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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spinning Brush - Gotta Clean Up!

Yucky Streaks.
Pressure Washing.
    Like pretty much every RV owner, I hate Black Streaks!. Since it's been raining so often here in the Northeast I have lots of water running down the sides of my RV. The byproduct of this is some nasty streaks of tree debris and air pollutants. I used to use a hose to wet it all down with a trigger sprayer, then switch to the "soap injection" function of my pressure washer to get soap all over the RV. after that I used a brush attachment on the hose to scrub the streaks away. Well, they faded at least for the most part. Lot's of work, lots of elbow grease and lots of soap and water everywhere. Including on me!

Well, I believe I've found a better way!
After wetting everything down with hose, I hit the heavy, stuck on debris with the fan shaped pressure washer spray. This dislodges lots of "gunk" and preps the surface for the soap. I also spray down the wheels at this time to get rid of as much brake dust and grime as I can. Soaping it up REALLY well is the next step. Once you've got it all soaped up. Take a step back and let the soap do it's job. It will break down as much of the dirt as it can. Patience is a virtue here. Believe me, this is NOT my favorite RV maintenance job. I'd rather be on the road, heading toward some interesting locale than cleaning and washing! However, that being said, it's a necessary evil. I want my RV to last a LONG time. I'll wager you do too!
Old Extending Wet Brush and New Attachment
The way I used to scrub the streaks off was time and labor intensive. There are chemical products that will remove the streaks as well, but some of them are very harsh on the surface of your RV (and you!) and should be rinsed off immediately following their application. Since I've applied an acrylic floor product to my RV, these black streaks are actually on top of the coating so they come off MUCH easier. Still, standing under the extending rod of the old brush with it hooked up to the hose while scrubbing up and down and sideways was a mess. I never really needed a shower or to wash my hair afterwards!

The new way!

Water Turbine Mechanism
Quite accidentally, I stumbled upon an attachment for my pressure washer that had a water powered rotating inner brush, a fixed position outer brush AND was compatible with the soap injection feature. It works by using the water pressure produced by the pressure washer's motor and pump assembly and forcing it through a simplified turbine attached to the inner (rotating) part of the brush. The Turbine lives in a housing the also acts as the end of the brush and also holds the fixed part of the brush as well. This allows water to be used to spin the brush AND wash away soap and dirt at the same time.

Spinning Brush Dispensing Soap

Now, after wetting down the RV and getting most of the heavier "gunk" off then soaping it up with the sprayer, I simply attach the spinning brush, turn the soap on and move it around. Voila! Additional soap gets dispensed (this prevents bigger pieces of dirt from scratching anything) and the black streaks get scrubbed away. All without major effort. I pretty much cover every surface I can reach. Sometimes, when the dirt or streaks are stubborn I "hover" over that spot for a bit longer to get it clean.  The pressure of the exiting water is low enough, so you don't have to worry about forcing it through any gaps in windows and doors and soaking your interior. As long as you coach is water-resistant to begin with!
Brilliant!

Before.
Take a look at the before and after photos. All this without a huge amount of work. Main issue I had? The brush isn't really long enough to comfortably reach the roof on my RV, which is only 99" tall. Which means it will be difficult to reach the roof on a more convention coach. Plus, a longer reach is just better on your back, shoulders and arms. Less fatigue while performing a repetitive task is a good thing!

They do sell a couple of different extensions and I will likely be ordering one of those soon.


After!
All in all, I really like this for cleaning the RV. The bristles are soft enough, so damage isn't likely to happen. They are long enough to get into the "nooks & crannies" of the sides of the RV, so that reduces work as well. And best of all? It wasn't really expensive at all (around $25) Of course, you need a pressure washer too.
You should be careful that no rocks or big chunks get caught in the brush. That could lead to a spinning scratch maker. I ALWAYS place the brush bristle side up when taking a break or finishing up. I wouldn't use this on tire treads or anywhere a small rock could get picked up. maybe I'm just being paranoid. Better careful than sorry!

They make a similar accessory for lots of brands of pressure washers and many of the generic types use the "bayonet" style attachment. With this accessory making the job so much easier, I could wash the RV much more often. That would be less work since less dirt and road grime would have a chance to build up.

Naaaah!

Less work, more RV trip time, does a job that I hate? I'm sold.

Be Seeing You...Down the Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com





14 comments:

  1. What's the name of the turbine washer and where can one be found??

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ralphie,
      There is no specific brand. Mine is a Karcher and a simple web search will locate one for you. Each manufacturer has it's own style of attachments, so what I have may not work with your pressure washer.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. I do not think it is a good idea to use a pressure washer on a motorhome. It forces water around seals and into places it should not be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      I disagree. A pressure washer designed for general cleaning (around 1750PSI) set on the fan shaped patter NOT the single stream will do no harm to your seals or anything else...unless it's ready to fail anyway! The factory tests with pressure at around the same pressure. I DO NOT recommend using the "pencil" stream you would use to blast dirt off of concrete.

      Know your equipment...and always be careful.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
    2. I agree with Rich....it's h ow you use it. I'd avoid max. pressure at a window seal, but generally, cleaning all the open areas, the wheels, and other spots will make the job a lot easier...even if you have to "detail" around the window seals.

      Delete
    3. I saw this one at Walmart....not to expensive, and from what Rich says, well worth the investment, if you have a pressure washer.
      I don't know if the Karcher one will fit other brands, so it may make sense to take one of the heads attachments with you, if you plan to buy one.

      Delete
  3. You mentioned you have applied an acrylic floor product to your coach.
    Would you share what product and how you applied it.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the Road Again...

      I will be covering the entire process in a later article. I used RED MAX PRO #3 however that product is no longer available. Many people are swearing by ZEP WET LOOK, but I have NOT tested it.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. do you have a product # for the rotating brush?
    The only similar thing I can find in Canada is http://rjbowers.com/xcart/26407430-Rotating-Wash-Brush.html
    thanks
    Laurel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosehaven,
      A simple google search will find you a compatible rotating brush. Mine is for my KARCHER brand pressure washer. I have no idea if it will fit your pressure washer.

      Here is a link to mine:

      http://www.pressurewashersdirect.com/Karcher-2.643-005.0/p4731.html

      and here is a basic search with lots of them for all pressure washers.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=karcher+rotating+brush&oq=karcher+rotating+brush&aqs=chrome.0.57j0l3j60l2.6663j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#tbm=shop&sclient=psy-ab&q=pressure+washer+rotating+brush&oq=pressure+washer+rotating+brush&gs_l=serp.3...116386.118190.2.119092.15.15.0.0.0.11.278.2727.1j10j4.15.0...0.0.0..1c.1.17.serp.h8w_FpayCkY&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47883778,d.dmg&fp=a1b7d648fba6d88c&biw=1180&bih=733

      I have no idea whether these are available in Canada. Though I don't see why not.

      Rich "The Wanderman"


      Delete
    2. ours is also a KARCHER so should work
      Thanks

      Delete
    3. Excellent!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  5. Once every couple of months, I drive our 27' Class C down to the truck wash on the interstate. For $25 (less than we pay for a movie with popcorn and soda) several hunky young men wash the whole thing, clean the wheels, and it's sparkling clean in about 15 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dick,
      I dunno...if you don't own it, how much care do you really take.

      I've heard of many car was mishaps over the years.

      As always, YMMV.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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