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Removing Bug Splatter from your RV

| Updated Mar 25, 2024

Are you as frustrated as we were with removing bug splatter from your RV? We just found a very affordable product that really works. We ended up washing the entire RV with it!

And in the process, we erased stuck-on yucky bug splatter we have collected from five states over the past few weeks.

It really works!

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Here's a video we did showing us washing our RV after a long road trip.

Why removing bug splatter is important

Removing Bug Splatter from your RV 1
Jennifer with Bugs Off pads for removing bug splatter

Besides being unsightly, removing bug splatter is important if you want to protect the finish of your RV from unnecessary damage.

Dried-on, splattered insects often secrete an acid when they die. If it is left on a surface long enough they actually become part of the finish and can chip your paint when removed.

They also present a safety hazard, obscuring your vision.

Here's an example from a few years back when we were driving west on I-90 in South Dakota and ran into what we called a “bug blizzard.” Some sort of insect had hatched in the wide open prairie land around us and it sounded like we were being pelted with small stones as they splattered across the windshield.

Removing Bug Splatter from your RV 2
Removing bug splatter like this is necessary just to safely see out the windshield! This”bug blizzard” happened to us on I-90 in South Dakota.

Bugs Off is the product we used for removing bug splatter

The product is called Bugs Off and it was developed in Florida where, every spring, a particularly obnoxious insect known as love bugs hatch and splatter across millions of windshields. They got their name because usually, it's two of these bugs that run into vehicles. I guess they were too busy to notice where they were going.

In fact, the Bugs Off product was originally called “the Love Bug Eraser.” They changed the name after discovering that it also removes the remains of other road-splattered insects.

The product consists of a sponge-like pad. All you have to do is dip it in soapy water and start rubbing away the bugs.

By the way, always use a soap marked for vehicles NOT dishwater, which can mess up the finish by stripping away its protective cover.

The Bugs Off pad is safe for all vehicles, especially RVs, and will not harm paint, clear coat, plastic, glass, wraps, graphics, or metal. They are safe for every surface of your car.

We got a set of three of the removable pads and a flat holder which we screwed into a wooden extension pole for doing the windshield and reaching all the way up to the roof of our RV (10 feet off the ground).

Our experience in removing bug splatter

Removing Bug Splatter from your RV 3
Jennifer using a Bugs Off pad in removing bug splatter from the front of our RV

As you can see in our video, Jennifer was pretty ecstatic right from the start. We began on the front of the RV, ground zero for bug splatter. I videoed as she used the Bugs Off pad in short, rubbing circles. And the bug debris vanished.

She moved to the side of the RV. Same thing. The big plastic molding around the driver and passenger side mirrors was a mess of bug splatter. Gone with the pad. Then she tried the wheel covers. The sparkle returned.

But the big test for me was the windshield.

I had tried best as possible to clean it off on our trip every time we stopped for fuel. But it was still a mess. I attached the same pad we had been using to the flat holder and the extension pole (Easy Reach Kit) and, with very little elbow grease, watched in amazement as my efforts in removing bug splatter made quick work of the windshield mess.

Removing Bug Splatter from your RV 4
This is before…
Removing Bug Splatter from your RV 5
This is the same spot after using the pad in removing bug splatter

What do YOU use in removing bug splatter?

We have no financial relationship with Bugs Off. They are not a sponsor. They sent us a sample of their pads and we said we'd give them a try and, good or bad, share our thoughts. In their case, we couldn't have been more surprised… and pleased. But if they did not work, we would have still done a story and told you that, too. But we loved them so much that we put them on our RV Cleaning and Maintenance Amazon List.

But there are other products we have used that help. RainX is a windshield washer solvent that makes it harder for bugs to stick to the windshield. And Bounce dryer laundry sheets, when dampened, also do a good job in removing bug splatter.

How about you? What have you found that works? Use the comments below.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-03-25

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

19 Responses to “Removing Bug Splatter from your RV”

March 29, 2024at11:32 am, Mike Stewart said:

Is the Bug Off pad acceptable for cleaning solar panels?



