What are the best products and methods to use for cleaning our grimy roof? (1 Viewer)

Sep 9, 2019
884
1,936
Runcorn
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63,956
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Autotrail Apache 632
Exp
Since Sept 2019
Hi Funsters, pretty sure this has been asked before but I bet there are lots of newbies out there wondering the same thing. The roof of our coach built Autotrail Apache is covered in nasty green and black algae that is really difficult to clean off and is super slimy when wet, so really dangerous to walk on. There is lots of it under our solar panels and the unused tv/satellite aerial. What cleaning products do you use? How do you access the roof safely? What cleaning tools do you use? Post pictures please, drop in links for cleaning products and cleaning kit if you can/know how, you’ll really help me, but you’ll really help lots of others too!

Cheers!

Russ
 
Feb 22, 2011
9,954
20,561
Newcastle under Lyme
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15,397
MH
Hymer B544 A Class
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Since 2015
Warm soapy water, a sponge a softish scrubbing brush and a toothbrush for fine detailing. And a hose for swilling off.
Plus lots of elbow grease.
Some use wet and forget stuff afterwards, but I've never tried it so can't comment
But be careful, soapy water and heights don't mix.
Edit, don't worry about the dirt under the solar panel, you'll never get to it.
 
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May 14, 2014
620
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Now a little one
Have a look at this thread.
 
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May 14, 2019
35
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Shropshire
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Since 2019
I have used quite a few different methods (including a power washer and rotating brush) but found that it worked best when I just got up on the roof on my knees and did it by hand.
Access with a ladder leaning against the van with pipe insulation squeezed onto the sides of the ladder. I just did it last weekend in 2 sessions and it took 2 to 3 hours in total. The roof hadn't been cleaned since before the start of winter.
I used standard car cleaning products (Supernatural Shampoo), microfibre cloths and two buckets (shampoo and rinse). I also found that Wheel Woolies worked quite well to get the algae moving using a circular motion. They gave me some extra reach as well.
I worked in sections and dried (with mf cloth) when completed so that there were no slippery bits! You could probably use a stronger shampoo on the roof but it was what I had. Note my roof is GRP other roof surfaces may present different issues!

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Emmit

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Aug 14, 2009
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Warm soapy water, a sponge a softish scrubbing brush and a toothbrush for fine detailing. And a hose for swilling off.
Plus lots of elbow grease.
Some use wet and forget stuff afterwards, but I've never tried it so can't comment
But be careful, soapy water and heights don't mix.
Edit, don't worry about the dirt under the solar panel, you'll never get to it.
"And a hose for swilling off."

But not in the South West Water billing area.
We're still on a hosepipe ban. Oh please.
 
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JockandRita

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Aug 2, 2007
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Since May 05 (Ex Tuggers).
Edit, don't worry about the dirt under the solar panel, you'll never get to it.
In a pantomime type voice, "OH YES HE WILL." ;)


Cheers

Jock. :)
 
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May 2, 2014
2,255
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Washington
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31,281
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Hymer B 584DL
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17 years + 35 tugging
I put a ladder up one side and clean as much as I can from that position using a soft brush and car wash. I then do the rest standing on the roof with the same extending soft brush and hosing off as I do it starting at the rear so it all flows forward.
 
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Mar 28, 2010
197
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Wirral
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10,821
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A class Hymer 504
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Since 1995
Elbows, arms, and hands - using a safe ladder (depends on height required) with a brush about 3' and one much longer like those used on trucks which have those attach to keep the water flowing. I do not go on the roof because it would be too dangerous for me.

https://www.roadking.co.uk/wash-brushes.html

I use snow foam to ready the van and then use Wash 'n Wax by Bio Pro. Used the Wash 'n Wax for over a decade, cleaning the roof at least twice a year.

https://www.carapak.co.uk/product/wash-n-wax/

Best result is when my eldest son does it because he's built like a 6' rugby league player. And he doesn't use a power hose either.

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RustyRuss
Sep 9, 2019
884
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Autotrail Apache 632
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Since Sept 2019
Well boys n girls you have come up trumps again! Thanks for all your suggestions! I’m going to order some of these items, like the mould killer, and get stuck in in about 10 days time when i bring the MoHo back from storage. Thanks for all your help!

Cheers!

Russ
 
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Feb 16, 2020
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Sunlight. T66. 2019.
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Absolute beginners.
Apparently there's a bit of North Devon that's been conquered by the Cornish and they're roped in as well.
Every day is a school day. I didn't know.
The " Dumplings" are already planning their "D Day" retaliation, so my uncle says, ;)(y)
 
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Emmit

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The " Dumplings" are already planning their "D Day" retaliation, so my uncle says, ;)(y)
I've backed it both ways.
Married a Dumpling. Live in Cornwall.

I'm doing missionary work.
As a Tyke with a Scottish mother, I'm teaching them how to spend money.
It's hard work. Genetics means I'm not cut out for this work.
 
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Jul 28, 2021
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Rapido Dreamer PVC
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Talking of toothbrush detailing, many moons ago on one of our longer cruises from Plymouth we chugged around the Coast and up the Thames to Henley. The next morning after mooring up we were astounded to see the owner of the boat behind meticulously cleaning around his external window frames with an electric toothbrush:giggle: They are amongst us wherever you go!:LOL:

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Oct 4, 2019
381
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Milford on Sea
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Globecar Campscout
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Since 2005
Get some hospital grade disinfectant (the stuff they swab the floors with), dilute as per instructions and on a dry day at the end of the season pour in on to the roof with a watering can and it will keep the gunge at bay all winter long. Works on fibreglass and teak decks as well.
 
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Apr 11, 2021
51
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Forest of Dean, United Kingdom
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Dethleffs
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2 years
I managed to fall off my step ladder once doing that job I found I don't bounce to well any more but I dent a lot easier .I purchased a set of builders trestles after that and a couple of scaffold boards as for cleaning under solar panels I use a radiator brush once the roof is clean a good coat of polish it doesn't stop it all but it does help:unsure:(y)
 
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Mar 6, 2019
393
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A Class
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Since 1987
Hi all. I got a pot of Autoglem Motorhome cleaner. I used it on an old motorhome that had gone yellow. It was amazing. Two applications and the yellow had gone. It’s not cheap but worth looking at.
our van has no ladder or roof rack so I’m loath to go climbing up there. I tend to use a tall step ladder and a long broom. Some parts are accessible through the roof vents though I always feel like a sub mariner popping up through the hatch when I stick my head up. I just can’t help worrying that the skipper is going to shout “Dive dive dive”!

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Aug 19, 2013
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Wells, Somerset
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Elddis 115
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since 2004
I recall talking to a motorhomer who had devised a hinge and latch system for his solar panel so he could clean under it and potentially to raise it and maximize the angle to the sun. Or perhaps I dreamt it.
 
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JockandRita

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 2, 2007
11,516
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Lincs/Cambs border
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49
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N+B Flair 8000i
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Since May 05 (Ex Tuggers).
What do Funsters use for the tiny gardens that form in the sliding window grooves and tops of window frames?
A toothbrush and whatever cleaning agent you use on the bodywork/roof.

It was a toothbrush that allowed me to clean those small difficult areas, such as cable assembly joints. ;)

20230408_111013.jpg


Cheers,

Jock. :)
 
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