The 5 Best RV waxes for fiberglass surface


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Honestly, I used to despise washing our RV when I was younger. Maybe it was because I was much shorter and it was so hard to reach the top and maybe it was just because I was a kid and I would rather have run around in the grass and roll in the dirt at that time. 

But when I look at our RV now, the positive effects that a good fiberglass wax for RV can have are so apparent.

Despite it being a 1996 model, our RV regularly outshines others every time we pull into a new RV park. And the main reason for that is the regular application of a wax coating. 

Choosing (and using!) the best wax for fiberglass RV will keep your rig looking brighter and newer for a longer period of time.

And this can have many benefits, including keeping your resale value up if you choose to sell one day down the road. 

So we’ve researched the market and found five options for the best RV wax Tested safe on fiberglass so you don’t have to waste time searching yourself!

And we’ve also put together a comprehensive Buying Guide to help you choose the right wax options that are safe for use on fiberglass RVs.

5 Best Fiberglass RV Waxes In 2020

If you’re a new RV owner, you should know that all fiberglass RV waxes aren’t created equal.

There’s some truth to the “you get what you pay for” adage here, but some of these waxes are made for different applications than others. We’ll detail them all here and suggest specific pros and cons for each.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best best RV waxes for fiberglass surface on the market:

Best Overall

1: Thetford 32523 Premium RV Wax

The Thetford Premium RV Wax is our choice for Best Overall fiberglass wax for RV use because it has a super wide range of applications.

You’ll be able to use it safely on RVs and trailers with fiberglass, painted metal, aluminum, stainless steel, or chrome finishes.

And it also works well on cars, trucks, and boats if you’re looking for a wax that works on all of your vehicles. 

This was is made of the finest carnauba wax, which is naturally derived from palm trees grown in Brazil.

This means the wax itself is more environmentally safe if you happen to spill a little while applying.

Carnauba also has the added benefit of providing excellent UV protection once it dries on the surface of your RV. 

It’s also safe to use on RVs with a gelcoat finish and you won’t have to worry about it fading or stripping away vinyl decals on your RV surface.

This wax is designed to leave your RV finish looking brighter and it also helps to restore the natural color of RVs with a fully painted finish. 

And finally, it’s available in 32-ounce and one-gallon capacities and it has the ability to remove oxidation from a variety of surface materials.

So it will keep your RV rust-free and actually restore paint color on older RVs that have faded to a dull finish.

Things We Like
  • Wide Range of Applications: It’s tested safe for fiberglass, painted metal, aluminum, stainless steel, and chrome.
  • Carnauba-Based: It’s derived from natural ingredients and more environmentally safe if spilled.
  • Improves Shine: This wax also acts as a shine and color restorer.
  • Large Capacity: Comes in a one-gallon bottle, but is also available in a 32-ounce container.
Things We Don't Like
  • Price: This wax is more pricey than the competitors.

Best For Easy Application

2: MEGUIAR'S M6332 Flagship RV Wax

If you don’t want to work too hard to apply a premium RV wax, Meguiar’s Flagship Marine Wax is an excellent solution.

This RV wax is super easy to apply and it wipes right off the surface of your RV to leave behind a cleaner, shinier finish in a matter of minutes.

It can be used with a dual-action, variable-speed polisher if you want to speed things up. 

But this wax is made with non-hazardous ingredients so it’s also safe to applyit by hand if you prefer the meditative qualities of the “wax on, wax off” technique.

It’s designed to provide a deep, glossy finish to fiberglass and gelcoat surfaces, but is not made to be used with RVs that boast a different finish type. 

This wax comes in a 32-ounce capacity, so the quantity is better suited to smaller RVs.

It can, of course, be used for larger rigs as well. You’ll just need to purchase multiple bottles to complete a full wax job.

As you work, this wax can also remove light oxidation and any fine scratches or swirls on the surface of your RV. 

Once applied, this wax will protect the color of your RV from fading when it’s exposed to UV radiation.

It also enriches the color and shine or fiberglass and gelcoat surfaces so you’ll be sure to turn more heads when you pull into your next RV park destination.

Things We Like
  • Fast Application: Works with a variable-speed polisher for quicker application.
  • Safe: It contains no hazardous ingredients so it’s also safe to hand application.
  • Oxidation Removal: This wax can remove light oxidation from the surface of your RV.
  • UV Protection: It adds a layer of protection against color fade from UV exposure.
Things We Don't Like
  • Versatility: This wax is designed for RVs with a fiberglass/gelcoat finish only.
  • Quantity: You may require multiple bottles to wax a larger RV.

