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Water is the source of our life and also in the motorhome, the water supply must be sensibly regulated. While we can survive a good 3 weeks without food, without water death can occur after only a few days.

Water is an important and expensive commodity, which must also be given attention in the motorhome if you want to enjoy your tours carefreely.

It is now up to the camper himself to maintain this purity and cleanliness in his tanks so that there are no unpleasant surprises after a few days. Proper care is important. Because not only lime is the enemy of each water tank, no also bacteria can settle due to their very fast multiplication within hours the tank and the water pipes. For those who did not want to deal with it so deeply, here is our recommendation for the correct drinking water disinfection, or cleaning and disinfection of the freshwater tank in your motorhome. Further down you are welcome to continue reading about the alternatives you have to provide drinking water in your caravan.

The so-called “biofilm” provides an optimal breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and fungi to spread. Under certain circumstances, this can even lead to health problems if the tank is not cleaned. In the camping specialized trade, there are innumerable means, with which one teaches germs and lime the fear. The camper is spoiled for choice here and is almost overwhelmed by a flood of advertised agents.

Relate: Water in RV: Guide for Beginners

Filling freshwater tanks

It is best to fill the freshwater tank at a place where you know and trust the water quality. At the beginning of the trip, this is for most people the domestic water supply. On campsites, the water quality is usually good. If you want to be on the safe side, you should always filter the water before filling. To get germ-free water inline filters are suitable, which already 99.9% of germs, bacteria, viruses, etc. do not come into the tank. With common sense, you should look closely at the water point. If only a freshwater hose is available at the supply and disposal station, extreme caution is advised, because then this is also used for cleaning the toilet. Nothing is worse than getting the germs while filling his clean drinking water tank. Therefore, it is advisable to always use its own equipment. Depending on the size of the water tank, watering can, or a water hose/drinking water hose. Do not use pullable spiral hoses, these are very difficult to clean and too dry. A paradise for germs and bacteria. The rule of thumb for water hoses is “as long as possible, as short as possible”.

It makes little sense to put a 65ft hose in the RV because not only the weight but also the cleaning presents new challenges. Several sections of 6.5-13 ft, which can be connected to each other with couplings, have proven themselves. Depending on local conditions. So you save weight and the cleaning and subsequent drying of the hose is done quickly.

See also: Water tank in the RV: What you need to know

Clean RV Fresh Water Tank

Keeping water fresh in the motorhome

Once the water is in the tank, it’s time for the big trip. Preferably, you would like to have now for the next 2 weeks just as fresh and clean water as the moment when you filled it. One would like to make it water durable, so to speak, conserve. To achieve this condition to some extent, it needs a few tools to keep the water tank clean. If one has a regular water exchange, that every 2 days the complete water is exchanged, does not necessarily have to be added. If you want to be absolutely sure, add chemicals to the water, preferably agents without chlorine, these do not affect the taste of the water and make the water durable for up to 6 months. Silver is a natural preservative. The silver ions significantly slow down the growth of bacteria and kill germs, bacteria, etc..

Relate: Best RV Water Pumps 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Cleaning the water tank in the RV – a step-by-step guide

Good water hygiene is the be-all and end-all when camping. How do I clean the freshwater tank in the motorhome and the water pipes?

  1. Drain water from the tank completely.
  2. Open the faucet, shower, boiler, and outdoor shower until not a drop of water comes out, then close them all again.
  3. Open the tank cap and get a picture of the degree of contamination, also check for odor.
  4. Wipe out the tank as well as possible with an unused sponge. If it should be necessary, with stronger contamination also times a likewise new rinsing brush take around the dirt to remove.
  5. Now mix the detergent as needed and the size of the tank. Depending on the product, you give 1ml to 2.5 gal of water. Please do exactly the dosage instructions of their product.
  6. The finished solution is now in the tank and fills up with clear water. Before of course close the tank lid.
  7. Now open all taps, etc. for about 30 seconds so that the solution is distributed in the entire water system and can act. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, observe the reaction time.
  8. If possible, move the motorhome so that everything is nicely distributed.
  9. After the reaction time, open all taps. This allows the detergent to enter the gray water tank where it can still take effect.
  10. Dispose of the wastewater at a supply and disposal station.
  11. Depending on the product, the entire system must now be rinsed 2-3 times.
  12. For this purpose, the taps should first be closed again.
  13. Refill the tank, open everything again.
  14. Repeat steps 12-15 as often as necessary.
  15. After this procedure, you can drink the water in the camper or caravan without hesitation and is ready for the trip.


✅When should I sanitize my RV freshwater tank?

At a minimum, you should sanitize the system every spring when you take the RV out of storage and any time you notice stale water or an odor. It’s really quite simple to do. You can start by draining the water heater.

✅Can you put bleach in RV black water tank?

Cleaning your black water holding tank is best done when you’re fully hooked up and have both a water and sewer connection. Avoid using bleach or antifreeze for your deep clean, as both of these can dry out rubber seals and ultimately ruin your sewage system.

✅Why does my RV hot water tank smell like rotten eggs?

A common cause of why your RV smells like rotten eggs are that anaerobic bacteria in your RV water heater tank reacts with the sulfur and magnesium of the anode rod. This interaction produces hydrogen sulfide gas – your rotten egg odor.

RV Fresh Water System: Tips & Tricks - Video

Max Welder (rvneeded)

Max Welder (rvneeded)

Max Welder is a mechanic enthusiast. Currently, working at a small company. Experienced in electronics, car tools, and security systems. In his spare time, he writes articles for various blogs.

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