil is in the detail they always say and Sue did a fantastic job of polishing in all the important little places… which is kind of unusual, as in nearly 30 years of married life she has never ever cleaned any of the cars…. cleaning cars is a “blue job” Sue has declared not a “pink job”. I think the van must fall into the “pinky blue” category. Who am I to argue?

So after five hours washing, polishing and eating last nights left over pizza the caravan was looking resplendent in the afternoon sun.

Time to pack up and head for home… and plan our trip to Bridlington and the forthcoming Swift factory tour.

S