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Author Topic: Bodywork shine - Red Max Pro 3 no longer avail - ZEP is same product :-)  (Read 95397 times)

Dougie Brown

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There are several articles on using Red Max Pro 3 floor sealant from Lowes on dull RV paintwork, and we had the honor of watching Pancake Bill working hard on his coach in Yellowstone last fall (we did shout occasional encouragement though as we popped another beer...).

We finally got round to getting the ingredients last week to do the job on our 2000 Adventurer which is badly oxydized.  The decals also need replacement which we're considering doing early next year.

Red Max Pro 3 is not available any more from Lowes (certainly not anywhere in AZ) so we found that Home Depot have it listed as Zep Wet Look Floor Finish.  This is exactly the same product, simply re-badged.  See http://tinyurl.com/7ktf964

I came across an article which I'm reproducing here with thanks to the author.  I have however replaced his references to Red Max Pro 3 with Zep Wet Look Floor Finish (ZWLFF).  The process is working just great for us - we've done a trial one-third of the right side between the rear corner and the awning support leg, and it's already looking great.  We'll finish the rest of the coach this week.
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This process is for older RVs that have lost their shine and no longer respond to conventional wax.

Restoring the finish of an older RV using ZWLFF:

Materials:
-Zep Wet Look Floor finish (Step 3) (available at Home Depot)
-Bar Keeper’s Friend (powdered)
-TSP (Trisodium Phosphate, powdered)
-3M scrubbies (white, fine)
-Microfiber rags (white or laundered)
-Latex gloves

Preparing the surface is the most important part, since anything left on the surface will be sealed under the ZWLFF acrylic coating, and improper prep can also result in peeling/flaking later. I repeat: The prep-work is the most important part! Do not try to cut corners here. The cleaner your RV is, the better your final results will be.

Step 1: Start by washing your RV well as you normally would, making sure to include the roof, and rinsing well from the top down.

Step 2: You now want to remove any and all stains, soiling, oxidation, and chalkiness from the surface. Dip a white 3M scrubbie into water and then liberally sprinkle Bar Keeper’s Friend (BKF) on it. Scrub the surface of the motorhome, rinsing the scrubbie and re-applying the BKF often. Do small areas at a time, rinsing well with water and a sponge as you go (Rinsing well is important to remove all BKF residue. I used a "flow-thru" brush attached to a hose to rinse the BKF residue thoroughly).

Step 3: Next you want to make sure that there is absolutely no remaining wax on the RV, since any residual wax can cause the ZWLFF to peel and flake. Mix up a bucket of TSP (1/2 cup) in water (2 gal), and use it to wash the entire RV again. You can use it with a carwash brush, a sponge, a pressure washer…anything you would normally use to wash your RV. Rinse well as you go, then rinse again and let it dry completely (again, rinsing well is important to remove all TSP residue). You should now be left with a clean and smooth (although dull) wax-free surface. Congrats, the hard part is done!

Step 4: Now comes the easy part. Shake the ZWLFF well, and pour some into a shallow container (a pie pan works well). Fold a microfiber rag to about hand-sized, dip it into the ZWLFF (trust me, use gloves!), and squeeze out the excess. How much/how wet? You want it more than damp, but less than dripping. Now simply wipe down the surface of the RV with the wet microfiber rag. Don’t try to apply a heavy coat or try to “rub it in”; just wet the surface (imagine wiping off a layer of dust with a damp rag). It really doesn’t matter whether you wipe horizontally, vertically, or in circles, and don’t worry about overlaps; ZWLFF is very thin/watery and you are just trying to “moisten” the surface. Work your way all the way around the RV. The thin coat of ZWLFF will dry very quickly; long before you’ve gone all the way around it will be dry and you can immediately start on the next coat.

That first coat will likely look really bad; streaky, blotchy, shiny in some places, dull in others…don’t panic. Each additional coat will start to even it out and build up a deep layer of shine. By coat 3, you will be grinning ear to ear. And coat 4 (or 5?) will be the icing on the cake. Not only will your RV shine like it hasn’t shined in years, it will be a deeper color as well*. Even old, faded graphics will have a new lease on life! All for less than $30 total!

*Note: This procedure will slightly change/darken the color/shade of your RV.

Things (I learned) to keep in mind:

-Don’t use new colored microfiber rags until they have been laundered, as the color may bleed.

-Don’t try to “over-apply”, or try for a heavy coat, or you will get runs. The thinner, the better. Remember, you’re just trying to “moisten” the surface with each thin coat, nothing more. If you are getting a lot of runs, you’re applying it too heavily.

-Be careful around window frames, locks, latches, etc., as the ZWLFF is very watery and will have a tendency to gather and cause runs. ZWLFF dries fast, so keep an eye out for any runs and give them a quick wipe before they start to “set up”.

-Some older, deteriorated graphics may “bleed” color onto the rag and surrounding areas. If you notice any bleeding during the BKF or TSP stage (steps 2 and 3), then give a quick wipe of ZWLFF across the graphics prior to step 4, which will seal them up. Then go ahead and apply the ZWLFF to the entire RV (including the now sealed graphics) as per step 4 of the tutorial.