Best For Oxidation Removal

3: MEGUIAR'S MG Fiberglass Oxidation Wax For RV

If you have an older fiberglass RV with moderate oxidation, the Meguier’s Fiberglass Oxidation Removal Kit is going to be the best product to help you restore the luster of your RV’s fiberglass surface.

It’s actually a three-step system that requires a bit more application time than others, but the results are worth the investment. 

In total, this kit comes with Meguiar’s M49 Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover, the M45 High Gloss Polish, and the M56 Pure Wax.

All of these products are safe for hand application, but they can also be applied and removed using a dual-action polisher to speed up the process and make it easier on your hands. 

The heavy-duty oxidation remover is the first step of this three-part system.

It should be applied only to fiberglass or gelcoat surfaces but, when it is, it removes moderate oxidation, water spots, and scratches.

After the oxidation remover, the high gloss polish restores the natural oils in your gelcoat and nourishes it for a shinier finish.

Finally, the Pure Wax should be applied to maintain this glossy finish.

It’s made of a blend of pure Brazilian Carnauba wax that also adds longer-lasting protection against UV damage.

This wax must be wiped off after it has dried to a haze to provide a protective finish and maximize the effectiveness of this entire three-step system.

Things We Like
  • Safe Application: It can be applied and removed by hand or using a dual-action polisher.
  • Oxidation Removal: It removes moderate oxidation, water spots, and scratches.
  • Oil Restoration: The polish restores the oils in your gelcoat to achieve a more glossy finish.
  • Natural Ingredients: Carnauba-based wax is derived from a Brazilian palm tree.
Things We Don't Like
  • Three-Step Application: Requires more time and energy than other solutions.
  • Versatility: This product is designed only for fiberglass/gelcoat surfaces.

Best Budget-Friendly

4: Gel-Gloss WW-128 RV Wax

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly fiberglass wax for RV application, the Gel-Gloss RV Wash and Wax is a clear choice.

On a personal note, this is actually the solution we’ve been using on our RV for years now and we love it for its easy application and effective results. 

We love this product because it cleans and waxes your RV in one easy step. We actually use it much like a liquid detergent.

Add a healthy dash to a bucket of warm water and use the resulting solution to wet your brushes and sponges as you’re cleaning your RV.

And because you only need a dash and this solution comes in a one-gallon bottle, you’ll have plenty for multiple wash-and-wax cycles. 

The Gel-Gloss solution is naturally biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about washing it directly off your RV and into the soil underneath.

It contains natural Carnauba wax that adheres to your RV surface and provides an extra layer of UV protection.

It will not, however, remove any wax that has been previously applied to the surface of your RV. 

This product is safe for hand applications and you don’t need to worry about wearing gloves or a face mask while applying it.

It also makes it super quick and easy to clean and wax your RV because you can simply spray it off using a hose rather than having to wipe it off by hand or with a polisher. 

Although the product claims not to leave behind any streaking or water spotting, it’s important to note that this is only true for the fiberglass or painted surface of your RV.

If you happen to use this solution on your RV windows, be sure to use a squeegee to dry the windows thoroughly before streaks or water spots occur.

Things We Like
  • Price: This is one of the most affordable solutions on the market.
  • Easy Application: Add to warm water and wash your RV using a soft sponge or brush.
  • Biodegradable: It’s environmentally safe so you don’t need to worry about washing it right off your RV and onto the ground.
  • Large Capacity: Comes in a one-gallon bottle that’s enough for multiple uses (even on larger RVs).
Things We Don't Like
  • Water Spots: It won’t leave them on the surface of your RV, but it can cause spots and streaking on your windows if used there.

Best For Restoring Shine

5: 3M Marine 09006 Wax For RV

If you have an older RV that’s looking really dull and faded, the 3M Marine Restorer and wax is the best option for restoring shine to fiberglass and painted surfaces.

It uses a unique formula that combines a rubbing compound with natural Carnauba wax.

This formula is better at removing oxidation and restoring the natural color of your RV surface. 

Speaking of oxidation removal, this is the only product on our list that’s capable of removing heavy oxidation.

This makes it ideally suited for refurbishing older RVs that have seen more wear and tear over the years.

In addition to RVs, this solution can also be used on fiberglass surfaces of boats to help remove rust and preserve the shine. 

In addition to heavy oxidation, this restorer and wax compound can also remove minor scratches, chalking, fading, and rust and exhaust stains.

