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If you own an RV it is important to know how long you can keep fresh water in your RV tank regardless of how often you camp.

Knowing how long you can keep fresh water in your RV tank allows you to better maintain your RV and keeps you from potentially drinking water that is deemed undrinkable.

You can safely keep water sitting in your RV tank for up to two weeks before you will need to drain it and refill it. Water that is left in the tank for too long is susceptible to mildew, mold, and harmful bacteria.

Camping in an RV can be a fun experience for anyone, but it is important to know how to care for and maintain your RV including the fresh water tank to avoid any potential problems.

Properly storing the water in your fresh water tank and cleaning it as necessary will provide the best RV experience possible. The information in this guide has been reviewed by RV and water industry experts to ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information.

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How Long Should You Keep Fresh Water In Your RV Tank?

The water that is kept in the freshwater tank in your RV is water that you will use for showering, drinking, washing dishes, and doing laundry.

The maximum amount of time that water should sit unused in the RV water tank is 2 weeks. After the 2 week mark, the water is no longer safe for consumption. Water can go bad if it is sitting, especially if it is warm outside. The moisture in the tank can breed mold, mildew, and harmful bacteria that you will be consuming if you are using the water in the tank which can potentially lead to severe illness.

If you are out on the road for long periods and continuously using the water in your water tank then you do not need to worry about the 2-week point. You will be using and refilling the water tank more often than that and it will stay clean and consumable.

Should You Dump Old Water?

If you are going to use water in the tank for consumable purposes such as drinking and showering then you should dump the old water that is in the tank.

However, if you are only going to use the water in the tank for things such as flushing the toilet then there is no harm. Most people choose to use the water in the tank for other purposes and even give their pets water from the RV tank so it is important to be sure that the water is clean and safe for consumption. If water has been sitting for more than two weeks, then you should dump the water and sanitize the RV water tank.

Sanitizing Your Water Tank

The most common way to sanitize your water tank is with the use of bleach. The process is fairly simple, but you will need to allow time for the bleach to sit in the water tank.

Draining the fresh water tank is the first step in the sanitizing process. You will then want to add ¼ cup of bleach per 16 gallons of water that fits into your fresh water tank. Once you add the bleach you will refill the tank until it is completely full.

After the tank is full, you will want to turn on the water pump and open all showerheads and faucets and let the water run until you smell the bleach coming through the faucets. That is when you know that the bleach has reached all of the water lines.

It is best if you can let the bleach sit in the tank for 12 hours or overnight. This allows enough time for the bleach to thoroughly sanitize the water tank. After it has sat for the proper amount of time, you can drain all of the water from the tank and refill it. You will want to turn the faucets on and let the water run with clean water until you do not smell bleach. This process may need to be repeated until the bleach is completely rinsed out of the plumbing system.

After sanitizing, you can leave the water tank empty if you are not going camping immediately. You can refill the tank if you are planning to leave right away.

Can You Use A Water Filter In An RV?

As in a house, you can purchase water filters for RVs. They can be costly, but some people prefer to go this route in order to ensure that the water is free of harmful chemicals and bad odors before consumption.

Some new RVs will come with a simple filtration system, but if you want something that is very more effective, you will need to purchase it and have it installed after purchasing your RV. There are different options when it comes to filters for use in your RV depending upon what exactly you are looking for.

Sediment Filter

The sediment filter is going to be the most basic type of water filter. If you notice dirty water coming through the faucets in your RV then that is an issue with sediment. This type of filter will trap any dirt and sediment that comes through the water system. This can be important if you are using underground water sources at a campground.

Reverse Osmosis Filter

The reverse osmosis filter is going to be the most expensive filter type that you can purchase, but is extremely effective in filtering all water coming into your RV. It will filter chemicals, sediment, and odors and give you the purest water coming through your faucets.

It works by moving water through a semipermeable membrane that will catch dirt and bacteria. This type of filter will require a storage tank and pump for filtration as well as a specific place for drainage for the contaminated water.

UV Filter

The ultraviolet light filter is great for eliminating bacteria out of the water you are consuming in your RV. It works by exposing the water to lightwaves that will kill off any harmful bacteria. The UV water filter is a great investment if you plan to travel to remote places where the water source may not be the best.

This type of filter is great for ensuring safe consumable water, but it will not help with the taste or smell of the water.

Carbon Filter

Carbon filters are the best filters for improving the taste of your water. This is a common filtration method and many people use carbon filters in their home. A carbon block will direct the flow of the water through small channels. The water will come in contact with the carbon which the impurities will bind to and then the clean water will be released.

Carbon filters work effectively to remove chemicals, dirt, bacteria, and pesticides. They are an excellent overall choice and will help to eliminate unwanted odor and taste.