Where is the freshwater holding tank on my RV?

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It’s always a good place to start by locating the thing you need to use. This article aims to cover all useful information relating to freshwater holding tanks.

Freshwater tanks come in a range of shapes and sizes depending on the RV. Regardless of the size of the tank, the water inside has many uses. It allows you to take showers off the grid, giving you the facility to cook.

Of course, to have these facilities, you need to have a tank of fresh water. Therefore you must learn to fill it when it empties, or else you will run out of water.

What is a freshwater tank?

This is not a trick question. If you are new to the campervan lifestyle, you may have never seen one.

Freshwater tanks are essentially big watertight plastic containers. Often they have a blue lid to symbolise water.

A tank you don’t want to get this mixed up with is the grey tank, septic tank, sewage tank. These names all refer to the tank where all the sewage goes. Often this tank will have a grey lid and should be labelled. If you do open it, you need full protective clothing and a sewer hose to empty it at home.

Freshwater tanks often have a capacity of 60 litres. This will provide plenty of use, but of course, it will run out, especially over the duration of a long road trip.

RV Water Tank
RV Water Tank

Where is the freshwater holding tank on my RV?

Now you know what an RV freshwater holding tank is, it’s time to locate it on your RV. This can be an enjoyable task when renting an RV because chances are you won’t know where it is. Of course, you could ask the rental company to show you.

Consult the vehicle manual, but if you have converted your own, you will, of course, know where it is.

Commonly on motorhomes, it’s located on an external hatch door: the door where you are likely to find the propane canister. This might not be making much sense to you, but the following video will tell you all you need to know about RV holding tanks.

Common freshwater holding tank issues and how to fix them

1. A mouldy freshwater tank

Freshwater holding tanks are unlike holding tanks at homes that are constantly replenished with freshwater meaning it doesn’t sit for long. In RV’s, the water fills the tank and is just sat there. This is the perfect condition for mould and germs to flourish.

Consider a scenario where you leave your RV parked away for the winter then come back to use it the next summer. The water could sit for 6 months, getting mouldy and stale. Then think if you do nothing and go for a drink – you could get ill!

Therefore you must sanitize your tank before use. A great way to do this is to use a tank cleaner. This tank specific product will kill all germs and get the tank in great shape.

An alternative method would be to use bleach. Bleach is potent, so use the general rule of thumb to use half a cup full for every 20 litres of water. Let it work its magic for a few hours and if possible, go for a drive to swill it around. Empty the tank. Fill it again with just water and empty it again. Repeat this a few times to ensure there is no bleach left in the tank.

2. A cracked freshwater tank

A leaking tank is of no use, and the water will all drain. This can happen due to general wear or faulty valves or pipes. Check the whole water system for leaks. Often freshwater holding tanks are underslung so that they can get damaged whilst on the road.

For example, going into rough terrain, a stone may bounce up and crack it. Or it could even get vandalised, so it’s the best place to replace it. Lock the access door to it if it’s on the outside of the RV. It’s not worth patching up as it is likely to reopen due to the weight and pressure of the water.

Refilling the tank

This process may seem extremely obvious. A simple case of finding a campsite fresh water hose and topping your tank up. When doing this, there are several things to bear in mind. First of all, is the quality of the water after all you will be drinking it.

Therefore if you get to a campsite and the tap is rusty, or the pipes look dirty, it may be best to avoid. Secondly is the water defence system your tank has.

Some RV’s have a grit filter to ensure the water doesn’t have to lose bits in. More modern water conscious upmarket Rv’s have an inbuilt microbiological purifier. Basically, whatever water you put in it will make it drinkable. If you choose to install such a system, they aren’t cheap but can be great.

When filling the tank, don’t overfill it as this risks the valves opening or getting damaged. This is common sense but all non the less good to know.

Freshwater Holding Tank Conclusion

You have finished this article and can stop worrying about “Where is the freshwater holding tank on my RV?” and focus on getting the benefits from it. Be smart when it comes to the water tank, maintain it well, fill it with good quality water, and you will be able to enjoy life on the road.

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