Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RV Bugs

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife is always bugging me. I know you are always suggesting that responsibilities be shared, and I agree, especially when it comes to bugs. For some reason my wife cannot stand having one dead bug on the front of our rig. I get the hot tongue and cold shoulder unless I scrub new carcasses off the front every time we stop. She does a body count even if we stop at a rest area for lunch. She has this fetish about the front of our rig being clean. I despise these kamikazes that purposely dive bomb the front of our rig and immediately turn into cement. I spend way too much time debugging our rig. Can you help me? 
--Exoskeleton Mortician in Motion

Dear Mort:
I think bug removal is not only important, but the perfect shared responsibility. One of you can take the high road, the other the low road. That way you do not have to share the ladder. I would start by not cleaning as often, but that is something you will have to work out with your wife. They say the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when he hits your windshield is his acid. They also leave a lot of bug juice that will eventually ruin the finish on your rig. Cleaning this material off regularly is a great idea. You can also take some preventative measures. There are sprays that adhere to the surface making it easier to remove recent casualties. I often see rigs with vinyl bras or shields that take the bug bullet instead of the RV itself. A window expert told me once that I could use "0000" steel wool (dry) to remove glass bound bugs. I have never risked it, but it might be worth some experimental scrubbing. Another suggestion is to shy away from driving into the night. You will experience a lot more collisions at dusk and in the dark. So pick your half  and put your scrubs on. Working as a team may convince your wife the job should not be a constant chore. 
` --Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink


Dennis said...

They make a Bug product that you are supposed to put into your vehicle's window wash fluid resevior. Comes in a gallon jug just like regular Window Wash Fluid. I have never tried that, but I put it into a spray bottle and I spray the front of my Harley and it works pretty good. The bugs just kind of melt away. You still need to wipe with a rag but this is definatly easier.

c-r&mrb said...

We had a friend who left the bugs on and ended up with permanent yellow spots all over the paint. Yuck!
We love Rejex!
Works great on the front nose and cap for easier bug removal. We have used it on our rig on travels from Florida to Alaska. Bounce dryer sheets work great too. They knock the bugs off without damaging your finish.

Gene Sands said...

Try Windex, works very well for us and the bugs melt away.

Bob H said...

As I grow older, I have become more anal about removing bugs from the front of both my truck and my 5th wheel. First, I have more years of experience of seeing what the bug chemicals can do to auto and RV surfaces. Second, the vehicles I own now are more expensive than those of my youth and I take more pride in their appearance.

In our travels, my wife drives and I navigate, so the windshield bugs bug her more than me. She takes care of the windshield at every fuel stop. I do the body and chrome after every long trip and about every couple of months of local driving.

Doing the truck is sort of pleasant because I can sit on a stool, listen to nice music, work on a pitcher of martinis, and let my mind wander wherever it wants to go. The 5th wheel is not so pleasant because the height requires a ladder, a long handle brush, and constant squinting to look at crazy angles for spots I've missed.

I have found the various "Bug and Tar Removers" sold for autos to be effective. Right now I am using the product by Turtle Wax. I have also found the black streak removers sold for RVs to work well. I use the products by Thetford and Bio Kleen. Both work well.

A problem similar (or even worse) than "bug juice" is bird droppings. That stuff will really do a number of the finish of your car or RV. So get it off quickly.

A question just occurred to me -- any information or opinions about the effects of bird droppings on my rubber roof?

Anonymous said...

My husband and I operated a glass replacement company for 29 years. We always used 0000 (quaduple X) steel wool for cleaning off the backing paint overspray on mirrors. Use it dry. It will not scratch glass or mirrors or chrome. Have not used it on painted surfaces. You must be really sure that you have 0000, as coarser grades will scratch. I suggest keeping it in the original packaging and tossing anything that is questionable.