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Making the Outside Shine - Part 1

posted Jun 11, 2011, 6:26 AM by Budd Nash   [ updated Jun 11, 2011, 7:34 AM ]
Our 1999 King of the Road has the usual fiberglass skin and molded fiberglass end caps with an EPDM rubber roof.  Over the past 7 years I have tried to keep it looking newer and a big part of that is how "fresh" the surfaces appear.  I have worked with waxes, silicone products, various cleaners, scrubbers and pressure washers and nothing seems to last for long. In fact, few things have even made it look pretty good. The rest gave only various grades of clean with little or no shine at all.

Granted, we live in the mildew belt of North Carolina and that makes any active cleaning work under hourly challenge.  But honestly, short of PoliGlow, nothing has been able to give it a new look, again. PoliGlow has a reputation of being a great solution for boats and RVs and the testimonials of those that have used it are broad and strong... but with caveats.

PoliGlow is pretty pricey, too, when one has a 40' anything and there is significant manual labor involved. There is also some risk that if the conditions are marginal or the instructions are not closely followed, the results can be disappointing at best. Despite the testimonials, my middle name is Murphy and I know that if anything can go wrong, it will, if I have anything to do with it.  So, PoliGlow has been on a back burner for a few years as an elective if I ever feel lucky.

But recently, I discovered in an Escapees Forum thread, which referenced folks successfully using a floor product called Red Max Pro #3.  Their claims are that it is just like PoliGlow but only about $15/Gallon!  That I am willing to risk some $$$ and personal elbow grease to test so yesterday, I bought a gallon along with a can of Barkeepers friend and some Magic Erasers to round out the kit. A lot of discussion about it, how to use it and results are in the "Check This out NOT Poliglow... " thread on the FiberglassRV.com forums.

Most of the  people that have used Red Max Pro #3 have chosen to prep the surfaces with the Barkeepers Friend powder and use the 3M ScotchBrite pads to do heavy scrubbing.  These pads do come in several grades of aggression but I found many years ago that the green ones will scratch window glass so have shied away from using them on any polished or sealed surfaces.  Magic Erasers, on the other hand, are made from fibrous materials like Masonite and I have not seen any evidence that they scratch hard glossy surfaces.  They do seem to work quite well with some cleansers, like Simple Green, to help remove a lot of things from fiberglass, rubber gaskets and vinyl trim strips. 

So, I am ready to get it clean and shiny... just as soon as I feel like it.

ttfn
Budd


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