How to Remove Rust From Metal Trailers

How to Remove Rust From Metal Trailers
Rust can age a metal camper trailer and ruin its finish. The more your metal camper trailer is exposed to moisture, dirt and road debris, the more likely it will be to show some signs of rust on the siding or frame. Rust can be removed from a metal camper trailer with a few simple tools and in one cleaning, which will improve the shine and overall look of your metal camping trailer.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Abrasive sponge
  • Detergent
  • Cotton cloth
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Primer
  • Acrylic enamel
Step 1
Remove dirt and debris from the outside of the trailer using an abrasive sponge and automotive cleaner, which you can purchase online or at an RV dealership. Mix automotive cleaner and water in a bucket. Scrub the entire area surrounding the rust, then rinse with a hose and wipe off with a cotton cloth.
Step 2
Dry the exterior of the trailer using a microfiber towel, which is designed to trap dirt and debris and absorb water without scratching or damaging the exterior of your metal trailer.
Step 3
Minimize rust, pits, dents and scratches using 400-grit sandpaper. Use an up-and-down action to sand the area until the metal is dull to the touch.
Step 4
Sweep away dust buildup, which may occur during the sanding process, using a cotton or microfiber cloth.
Step 5
Apply aluminum primer per the manufacturer's instructions. Allow primer to set, which could take two to four hours---see product instructions. Apply acrylic enamel for a luminous topcoat shine.

Tips & Warnings

Canvas trailer covers are available at RV stores and online.
You can use steel wool instead of sandpaper.
Always clean rust from your camper trailer as soon as it appears.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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