What Is an RV Fresh Water Tank?

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An RV is parked near a lake and ready for a boondocking trip. What is a freshwater rv tank and is their's full and ready for the trip?

Every RVer needs a fresh water tank. For starters, it ensures you stay hydrated and clean. Let’s see what else it can do for you and your RV.

What Is an RV Fresh Water Tank? 

An RV fresh water tank stores potable water. When you can’t hook up to city water, the tank provides you with an onboard water supply.

How an RV Fresh Water System Works

The tank holds potable water used for faucets and the toilet in the RV. This requires a water pump, which comes standard in most RVs. Pumps are typically 12 volts, and you can run them off the house battery or shore power. 

How you fill your tank depends on your RV. On many RVs, you’ll hook up a potable water hose to the same connection you use when running city water. In this case, there’ll be an intake valve that you move to the fill position. Other RVs may have a fill location without a valve. These types of fills allow you the flexibility to fill the tank with a potable water hose or a jug.

A sink in a RV tank is usable while boondocking because they have a freshwater tank onboard!

How Big is the RV Fresh Water Tank? 

These tanks can range in size. Class A motorhomes and fifth wheels typically have the largest tanks. They may hold between 60 and 100 gallons of water. Class C motorhomes and travel trailers may hold between 35 and 60 gallons of water. Class B RVs typically have the least amount of room and capacity. Their tanks may hold between 20 and 40 gallons of water.

Can You Travel with a Full Fresh Water Tank? 

One gallon of water weighs more than eight pounds. Multiply that by how many gallons your tank holds, and you can see that a full tank will add significant weight to your RV. This can reduce your gas mileage and become a safety concern, especially if you’ve already maxed out your cargo carrying capacity.

Pro Tip: Don’t get sick! Learn how to sanitize your RV water tank and add it to your regular maintenance calendar.

How Long Can You Keep Water in Your Fresh Water Tank? 

You shouldn’t keep water in your tank for longer than two weeks. The risk of bacteria growth increases after that. Be sure to clean your tank to prevent water contamination. 

How to Keep a Fresh Water Tank Clean and Fresh

The first step in keeping your tank clean and fresh is knowing where your water is coming from. Use a potable hose to fill the tank and water filter system. The next step is to sanitize your fresh water tank and lines every six months. You can find step-by-step guides for sanitizing your water and tank online.

Can You Drink Water From Your RV? 

You can drink water from your RV if you’ve kept your tank clean. We highly recommend filtering any water before drinking it. If you’re unsure about your water’s safety, boil it before drinking.

A fresh water tank is a must-have for RV travel. If you boondock, the tank provides your main water supply. It can also come in handy for emergencies and water outages in campgrounds.

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