RV Bug Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Truck Camper Rigs

It’s guaranteed to happen. Summer travel invariably brings an unsightly mosaic of bug splatters across the front of your truck camper rig. It sucks, but there’s not much you can do about it. You’re going to get blasted by bugs no matter where you go or where you live. Removing these splatters as soon as possible is important because many bugs are acidic, which can stain and damage the finish of your rig. Unfortunately, cleaning the nasty buggers requires a lot of elbow grease if you don’t have the right cleaners and the right cleaning gear for the job. This article provides four bug cleaning tips and tricks for truck camper rigs that we believe will make this unpleasant task go quicker and easier. Let’s take a look at each:

1. Wax Regularly:

Without a doubt, one of the most important of our RV Bug Cleaning Tips and Tricks For Truck Camper Rigs. Remember the old proverb, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? The best form of prevention when it comes to keeping your truck camper clean is to hand wax your rig twice a year. Doing this not only makes your rig look great, but also protects it from oxidation. It also make cleaning a whole lot easier, especially when it comes to baked-on bugs. It doesn’t matter what kind of car wax you use for the job. Any liquid car wax will do. We like Turtle Wax’s T-123R Liquid Car Wax. It’s cheap (a 16 ounce bottle is only $3.99), is easy to apply, and is easy to remove using a buffing pad or microfiber cloth like the one shown here. You’ll find that faithfully waxing your rig twice a year will make cleaning baked-on bugs and road grime much easier and will require much less effort. Not only that, few things look better than a clean and shiny truck camper mounted on the back of your truck.

2. Dismount Your Camper:

So you just returned home from a two-week trip, and the front of your camper is covered with bugs. What should you do first? Unload your camper. Yeah, we know this sucks since many of you like to leave your camper mounted on your truck full-time, but doing this makes cleaning (and waxing) your camper much easier. We’ve tried removing bug splatters using one of those cleaning brushes with the extendable handle, but getting enough leverage to remove them entirely is pretty much impossible. If you want to do the job right, you really need to unload the camper from your truck. Not only that, unloading it makes removing the bug splatters underneath the cabover easier too. You can reach the front of your cabover by using either a step ladder or by standing in the back of your truck bed as shown here in this photo—using the truck bed is actually preferred as it gives you more room to shift your footing and is better than using a step ladder since most ladders are inherently unsafe. Easily, one of our best bug cleaning tips and tricks for truck camper rigs.

3. Wash and Scrub:

Interested in using good old-fashioned elbow grease to remove bug splatters? Few things work better than a non-abrasive kitchen scrubber sponge. First, we like to soak the dried-on bugs with water, then let them sit for about 10-15 minutes. This softens them up. Then we remove them using using the scrubber and a quality car wash soap. The rough side of the non-abrasive scrubber does most of the work. Warning! Make sure your scrubber is non-abrasive; otherwise, you will scratch the finish of your camper. For tougher to remove bug stains that are really baked-in by the summer sun we recommend using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. These work incredibly well and provide a finished look to the job—probably the best trick for the job. As for washing the rest of your rig, we recommend using a standard microfiber mitt along with a good car and RV wash like Meguiars Ultimate Car Wash and Wax or Turtle Wax’s Max Power Car Wash. Both work well and will leave a shiny finish on your fiberglass or aluminum siding.

4. Bugs N All:

Another important RV bug cleaning tip. If you’re looking for a specialized bug remover product Bugs N All is one of the best for RVs and trucks. After spraying, bug guts are turned to a soft mush in about 60 seconds, which is pretty fast and can ultimately save you a lot of time. Bugs N All is environmentally safe and contains no harsh chemicals, or strong odors. It’s also non-toxic, biodegradable, petroleum free, non flammable and most importantly it is non-corrosive and non-abrasive. As a bonus, the product works on both inside and outside surfaces including leather, vinyl, carpet, rugs, cloth seats, fabric, wood trim, plastic, rubber, upholstery, metal, painted and polish surfaces and more. It removes bug guts, dirt, grime, grease, tree sap, bird poop, odors, food stains, rust stains, brake dust, mildew, RV black streaks, oxidation and more. Use with a scrubber sponge for even better results.

These are our four bug cleaning tips and tricks for truck camper rigs. Have any of your own? We’d love to hear from you.

About Mello Mike 907 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.


  1. The best solution so far…professionally applied ceramic coat, it’s a slip and slide for bugs

  2. Regardless of what product I use, or even just water, everything dries out before the suggested time to soak. I use an old sheet to drape over the affected area, then wet it down. It clings to the surfaces and softens up those nasty insects. Then, I’ve used Turtle Wax’s Bug and Tar Remover and a scrubby sponge. Seems to do the trick with minimal effort. I’ve ordered the BugsN’All to give it a try.

  3. Mike, another trick i learned from car detailers for getting rid of bugs on your vehicle or truck camper is using a wet dryer sheet! Hose the arwa first, then scrub lightly and bugs are gone!

    Might even be able to put a couple on the end of our extended brushes and get the cabover cleaned in between full dismounts of the camper.

    Wish waxing it was this easy!

  4. Great article ! I find everything you mention to be interesting and useful … especially the part about using the truck bed to stand on in order to reach the top of the cab over. Amazing at how simple an idea can be that could make a huge difference in the outcome of an activity …. yes, I’ve almost fallen off that step ladder more than once 🙂

    I also use 303 UV Protectant twice a year. After it soaks into a surface the surface is like teflon. Dirt won’t stick to it and can be hosed off easily. Bugs however, are another story and I do the things mentioned in the article as well. They do come off more easily though with the 303.

      • Here’s a bug cleaning tip I got from a pilot friend of mine. He mixes a 50/50 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide and sprays it on the bugs, and lets it sit for 15-20 minutes then wipes em off. I tried it and it really works well.

  5. Hi Mike:
    Being a CWO3 most people just read over that and move on. I know what it took you get there. You may have started out at an E-3 as I did. I was in Jan 69 to May 73 and did four West-Pack tours on the USS Hancock CVA 19 and was an MM2 when I got out, one of my best friends was a WO…lost track as most do, still have buddy’s I talk to.
    As for the Truck camping, I have just got into it. Bought an older Dodge 3500 15,000lb flat bed and picked up a 2004 Travel Lite that needed a LOT of work. After 10 months of work, last weekend was the first time out and it was a blast. Went racing with friends, and I got this truck because I wanted to pull my race car trailer and not have a problem.
    Well there is my short story.

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