Spick & span

The washroom can be the hardest space in your caravan or motorhome to maintain – but Sammy Faircloth has advice on how to keep it looking great

Leisure vehicles are constructed from so many different materials that it can be hard to ensure you’re using the right cleaning products for a particular purpose. This is particularly true in the washroom, which tends to feature a variety of surfaces within a small space.

Many modern caravans and motorhomes feature high quality, boutique-style washrooms with an array of ambient lighting, toothbrush holders, towel radiators and light-up mirrors. Care needs to be taken with these elegant washrooms so they retain their ‘wow’ factor. 

Furthermore, I have heard tales of cracked plastic shower trays and damaged sinks – often caused by the use of domestic cleaning products on surfaces that aren’t built for them. Cold weather can also damage plastic fittings, so extra care may be needed over the winter months.

In this article, I’ll guide you through toilet, shower cubicle and sink maintenance, and hopefully help you keep your washroom looking as good as new.


There is a wide variety of toilet products on the market

The toilet is a very important facility, particularly if you like to explore off-grid or visit sites with minimal facilities.

Toilet cassettes can become rather dirty and smelly, and may develop limescale in hard water areas. Chemical treatments are required to break up solids, and to refresh and clean cassettes; these are available as liquids or tablets. It is increasingly common for sites to request the use of eco-friendly products, such as Dometic GreenCare Tabs or Wessex Blue Bio. (The Club encourages the use of eco-friendly chemicals on all Club campsites. While we do not currently insist upon their use, some of our CLs do due to their sensitive sewage systems.)

It is important that you use the correct dosages of these treatments. Many caravanners tend to ‘overdose’ their cassette waste tanks so administer with care (Thetford models feature a measuring facility in the cassette’s screw cap). Tablets are a neater option than liquids, as they come in sealed bags or plastic wrappers and the dosages are pre-measured.

Some sites are now fitted with CamperClean stations, which provide an automated service. For a fee, these machines will empty and sanitise your cassettes, meaning you can keep a comfortable distance away.

For a fee, a CamperClean station will empty, clean and re-dose your toilet cassette

If the cassette tank gets really dirty, a product like Dometic Tank Cleaner can be used to effectively remove deposits and limescale. This job is best carried out just before laying up the leisure vehicle for winter and should only need doing once a year.

For a finishing touch, give the rubber lip seal a spray with either a dedicated lubricant, or a little olive oil. 

Thetford customers also have the option of purchasing a Toilet Fresh-up Set, should the cover, seat and/or tank suffer damage. Or, a caravan breakers yard may sell parts.

Another important aspect of caring for your toilet system is emptying the flush water tank, particularly over the winter period. Not only can frost potentially damage the components, but black grime can also build up. Toilet lockers usually contain a hose that you can use to drain the tank down, but if you don’t have one, just flush it into your toilet bowl until it is empty. You could also invest in a flush-water tank product, like Elsan Double Rinse Anti-bacterial Toilet Rinse or Thetford’s Aqua Rinse – these emit a fresh, clean smell, and also kill germs and bad odours.

Shower cubicle

Shower trays can crack if items are dropped on them, and can become brittle with age

The main issue in the shower is damage to plastic shower trays as a result of heavy loads, accidents or stress fractures. Replacing a complete shower tray can be costly, especially when parts may have been discontinued in older vans (plus there can be substantial labour costs involved in stripping out the cubicle to replace the old tray). 

One way around this is to restore the tray using a coating. For example, Speedcoat Europe’s ‘Speedliner Euro HC’ product results in a tough and durable polymer lining that also offers anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. The product is only supplied to trained and authorised Speedcoat Europe dealers/applicators and is not for DIY use.


Do not use the products that you use at home when cleaning an on-board plastic sink: the chemicals contained can be quite abrasive and may cause damage. A product like Thetford Bathroom Cleaner is specifically designed for plastic surfaces and can also be used to clean the fridge. Once again, a spray coating could be the answer if your sink is damaged.

Final thoughts…

Cleaning your washroom regularly with appropriate products will prolong the life of your bathroom furniture. And not only will it sparkle, it will smell better too!

Although there are ways to repair any damage caused in the washroom, the best approach is to avoid loading heavy objects in the shower tray, particularly when towing, and to prepare your toilet properly for the winter months.

Member savings

Members benefit from up to 10% off on cleaning and maintenance products at Club Shop. Visit shop.camc.com to start saving today.

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