How to Sanitize Your RV Water System


At Kirkland RV Sales, one of the most common questions our technicians get is some version of how to sanitize an RV freshwater tank. If you want to buy a trailer, learning how to disinfect an RV water tank with household items or a commercial RV water tank sanitizer is always a good idea. It’s a routine maintenance procedure that ensures you and your family clean tap water for bathing and drinking.

sanitizing rv water tank

The Need to Sanitize Your RV Fresh Water Tank

Sanitizing your RV fresh water tank is essential to your survival in the wild, especially if you don’t like depending on trailer park water hookups. Manufacturers equip their campers, RVs, and tour buses with easily sanitized RV tanks that you can maintain and refresh in under half an hour, even if you’re not an expert on plumbing and electronics.

If you’re going on a long trip, sanitizing your RV fresh water tank after it has been in storage for months is essential if you don’t want bacterial and fungal infections hampering your fun.


The Frequency of Cleaning Your Fresh Water Tank

At Kirkland RV Sales, our technicians recommend that you sanitize your RV freshwater tank with an intuitive schedule that fits your needs. RV owners are different, and some of them put their tanks in storage units with warm temperatures that encourage the growth of bacteria and parasites.

Sanitizing your RV fresh water tank twice a year is a good rule of thumb. If your RV has been sitting in storage for an extended time, it’s a good idea to break out the RV water sanitizer and give your tank a splash.

If you start to detect strange smells and tastes in your water, clean your tank right away, and it will flush out the toxins in your plumbing system as well.

Supplies You Will Need for Sanitizing

Most RV tanks hold between 60 to 100 gallons of fresh water at capacity. They are humongous, so some people believe that cleaning them will be an expensive and labor-intensive chore. However, you can clean tanks twice that size with household items you use to clean your bathroom.

Here’s a list of the things you need:

  • Bleach
  • A half-gallon pitcher or larger
  • Funnel
  • Water
  • The filters on your inline water filtration system that need sanitizing

How to Sanitize the RV Fresh Water Tank

In this section, we’ll detail the step-by-step process of sanitizing your RV freshwater tank with bleach and water through a concise and easy-to-understand list.

Turn off your water pump and heater, and shut off water access to the ice maker if you have one

  1. Dilute your bleach by pouring it onto a gallon of clean water
  2. Place the mixture into the tank and turn on the water pump until it’s full
  3. Switch off the water pump and turn on your shower, faucets, and other water outlets
  4. When you detect a strong bleach smell from the outlets, switch them off
  5. Refill your tank with cold water and let it sit for 12 hours
  6. Drain your water tank by switching on your water outlets again

If you’re going to put your RV into storage, empty your freshwater tank.

Learn How to Sanitize Your RV Fresh Water Tank by Calling us Today

If you have more questions on how to sanitize your RV fresh water tank, call one of our experts at Kirkland RV Sales by dialing (866) 710-0064. We’ll give you a free quote if you require professional help.