Sterilising and Cleaning A Caravan Water System – 6 Things to Know

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The only way to make sure your caravan’s water system is clean and healthy is to take proper care of it. While it’s a bit of a job, sterilising your caravan water system is an essential part of being a responsible caravan owner.

We’re breaking down the process step by step and telling you six things you need to know about the process. Let’s get started.

How to Sterilize a Caravan Water System – A Quick Guide

Here’s a quick rundown of how to go about cleaning your caravan water system.

  • Get the right product

One of the best-known and trusted water purifiers is Puriclean. It’s specifically made for cleaning and sterilising a caravan water system. Follow the directions on the side of the package to determine how much product to use. If you’re cleaning the full water system, you’ll usually need about 9 teaspoons or so. Add them to the aquaroll, then fill the container to the top with water and let it sit.

cleaning a caravan water system

  • Remove the filters

Before you add the sterilised water to the system, you have to remove the filters to protect them from damage. Puriclean can cause significant damage to the filters, possibly even dissolving the membrane.

  • Prime the water system

To do this, the first thing you have to do is close all the taps. Then, fill up both the hot and cold water tanks with sterilized water, but leave the hot water heater off. Open each tap and allow a little bit of water to run through to ensure that the Puriclean is distributed throughout the whole system.

Next, shut the taps off and let the water sit. Puriclean needs anywhere from one to 12 hours to do its job, but how long you leave it is up to you. A good rule of thumb is the longer the water system is idle, the longer you should let the Puriclean sit.

  • Flush the system

After you allow the Puriclean to dwell, go around and open each tap and empty the entire contents of the Aquaroll. Try to make sure the water runs out of every tap, including the shower.

When the water is gone, refill the Aquaroll and allow the water to run through the whole system, flushing out the Puriclean. Repeat this process three or four more times to make sure the entire system is flushed.

  • Reinstall the water filter

Now that the system is clean and ready, you can reinstall the water filter. This is a good time to check if it needs to be replaced with a new one, too.

6 Essential Things to Know about Your Caravan’s Water System

Here are six things everyone should know about their caravan water system.

1. You should sterilise the water system at least once a season

How long you go between cleanings is a personal choice, but you should really do a deep cleaning at least once a season. The exception to this is if you use your caravan a lot – say, more than once or twice a month – you may be able to get away with doing it once a year.

The longer your caravan sits idle, the more likely it is to have bacteria or other contaminated water showing up in the water line. So, if you’re constantly using and refilling the water in the aquaroll, you don’t have to worry about it as much.

That said, to be on the safe side, you should still do a quick sterilisation treatment of the caravan water tank and water pipes every season. Something a lot of people do is let the Puriclean sit for 12 hours right before you set out for the first trip of the year, then do a quick clean letting it dwell for an hour or two before every other trip.

2. Start with the taps farthest away from the holding tank

When letting the sterilised water into the water system, start by opening the tap that’s farthest away from the tank. Then, work your way backward, moving closer to the tank. This way, you know that the cleaning solution is making it to every pipe and every tap.

3. Don’t forget the aquaroll

Cleaning the internal water system is important, but you must clean the aquaroll regularly, too. The best way to do this is to add four big tablespoons of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. Then, fill it with water and place it on the ground. Roll it around a little to mix everything up, then let it sit upright for 24 hours. Then, empty it, give it a good rinse, and you’re done.

fenwicks waste pipe and tank cleaner isolated on white background

4. You can extend your water system’s life by cleaning the toilet cassette

While it may not be something you want to think about, there are a lot of ways that the water system gets dirty, and keeping it as clean as possible can help it last a long time. Clean your caravan’s toilet cassette periodically using toilet chemicals, something like Fenwick’s Waste Pipe and Tank Cleaner.

5. Opaque water pipes are better for preventing contamination

Clear water pipes let in more sunlight, and more sunlight means more algae growth. Most newer models have opaque water pipes. Although they still let a little bit of light through, it’s not nearly as much, so you’re less likely to have to deal with a lot of contamination.

6. Your water source matters

The best way to make sure your water system remains free of contaminants is to use a fresh water source. That way, you know you’re only adding clean water to the RV water tank in the first place. If you ever notice a bad smell or taste in your water, check your filter and replace it as needed. If this doesn’t fix the problem, it might be time to clean the system.

Final Words on Cleaning a Caravan Water System

Keeping your caravan water system clean is the only way to make sure you can cook, drink, and bathe safely while you’re out on the road. Taking the time to do it right is the job of any responsible caravan owner.

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