Hello again. A couple of weeks ago you should have received Part One of our Black Streak saga. But if you missed it, or are a new subscriber, you can click here to get into our archives and review past Reports.

First, a brief review. If you recall, black streaks are the result of pollutants landing on your roof and in turn being washed onto your sidewalls or end caps where they can grab on and cause difficult-to-remove streaks. We recommended cleaning your roof more often to help prevent the streaks forming in the first place. But what if you already have black streaks, or you simply can't clean as often as you'd like? Maybe you leave your RV at a distant campground where you simply can't clean it very often. Well, those streaks can be very difficult to get out, but here's some tips.

The interesting thing with black streaks is that you can get all sorts of advice and everyone has a different story of what does and doesn't work. For some people a good car cleaner/polish has worked wonders, for others it's Wesley's Tire Cleaner, or de-oxidizers, Soft Scrub or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser. Other folks have tried “everything” and can't get a good result.

Part of the problem here is that black streaks are made from the contaminants that accumulate on the roof and those contaminants can be different depending on where your RV has been. They can have different chemical or biologic makeup and may require different types of cleaners to remove the streaks.

The good news: there are a variety of cleaners on the market that can probably help you out. You just need to be sure they are compatible with your sidewall material, paint and decals. Look for manufacturer guidance. Because your streaks may not be the same as mine, I don't like to prescribe any single universal solution, however. So you may need to experiment a little.

If there's one you think might work, it's a good idea to test the cleaner on a small area and see how the material reacts after a couple days. If it looks good, then you can go ahead and use it on larger areas. If you try de-oxidizers they may well do the job because they actually remove a bit of the surface, so they should get the dirt out, but realize that they do remove a little surface, so be very careful and test it first.

Generally speaking, avoid detergents as they don't work and can cause damage. One other tip is to use a white terry towel with whatever cleaner you decide to use as a colored towel can end up bleeding color onto your RV's surface and this may be worse that the black streaks to get off.

Now that you know a little more about what creates streaking and how to avoid it, I'm sure you'll enjoy lots of streak-free RV fun. Keep an eye out for the next Rudy RV Improvement Report where we go inside your RV to look for evidence of roof leaks. Talk to you in a couple of weeks.

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