How to properly clean your car and caravan

How to properly clean your car and caravan

© Saskia HOrrmann
CARAVANING has put together all the important tips for cleaning caravans and towing vehicles.

During the Corona crisis, avoiding social contacts is essential to stop the virus from spreading. Hygiene also helps tremendously – and those who want to make sure after an errand that caravans and cars are largely germ-free can clean both with simple measures. The disinfectants currently out of stock in many drugstores are often not absolutely necessary.

Tip 1: minimize surfaces

Unnecessary clutter: out! First of all, the coaches and caravans should be free of unnecessary items. While this can be done quickly in the car, clearing out the caravan may be a longer process due to the size of the trailer. But it’s worth it: the less lying around, the smaller the surface on which viruses can stick.

Tip 2: Use conventional cleaning agents

Normal hand soap or dishwashing detergent are sufficient – as with hand washing, these chemicals destroy the viruses, as the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) recently confirmed. In addition, in most cases they should be mild enough not to attack the surfaces in the caravan and car interiors. Special cockpit and camping supplies cleaners work in the same way and are specially developed to not damage leather and plastic surfaces despite a thorough cleaning effect. In the towing vehicle, however, it should be borne in mind that these special cleaners can make the steering wheel or the gear knob slippery, for example.

Disinfectants are much more aggressive and do not replace normal cleaning – here it is better to carry out a first attempt at a hidden area in the interior. However, if you belong to a risk group (such as the elderly, people with previous illnesses), you should play it safe and use a disinfectant labeled “virucidal” after normal cleaning – the surfaces in the caravan or car that may be damaged are ultimately out of proportion to an infection risk.

The type of application is basically the same for all agents: apply thoroughly to the corresponding surfaces and leave to take effect. Then remove the chemicals with a damp cloth – to avoid late damage, they should not remain on the surfaces. It is also advisable to open the windows so that the cleaned areas in the car and in the caravan dry quickly.

Tip 3: proceed systematically

Equipped with microfibre cloth and water-diluted cleaning mirrels in the bucket, the interior of the car and caravan are cleaned. In order to really catch all germs and viruses, you should proceed systematically when cleaning: for example, first a car and then a caravan and then work your way from the back to the front or vice versa.

Tip 4: What should be cleaned in the caravan

Particular attention is paid to cleaning handles, cabinet fittings and rubber profiles in and on the caravan. This applies to the exterior, for example, the body door, the service compartments with handles and the water tank lid or the handle of the drain valve in the exterior. All cupboards and furniture surfaces should be wiped off in the caravan. While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to completely clean the kitchen, including the refrigerator, and the sanitary room.

When doing the fine work, it is recommended to use water sparingly to protect the structure and furnishings from moisture. Therefore windows and doors should be open during cleaning. On this occasion, it is also advisable to take upholstery and mattresses from your documents for ventilation. Maybe it’s time to clean the caravan upholstery again? You can read more about this in our sister magazine promobil. Since water tanks can also become virus sources, one is Cleaning the caravan tanks equally conceivable.

Tip 5: What should be cleaned in the car

At least all areas with which people have direct contact should be cleaned – coughed up or sneezed surfaces, of course. This affects the following components on the car: dashboard, steering wheel, steering wheel satellite switch, gearshift or gear selector lever, touchscreen, interior mirror, fuel cap, fuel filler cap, all-round door handles, trunk lid handle, lever for unlocking the front hood. If you can choose between several vehicles for your journeys, you should choose the easiest to clean – with a simple, non-sensitive surface and as few controls as possible.

Air conditioning germ spinner

Special attention is now paid to the air conditioning system – both in the caravan and especially in the car. Because while the fresh air supply from the outside is okay and your car and caravan can be well ventilated with the window open, recirculation is taboo. The reason for this is that the air recirculation system sucks germs out of the interior and throws them back into them. It is advantageous to replace the air conditioning system’s cabin air filter at least once a year, since germs can settle in the system anyway. Chinese manufacturer Geely recently announced that it has developed an activated carbon filter that kills 95 percent of all viruses that pass through it.

And the following also applies: rinse the used cloths and sponges thoroughly and, if possible, wash them at 60 degrees and dry them in an airy place. Your own hands should also be washed thoroughly before and after car cleaning.

UV light for cleaning

A video has appeared on YouTube showing how the authorities in the Chinese city of Shanghai disinfect buses with large UV lamps. The high-energy, short-wave UV radiation leads to photochemical damage to the genome of bacteria, fungi and viruses, which in turn reduces the ability of the affected organisms to reproduce and infect. Only recently the manufacturer WM Aquatec UV disinfection device for water systems presented for caravans.

However, UV light should be used with great caution: it can cause severe damage to the eyes and skin – so far there is little experience in using it as a private car disinfection device. The above measures should be sufficient for private users, the use of UV light should only be undertaken by trained personnel.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here