Updated: May 18

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How To Clean Caravan Water Tanks – A Simple Guide

It’s easy to take your caravan water tank for granted.

However, it’s one of the most important units in your camping vehicle. If you don’t look after it correctly, your water will start to taste bad or even potentially make you sick. That’s why you should learn how to clean caravan water tanks.

Even if you use a caravan water filter, you still need to clean your tanks regularly.

In this guide, we’ll look at the different steps to properly clean your tank. It’s a relatively simple process, but one that will improve the quality of your holiday.

Let’s get started!

1. Empty the Tank

Firstly, you should flush all of the remaining water from the tank. This is important for a couple of reasons.

If the water has been there for a while, it may contain nasty bacteria or sediments. The same is true if you realise that you filled your tank from a contaminated source. Empty it so that it’s easy to clean.

Don't forget to flush out your faucets as well as the tank.

Empty the Tank

2. Choose a Cleaning Solution

To clean the tank properly, you’ll need a cleaning solution.

Common household bleach is the best option and is recommended by Australian authorities, as it contains chlorine. Use 125ml of bleach per 1,000L of water. Put the bleach into the tank using a funnel or a hose.

Alternatively, you can use a specialised caravan cleaning solution. However, these cost more money.

Cleaning Solution

3. Refill the Tank

Next, it’s time to refill the tank with water.

Ideally, try to use the same hose for the bleach and water. This will ensure that the water and bleach mix. The cleaning agent should make contact with all sides of the tank for a deep cleanse.

Remember that you should only use a food-grade hose!

4. Run the Faucets

Next, turn the faucet so the water comes through the pipes.

This will clean the entire pipe system. After all, it’s pointless to clean your tank if the pipes are still contaminated with unclean water. Once the water starts running through the taps you can shut it off again.

After this, top up the tank to ensure that it’s full.

Run the Faucets

5. Leave to Sit

Leave your tank to sit for at least 24 hours to allow the disinfectant to work its magic.

Some people even take their caravan on the road during this time. The tank may be full but if there are air pockets, the movement will slosh the water about. This will help to provide a more aggressive clean.

6. Flush the Tank

After leaving the tank for at least a day, it’s time to flush it out.

Otherwise, you’ll be enjoying the taste of chlorinated water. The remaining bleach in the tank will add an unpleasant aftertaste and isn’t good for you to drink. Empty the tank, refill it, and flush it out.

Don’t forget to run fresh water through the pipes and faucets too!

Some people will do this multiple times but once or twice should be enough. If you have a garden, use the water for your plants.

7. Refill the Tank

Once you’ve finished cleaning your caravan water tank, it’s time to refill it with clean water.

Add an inline water filter to increase the quality of your drinking water.

Cleaning Water Tanks - Necessary Equipment

Here’s what you need to ensure your tanks get a good cleanse.

Cleaning Solution

A cleaning solution is crucial to kill any unwanted bacteria and germs in your tank.

Household bleach is perfectly safe in small doses. It’s also extremely effective. Some people recommend using baking soda or white vinegar. These substances aren’t up to the task so don’t waste your time.

You can also use specialised caravan cleaning solutions from brands like Camec. These are simple and safe to use. But there is a significant price difference!

Food-Grade Hose

This tool will make it much easier to clean your water tank.

It’s easy to blend water and bleach through the hose. Meanwhile, it won’t add any extra contaminants to the tank, like a regular garden hose.

Alternatively, you can use a funnel to add the bleach to the tank but it’s not as effective.

Final Thoughts

Never underestimate the importance of a clean water tank.

Nobody wants their morning coffee to taste nasty. If your caravan has been sitting idle for a while, it’s a good idea to flush out the tank. Don’t wait until you’re on the road because it will be much more difficult.

As well as tasting better, cleaner water will put less stress on your hot water system, washing machine and water pump.

Also, bear in mind that it is a good idea to clean your grey water tank (if you have one) from time to time, in addition to your fresh water tanks.

If you have any questions about how to clean caravan water tanks, please leave a comment below!


This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.


This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.

Louis

While Louis does most of his trips near his home in south-east Queensland, he has been camping as far afield as South America and Africa. He loves researching, testing and experimenting with camping gear whenever possible.

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