If you are traveling off the grid, and while it may seem like you’d never run out of fresh water, that’s not always the case.

If it does happen or you just want to be prepared for an emergency situation, then here are some tips on how long you can keep fresh water in your RV tank.

The average couple or family uses about 6-30 gallons per person each day, so it would be helpful to plan accordingly!

Understanding the water system and tanks in an RV

Understanding the water system and the tanks in an RV will help you know when to flush your fresh water tank. It is recommended before leaving your destination. Imagine a situation where you’re not only without water for days on end but also have to deal with wastewater from sinks and toilets. This is an issue that many campers face when they go out into nature for vacation or camping trips – especially if their RV isn’t properly equipped!

Two separate tank systems are used to create water storage. A gray tank holds the water transmitted to the sink and the bathroom. On the other side, the black tank holds the waste left at the toilet, and the grey liquid storage tank holds the black liquid. The hose used to fill drinking water tanks should be specifically designed.

Signs to pay attention that water is no longer fresh

Water from the tap is not always safe to drink, so many people have a tanker truck fill up their tank with fresh water. In some areas, old water can be contaminated with various chemicals or bacteria. If you use a tank to store your drinking water, some signs can help you know when it’s time for a total replacement.

You may notice a musty smell coming from your storage tank. This is usually caused by algae and can indicate that the chlorine levels in your freshwater tank have dropped below an acceptable level. Algae cannot grow if chlorine levels are present, so this change may also suggest that the tank has been breached and needs immediate cleaning.

In addition, if you see rust on the surface of your freshwater tank, you should clean the tank immediately. If this is caused by a breach in the sidewall of your fresh water holding tank, there may be contaminants inside the container that could make you sick.

How long should I keep fresh water in my RV tank before changing?

For the most part, you’ll want to keep water in this tank for only two weeks before changing it. There are a number of things to think about when it comes to water longevity. The two-week rule is a reasonable guideline if you use it for drinking and/or cooking.

If you only use this for your bathroom or toilet but not for any other non-consumption purposes, you may extend it until the end of the month to undertake some alternative tasks. Make a note of how you use water and where it comes from so that you can be more aware of how you have it employed as well as the origin and condition of your tank before it was filled.

What is an RV freshwater tank?

An RV fresh water tank is an integral part of any RV. The fresh water tank in an RV provides potable (drinkable) water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, and other needs while traveling in your RV.

The freshwater tank is one of three separate RV water tanks. A gray tank captures waste water from a sink, and a black tank captures wastewater from toilet flushes.

You aren’t limited to campsites or parks with water hookups if you have a clean-water reservoir in your RV. A high-grade fresh water tank will be pretty helpful if you enjoy hunting or camping when on the road for lengthy periods. Fresh water tanks vary in capacity.

How does an RV water tank work?

An RV freshwater tank is meant to be filled with fresh, potable water from a source such as a city water tap, well pump, or home on a daily basis. The capacity of an RV freshwater tank largely depends on the size of the vehicle and varies from 20-100 gallons of fresh water depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

The fresh water tank is a fiberglass (or plastic) container that sits in the RV’s underlayer. You’re holding fresh water that you may use for drinking, cuisine, or cleaning. The toilet bowl is an example of this. When you flush the toilets and open the faucets, a pump draws water through that tank and then drains it via the pressure relief valve.

It has two gray-black tanks on the other side, which drain water. The black water tank absorbs the wastewater from the drain and dries out the clean water from sinks or showers, allowing it to flow freely. A grey water tank collects wastewater from the bath or sink.

Sanitize the tank

It is as simple as cleaning your swimming pool with bleach and water. To a solution of 6 gallons water, add 1/2 cup bleach. Add the bleach to the water tank after filling it with fresh water. Fill the fresh water system with potable water and drain it.

Flush the water system

For repurposing, your water may endure a week in a tank and stay there for up to a month. The aim is to remove all of the water before germs or bacterial invaders can develop. This toilet’s tank is easy to empty, as it can be effortlessly flushed with the use of a shower or an external filter in the toilet. You may also clean black and gray tanks.

Frequently asked questions

How long does fresh water last in RV?

On average, fresh water may last 2-3 days if you are just two people. This may vary on many factors, such as the season, how often you use your RV’s water system, and whether you have a leak somewhere. You should always have one full gallon of fresh water at all times for emergencies so you can have peace of mind.

As a good rule of thumb, I recommend checking your local resources. If you have camping showers, filter or refill regularly depending on their duration and volume of use.

Chances are that if you really need to use the toilet more often than the shower – especially if your RV isn’t hooked up to water, chances are major portions of your fresh water usage will come from there.

How long is water in a tank good for?

The question here would be how long fresh water lasts in a tank. I say two weeks tops. And after that? Well, since this is untreated stored water and can get mold or algae so easily – you might want to think about changing your filter more often!

How often should you sanitize your fresh water tank on RV?

I would estimate that you should sanitize your fresh water tank at least every six months, that’s enough. Sanitation is crucial to maintaining cleanliness and safe drinking water, especially on an RV where one of the primary routes of contamination is mold, algae, bacteria resulting from old water.

Should I leave water in my RV black tank?

I highly recommend leaving the black tank valve open so that water does not back up and flow into your RV through the toilet! Aftermarket black tank flush systems are available for purchase and installation in case your RV doesn’t include a built-in one.

Final thoughts

By understanding how the system works, you can prepare yourself for an emergency that might require a change of plans or destination! The bottom line is to keep fresh water in your tank for as long as possible, but you should also be aware of the signs that tell you it’s time to change. If you have any questions about how RV tanks work or need help with anything related to freshwater storage, I would love to hear from you in the comments section!