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How Do You Sanitize an RV Water Tank

If you’re an avid traveler who loves the freedom of exploring the open road in your RV, ensuring the cleanliness and safety of your water supply is of utmost importance.

A clean and sanitized RV water tank not only promotes good health but also enhances the overall camping experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the process of sanitizing an RV water tank, providing you with step-by-step instructions, expert tips, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

So, let’s dive in and discover how to keep your RV water tank in pristine condition.

How Do You Sanitize an RV Water Tank?

Sanitizing an RV water tank is a crucial maintenance task that should be performed regularly to eliminate bacteria, mold, and other contaminants.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure the cleanliness and safety of your RV’s water supply:

1. Gather the necessary supplies

Before you begin the sanitization process, gather the following supplies:

  • A chlorine bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach per 15 gallons of water)
  • A funnel
  • A clean bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • A hose
  • A water source

2. Drain the RV water tank

To start the sanitization process, drain the RV water tank completely.

This step helps remove any residual water and debris that may be present in the tank.

3. Prepare the bleach solution

Using the funnel, pour the appropriate amount of chlorine bleach into the clean bucket.

The recommended ratio is 1/4 cup of bleach per 15 gallons of water.

Adjust the quantities accordingly based on the size of your RV water tank.

4. Add the bleach solution to the water tank

Once you’ve prepared the bleach solution, carefully pour it into the RV water tank using the funnel.

Be cautious not to spill any bleach on yourself or the surrounding area.

5. Fill the tank with water

After adding the bleach solution, fill the RV water tank with fresh water.

Connect a hose to a clean water source and use it to fill the tank.

Ensure that the water level reaches its maximum capacity.

6. Circulate the solution

Once the tank is filled with water, turn on the RV’s water pump and open all the faucets (including hot and cold) to allow the solution to circulate throughout the water system.

Let the solution sit for at least 12 hours to ensure thorough sanitization.

7. Drain and rinse the tank

After the solution has circulated for the recommended duration, drain the RV water tank completely.

Once again, open all the faucets to remove any residual bleach from the system.

Rinse the tank and the water system thoroughly until there’s no trace of bleach odor.

8. Refill the tank with clean water

Finally, refill the RV water tank with fresh, clean water.

This ensures that all traces of bleach are removed and your water supply is safe for use.

Test the water by running it through the faucets to ensure its quality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I sanitize my RV water tank?

It is recommended to sanitize your RV water tank at least once every six months. However, if you frequently use your RV or notice any signs of contamination, such as foul odors or discoloration, it is advisable to sanitize the tank more frequently.

Can I use alternative sanitizing agents instead of bleach?

While bleach is the most commonly used sanitizing agent due to its effectiveness, you can also use alternative products specifically designed for sanitizing RV water tanks. These products are available in RV supply stores and are formulated to ensure the safety of your water supply.

Are there any precautions I should take while sanitizing my RV water tank?

Yes, it’s essential to take certain precautions during the sanitization process. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from direct contact with the bleach solution. Additionally, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and doors while the solution is circulating in the water system.

Can I use the sanitized water immediately after the sanitization process?

After sanitizing the RV water tank, it’s advisable to flush the system and refill it with clean water. This ensures that any residual bleach is removed and the water is safe for use. Running the water through the faucets for a few minutes helps eliminate any remaining traces of bleach.

What are the signs of an unsanitized RV water tank?

An unsanitized RV water tank may exhibit several signs, including foul odors emanating from the faucets, discoloration of the water, and the presence of debris or sediments. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to sanitize the tank as soon as possible.

Can I use hot water for sanitizing the RV water tank?

While hot water can help accelerate the sanitization process, it’s not necessary to use hot water specifically. Cold water works effectively as well, as long as the bleach solution is added in the correct ratio and allowed to circulate for the recommended duration.


Maintaining a clean and sanitized RV water tank is vital for the health and well-being of you and your fellow travelers.

By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can ensure that your RV’s water supply remains safe and free from contaminants.

Remember to sanitize your RV water tank regularly, follow the recommended precautions, and be vigilant for any signs of contamination.

By taking these measures, you’ll enjoy a worry-free camping experience with fresh, clean water at your fingertips.