Cleaning a caravan is quickly done. It’s a small space and there’s no room for many material possessions and clutter.
But because it’s so small, the caravan looks messy very quickly. A few items left out take over the whole area.
Because collecting fresh water and dumping waste water is an ongoing chore, it’s best to be conscious of the water you use while cleaning. I end up using more wet wipes and throw away cloths.
The entrance area is easy to get dirty. If you think about the foyer of a house, that usually has the dirtiest carpet. And most campground sites are either on grass or gravel which is transferred into the caravan. I’ve just experienced a few days of rain and there’s clumps of mud on the mat.
I have an outside mat too which I sit next to my steps when travelling and the mud from the mat ends up on the wall.
How do I clean the area? I have a small dustpan with a stiff brush then use baby wipes to remove the mud from the wall and the surrounding mat.
My caravan is a 2008 Sterling Europa model where the carpets are in 2 sections that are easy to take out. This does simplify cleaning the carpet as I usually take it outside to clean.
Over summer I have kept the smaller carpet under the table but took out the larger carpet which normal covers the rest of the area. I might permanently keep it like this as it’s a lot easier to clean.
I don’t have a vacuum cleaner as there’s no place to store it. Also I’m usually not plugged into the power and my inverter can’t handle the wattage required.
The way I clean it is to use a stiff brush and just brush the carpet…. it works. Luckily it’s such a small space it doesn’t take long.
For the lino floor, I use Dettol Floor Cleaning Mop which is light-weight, mess fresh and uses disposable wipes. The advantage of this product is it can fit under the heater and fridge to clean the areas I can’t reach. Learn more about the caravan cleaning accessories I use here.
The bathroom space is tiny with a combination shower / toilet. If I was getting a caravan again I would get a separate shower because it becomes annoying wiping the shower base down so I can use the toilet.
To be able to freedom camp and stay at cheaper sites in New Zealand you need to be self contained. To be self contained, your grey water set-up is changed so that if your tank becomes too full it floods the shower base instead of overflowing onto the ground. A clever system, but this means the shower base regularly get dirty. I’ve had last nights pumpkin soup turn up in the shower base before.
I’ve also started storing my larger pot plant next to the toilet while traveling. It’s worked well as it’s wedged into the small space. But this does mean I get some leaves and dirt around the toilet.
There is a skylight above the shower which I usually leave open if it’s not raining or too cold. But when you open the screen to close the skylight, leaves and twigs that have come through end up on the ground.
Cleaning the toilet is just wiping it down… even inside the bowl. There is no water in the toilet bowl like a house toilet.
I saw that my pipes really need a bit of maintenance. I need to find some liquid to clean away the slime that’s started building up.
The vanity sink is outside the toilet area and is next to my bed. It’s just like a house sink with no surprises.
This is the area you see as soon as you step into the caravan. I’m lazy and usually leave a few dishes to dry which tends to make the area look cluttered.
The stove stop always needs a good clean. Food and fat end up splattering the wall to the side and the glass screen in front.
I use the grill just for my toast so there are bread crumbs scattered around. The stove is really just like any house stove… I see it’s actually due a proper clean.
There are a few different challenges with cleaning in a caravan compared to a house. And that’s lack of water, lack of storage and if not plugged into the power, lack of power for vacuum cleaners.
If you want to know what accessories I have in the caravan, I have written this article about it.
Do you live in an RV? How is this different to you? Do you have any tips? I’d love to hear in the comments below.