Black Streaks on Caravan sides and how to remove them.

If you have black streaks on the sides of your caravan in this article we will discuss where they come from and how to remove them. 

You might be wondering:

What Causes Black Streaks on caravans? Black streaked are often caused from the black rubber seals on your caravan particularly around the windows. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the rubber seals are breaking down. You should however inspect them visually and you may even use a caravan damp meter to check that the inside is dry. You will recognise them as lines and they are left behind even when you have washed your caravan. 

There are TWO very easy solutions:

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WD40 (click here to view product on Amazon)

Some people think that WD40 is an oil or grease. It is in fact a cleaning agent more than it is a lubricant. WD40 has many uses and works great as a caravan cleaner.  To use this method you are first best to clean the caravan in the usual way with car or caravan shampoo.  I would recommend spraying a small amount of WD40 onto a rag, as spraying direct can result in WD40 streaks, so you would only be trying one type of streak for another.  Rub the cloth containing the WD40 over the stubborn black streaks caravan sides in a circular motion. You can use the WD40 after in other aspects of caravan care Next use a clean cloth to wipe the area.

Autoglym car polish (click here to view the product on Amazon

Other car polish may work, but we have only tested with Autoglym. Simply wash the caravan with caravan or car shampoo. Apply the car polish working in circles. Buff up with a clean rag.

Out of the two options, personally I think that the polish is the best caravan cleaner. This is simply because I like to polish the caravan after I have washed it anyway.  Any black streaks will be picked up as I polish.  Not scientific, but I do tend to think that the layer of wax also helps protect against black streaked in the future. 

Lots of people ask:

I have cleaned the area with wax and this area looks a lot cleaner than the rest of the caravan.  What should I do?

This is good news and bad news.  We will start with the bad.  You will need to clean the entire caravan with the car wax.  The good news however is that your caravan will be visibly cleaner all over and better protected.

I have cleaned the caravan and then waxed and polished with Autoglym.  I seem to have lots of smears down the side of my caravan that I can’t polish out?  

If your caravan hasn’t been looked after over the years then you may have a build up of traffic film, grease, wax and all sorts of other ‘hard to remove’ solutions sitting on top of your paint.  I would reccommed using a cutting paste such as G3 Paste (click here to view G3 Paste on Amazon) to cut the paint back and then re-polish with autoglm.  The will most likely take an entire day, however the results will be fantastic.  You can make the job easier by using a low cost polisher (see one here on Amazon)  Polishers work well with caravans, as they have long flat surfaces, unlike a car.

Should I replace the rubber seals around the windows if they are causing streaks?

Not always.  Just because the rubber is contributing to the black streaks on the side of your caravan, it doesn’t mean change it.  Some rubbers will continue to leave black streaks for years but still be doing their job.  I would only suggest to replace the rubber if you inspect it and find that it is particularly corroded or if of course it is letting water into the caravan.

My caravan isn’t white.  Will the products mentioned in this article still be ok to use?

Whatever colour caravan you have I would always say to check on an inconspicuous area first, just in case there is a problem.

I want to find out how to remove black streaks from my motorhome. Will these methods work the same?

Yes they will. In fact these methods will work on your motorhome, caravan or even boats.




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