Sanitizing my fresh water tank

How often should I sanitize my fresh water tank during camping season?  I sanitized the tank when I de-winterized the system (I of course did not sanitize the alde heater, that's a no-no I believe).  How long can the water sit in the fresh water tank unused before I should be concerned about sanitizing the tank? I might go about a week at a time without using water from the fresh water tank. We will be using a Brita water filter container to drink our water. Thoughts? 


  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 441
    edited May 17
    Honestly, don’t ever leave water in the tank when not in use for more than a day or so. It very rapidly can develop bacteria that at best turns into a terrible stench (especially in the summer) that you’ll have to bleach more heavily to remove, and at worst can make you sick either when consumed or when aerosolized via the shower or sink and breathed in. Drain the tank after every trip, sanitize at least twice a year per most online recommendations.

    Brita does not filter all bacteria or viruses, by the way. In fact, carbon filters can grow bacteria in a fairly short time.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    @rmcarthur be careful trusting a Brita filter, it is not a viral bacteria filter.

    I never drink the trailer water, we wash dishes flush toilets and shower with it.  Plus the water inlet does not lock... Just sayin

    We sanitize at the beginning of the season, and every other month after that or if the campground water was suspect

    Like Victoria we store the trailer dry
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,244
    @rmcarthur, we sanitize only at the beginning of the season. On our way home from each trip, we open the fresh water tank drain. That way the tank drains well with the road bouncing the trailer. We leave the tank drain open until the next trip so everything dries and there is no stagnant water providing a place for germs/bacteria to grow. 
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Member Posts: 223
    We don’t sanitize the tanks.  Bleach and similiar chemicals are detrimental to rv water systems components and human life.  We drain the tank and leave drain open after each trip.  We run all our potable water through our Berkey Water Filter but we don’t get that water from our tanks. If water is not available on grounds we have a 5 gallon jug with us.
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 709
    I don't do the bleach soak/flush yearly, every few.
    Do use the Camco brand TastePURE Drinking Water Freshener with each tank fill.

    Mainly use home bottle water for drinking, [email protected] tank water used in Coffee, but mostly for cleaning & toilet.
    2018 [email protected] 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  23       Nights:  155 
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Administrator Posts: 2,589
    edited May 18
    I’ve never drank any water from any of these trailers and like others, we use bottled water for drinking and cooking.  I always dump the majority of water before heading home and leave just enough for toilet use while in transit home.   
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2019 [email protected] 400
  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    We fill the black tank just before the dump station visit with the left over water...for a more thorough flush
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • dCliffhangerdCliffhanger Member Posts: 112
    I never, ever will use bottled water. That's and environmental statement. Besides, it costs more than gasoline!  I have no problem drinking from the fresh tank. For cold or short trips I'll drink\cook from a 5 gallon jug, which is just a miniature of a fresh water tank. Drain tank after each trip. Flush and treat before each trip.

    Ron\ 2020 [email protected] 320-S Boondock Edge; Roof Solar, Firefly Grp31 Carbon Foam Battery; TV: 2019 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 3.6l V6; Madison, Wi
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 5,197
    We use a filter and fill 2.5 gallon jugs from the campground tap for drinking and cooking.  Reserve the tank for showers etc.
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 441
    edited May 20
    I hate carrying along bottled water because I prefer to travel light, and have always been a “drink from the tank” or “the campground water is fine” type of girl, but after getting sick on a trip last year (source unknown), I’ve been leaning towards adding in another layer of protection for safe drinking water.

    Something like this gravity filtration setup for backpackers:

    or the Steripen, which uses UV light.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • Tundra57Tundra57 Member Posts: 434
    I use the backpackers filter with container. You fill up the container then push it through the filter and get a tumbler size cup of water. For cooking and cleaning I use my tank, which I fill at home and carry an additional 6 gallons from home. I empty the containers when I get home and sanitize them. I dont like using bottled water, some of it is not as clean as you think. Plus it wastes plastic.
    Boiling water pretty well kills everything biological in it.
    Its unusual to get dangerous chemicals in it but you would never know, plus you would still have a problem if you showered in it.
    To date in 20 years of scout camping, backpacking and caravanning, I have only been sick once. That was when we camped mistakenly at a farm which was not a campground and unknowingly used, without treating, water the farmer used to clean up the cows for milking. It was kind of funny really. We parked there in the dark. Missed the camp site by about 800 yds.
    Saw what we thought was the owner and she told us where the water was and how much a night. Turns out she was the farmers mother, the farmer knew nothing about us being there, and told us his mother had dimentia and was incredulous she could even converse with us at all. He then pointed out the camp ground but said we could stay as long as we wanted for free. But not to drink that particulat water- too late lol. Only was runny for two days.
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 3,506
    I follow the time honored tradition of avoiding water altogether and sticking strictly to beverages that have innate antiseptic properties.  ;-)
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