“Playa dust” is an alkali lake bed dust, an unavoidable and unpopular souvenir from Burning Man. Playa dust has the consistency of baby powder and gets into everything, including bicycle bearings, all of your worldly possessions, and all over you.
We wanted to protect our RV as best as possible and took precautions at Burning Man. Our hood was covered with a tarp, all of our vents were covered with air conditioner filters, our carpets were covered in drop cloths, and we bought new sheets to cover our upholstery.
The interior of the RV survived shockingly well, and some power-washing and lubrication got our bikes in reasonable shape. The next huge step was cleaning the exterior of the RV, something that it was time for – Burning Man or not.
While a car wash might cost $10, an RV / truck wash is way more expensive. And the RV needed more than just a car wash. RV detailing is charged by the length of the RV and can run up to $15 per linear foot. (Our RV is ~24′ long, so that’s $360 on the high end.)
Having started the process myself, it’s amazing to see how much of that cost is labor. The cleaning products cost me around $20, but washing the RV took about two hours, and polishing/waxing are coming up tomorrow. I’m guessing those will take another 2-3 hours.
Anyway, I’m getting a good workout and the RV is starting to look normal again. Aside from preserving the RV’s finish and resale value, a thorough cleaning after Burning Man is a must. Playa dust’s alkalinity makes it very corrosive in the long term, which can really tear up a truck’s chassis.
Looking forward to another day of climbing on the (yet-unnamed) RV.
posted by jay