Spring Spruce-up for RVs and Camping Trailers


Nothing announces spring like open windows and an upcoming camping trip. Heck, after the winter we’ve had, even the idea of spring cleaning sounds good. And who can’t use a few helps and hints when it comes to getting your camper ready for that first trip the rest of the summer? (I like a neat place to stay, but I admit I only do those deep cleaning chores a couple of times a year, and that’s usually enough if we do the surface cleaning through the season.)

Where you start is a personal preference, but I suggest starting with something that will make a big difference, right off the bat…just to keep me motivated. I like to organize, but if I started with that, I would probably never do anything else…I’d just keep finding more and more things that needed organizing. Whether you tackle inside or outside first depends on lots of things: the weather, facilities, and how much energy you have. So, just start!


  • Use a power washer, strong spray nozzle, or take it to a gentle car wash. Knock off the dirt and dust first, and then you can use a heavier cleaner to remove road tar and the rust that comes out of the little holes around the windows.
  • Open all the windows and clean the tracts around them. This is the dirtiest spot on our trailer. It’s where the dirt and flies like to collect when we have the air conditioner running in the summer, plus, it is not easily accessible when I’m doing routine surface cleaning. It’s also a great place for mildew to hide. I washed the tracts with an all purpose Dollar Tree cleaner and then used baking soda and a scrub pad to scrub away the mildew around the rubber gaskets around the window. Harsh cleaners and heavy duty scratch pads could damage these, and I want none of that!
  • Vacuum screens
  • Take down blinds and wash them in warm soapy water. (I use the bathtub for that, and then rinse them and lay them flat on a towel to dry.)
  • Wash windows inside and out.


  • Remove vent covers and clean.
  • Wash appliances and counters with all purpose cleaner. For the inside of the fridge, I use warm water and baking soda. Check for any mildew that might be lurking in the seals and use a baking soda solution to remove.
  • Clean bathroom fixtures. Since most RV and Trailer manuals suggest not using abrasive cleaners, I use the same one I use at home. A mixture of half white vinegar and half Dawn. Heat the vinegar, mix together, and put in a spray bottle. Use it as you would any bathroom cleaner. It is gentle, effective…hmmmm. That’s sounding like a laxative commercial, but this is no BS. It works great and is also greener than most manufactured cleaners.
  • Wash or wipe down walls and trim as needed.
  • Remove and wash bedding. Sprinkle baking soda onto mattress, brush it around, and leave it while you finish cleaning. Vacuum it off the mattress. You can also dab a little essential oil (lavender is relaxing, tea tree oil discourages insects) onto the mattress cover before making up the bed. I actually like to leave the mattress pad exposed to the air and not make the bed with fresh linens until ready to travel.
  • Vacuum and mop floors, wash area rugs.
  • Replenish supplies and non-perishables such as foil, baggies, coffee, peanut butter, toilet paper, charcoal, paper plates, etc.
  • Check/replace batteries in your smoke detector.

I will finish my trailer cleaning this week. Now, about the house? Hmmm, not sure, because I’ll probably be too busy camping. It’s almost March and the white bass are calling.