Maintaining Your Motorhome’s Windshield & Wipers

Published Categorized as RVs

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Inspecting your motorhome’s windshield frequently is something no RVer should overlook. Serious damage can occur if the seals are loose or something as inconsequential as a small stone chip can morph into a huge and costly problem. In another article, I discussed the best way to repair a stone chip or small crack, and in this article, we’ll look at how best to inspect your RV’s windshield as well as proper care for your windshield wipers.

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Table of Contents

Cleaning your windshield

Over time, your windshield will develop a thin film of oily residue usually attributed road grime. While many conventional windows cleaners will remove this film, I fine that Stoner Invisible Glass cleaner works best.

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I also choose their premium cleaner because it’s delivered in a fine mist that doesn’t immediately run off the glass as you would encounter when using more conventional glass cleaners that are more water based.

In addition to breaking down the residue, it also works very well for bug removal and when properly applied and wipe away will leave no streaks.

The first thing you should do when cleaning bugs or road grime off your windshield, is to thoroughly spray your glass down with your cleaner and then let it sit for a few minutes. This will give the chemicals in the glass cleaner time to break down the residue and any dead insects stuck to your windshield.

For really stubborn residue or bug parts, I recommend using a stiff tire brush. This brush, the glass cleaner, and a little bit of elbow grease should clean your windshield or any other RV glass very well. However, if you also use this type of brush to clean your tires, make sure it’s thoroughly free of any sand or dirt before you use it on your glass. Sand is abrasive and it’s likely to scratch your glass.

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And finally, I recommend using micro-fiber cloths for drying your glass after you have cleaned it completely. This type of cloth is highly absorbent, leaves no lint like you would find when using common bath or dish towels, and there less likely to cause streaking.

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Also, these are equally good for drying your RV after you have washed it as well. In fact, most car washes that do detailed work use these types of towels when drying your car after it has gone through the automated system.

Inspecting your RV’s windshield

One important aspect to any glass installed on your RV are its seals, and your windshield is no exception. Proper inspection of those seals is essential because if they fail, it’s likely to lead to water damage which could affect your flooring, the roof, or your RV’s walls.

This can lead to costly repairs and left unattended could also lead to mold and mildew. For some folks, mold has serious consequences that causes health problems.

To check your window seals, I recommend using a 1½” plastic putty knife. While I would not normally recommend a plastic tool like this, for this task it’s a much wiser choice as it’s less likely to damage the rubber seal around your windshield or windows.

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To begin, insert the putty knife between your windshield seal and the glass. Now gently pull it along the seam. This will not only help clean out that area and to free it of any dirt or bug particles, it will also help you to determine if there are any bumps or rises which may indicate a fault or breech between the glass and your seal.

These are not necessarily an indication of a serious problem, and sometimes a little bit of hand pressure in that spot can reset the seal. However, if after another inspection you discover that it is larger in length or height, it’s definitely something to investigate further.

Once you have thoroughly inspected your windshield seals, be sure to examine the glass for any stone chips or small cracks. While a larger class A motorhome has a bigger windshield, class B and C models are not immune to windshield damage nor are tow vehicles. In a previous article, I explained how to repair a stone chip on your windshield. You should visit that tutorial because replacing a windshield is very costly, and if you’re willing to do the repair on your own, it could save you hundreds of dollars.

Maintaining your windshield wipers

Keeping your windshield wipers in good working order has always been a top priority for me. Too many times when I have been traveling, I have encountered heavy rain or snow and I have always been pleased with my knowledge and experience as a full-time RVer in terms of my choice for windshield wipers.

Since I grew up in Michigan, and in an area prone to lake-effect heavy snowfall, I have always understood the value of heavier duty winter rated windshield wipers. Frankly, I recommend that all RVers use this type of wiper regardless of where they are traveling or what climate they are traveling through.

With that said, basic wipers are easy to clean and inspect. Simply apply some isopropyl alcohol to a cloth and thoroughly clean each side of the wiper’s blade. If there are excessive nicks or cuts in the wiper blade, it should be replaced as these will cause the wipers to leave a streak of water obstructing your viewing area.

Additionally, when inspecting your wipers, be sure to examine the springs inside your wiper arms. These are key to keeping your wiper blade working properly as they are responsible for reigning in enough tension to allow the blade to conform to the contour of the glass on your windshield.

In some motorhome models, the tube that delivers the windshield cleaning solvent is delivered through a small rubber hose located within the framework of the wiper. Be sure to inspect this tube for cracks or shrinkage and replace it, as necessary.

Final thoughts

If I discovered a serious flaw in my RV’s windshield while I was traveling, would I repair it myself? Absolutely not. When replacing a windshield or securing its rubber seals, I’ll let a professional handle that task and you should too. Proper cleaning, above average inspection, and proactive attention to the maintenance of your RV and its glass is the way to go.

As always, my friends, thanks for following along. I look forward to seeing you on the road or at campsite along the journey.

By Brian

Born and raised in Michigan, contributing writer Brian C. Noell is a retired hospitality industry professional that now works remotely as a visual artist, writer and photographer as he travels around the United States in an RV with his dog Lizzy, an eighty pound Appenzeller hound dog.