March 29, 2024at1:49 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

We would suggest checking with the maker of our solar panels first. But, if they are on the roof of your rig, there probably isn’t a lot of bug splatter on them…. – Happy Trails – Team RV Lifestyle


March 28, 2024at8:12 am, Tim Wilson said:

Use green Simple Green Concentrate. Spray, soak, spray off. Works great!


March 26, 2024at9:40 am, Dale Prichard said:

Dawn dish soaps a squeegee and a scrunchie Small dish cloth. Never have to buy or pay anything special. This does the windshield and the front cap very easily and it’s affordable


March 27, 2024at10:21 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing, Dale! Team RV Lifestyle


March 26, 2024at8:01 am, Dennis Strong said:

Wet dryer sheets work great.


March 26, 2024at7:32 am, Gunnar Hood said:

We discovered Thetford Premium RV Bug Bust. Spray it on, wait a minute or two and bugs easily come off with a soft brush or cloth and a little water. This stuff works so well, we always keep a bottle with us.


June 23, 2021at4:19 pm, Jean Smiley said:

We just returned from Acadia and cleaning both the truck and camper on my to do list. Thanks for the suggestions.


June 13, 2021at7:53 pm, Bill Abbott said:

Please provide details on the flat pad & how to attach the Bug Eraser
Also details about the extension pole & how to attach to the flat pad


June 12, 2021at7:48 pm, robert gault said:

Bug removal duty is part of my set up at the end of the day. It is the last thing I do after setting up….I do the bug removal and my wife pours the GinTonics. I just use an ArmorAll soap, warm water and our windscreen squeegie. I wrap a terrytowel rag around the foam to give it more bite. Bug goo comes off easily and the whole cleanup takes maybe 10 minutes.


June 12, 2021at2:46 pm, K Turner said:

After trying many ways to get off the bug guts, Mr Clean erasers worked the best on the stubborn ones.


June 12, 2021at10:53 am, Terri Szukhent said:

It’s not just the Bounce dryer sheets, it’s all dryer sheets! I used some from my favorite store, Dollar Tree, and they worked great! The front of my trailer looks brand new!


June 12, 2021at8:45 am, Beth said:

I looked at the link provided for purchasing the pads, but I did not see an extension pole for use on hard to reach areas. Did you make your own? Or does anyone have other options?


June 14, 2021at9:32 am, D. Williams said:

I was at a Rally and purchased a squeegee head and microfiber cloth kit from a company called AlmostHeaven. They also sold the extension pole, but it is just a painter’s pole that you can buy in any hardware store. Their microfiber cloths are not like the ones you get at Harbor Freight, etc. (or so they said….but they do work great!) I can put a cloth over the squeegee head and reach the top of the rig/windshield.


June 12, 2021at8:29 am, Ed D. said:

Beast Wash (by Duratain) is my “go-to” product for washing my RV. Using full strength in a spray bottle on the front end removes the bugs with relative ease with an RV washing brush on a handle. It is also the best product I have ever found to wash off the Black streaks from the Awning arms. I tried all sorts of black streak removing products. This not only worked but I didn’t even have to scrub. The streaks came right off. It is a little pricey but well worth the money. I use it on all of my vehicles.


June 12, 2021at7:56 am, Ted Chura said:

I forgot to mention that I do use Rain-X. I also wax my wheel skins (plastic wheel covers on steel wheels). They come out nice and shiny when washed. I do the same on my alloy wheels on our main vehicle.


June 12, 2021at7:49 am, Ted Chura said:

I would add to keep your vehicle well waxed in front and the black vinyl areas dressed with vinyl dressing. I have used a plastic dishwasher scrubber to remove stubborn bugs. My bumper was once yellow with so many. I will certainly get some of this new product. Hitting a storm of bugs is no happy event when you stop for fuel and you see a yellow bumper.


June 12, 2021at7:47 am, Tim said:

Spraying Simple Green on before you start washing and letting it work for a short time also aides in the cleaning process of bugs. Just don’t let it dry before you you wet down your vehicle to wash. Do let it work for a few minutes though. All natural and doesn’t affect the finish.


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