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How To Drain The Fresh Water Tank On An RV

While you are out and about in your RV, you’ll probably want to cook, clean, and potentially shower. The toilet helps too! You will want some fresh water in order to bathe, make meals, or wash dishes. This is where your freshwater tank comes in!

The fresh water tank does need draining too. This article will explain how to drain the fresh water tank on your RV. We also offer helpful advice on how to make it as easy as possible.

Draining the freshwater tank is easy. You’ll want to locate the fresh water tank on the bottom of the RV and open it. We will go into more detail about how and why to do this below.

Why drain the fresh water tank?

The freshwater drain should be drained when the water is getting stale or has been sitting around for a while. You should also drain your freshwater tank if you are planning to winterize your RV or haven’t traveled with it on some time. While draining doesn’t complete the winterization process, it’s a part of it.

You might also drain the fresh water tank prior to emptying just to ensure you have the most fresh water possible. Otherwise, you are recommended to flush the tank out every two weeks if you haven’t used all of it yet. You should also consider draining waste tanks before traveling as the water weight lowers your fuel mileage. You can add water at a rest stop.

Another reason is hard water. If you find you don’t like the quality of the water in an area, you can just dump it and refill it elsewhere.

How to drain your freshwater

So you are going to need a couple of things first. A hose with which to drain, which you can get from an RV supply place. You might want to think about getting gloves depending on the weather. You won’t really need disposable gloves unless you suspect something foul in the tank.

You’ll want to do a couple of things in no particular order before draining your freshwater. First, it should be OK to just dump your freshwater most anywhere. However, you are likely dumping other tanks in the process, so consider asking local transportation authorities if you can dump water on the ground.

If you can’t just dump water on the ground or you are dumping multiple tanks, find your nearest RV park. Ensure the RV park has stations for the purpose.

You will also want to locate the fresh water tank on your RV. It’s likely underneath but toward an edge where you can see the drains.

Now that you have a place to go, let’s get started.

  1. Turn off the hot water heater in your RV. 
  1. Find a place to dump your water. 
  2. Park with the RV’s tanks closer to the place you want to drain the water to.
  3. Since you located the fresh water tank, locate it again and see if the tank is warm. You are waiting for the water from the hot water heated to cool down. If it feels warm, don’t drain it yet.
  4. This is more of a strong suggestion, but get your hose out. It’s often stored in a built in compartment on the outside of your RV.
  5. Open the safety cap on the fresh water tank and be prepared with the hose to slide it in right away.
  6. The freshwater tank may have a valve that’s either round or a stem sticking out. Turn the valve to open the tank, or pull the valve.
  7. Let the water drain out

If you are in a place where you can dump water and don’t really need to drain it into a sewer or receptacle, skip 5 and let the water just drain straight out.

You may also want to run the water inside in your sink, shower, and toilet to ensure that you get all the water out. These will return to your grey water tank, but to properly winterize or get rid of old water, that’s the way to go.

Can I drain freshwater without an RV park?

You can probably drain the water in your driveway or another place. Again, consult with local authorities on the subject but most places allow for freshwater to be dumped out. This is considering that a sprinkler or water fountain uses the same water.

We would still suggest using a hose for the purpose so you can more precisely drain the water- and not on yourself. 

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