The Ford Raptor is wider than most trucks and I have taken one to different car washes many times. It can be difficult trusting our expensive vehicles with some car wash we’ve never been to before that could potentially damage our trucks.
The Ford Raptor’s Width measures in at 87 inches from outside the tires and it’s wheel base is 134.2 inches. It will fit in most all Belt Driven car washes but, you will want to avoid most of the Conveyor car washes unless they state they can handle the trucks width.
Another popular car wash now is the Touch-Less car wash that the vehicle drive up in the tunnel and simply sit in. The Ford Raptor should fit in all of these fine and you will need to pull your mirrors in before hand just like in any car wash Some Touch-Less car washes are not automatic and have a wand that we can use manually, these would be preferred for our Raptor’s.
Many Truck owners like to our pickups through these mechanical car washes simply because it saves time and there are fewer and fewer do it yourself car washes around these days, but there are many reasons why you may want to steer far away from these mechanical car washes.
What Damage can a Mechanical Car Wash do
If you have every taken your truck to a mechanical car wash many times, then you are familiar with how rough some of these things can be. The brushes just smack into the sides and top of your truck and once you are in the cash wash there is no backing out without causing even more damage.
Some such as Costco’s new auto wash are very gentle but are not recommended for a Ford Raptor because they use a conveyor track. Car washes like these are much more suited for cars that are okay with a few scratches and just want a quick wash job done to their vehicles.
The touch-less car wash is much more preferred, but even so there can be small damages done to your truck. They are known for have too much pressure in the water outlet’s and very rarely do they even do a good job. The main reason I stopped taking my truck to a mechanical car wash long ago was due to the incomplete wash job I was getting.
What is the point in taking all that risk, just to simply going over it by hand after. Meanwhile I just paid around $ 10.00 to $ 22.00 for this car wash. That does not make any sense.
How To Wash Ford Raptor
Washing your truck yourself at home! All you need access to is a water hose and a little bit of time. There are a couple methods I would like to recommend and I am pretty sure that most Ford Raptor owners already do this.
Washing with a good Sponge and Soap Bucket – Yes this is probably the most commonly used method for all car & truck enthusiasts because everyone can find a good sponge and car soap base at your local auto parts store. It is definitely a safe, easy, and cheap method to washing your truck and you’ll save a lot of money skipping the car wash.
You’ll have a much better job too, after soap and rinsing off with the hose spicket. You can simply take a good shammy to the truck and get a way better dry job than you can from the big auto-dryers at the car wash that doesn’t complexly dry your truck in the first place and often leaves water spots allover your truck.
The other alternative that I use is a Foam Sprayer that attaches to the hose and has the soap inside the foam sprayer cup. It can attach to any regular garden hose and creates enough pressure to give your truck a good enough wash, without causing any damages to decals and such.
There are many manufacturers of these Foam Sprayers, I have never seen them sold at any local store, but you can find them online easily. I am currently using one from ChemicalGuys that I picked up on Amazon. I will leave the link to it at the end of this post, but it seems to be doing very well and it was less than $ 50.00 so It was worth it to me.
Another reason why you may be wanting to go to a car was, is that a lot of car washes offer free vacuums or at least cheap ones that are high powered and readily available. Some will let you use them if you just pull up, but most will want you to go through the car wash first which is not what you are wanting to do in this case.
The best alliterative that I have found is just to buy a good shop-vac. Some of you may already have one, as every home owner typically needs one at some point and if you have a decent sized one, they provide the some amount of function as the ones at the car wash do.
Yes, it’s a hassle sometimes pulling out the extension cord and wheeling it around the truck, but its the best alternative and you’ll usually keep in your garage anyway ready to use for next time. There are a few good shop-vacs you could pick up at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. I personally use a 5 gallon 5.5 HP wet/dry vac that I will leave a link for. It works amazingly and we use it around the house as well.
Some car washes will also have special wax jobs that you can pay extra for, or they claim to have better soaps for your truck if it’s really dirty. I have found that most of these claims are non-sense and I would never recommend a wax job and a car wash, they are simply not going to do a good enough job and they often leave a film on your truck.
Nothing replaces a good wax job that you can do yourself at home or pay a professional who uses a good buffer and wax that will stand out and leave a good lasting shine. ChemicalBrothers offers many different soap formulas for their sprayers, you could even throw them in a bucket and use them with a sponge. They will be better than anything that the car wash is using, because they will always be trying to keep their margins higher.
I have seen many of my buddies truck’s get banged up by these car washes, from decals, antennas , scratches, and mirrors get beat up. All it takes is one time and then you’ll never want to go through one again especially with a Ford Raptor.
I know this may not be the answer that some of you were looking for, but I can promise you if you plan on keeping your Raptor for a long time, then you definitely want to be taking care of it. It makes it much easier in the long run if you go ahead and invest in some of the tools you will need to take care of it.
These trucks are not cheap, so we need to take care of our investment. Nobody want to deal with going to see a body shop just because they took their truck through a car wash. Eventually you may learn to enjoy detailing your truck like I have. About once a week if the weather allows it, I will at least give my truck a good soap and rinse followed by a wipe down with a shammy.
For more information on the Foam Sprayer I mentioned, including customer reviews, additional pricing information, and photo galleries, visit the product on Amazon https://amzn.to/2yvgyuM