Cleaning Machines

A pressure washer can do a great job of whittling down RV cleaning jobs to a manageable
size. Available models range from 1,300 to more than 3,500 psi. Multiplying this pressure
by the flow rate results in the “Cleaning Unit” rating used by some manufacturers
Gas or Electric? Electric pressure washers are easy to use and maintain:
no starter ropes to pull or chokes to fiddle with, no tune-ups, oil changes or gasoline
drainage prior to storage. They’re quiet and emit no exhaust fumes, making them ideal for
permanent mounting in an RV-storage compartment. Gasoline models tend to have more power
than electric ones. Entry-level models usually have a side-valve engine with a life
expectancy of just several hundred hours. Better models have overhead-valve
“industrial/commercial” engines that typically last up to several thousand hours. Pump
quality also varies on both gas and electric models. Wobble-type pumps generally have a
life expectancy of less than 400 hours; triplex-type pumps may last thousands of hours.
Features to Consider

  • Adjustable pressure: prevents damage to delicate surfaces, reduces mechanical
    wear.
  • Adjustable nozzle: allows the water stream to be adjusted between a sharp spray and
    a fan-shaped mist.
  • Interchangeable tips: allow the spray patterns to be tailored to the job; tip
    cleaning and replacement are simplified. Usage and Safety To clean RV
    exterior surfaces, start about 10 feet away; move closer as you get a feel for the
    power. Use special care around tape stripes and graphics; excessive pressure can remove
    them. Any electric pressure washer must be protected by a ground-fault interrupter
    (GFI). If absent, use a GFI-equipped extension cord or pigtail. Never use a 3-prong to
    2-prong power plug adapter to defeat the ground connection. Sources
    Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC, (formerly Generac Portable Power
    Products LLC), 900 North Parkway, Jefferson, Wisconsin 53549; (920) 674-3750; www.bsppgroup.com or www.generac-portables.com Cam
    Spray, 520 Brooks Road, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126; (800) 648-5011; www.camspray.com Coleman Powermate,
    Inc., 3901 Liberty Street Road, Aurora, Illinois 60504; (308) 237-2181; www.powermate.com Dirt Killer Pressure
    Washers Inc., 11403 Cronridge Drive, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117-2247; (800) 544-1188;
    www.dirtkiller.com Karcher
    Cleaning Systems, 65 Clyde Road, Somerset, New Jersey 08873; (800) 537-4129; www.karcher-usa.com Kent/Euroclean,
    14600 21st Avenue, North Plymouth, Minnesota 55447-3408; (800) 334-1083; www.eurocleanusa.com Maxi-Vac, P.O.
    Box 1276, Addison, Illinois 60101-8276; (630) 620-6669; www.maxi-vac.com Porter-Cable Corp.,
    P.O. Box 2468, Jackson, Tennessee 38302; (731) 668-8600; www.porter-cable.com Sears, Roebuck
    & Co., (stores nationwide); www.sears.com For more information about Cleaning Machines, pick up
    the July 2003 issue of MotorHome on the newsstand. Then subscribe to MotorHome
    — so you can stay informed on the latest products, motorhome tests and previews,
    technical information and travel destinations.

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