hoseWe use water in nearly every function of our daily lives, from bathing to cleaning, and of course, for drinking. When you leave home in your RV, its freshwater tank provides you with all of the water you’ll use while you travel, making it extremely important to keep as clean as possible to keep you and your family safe and happy on the road.

When should I sanitize my tank?

Maintenance of your motorhome’s water tank tends to be use-driven rather than dependent on a certain amount of time. In general, you should drain your freshwater tank after every trip, including the hot water tank. Since stagnant water is breeding ground for a host of bacteria and microorganisms, removing moisture from the tank is one of the best preventative measures you can take to ensure cleanliness.

Additionally, if you notice a stale odor when you use the freshwater system in your RV or if the vehicle has been sitting idle for more than a month without use, it’s likely time to give the tank a little TLC. Incorporating regular tank care into your RV maintenance schedule is an important element of overall motorhome functionality.

How do I clean it?

Generally, the easiest and most effective method of sanitization for your freshwater tank involves filling it with a solution of household bleach, which is then run through the entire system and allowed to stand for several hours before flushing to remove any lingering chemicals. Keep in mind this process may take as many as 10 hours to complete, so make sure you have plenty of time before you begin.

Begin by draining all the water out of the system. This includes not only the freshwater tank, but also the hot water tank and water lines. Open the tank spigot and run the shower and faucets until the tank is dry, then close all of the drain valves. Check your owner manual to determine the size of your RV’s total tank capacity, including an additional 2 to 3 gallons in your calculations for the water lines. Generally, for every 10 gallons of water your motorhome owns, add ¼ cup of bleach to the solution (i.e. a 40-gallon system needs 1 cup of bleach; a 60-gallon system needs 1 ½ cups).

Before you add the chemical to your tank, be sure to begin with a base of water, as it can be potentially harmful to the system to pour straight bleach into the freshwater tank. Fill the tanks to capacity, and pass the chlorinated solution through all the lines, running the hot and cold systems individually. Once the solution has been dispersed, let it sit for at least four hours (or as long as overnight) to ensure it’s thoroughly sanitized.

After the bleach has been given time to work its magic, drain the solution from the system. Once it’s been drained, it’s imperative to rinse the tank and lines several more times with fresh water to make sure no residual chemicals are left behind.

Maintain My RV can help ensure you regularly clean and sanitize your motorhome’s water system by assisting you in creating and managing a comprehensive online RV maintenance schedule. Visit www.maintainmyrv.com today to keep your RV running smoothly for years to come!

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