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Having clean and safe water onboard your RV is vital for any successful road trip. You should note, however, the RV water system needs continuous maintenance to ensure that it serves you well.

An RV typically has three water tanks. These include the freshwater or potable tank, the grey water tank, and the black water tank. The potable tank is meant to hold the fresh, clean water you use for drinking, cooking and bathing, while the grey water tank holds the wastewater from showers and sinks.

On the other hand, the black water tank contains the wastewater and materials flushed down the toilet. So, how do you ensure the proper functioning of your RV’s entire water system?

Here are some essential maintenance tips you should consider.

Prevent Any Water Leaks on Pipes

This is one thing that can greatly affect the efficiency of your RV water system. You should always keep an eye on any leaks, and get them patched up on time. This way, you can prevent even more severe problems.

Increased water pressure, especially when adding water to your potable tank, is one major factor that can cause leaks on an RV water system.  And, since most city water has a pressure that exceeds 60 PSI (which can easily damage your RV’s plumbing), it is always wise to take caution.

The use of an RV water pressure regulator is one effective way to do this, any time you wish to replenish your freshwater tank. The regulator will fix between the high-pressure water source and the potable water hose. This lowers the pressure of water going into your RV.

Prevent Contamination of Your RV Water System

By keeping your RV water system free from contamination, you reduce the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria during your trip. These simple preventive habits can help you maintain clean and safe RV water for consumption:

  • Always enquire about the water source.  Whenever you want to replenish your freshwater tank, make sure you know its source – whether it’s well or municipal water.
  • Avoid placing your freshwater hose on the ground, and always clean your hands first before touching it.
  • Install water filters. When you install one filter at the source, plus another one at your kitchen faucet, it guarantees you clean, safe water.
  • If you don’t have filters and are unsure of the water’s safety, always boil it before drinking. Better still, keep some bottled water in your RV.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands whenever you use a dump station. And in case you want to refill your tank with water from a dump station, first ensure it is consumable.

 Sanitize Your Freshwater Tank

Even without the intention of drinking water from your RV’s potable tank, keeping it clean and fresh is essential –you never know when you might need it. On average, you should sanitize the potable tank every six months. This way, you are guaranteed clean and safe consumable water.

If you fail to sanitize your tank, you might as well be harboring both bacteria and bad odor. This might create even larger problems that will cost you later.

Sanitizing your tank is not a tasking job, and it requires just around half a day to complete. Here is how to do it:

  • First, ensure the water pump is off before emptying any of the stored water from your tank.
  • To sanitize a 40-gallon tank, use one cup of bleach with four gallons of water. On the other hand, when your tank is a 100-gallon one, use two cups of cleaner or bleach with eight gallons of water.
  • Pour the bleach mixture into the tank using a funnel.
  • Close the tank’s valve, turn on the water pump and add fresh water until the tank is full.
  • After this, run all the water outlets, including sink faucets and showers until you smell that strong bleach scent in each.
  • Turn off all the water outlets and fill the tank again with cold freshwater.
  • Wait for around eight to twelve hours before turning on the outlets again.
  • Repeat this process several times until all the bleach smell is gone.
  • If you are back from a trip and ready to park the RV, make sure you completely empty the tank.

Keep the Wastewater System in Great Condition

If you don’t want some awful odor coming from your system, always ensure that your wastewater system is well maintained. This involves the use of chemicals, designed to control odor in both wastewater systems (grey and black). Also, make sure that you flush your system regularly and use an ample amount of fluid to do so.

Without proper maintenance, you’ll not only have a hard time dealing with odor but also excessive build-up and clogging issues. If the system clogs, it will lead to inefficiencies and failure, which is an inconvenience during your road trip.

Clean Your Black Water Tank

Even with the use of chemicals to maintain the wastewater system, the black water tank needs a thorough cleaning. Once in a while, it is ideal to empty and clean the black water tank and remove any build-up solid materials that may have accumulated over time.

The first step here is to empty your black water tank at the dump station. Then, pick a normal garden hose pipe and insert it through the RV’s toilet to reach the tank. This is possible since most RVs have their black water tanks right below the toilet.

Make sure that the water is fully turned on for the hose, and then continuously turn the hose around. This ensures that the spray reaches all corners of the tank. Once the tank is full, empty the tank again on the dump station.

By repeating these steps two or three times, you’ll have exhaustively cleaned up your black water tank.

Key Takeaway

While touring the country in your RV can be quite an adventure, water contamination can be a big spoiler. You don’t want to get sick, especially during that long-anticipated road trip. With the above maintenance tips and habits, you can ensure that your RV water system will be nice and clean, allowing you to have a great RV trip.

About the Author

“My name is Linda and I’m the content writer at a food and health blog AvocadoPesto.com. I’m also very passionate about travel and I have visited more than 65 countries.

I have started to get interested in the RV lifestyle, so now I’m creating content based on RV camping and enjoy it so much!”

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