How Long to Keep Fresh Water in an RV Tank

How Long to Keep Fresh Water in an RV Tank

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If you are living in an RV, whether for a few months or on a permanent basis, something you will always need is fresh water. That said, how long you can keep fresh water in an RV tank is a point that has a lot of debate.

You need fresh water for drinking, cooking, washing, brushing teeth, and for other purposes. In many cases, such as if you are parked in a trailer park or camp ground, you will probably have direct access to fresh water.

However, this is not always going to be the case. RVs do of course come with water storage tanks, which are quite necessary. Let’s talk about storing water in your RV tank, how long water stays good for in the tank, and how you can ensure that it stays good for as long as possible.

How Long Water Stays Good For in an RV Tank

Something that is important to know is that how long you can store the same water in your RV tank depends on many conditions. That being said, the general rule of thumb is that the same water can be stored in an RV tank for up to 2 weeks. Now, it does depend on what you are planning to use the water for.

For instance, if you plan on using it for cooking and drinking, the water needs to be as clean and fresh as possible, so it’s recommended to not use the same water for more than 2 weeks. However, if you are using the water for purposes other than consumption, you may be able to push this to a full month.

As mentioned above, how long the water will stay good will depend on a variety of factors, so let’s take a closer look at these right now.

How Long to Keep Fresh Water in an RV Tank

Why Can’t Water be Stored Infinitely in an RV?

You might think that if you get your water from a clean source, and if you properly sanitize it, that water in an RV tank will stay good forever. However, as discussed above, this is just not true. The fact of the matter is that water in an RV tank will go bad, and the leading causes of this include algae, bacteria, parasites, and mold.

Even with great sterilization and maintenance practices, water will not stay good forever. In part, there may already be natural contaminants and elements in the water, such as bacteria, algae, fungus, mold, and other such things, or they may be present in the water holding tank.

Either way, when left for too long, bacteria, algae, and other such contaminants can build up, multiply, and cause the water to become unsafe for general use.

Factors to Keep in Mind for RV Water Freshness

There are a variety of factors which can and do influence how long the water in your RV tank will stay good for.

One factor which will determine how long the water in your RV’s tank stays good is temperature. Warm temperatures are ideal for fast bacteria growth and multiplication, plus warm weather is great for parasites, mold, algae, and all sorts of other contaminants. Therefore, water in an RV tank can stay good for much longer if the outside temperature is cold.

Something that will help your fresh water stay good for a longer period of time has to do with how clean and well maintained the water tank is. If you properly clean, maintain, and sanitize your water holding tank, less debris and fewer contaminants will build up over time, which allows the water to stay fresh for longer.

The source of the water also has a lot to do with how long that fresh water can be stored for. If you get your water from a dedicated source, one designed to fill up water tanks, you should be good for a few weeks.

However, if the water you use to fill the tank is already not the cleanest, bacteria and parasites, plus mold and algae, can build up much faster, as some might already be in the water from the beginning.

Ensuring Stored Water Stays Usable

There are a few good tips you can follow to ensure that the water in your RV’s holding tank stays as fresh as can be for as long as possible.

  • Always use high quality water. When you are filling your water up at a campground, make sure that it has a high quality rating. Simply put, water that is already of a lower quality is not going to stay good for long in your tank, if it is even good to begin with
  • Always use a clean hose when filling up your RVs tank. Hoses can get very dirty and can be filled with all sorts of bacteria, algae, and other contaminants. Even if you have access to the cleanest water far and wide, if your hose is not clean and up to the task, how clean the water source is won’t make a difference
  • Always make sure to sanitize and clean the RV’s holding tanks. How clean the water is won’t make the smallest difference if the holding tank is dirty. Always properly maintain the holding tank, sanitize it regularly, and sanitize the water too.


How long to keep fresh water in an RV tank depends on the source of the water, temperature, how well you maintain the holding tank, and more. However, that said, as a rule of thumb, don’t use the same water for more than 2 weeks at the most.

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