-After each coat, go around and open/operate all hatches, locks, catches, etc. The ZWLFF acrylic coating can sort of “glue” them closed.
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More pictures to follow - this was our trial area which looks better than the picture shows (it's not a great pic), but you can see the difference already. :)

Dougie.
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

Dougie Brown

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Five coats on the really bad side, and a great result.  We'll be attacking the other side and the back over the weekend and should have them finished in a few hours.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 08:21:16 PM by Dougie Brown »
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 99 Country Coach Magna
Looks great Dougie!
Bill & Jolene & Chancey
(Koda 6/15/2019 R.I.P.)
1999 Country Coach Magna 40'
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Tom

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Five coats of anything sounds like a lot of work. When you're done, you can come and wax our boat Dougie, but not with floor polish  ;D
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Dougie Brown

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Five coats of anything sounds like a lot of work. When you're done, you can come and wax our boat Dougie, but not with floor polish  ;D
To the first point, it's not waxing, it's a piece of...... cake, and it's just wiping a damp cloth over the cleaned and de-oxidized area in a symmetrical pattern (takes 10 mins).

To the second point....

....... NO.

 ::)
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

Tom

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LOL Dougie. FWIW I use only heavy carnuba paste wax on the old tub; Takes me 21 days  :o
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Dougie Brown

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LOL Dougie. FWIW I use only heavy carnuba paste wax on the old tub; Takes me 21 days  :o

That's no way to talk about your wife, Tom!   :o
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

Dougie Brown

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Before and after
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 09:34:10 PM »
Finished the back, and half the left side (became too hot).  Pretty damn good, I'd say.

The little light bit below the centre brake light was a piece of non-oxydized paintwork.

Dougie.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 09:44:00 PM by Dougie Brown »
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 99 Country Coach Magna
And you thought I was trying to sell you something!

Bill & Jolene & Chancey
(Koda 6/15/2019 R.I.P.)
1999 Country Coach Magna 40'
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Jim Dick

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Bill,

You did, just didn't get any revenue!! ;D ;D
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Dougie Brown

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Och well Bill - it could've been boot polish for all I knew.

Jim, you got it right. :-)

Dougie.
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

Jim Dick

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Dougie,

I know Bill, he's a salesman extraordinaire! ;D ;D ;D
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 99 Country Coach Magna
Yeah, but next time he is here, I know he will come over with a nice cold beer, and not a Bud Light.
 My reward is that he is loving have hos coach look so good. 

Then again, if it weren't for this place I never would have tried this.  Thanks to the guys that figured it out, just paying it foreword, now it is Dougie's turn.
Bill & Jolene & Chancey
(Koda 6/15/2019 R.I.P.)
1999 Country Coach Magna 40'
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Dougie Brown

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You're breaking my heart, Bill.  ;D.  I'll bring some Kiltlifter - that'll keep ya quiet.  ;)
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

loddy

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You  got big feet Dougie  8)

Loddy ;D

drusher

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A few questions from an avid RV restorer:

1. I'm assuming this works on older filon type exteriors that did not have a clear coat
2. If I have clear coat that has gone whitish, does this bring back the color?
3. Does it do anything to brighten up old decals?
4. Does anybody know how long this lasts or what happens when it wears out?

FYI: I know how to reglue delaminated sides without taking the whole side off.  I can post that trick if anybody needs it.

scottydl

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FYI: I know how to reglue delaminated sides without taking the whole side off.  I can post that trick if anybody needs it.

I'm sure someone around here could use that tip eventually.  ;)  Start a new thread and post it!  ;D
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 diesel dually
- Formerly owned a Class A motorhome

flytyer1

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Hello:
 I put it on my 1995 Dolphin with decals that were so faded I thought of stripping them off and 1 and 1/2 years later with it stored outside in CO heat, cold, and trips to the seacoast, I will put a dusting of another coat on this spring--but it still shines.  The grey bottom and the decals really took on a shine that I could not get with any other wax,polish, etc for three years.  Needless  to say I am a believer and it took less than one day to complete the process.  We have since put it on another MH and they are pleased and amazed  also.  The five coats should be thought of a dusting the surface with a cloth--really light applications.
Jerry H

drusher

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I posted my tip about how to repair delamination in the RV restoration section.  It is titled "How to fix delimination without removing exterior fiberglass panels"

scottydl

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I posted my tip about how to repair delamination in the RV restoration section.  It is titled "How to fix delimination without removing exterior fiberglass panels"

Thanks!  Here's the direct link to that thread.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 diesel dually
- Formerly owned a Class A motorhome

Just Lou

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Re: Red Max Pro 3
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2013, 10:54:55 AM »
I found four gallon bottles of Red Max Pro #3! Actually, I have six, but I'm keeping two of them. Four are available for sale: $15 each if anyone is interested. From what I've read this is the best stuff in the world for RVs and since it's been relabeled as Zep Wet-Look Floor Finish the price has gone up to $25/gallon.

