How To Sanitize an RV Water System

Updated! We show you how to thoroughly sanitize both hot and cold sides of your RV’s fresh water system.

We’ve been drinking the water from our RV’s fresh water tank for over a decade without a problem. It’s perfectly safe to do, as long as you sanitize your fresh water system periodically. We do ours about twice a year (keep in mind that we’re full-timers… those who store their RV all winter should be fine sanitizing once a year, in the spring).

Clean, safe, sanitary drinking water is a breeze when you take a few basic steps to manage the fresh water system on your motorhome, travel trailer of fifth wheel. Fresh, drinkable, potable H2O doesn’t only come from bottled water, but right from your RV’s tank, saving money and plastic in the process.

We’ll show you how to use bleach to kill any bacteria that may be present in your camper’s water system, and have all the safe drinking water you need.

If you saw the first video we made on this topic over two years ago, we only sanitized the cold water lines. That’s because the primary purpose of sanitizing is to make the water safe to drink. Since a lot of people asked about sanitizing the hot side of the system as well, we’re going to do both hot and cold sides today.

You can see the original video here: Sanitizing an RV Fresh Water Tank

If at all possible, the deal time to do this is on a day when you’re planning to take a long drive, preferably down some pretty twisty roads. This will agitate the water in the tank, helping to clean it as you drive, and make sure the top of the tank gets splashed too.

Since we’ll be doing some tank flushing as part of the process, your trip should ideally take you from one full hook-up RV park to another one, neither of which should have drought or water use restrictions.

It’s particularly important to end your drive at an RV park with water hook-ups, since you’ll be arriving with a tank full of bleachy water.

The only supplies we’ll need for this job are some bleach, a 1-gallon pitcher and an old measuring cup.


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