The special blend of waxes in the solution will actually leave an added layer of protection behind to reduce long-term damage from UV exposure. 

This would also be an excellent choice if you’re trying to refurbish an RV to boost its resale value.

It can remove many different signs of wear and tear and restore an RVs color and shine.

This will leave potential buyers thinking it’s probably 3-5 years newer than it actually is when they show up to see the rig for the first time.

Things We Like
  • Oxidation Removal: It’s the only product on our list designed to remove ‘heavy’ oxidation.
  • Unique Formula: This solution combines a rubbing compound and wax to provide better cleaning and color restoration action.
  • Great For Refurbishing: This product also removes chalking, fading, minor scratches, and other signs of wear and tear commonly found on older RVs.
  • UV Protection: It leaves behind a protective layer to reduce damage from UV radiation.
Things We Don't Like
  • Versatility: It’s designed only for fiberglass/gelcoat or fully painted RV surfaces.

How To Choose The Best RV Waxes That Are Safe For Use On Fiberglass Exteriors

Now that you have the rundown on five of the best fiberglass waxes for RVs, it’s time to find out how to choose between them.

So let’s unpack some of the most important differentiators to help you choose the right wax for your RV. 

Typical Wax Ingredients

The ingredients used in RV waxes determine their effectiveness. They can also give you an idea of how environmentally-friendly a certain wax will be. 

The three main ingredients used in RV waxes are carnauba and other natural oils, petroleum distillates, and other polymers and resins. 

Waxes Made From Natural Waxes and Oils

Carnauba wax is one of the most popular natural substances used for RV waxes.

It is derived from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree and it has the distinction of being the hardest natural wax in the world.

It’s harder even than beeswax and its natural application is to protect the leaves of the palm tree from the intensity of the tropical sun. 

Carnauba is very durable and water repellent. When it dries, it will leave a glossy finish on your vehicle and it does well to protect the surface from UV degradation.

Because of its properties, carnauba wax can be applied to many different surface types, but it must be reapplied frequently to maintain the shine of your RV’s surface. 

More natural solutions actually combine carnauba with something like beeswax or other natural oils.

These products tend to provide great shine and protection. And because they’re derived from natural ingredients, they’re more environmentally-friendly than waxes made from synthetic materials. 

However, they tend to be less durable and less resistant to dirt and grime than their synthetic counterparts.

They can also have a sticky feel that may be unpleasant to some and they have a lower melting point that makes them attract and retain more dirt if used in warmer climates.

This means you’ll need to reapply these waxes every 1-3 months to maintain shine and protection. 

Waxes Made From Petroleum Distillates

Waxes that use petroleum distillates are the most cost-effective solutions on the market today.

Because they are derived from crude oil, they are easier to spread and smooth over a surface than most natural waxes and they make it easier to clean the surface once applied. 

However, some waxes made from petroleum distillates can leave behind a greasy residue.

You’ll also need to be cautious when applying this type of wax to RVs with a gelcoat or topcoat finish. 

The petroleum derivatives can cause the gelcoat finish to deteriorate and actually accelerate paint oxidation over time.

This is why you won’t find many premium RV, car, or marine waxes that are derived from petroleum distillates.

Waxes Made From Polymers and Resins

The newest products on the market are actually using special polymers and resins.

These are plastic-like substances that adhere to a painted surface best. When they do so, they provide longer-lasting protection than waxes made from natural waxes or oils. 

Many waxes now contain these additional polymers and resins because they actually harden the wax and enhance the shine once dried.

However, solutions containing special polymers and resins tend to provide less finished shine than those made from natural waxes or petroleum distillates.  

Wax Packaging

RV waxes are packed in three main forms. They come as liquids, pastes, or spray-on applications. So let’s examine the pros and cons of each a bit more closely. 

Liquid Wax

Most wax products come in liquid form. Liquid waxes offer the most versatility because they can handle hand or power applications and they come in various size options that allow you to select the quantity that’s best for your specific RV. 

Lower quantities can be fine for smaller rigs that only see occasional use and, therefore, need to be washed and waxed only once or twice per year.

But if you have a larger RV that requires more frequent maintenance, you’ll want to find a liquid wax with a minimum quantity of at least one gallon. 

Paste Wax

Paste waxes, such as those derived from carnauba, must be applied by hand.

As a result, they are more difficult to use and require more time to wax the entirety of your RV.

This is especially true if you have a large rig and this is why they are less common for RV applications. 

