Last Updated on July 11, 2024

Keeping your RV's water system clean and safe is crucial for your health and the longevity of your RV. We found a great video that walks you through the process of sanitizing your RV's freshwater system. You can watch the video at the bottom of this article. In the meantime, follow these easy steps to ensure your water system is sanitized and ready for use.

1. Turn Off and Bypass the Water Heater

Before starting the sanitization process, turn off your water heater and bypass it. This step is essential because you don't want bleach to enter the water heater. Bleach is used for sanitizing the freshwater system, while vinegar is typically used for the water heater. Mixing the two can be dangerous. Most RVs have a bypass valve system; make sure to activate it to prevent water from entering the heater.

2. Prepare the Bleach Solution

Next, you need to prepare the bleach solution. Use regular household bleach, not splash-free or scented varieties. The recommended ratio is one cup of bleach for every 50 gallons of water. This concentration will effectively sanitize your system without causing damage. Mix the bleach with water in a bucket or use a special container that allows you to pour the solution directly into the RV’s freshwater tank.

3. Introduce the Bleach Solution Into the System

There are several ways to introduce the bleach solution into your RV's water system. You can siphon it in using the water pump, pour it into the filter housing, or mix it directly into the freshwater hose before connecting it to the RV. Each method ensures that the bleach solution reaches the freshwater tank and pipes, preparing them for sanitization.

4. Circulate the Solution Through the Plumbing

Once the bleach solution is in the tank, you need to circulate it through the plumbing. Turn on the water pump and open all faucets, both hot and cold, until you smell bleach at each one. This step ensures that the sanitizing solution reaches every part of your water system, including the pipes and fixtures. Let the solution sit in the system for about 12 hours to effectively kill any bacteria or mold.

5. Flush the System

After the solution has sat for the required time, it's time to flush the system. Connect your RV to a city sewer system to safely dispose of the bleach water. Open all faucets and drain the tank completely. Refill the tank with fresh water and run it through the system to remove any remaining bleach. Repeat this process until there is no bleach smell in the water, ensuring your system is clean and safe for use.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your RV's water system sanitized and ready for your next adventure. For a visual guide, be sure to check out the video below. Happy camping!