It’s not hard to understand why, at the start of the season, many of us go to great lengths to get our motorhomes spick-and-span before heading off on our travels. 

Many newcomers to our hobby may wonder why seasoned motorcaravanners go to similar all-out efforts at the end of the season. After all, why bother getting a motorhome gleaming if it’s going to be parked up for several months?

The answer is that anything that sits on your motorhome’s surface – even very light dust marks – has the potential, if continually damp, to harbour algae and mould. Most of us appreciate that green algae is unsightly and difficult to shift if left untreated until the next season. However, not everybody is aware that algae can get behind seals and cause them to deteriorate over time. Some surfaces, such as aluminium, can be permanently marked by the stuff. 

Come winter, it’s wise to treat your motorhome to a layer of protective wax polish or winterproofer. Both substances prevent dirt from latching on to your motorhome’s exterior, but they can only be applied to a clean surface – once again making that end-of-season spruce-up crucial. 

Even covers, perhaps the most foolproof way of protecting your motorcaravan over the winter period, require the motorhome to be cleaned fully before being fitted. All covers move in the wind – albeit slightly – and if there’s even minimal dirt under it, the combination of that grime and the continuous movement agitating it can lead to scratched roofs and panels. 

In our search for the perfect cleaner, we kicked off by trying each one at the recommended dilution on a much-neglected motorhome bearing a thick coating of algae and countless black streaks. We wanted to see whether each product could tackle these maladies. We also factored in how easy they made cleaning.

We preferred cleaners with a pleasant smell, because the aroma lingers after the scrubbing is finished. 

It’s always a bonus if a cleaner is versatile. Some can be used neat or at a lower dilution to tackle really tough stains. Some can’t. Among both types are products that can be used on other types of surfaces, such as upholstery or carpets, negating the need for separate cleaners. 

Different methods of application were something else we had to consider. Trigger sprays make applying them to isolated stains a doddle. While pressure-washing is far from the best way to clean a motorhome, it can be done safely with the correct implements – such as flow-through brushes. It’s a bonus if a cleaner can be used in a power-washer.

Talking of dilutions and saving money, we also calculated how much usable cleaner you get if you fully dilute the bottle down to the recommended concentration. We soon found that bottle size and initial price are poor indicators of actual value for money.

We tested Mer High Shine Shampoo at £6.99, Screwfix No Nonsense Wash & Wax Shampoo costing £6.99, and Triple QX Silicone free Wash ‘n’ Wax at £9.72. We also tested Fenwick’s Caravan Cleaner Concentrate at £8.99, Care-Avan Hi-Tec Shampoo at £7.50, Blue Diamond Perfection Caravan Cleaner at £8.49 and Silky Cream Cleaner at £3.99.

But in this review we’ll focus on MudBuster Caravan & Motorhome Exterior & Interior Wash & Wax at £8.99. Here’s a surprise: in terms of sheer cleaning power, this mix got under the grime more easily than Fenwick’s excellent brew. Cleaning with the MudBuster product was effortless. But is it such a good all-rounder? That depends. Value for money is not MudBuster’s strong point. The litre bottle only produces 70 litres of diluted cleaner. Then again, you arguably use less because only the most stubborn stains require repeat applications. 

What’s more, few cleaning products are as versatile as this. As well as your motorhome’s exterior, it can tackle most interior surfaces, including carpets and upholstery. The trigger-spray head is another neat touch, because it eases application on internal surfaces and on tough external marks that require a blast of neat cleaner. 

It’s recommended for cleaning motorhome exteriors and interiors, alloy wheels, plastic mouldings, wall and floor tiles, carpets, upholstery, barbecues, cookers, ovens, PVC windows, bicycles, sports gear, children’s play equipment, garden furniture and more.