Combating Black Streaks on your RV

The roof of your motor home travel trailer or fifth wheel, by itself, doesn't cause the black streaks. It's the dirt, bird droppings, and other stuff that runs off the roof during light rains and heavy dew that causes the black streaks down the side of your RV. One if the easiest ways to prevent black streaks is to keep your unit clean. Frequent cleaning of the roof and sidewalls will help reduce or eliminate black streaks all together. If you do notice the streaks reappearing wash them off as soon as possible. The longer they sit the thicker they grow and the harder they will be to remove. Below are some simple steps to clean and prevent black streaks.


  • Spray a lubricating spray on the black streaks. Allow the product to work into the streaks for up to 10 minutes, depending on how thick they are.
  • Fill a bucket with warm water and a mild liquid soap, such as dish soap or hand soap. Dip a large sponge into the soapy water and rub the sponge across the black streaks. This works to remove the streaks and the residue left behind from the lubricating spray.
  • Rinse the soapy water off the aluminum trailer with a hose. If the black streaks still remain, proceed to next step.
  • Purchase an RV wash product designed to remove black streaks. Combine equal parts cleaner and water in a spray bottle. Spray it on the streaks and allow time for it to set in per instructions on bottle. Typically 10 to 15 minutes will do the trick.
  • Dilute ¼ gallon wash in ½ gallon water. Dip sponge in solution and rub it in to black streaks until streaks are removed as well as any RV wash residue.
  • Rinse well with clear water. Repeat as needed until all streaks are removed.

Once the surface has been cleaned be sure that it is re-waxed. Some current products that address oxidation do so by using one step. Products like Protect All Fiberglass Oxidation Remover and Color Restorer, remove the oxidation, polish the surface smooth and flat, and then leave behind a wax finish, thereby eliminating the need to re-wax. Be sure to read the label so you get the product that is right for you. Whatever you do, be sure to wax regularly. A simple coat of wax done once every three months or so will go a long way toward beating Black Streaks.

For more tips about RV maintenance and service, contact Mike at

or call (800) 551-9149 ext. 2030