How to Sanitize RV Tanks

How to Sanitize RV Tanks
Making sure the water tanks in your recreational vehicle are sanitized is an important part of RV maintenance. It's a procedure that should be done at least every spring when the rig gets pulled out of winter storage, but some suggest sanitizing the tanks every few months if they're used frequently or if the water has been held in the tank for more than a month. Luckily, this is a fairly painless process.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bleach
Step 1
Drain any water being held in the tank and fill it three-quarters full with fresh water. Add one to two capfuls of bleach and drive the RV around the block a few times to facilitate even distribution of the bleach throughout the tank. This is done to kill any bacteria growing in the tank.
Step 2
Turn on the water pump and all taps in the RV to get the bleached water running through every line. Let the water run out of the tank and let the RV sit out overnight.
Step 3
Run fresh water into the RV tank and get the fresh water flowing through every open tap for at least five minutes to get rid of any remaining bleach.
Step 4
Drain the tank and replace it with fresh water.

Tips & Warnings

For long-distance trips, it's recommended the fresh water tanks not be used for consumption. Bring bottled water on trips to reduce your risk of getting sick.
Avoid carrying much more water than you'll need on the trip. Filling a tank needlessly runs up water costs, wastes a resource and lowers your RV's mpg.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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