Spray-On Wax

Spray-on waxes are the easiest to apply and often require the least amount of time to complete a full RV wax job.

If you’re moving very efficiently, you can spray the wax on with one hand and use the other hand to wipe clean and polish using a polisher or hand pad. 

The problem with this packaging type is that the bottles of solution tend to be very small and the spray nozzles can often lead to overspray.

This results in wasted wax and often causes you to run out of solution before finishing the application on a larger RV. 

Because of this, they aren’t the most economical solution available and we recommend buying at least one extra bottle over and above the amount you think you need for a complete wax job on your RV. 

If you don’t have any experience with spray-on waxes, we recommend first trying one out to clean a small spot or blemish on your RV.

Because of their small bottle size, they can be more effective for this type of application and we always recommend testing a spray-on wax in this capacity before deciding whether you want to go ahead and use it to wax your entire RV. 

Your RV Finish

The specific finish of your RV must be factored into your choice of a fiberglass wax. So let’s cover some of the basics of the most common types of RV finish. 

Fiberglass/Gelcoat

Fiberglass/Gelcoat is the most common RV finish on the market today.

The term fiberglass here actually refers to the type of cloth that is used the substrate material. Resin is then applied to this fiberglass cloth to form a hard material. 

The finish is then completed with a gel coat that provides additional weather resistance. 

Most of these finishes are usually white or cream-colored and they often boast some sort of decorative decal striping the exterior.

On many RVs, a small amount of paint may be used on the bottom section or to complete the decal striping.

Over time, fiberglass/gelcoat finishes require regular cleaning and waxing because they become hazy, chalky, and uneven without it. 

The good thing about this type of finish is that you can use any form of RV, car, or marine wax on the bottom painted section of your RV.

If you need to rid this finish of surface oxidation, you’ll need an RV wax with a chemical or abrasive cleaner that has the ability to remove oxidation.

The easiest way is to select a product that cleans and waxes in a single application. 

Corrugated Fiberglass

RVs with a corrugated fiberglass finish are easily recognized by their rough or ribbed texture.

This is in contrast to the smooth surface that you’ll find on all other finish types.

This finish is often used on the least expensive RVs, trailers, and toy haulers on the market today and usually have a white color with some sort of vinyl decal striping or lettering. 

Because of their rough texture, RVs with this finish can be more difficult to wax effectively.

This is why it’s used on cheaper vehicles that typically boast a shorter lifespan regardless of how well you try to maintain the exterior. 

Bare or Coated Aluminum

This finish type is actually pretty rare today. It’s actually represented almost exclusively by the Airstream line of trailers, but there are a few other brands that produced RVs or trailers with the aluminum finish back in the day.

Most have since shut their doors or been bought out, but there are still several of their models floating around out there. 

The only real way to clean an RV or trailer with a bare aluminum finish is to polish it with a gentle abrasive.

But newer aluminum RVs and trailers with a clear-coat applied over the aluminum can be maintained in much the same manner as the paint on your car. 

Fully Painted

RVs with this finish type are typically painted in two stages. The first is the application of a base color coat and the second involves a clear topcoat over the initial base.

A fully painted finish is going to be the easiest to wash, wax, and detail because of the smoothness of the finished surface. 

You’ll typically find a fully painted finish on more expensive RV and trailer models because this finish is known to last longer and hold up against UV exposure. 

Price

The good news is that most of these fiberglass wax options aren’t super expensive.

But when you’re comparing different solutions by their price, remember to consider how much quantity you’ll need for a complete RV wax. 

For example, a one-gallon liquid solution that can be used for multiple wash-and-wax cycles is almost always going to be more economical than a paste wax that comes in a smaller bottle.

In the case of the latter, you may end up needing 2-3 bottles for a complete wax job. 

So when you’re looking at price, make sure to look deeper than simply the advertised price on the product listing.

And always remember that the most budget-friendly solutions don’t always represent the highest quality wax product. 

Versatility

The most versatile RV waxes work on a variety of surfaces.

And if you want to purchase a solution that will work on your RV, boat, cars, and other vehicles, you’ll want something that’s designed to work on fiberglass, gelcoat, painted metal, aluminum, and other surface types. 

But if you travel frequently in your RV, you’ll also need a wax that can be applied in a variety of weather conditions.

A natural wax with an extremely low melting point, for example, is going to attract and retain more dirt in the air if you’re trying to use it in a very hot, humid climate. 

So you should be careful to check into the temperature-related specifications of these specific waxes before selecting one.

