How to sanitize your fresh water tank on your travel trailer.

This week marks the first day of spring, and with spring comes camping and a new year of adventures.  And if your travel trailer has been sitting through the winter,  you’ll have some extra prep work to do before you head out on your first trip of the year.   We make tents and shademakers for all manner of trailers,  and some, such as the small teardops may only require a cleaning and a tire pressure check.   But some of the larger trailers, such as the R-Pods and A-liners have a fresh water system that will need to be sanitized.

Luckily,  sanitizing the fresh water tank on your travel trailer is a fairly simple job, and requires only a few household items. You’ll start off my draining your entire  fresh water tank.  Then all you need is a a source of fresh water,some household bleach, and  clean bottle such as a clean empty 1 gallon water, bleach or milk bottle.  You’ll also want to know the size of your freshwater tank, as  that determines the total amount of bleach you’ll add to the system.


First  you’ll put 1/4 cup of  bleach for every 15 gallons  that your tanks holds, into your 1 gallon jug.   Then fill the  jug the rest of the way with water, and pour the entire contents into your freshwater tank.   Next you’ll fill the entire tank to the top, or almost to the top with freshwater.

Now that your tank is full of the bleach solution, you’ll go inside and turn on all the taps (including the hot water)  until you smell bleach at each tap.  At this point, you know the solution has filled all the hoses and can do it’s job on the whole system.   Once you’ve turned the taps off, your fresh tank should still be almost full, and you’ll want to allow that full tank to sit for at least 3 hours.    Overnight is nice, but you can get away with a shorter time if you’d like.   It’s also helpful to hitch up and take a drive around the block.  This agitates the water in the fresh tank just enough to make sure it covers every nook and cranny of  the tank.  But again, if you are unable to to  the short drive, you should still be fine

Once the bleach solution has done it’s job, you’ll need to empty the fresh water tank, by using the drain plug or by running it through the faucets.    ( Don’t forget the hot water).  Once the tank is empty, you’ll refill it with hot water, and then run all the faucets until you no longer smell bleach.   If you’ve flushed properly, but a mild bleach smell remains, you can flush again if you wish.   The tiny amount of bleach left in the system usually isn’t harmful, and the extra flush is just personal preference.


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