How to Sanitize an RV Fresh Water Tank

How to Sanitize an RV Fresh Water Tank
Water from RVs, especially ones that haven't seen a water hook-up for a few days, has a reputation for being a little funky. A lot of that has to do with RV owners or rental services not sanitizing their tanks often enough. Given time, the hot conditions under an RV will cause it to become filthy with algae and other slimes. These need to be cleaned out to ensure good water for drinking and bathing.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Funnel Bleach Measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Bleach
  • Measuring cup
Step 1
Access the RV's water heater and water pump. The water heater is usually located behind a panel on the outside of the RV. The water pump will either be with it or behind a different panel. Turn off the heater and pump. Turn the pressure release valve on the heater to open. Drain the water heater tank by either opening that valve or pulling out the plug.
Step 2
Access the RV's water drain lines. These will have a built-in lowest point, where the drains can be found. Open those valves or pull those plugs. Drain all remaining water out of the RV.
Step 3
Close the valves on all of the RV's drainage points. If there are any water filters in the RV, remove those from the system as well.
Step 4
Insert a funnel at the water hook-up point. Pour bleach into the tank, using one-quarter cup of bleach for every every 15 gallons the RV tank can store.
Step 5
Hook up the RV to a water source. Refill the tanks.
Step 6
Switch on the water heater and the water pump. Open all of the RV's faucets. Let the water flow until you smell bleach from each of them. Turn off the faucets. Let the bleach water sit in the lines and tank overnight.
Step 7
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 the next day. Drain the bleach and water mixture out of the RV.
Step 8
Refill the RV, repeating Steps 3 and 5, with water.
Step 9
Repeat Step 6, making sure there is no lingering bleach in the water lines. Run the water until there is no bleach smell. Turn off the faucets. The RV's water system is now sanitized and bleach-free.

Tips & Warnings

Do not use concentrated bleach, without adjusting the proportions. The product's label will provide this information., Too much bleach in the water system might damage the seals.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.