DIY: Sterilize Your RV’s Fresh Water System

Wrech SignDo you ever notice that the water in your RV has a stale taste or slight odor after it’s been sitting for a while?  Sometimes the water may seem a little off even when you’ve been using it regularly.

The most likely culprit is that your fresh water system is due for a cleaning!  Bacteria love to make homes in an RV water system, so it’s best to sterilize that system on a regular basis.

No need to worry though, it’s an easy job that you can take care of yourself, we’ll tell you how.

Complete the following process about once a month, or after long periods of storage.


Ensure that your RV is plugged into electrical service, or that the batteries are charged up.  You’ll need to run the pump for this task.  You’ll also want to hookup to a drain and open your grey water drain valve.  This process has the potential to overflow your grey water tank.  If you are at home without a sewer hookup, use a portable grey water tank and keep a close eye on your levels.

::tips(“For best results use only cold water and make sure your water heater is turned off.”)::

NOTE: If your water lines have anti-freeze in them (pink fluid comes out of the taps), then you need to purge the anti-freeze before you start sterilizing.


  1. Make a sterilizing solution by mixing 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon (4.55 litres) of water.
  2. Using a funnel, pour this into your fresh water tank.
  3. Using your white water hose, fill the fresh water tank completely.
  4. Turn on your pump.
  5. Turn on each of the cold water faucets (kitchen, bathroom, toilet, outside shower, etc.) and let them run.
  6. Once the bleach smell becomes fairly strong, turn the faucets off.
  7. Refill the fresh water tank with fresh water.
  8. Let it sit for at least four (4) hours.  (I like to let it sit for about eight hours.)
  9. Turn the faucets back on and let them run until the bleach smell disappears.
  10. Refill the fresh water tank with fresh water.
  11. Flush the clean water through the system.

If you are still smelling bleach, fill the tank up and flush the system one more time.  That’s it that’s all.

It’s a really simple process that will keep your water system in top shape and minimize any health risks associated with stagnate water.  Plus, the peace of mind will make it that much easier to relax and enjoy your trip!

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