How to Drain the Fresh Water Tank in an RV: Guide

How to Drain the Fresh Water Tank in an RV Guide

Key Takeaways
● Draining the fresh water tank in an RV is a simple task that can save you money and hassle down the road.
● Regular water tank maintenance is essential to ensure a more enjoyable RV camping experience.
● Only use potable water when refilling your tank to avoid bacteria or contaminants in your RV’s drinking water supply.

Now that you’ve taken your RV out on a fun road trip, it’s time to head back home. But before you do, there’s one more thing you need to take care of – draining the fresh water tank.

You can do this by locating the drain valve at the bottom of your tank first. Once you have found it, attach a hose to it. Then turn on the water pump in your RV and let the water drain out until it’s empty.

This blog post will give you further information on how to drain the fresh water tank in an RV. So let’s get started!

Why Do I Need to Drain the Fresh Water Tank in an RV?

Why Do I Need to Drain the Fresh Water Tank in an RV

Draining the RV fresh water tank is essential for several reasons. First and foremost, it allows you to AVOID bacteria growth and mold, which can cause various health problems. Bacteria can quickly grow if the water is not drained from your RV’s tank after each use [2].

Also, draining your tank will help EXTEND its life by preventing sediment buildup, which can lead to corrosion [1].

Another reason why it’s beneficial to drain an RV fresh water tank is that it helps you CONSERVE water while camping.

Hot and cold water tanks in an RV can hold up to 50 gallons, which means that you’re only able to use a certain amount of water at one time. So, draining the tank after each trip will help make sure that you don’t waste any water while out on the road.

By regularly emptying the tank before and after trips, you can ensure that no excess or contaminated water remains in your storage tanks which could POTENTIALLY be used as drinking water during a future trip.

Gathering The Supplies You Need

Gathering The Supplies You Need

You will need a few different supplies to drain the freshwater tank in your RV. First, you’ll need a garden hose that is LONG enough to reach the ground from your RV’s tank; this will be used to connect the drain valve to the outside.

You may also find it helpful to have a bucket or container nearby to COLLECT any excess water and dispose of it properly.

Lastly, ensure all the necessary TOOLS, such as wrenches and screwdrivers, are on your hands for removing bolts and valves.

Pro Tip: A regular hose will do just fine if you don’t have an RV-specific garden hose.

How to Drain the Fresh Water Tank in an RV – Step By Step

How to Drain the Fresh Water Tank in an RV - Step By Step

Let’s now look at the steps to help you successfully drain the fresh water holding tank in an RV.

1. Preparing to Drain the Fresh Water Tank

Before you begin draining the fresh water tank in your RV, it’s essential to prepare the area around it. Ensure that nothing is OBSTRUCTING the access or blocking the hose from reaching the ground.

You should also ensure that all ELECTRICAL components are turned off and disconnected so as not to cause any short circuits during the drainage process.

2. Finding a Suitable Location for Draining

Selecting an area that will not cause any ENVIRONMENTAL damage or disruption is important. This can include anything from nearby streams and rivers to low-lying ground or grassy areas.

Make sure there are no drain covers, tree roots, or other OBSTACLES in the way of your drainage hose, as these could potentially block or impede the flow of water.

Pro Tip: If possible, set up your RV in a slightly elevated area to ensure an even drainage of the water from the tank.

3. Locating the Drain Plug

Once you have found a suitable location for draining your fresh water tank, it’s time to start the process of draining the gray water holding tank.

Start by locating locate the fresh water drain valve of your RV. Depending on the model, this could be located near the UNDERSIDE of your tank or inside a small compartment at the back.

Using a wrench or screwdriver, loosen the drain plug and be careful not to DAMAGE any other parts while doing so.

4. Connecting Your Hose and Draining the Tank

Once the drain valve is loosened, connect your garden hose and ensure it is FIRMLY in place. Then turn on the water pump in your RV and let the water drain into a suitable area.

Keep an eye on the water LEVEL while draining to ensure that the tank’s contents have been emptied as expected.

Pro Tip: For optimal results, you may want to drain the tank twice to ensure all debris has been removed.

5. Cleaning Out The Tank After Draining

Once the fresh water tank has been drained, it’s important to clean out any debris or residue that may have been collected in it during the process. To do this, use a non-abrasive cloth and cleaning solution and scrub all sides of the gray water tank.

You should also rinse the tank with warm water before reassembling any parts and ensuring everything is TIGHTENED up properly.

Additionally, you may want to INSPECT hoses and valves for any cracks or other damage that could have been caused during the draining process.

Finally, it’s essential to refill your fresh water tank drain with CLEAN drinking water before using it again. Doing so will ensure that no bacteria or contaminants remain in the tank.

6. Capping Off the Hose and Finishing Up

Once the tank has been emptied and cleaned, cap off the hose and disconnect it from the drain valve. Make sure to TIGHTEN the valve securely so that no water will leak out during use.

To avoid any future issues, it’s also a good idea to apply a drop of LUBRICANT on the threads of the valve before reconnecting it.

7. Keeping Your Fresh Water Tank in Good Condition

Regular maintenance of your fresh water tank is essential to ensure a safe and reliable camping experience. Before each use, INSPECT the tank for any signs of wear or deterioration, such as leaks or cracks in the hoses and valves.

Additionally, ensure all connections are tight and SECURE before operating your RV. You should also regularly check the water LEVELS to ensure that the tank isn’t running low on water or filling up too quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Drain My Fresh Water Tank?

It is recommended to drain your fresh water tank every six months or so, depending on how often you use it. Doing so will help remove any debris or contaminants that may have built up over time.

I Can’t Find the Drain Valve On My RV – What Should I Do?

If you are having trouble finding the drain valve on your RV, it is best to consult the user manual or contact a professional.

What Will Happen If I Accidentally Drank the Water From My Fresh Water Tank?

If the water from your fresh water tank is not properly cleaned and treated, drinking it can lead to serious health issues such as dehydration, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

What Kind Of Water Should I Use To Refill My Tank?

Using clean, potable drinking water when refilling your RV’s fresh water tank is best. Additionally, you may want to add a few drops of chlorine bleach or other approved water treatment chemicals to the tank to ensure that no contaminants remain before use.



Draining your RV’s fresh water tank is a super simple task that can save you from headaches and expenses down the road.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to quickly and easily remove all of the water from your tank without any mess or damage.

And don’t forget to regularly maintain your fresh water tank drain by following the tips in this article for a more enjoyable camping experience overall.

Sharing is caring!

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

Related Posts

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x