Good luck at that price.  I bought two 5gal jugs of it on Lowe's close out at 4$ per.  I've been giving it away by the gallon to anyone who wants it.  I still have a life time plus supply.

EDIT - Just for clarification, I didn't mean to imply that the product was no good, I just meant to emphasize that I was NOT selling at a profit.   I'm a solid proponent of RMP-3 (ZEP) use on older RVs.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 11:15:35 AM by Just Lou »
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Dougie Brown

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Lowes sell Zep at $16.97.  Red Max Pro hasn't been manufactured for some time, so I'm guessing you might have difficulty selling old stock for $15 plus presumably shipping?

Dougie.
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

captsteve

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  • measure with a micrometer, cut with a chainsaw!
Yep, That price is high. Plus the fact that a gallon will last a long long time.
Capt Steve has the Conn, Trina navigator ( Admiral )
2004 American Revolution 40c (aka Fat Girl) **Sold**
2017 Ram 1500 (Future Toad)
Piper Archer II  (Where the RV money goes)

Bobtop46

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    • Work Camper
Nice job and write up.
2007 Coachman Aurora 36FWS
2017 Equinox
2006 Mini Cooper S

Jemanat2000

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Hello Mr. Brown,

I enjoyed reading your post about using ZEP to restore shine to an oxidized RV.  I do have a few (possibly dumb) questions.

My travel trailer is fiberglass.  One side is new and shiny b/c I took it to the factory to have one side and the roof replaced (due to bad design.  They replaced both for me).  So now I’ve got one side that, of course, looks new and shiny while the other side looks dull.  I’ve tried various types of spray on and wipe on/off waxes… none of it did a bit of good.

1:  Does this ZEP product work on Fiberglass?  I’m not sure what your RV exterior is made from so it was difficult for me to tell if you were working on fiberglass or some other type of exterior; possibly aluminum? 

2: As my RV sits in the yard, and rain water eventually drains out of the gutter pouts and leaves black streaks down the side.  The only thing I’ve been able to find that takes it off is Bleche-White tire cleaner - http://www.walmart.com/ip/Black-Magic-Bleche-Wite-Tire-Cleaner-32-oz/19417551 - but of course it’s horrible for a fiberglass finish.  But I usually give up using expensive “RV Cleaners” that don’t work and use a couple of sprays of Bleche-White and it comes right off with little effort.

Thank you for your help.  I’m really looking forward to getting this stuff together and giving it a shot.  I can’t wait for my RV to be shiny again..!!

Jeff
2008 F-250 6.4 PowerStroke 4x4 CrewCab
Pulling...
2005 Forest River
33' Flagstaff Travel Trailer

Dougie Brown

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1:  Does this ZEP product work on Fiberglass?  I’m not sure what your RV exterior is made from so it was difficult for me to tell if you were working on fiberglass or some other type of exterior; possibly aluminum? 
Firstly, I'm an RV user and not a professional.  My disclaimer here is that I'm not qualified to give advice on bodywork.  Our experiences as reported here are just that - our experiences, and I can only express opinions based on what I know.  That's limited to our research and experiences. :)

My coach as far as I know has fiberglass panels and aluminum locker doors.  Zep is not a polish; it's a sealant which applies coats to the surfaces you're working on.  I can't see why it wouldn't work on anything with perhaps the exception of porous material such as wood (pretty obviously).  In any event, the recommended surfaces will no doubt be on the bottle.  It worked on our RV bodywork as reported above.

I see you've amended what you asked in your email.  I take it you've sourced Barkeeper's Friend and TSP?  We got ours locally in hardware stores (and Walmart, I think).

Dougie.
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

jagnweiner

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Dougie-

I got started doing a test area on mine last night and it does look beautiful (more or less).  One question for you:  My coach is the same year as yours and also a Winnebago product.  The main portion of the sidewall has either checking or little scratches in it that hold dirt or dark staining.  It's only visible from up close.  The door and the lower fiberglass body panels do not.  Did you have this same problem?  I can scrub as much as I want with the BKF and I don't think the dirt (or whatever) is going to come out of these scratches and will just get sealed in when I put the Zep on.  It will still look shiny and much better than before, but not as nice as the lower panels or the door.

Did you have this problem and was there anything that helped?
-Scott
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD

Dougie Brown

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We had the same thing.  I'm sure it's the fiberglass crazing as the door & locker doors are aluminum and don't suffer from it.  As you say, it just got sealed in but is hardly noticeable at all unless you get your reading glasses on & squint at it from 2 inches! :D  You can't put back what's not there, but it sure as hell made it look twenty times better (still does).  Glad it's working for you too.

Dougie.
Brits adventuring half of each year in the US and/or Canada (2011-2018)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (sold)
1999 Ford Escort SE (sold)

jagnweiner

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Thanks for the reassurance, Dougie.  I'll post pics when I get it done.
-Scott
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 99 Country Coach Magna
Dougie, you making as much on this promotion as I did?



$000,000.00
Bill & Jolene & Chancey
(Koda 6/15/2019 R.I.P.)
1999 Country Coach Magna 40'
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI