How to Clean Your RV’s Water Lines

Hope everyone had a great weekend like I did! The weather in Michigan this month has been incredibly warm and sunny. We broke out the patio furniture and hosted family over to barbeque both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It felt like Memorial Day weekend minus the fact that my Big Country fifth wheel is still parked in the side yard. Bummer.

So, to put me in the mood, I’m getting a jump start on spring maintenance. Here are simple step-by-step instructions for cleaning out your RV’s water lines. This will help ensure your hoses are free of gunk and odor, and that your drinking water tastes fresh.

STEP 1—Drain your water heater.  

  1. Make sure the power to your water heater is off.
  2. Remove the drain plug located near the bottom left side.
  3. Open the pressure release valve. Water should start draining.

STEP 2—Locate the low points in your lines

Travel trailer low points

The low points are generally located under your RV.

  1. The manufacturer’s user manual may have instructions on where these are located. These are generally located under your RV in the lowest point in your water system, with separate lines for hot and cold.
  2. Open the lines and let the water drain out.
  3. Open your sink faucet to allow for drainage. Close up when the water stops draining.

STEP 3—Clean out the holding tank

Drain your travel trailer's holding tank

RV holding tank drain line

  1. Open up your drinking water hold tank drain and empty the water out of it. Force any remaining water out by running the pump, but do not leave pump running after the water is drained or your motor could burn out.

STEP 4—Flush the fresh water tank with bleach

  1. When all your water is out, close up your valves and flush your fresh water tank with a bleach water solution, about 2C bleach to / 30 gal water.
  2. Next, fill your fresh water tank full of clean water. Turn your water pump on and open up your sink faucets until you smell the bleach water coming through. You should also turn on your outdoor shower if you have one.
  3. Close the faucets and turn off your pump.
  4. Let the system sit for 12-15 hrs.

STEP 5—Flush fresh water tank with clean water

  1. Drain your entire system and fill the fresh water tank with clean water.
  2. Open your sink faucets and run the water until the bleach smell has dissipated.
  3. Your water lines are now clean and safe for drinking!

If you’ve got a tip to make this process more efficient, please share with us. We’d love to hear your feedback! Email us at [email protected]

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