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Old 08-21-2019, 02:36 AM
donaziza's Avatar
donaziza donaziza is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 842
Default Washing your RV & "water" afterwards

I'm neither a mechanic, nor a builder, thus why I ask this. I flew to Oshkosh this year. When I got home, I had some kind of Oshkosh silt all over my plane that didn't really wanna come off. You could write your name in it. So I finally got around to washing it with soap & water. Used one of those water wong thingies with a brush on the end, and attached to a hose. After I got done, now you start to think about places where maybe the water went, but you don't want it to stay there. SO------I fired it up, and taxied around a bit, dragging the brakes a bit to get water off them, and the prop doing as much as "it" could do. Short of flying it, what else can a guy do? Or am I worried pretty much for nothing??

Oh---and even tho my forward baggage compartment seemed perfectly dry, apparently water got in there, because my log books were all wet. And the were even in a zipped up bag.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:51 AM
n816kc n816kc is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 285
Default water hoses are bad juju

water goes all kinds of places you never expect it to. use a spray bottle of water with a couple of rags. spray, wait and wipe. no water anywhere you don't want it.
Kevin Crews
Bartow, FL
RV-6 'Woo hoo!'
2021 =VAF= donor
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:39 AM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 841

Wash it with something know to be non corrosive to aluminum, such as Simple Green Extreme Aviation. A 1 gal bottle for US$15 (or $60 pacific pesos) will last a lifetime as you dilute it with plenty of water when you put it in a spray bottle. Spray it on, sponge it off, rinse it with clean water, then go fly. If I can't fly, I don't wash. Nothing dries and aircraft like a 170kt blow dryer. Then again, I did fully prime my aircraft, seam sealed the mainspar skins and fay sealed the fuselage. I can totally understand Kevins position on keeping water off the aircraft if you didn't prime. If I'm covered in salt, I'll wipe down first with a damp cloth to pick up the salt, then wash everything off... and go fly.

RV-7, that needs washing.

Last edited by tgmillso : 08-21-2019 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:15 PM
Indy Indy is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Prattville, AL
Posts: 61
Default detergent

For what it's worth, I'm no expert either, but when I got my plane repainted the paint shop recommended using regular granular Tide detergent (without bleach of course) to clean. As for water getting in places--yup, i've been surprised as well where it's gotten into.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:13 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 1,465
Default Fly it..

Fly it after "deep clean" washing. No water will remain anywhere that will matter. I've been flying my -4 for almost 10 years and have only done the hose wash a couple times. Usually, I just mist with water and microfiber leading edges after every flight. I started using the Lucas spray detailer which really is amazing stuff. So easy, and dirt just slides off. I too had to do post OSH deep clean..had mud in my pants..haha ,but the trip was well worth it!
Bill E.
8A7 / Advance NC
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:27 PM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,830

You should have drain holes where ever water may collect. I put in 8-10 drain holes. Plans just said to put in drain holes if I remember correctly. I am guessing less than 5% of RVs have any drain holes. sometime you are going to fly through rain or be stuck on the ground during a rainstorm. I actually bought a hand drill at OSH one year to drill a hole in the bottom of the rudder to drain the water after a WI thunderstorm went through.

A hose probably can get water in all kinds of places that rain can not but if drain holes are placed at low spots and at bulkheads, water should drain. Some drain holes, like one forward of the spar, are where there is a potential fuel leaks so that there is not a potential for fuel pooling inside the airplane.

I too use garden sprayer to spritz airplane and wipe off by section never using a hose.
RV-6A - flying 970+ hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007

Last edited by plehrke : 08-22-2019 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:07 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,639

You are "worried pretty much for nothing"
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - SOLD
N258SM RV14A - IO390EXP119 - in progress
Dues paid
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:24 AM
n816kc n816kc is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 285
Default Chief airplane washer

I paid for some of my flight training by washing the schools airplanes, with a hose and bucket. You would be amazed how long some of the drain holes continued to drain after I was finished.

Often we found minor/temporary issues with electronics on the drying flights afterward. Of course these were worn out trainers and frequently had issues before washing. But, it didn?t take too many times to figure out what was happening in some instances.

There are lots of wiring connections, avionics boxes, power packs, etc mounted low in the fuselage and wing root areas of planes. Most of these really don?t like a lot of water on them. We changed to the mist and wipe method and the post-wash electronics gremlins went away. Interestingly, flying in rain never caused the same issues.

30 years later I forgot the lessons of my youth. After a couple of days at SnF, my 6 was covered in black silt. Got it home and, yep, broke out the hose. Strobes didn?t work on the post-wash flight. 3 days later everything was dry and back to normal. I really wasn?t looking forward to pulling the baggage panel out to get to power pack.

Just my experience. I don?t worry about it, but I do exercise a little caution.
Kevin Crews
Bartow, FL
RV-6 'Woo hoo!'
2021 =VAF= donor
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:09 AM
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turbo turbo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,176

I always fly it to dry it.
TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2021
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,300+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, 300 young eagles flown
Stuart, Fl / East Hampton,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - villa sold.
addicted pickle ball player
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