How to Sanitize your RV’s Fresh Water Tank

 How to Sanitize your RV’s Fresh Water Tank

We hit the road today, headed south to Florida for a few days in the sun, and then up I-75 to Perry, GA for the Family Motorcoach’s big Family Reunion and rally at the giant agricenter there.

We’re looking forward to the warm weather.

And since we’ll be in the south, we dont have to worry about freezing. So before heading out, I “de-winterized,” removing the RV antifreeze that I ran through the plumbing system last fall just after Thanksgiving. As I do every year before a new travel season, I also sanitized the fresh water tank and ran it through the pipes, once the antifreeze was flushed,

Here’s a video on what was involved.

The steps are pretty simple.

  • Fill and empty the fresh water tank. Following Roadtrek’s winterizing suggestions, I put a couple of gallons of antifreeze in them last fall. I wanted that out now that the cold weather threat to our plumbing system is over.
  • After the initial drain, I filled up the fresh water tank with clean water.
  • Going inside, I ran the galley and bathroom faucets until the “pink stuff” (antifreeze) was out and then let it run clear for a couple of minutes. You may want to also do this with the shower.
  • Outside again, I once again drained and then refilled the fresh water tanks, this time adding about two ounces of bleach. I let it sit like that overnight.
  • The next morning, I went back inside the coach and again ran the faucets and flushed the toilet with lots of water, getting some of that sanitizied water into all the pipes. Again, you may want to also rub in through the shower for a bit.
  • After doing all of that, I drove our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL over to my local RV realer, where I dumped both the black and grey water so I could start out with clean, empty storage tanks.
  • Back in the driveway, I filled the fresh water tanks one more time, but about half way so I’d have enough on hand for our traveling needs, but not so much as to add unnecessary weight while on the road.
  • Something else I did: I changed the filter that I put on the hose. I use the Camco water filter between the hose and the water intake. I change this once or twice a year, depending on use. It does a great job removing or reducing bad taste, odors, chlorine and sediment in drinking water. I also replaced the filter on the instant-on clean water tap by the sink.

Before heading out, I ran a glass of water through the galley faucet and took a sample drink, making sure there was no bleach or antifreeze taste. If there was, I just would have drained and refilled once more.

Warm weather… here we come!


Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.