Also, checking consumer reviews is a great way to get a better understanding of how different waxes perform in different environments. 

Abrasiveness

The abrasiveness of an RV wax is also sometimes referred to as its “roughness.”

This specification dictates how likely the solution is to leave small scratches behind on the surface of your RV.

Some abrasive waxes also cause haziness that can be annoying and make your RV looking duller than it should. 

Generally speaking, scratches caused from an overly-abrasive wax tend to show up more clearly on darker vehicles than lighter ones.

This is an advantage for many RV owners that have lighter-colored rigs.

But still, RV waxes shouldn’t cause the very type of scratches and haziness that they’re designed to remove. 

Fortunately, most good RV waxes have very low abrasiveness because they’re made for delicate surfaces.

If you choose a wax that’s made for marine applications, however, you’ll need to be careful about choosing an overly-abrasive solution.

In most cases, this can be avoided by finding a wax that’s meant for the same surface material that’s on the exterior finish of your RV.

But any solution that also advertises ‘non-abrasive’ qualities is also a good bet for a safe RV application. 

Durability

The best fiberglass was for RV use is rated to provide about one year of protection before it needs to be reapplied.

This is about the most durable and long-lasting protection you’re going to get, which is important to know because washing and waxing a large RV requires a lot of time and energy. 

So if you don’t want to get stuck with a product that wears off in only a month, make sure you check the estimated longevity and durability of wax before buying.

Unfortunately, not all waxes publish a rough estimate on how long they’ll last in-between applications.

So, again, you’ll need to dig deeper into user reviews to a wax that’s going to live up to your longevity standards. 

So, What Is The Best Wax For A Fiberglass Rv?

There are clear reasons why we chose the Thetford Premium RV Wax as our best  RV wax for fiberglass surfaces. It can be applied to a very wide range of RV finish surfaces so you don’t have to worry about it causing damage to more sensitive materials.

And it comes in a large capacity so you’ll be able to use it multiple times over before needing to buy more! 

But, if you’re a budget-friendly solution, the Gel-Gloss RV Wash and Wax is actually what we’ve been using on our RV for years.

It’s actually a two-in-one solution for cleaning and waxing your RV in one easy step and it can simply be added to warm water and applied using a soft sponge or brush.

It also has the added benefit of being biodegradable so you don’t need to worry about causing negative environmental effects when washing it off your rig!

Frequently Asked Questions

Honestly, I wish you already knew all that you needed to know by this point, but that’s probably not the reality.

So I want to take just a hot minute here to address the most frequently asked questions about fiberglass wax for RV use. 

What makes RV wax different than normal wax?

Generally, RV wax is less abrasive than normal waxes. This is because RVs require a wax that is less likely to scratch sensitive surfaces, such as fiberglass. 

What else do I need to wax RV?

A few essential supplies include at least two fiberglass cloths and a ladder or pole to help you reach the upper sections on the sides of your rig.

If you have a larger RV, however, you may consider a powered polisher to help speed up the process of applying and removing the wax. 

Do I need to prepare the waxing surface before applying?

Yes! But, again, it depends on the product you choose. If you’re working with a pure wax, you’ll need to clean and thoroughly dry the surface of your RV before applying the wax.

But if you choose a wash-and-wax combination, you’ll be able to apply it directly after wetting the surface of your RV down with a hose or sponge. 

How often should I wax my RV?

It depends on how often you use your RV and how much exposure it receives in storage.

But for some perspective, many full-time RVers tend to wash and wax their rigs at least once a month.

If you only travel for a couple of months in the summer and leave your RV in covered storage the rest of the time, however, you’ll probably get away with a thorough wash and wax routine on an annual basis. 

Can I use RV wax for other applications?

The short answer is usually yes. Most waxes are made for multiple applications, including RVs, cars, boats, trucks, and other surfaces.

But you should be careful to check the specific wax you have, as some are rated for only fiberglass/gelcoat surfaces and won’t work on a bare aluminum or fully painted surface.  

Conclusion

Don’t get me wrong, I know that your passion for washing and waxing things isn’t why you bought an RV in the first place.

And if it is, more power to you! But I’m going way out on a limb here in guessing that you probably want to spend more time adventuring or living in your RV than you do waxing it. 

That being said, there’s always the possibility that you decide to sell your RV and upgrade (or downgrade) in the future.

And when you decide to do that, you’ll be glad you kept a regular waxing schedule so that potential buyers are wowed every time they arrive to check out your rig!