Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and boats have similar exterior finishes and these are different from regular automotives. The exterior of RVs and boats are usually made of fiberglass, aluminum or stainless steel and each has its own benefits to ensure that your RVs and boats will surpass degrading agents such as UV rays and other grime contaminations.

Stainless Steel

stainless-steel-boatStainless steel has a bunch of benefits compared to other materials being used on boats and RVs’ exterior. We all know how these are being used on several luxurious products because of its retention to rusts and other deteriorating damages that others have no capability to surpass. With stainless steels, boats and RVs’ hulls are thoroughly protected, thus, chances of diminished exterior beauty is decreased, of course if accompanied with consistent proper detailing methods.

Boats and RVs made of stainless steels do not require painting and galvanizing because proper washing and polishing can really accentuate and/or regain its beauty once again. Additionally, this type of material bestows outstanding crashworthiness.


fiberglass-RVFiberglass exteriors usually have colored paint that should be protected either with gel or clear coating to regain and/or maintain its luster. Gel coat is a bit more expensive, however it stays longer compared to just the clear paint coating. Both are essential; do not forget that, because both have the capability of keeping the exterior away from probable corrosion and detrimental problems caused by the harmful UV rays. To extend its beauty, wax, polish or sealant may also be applied on top of your gel and paint coating.

Unfortunately, not all RV and boat owners know what their fiberglass finish is. In order to determine whether you have a gel coat or paint, here are some tips:

  • Get a rag and pour Awlgrip T0008 on it. Apply it on the hull and leave it for about an hour or so. If you have a one-part paint finish, it will peel off. If not, you probably have a gel coat or a two-part paint finish. Be very careful in doing the application and just work on a small part underneath because it can damage your hull if you only have a one-part finish.
  • Gel coat is usually 100% peel-free. If there are orange peels, then it’s probably paint finish.
  • You can also check the edges and fittings because gel coats are usually thick compared to paints.

RVs and boats with fiberglass exteriors should go through not just with regular washing but also detailing procedures. The exterior will go through compounding and polishing to make sure that all the unnecessary damages, such as swirl marks, corrosion, spider-webbings, and more, are corrected. The schedule depends on how often you use them. For example, your boat or RV is just inside a garage, then detailing should be done at least every 6 months. If you use it often, as early as 3 months will surely bring you better outcomes.


aluminum-boatAluminum has dull look compared to stainless steel. These are still effective exteriors for RVs and boats because it’s lightweight and does not rot. When your RV or boat is lighter, it is easier to maneuver, therefore, improving its acceleration and deceleration capabilities.

Detailing aluminum is quite easy compared to fiberglass because it only needs proper cleaning and washing using high quality detergent. For scratches, Jeweler’s Rouge is typically applied for better correction. Lastly, a polish will be applied on top to improve its dull look.


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