How To Drain Fresh Water Tank On RV (Easier Than You Think)

RVs have their own water tank for your convenience. Which makes any camping experience surreal. But when you want to clean the tank or just take off extra weight while traveling, you need to drain your fresh water tank. You just don’t want to carry that extra weight around.

And how to drain fresh water tank on RV is easy as cake. You just turn on all the faucets and also the lowest outer valve of your fresh water tank. Also, make sure to turn off the heater and water pump valves. Once the tank is drained, release the heater to empty it. 

Still a bit confused? We will guide you through all the steps to drain your RVs water tank. 

how to drain fresh water tank on rv

4-Step Process To Drain Fresh Water Tank On RV | Just Turn On And Off The Valves

So, you can simply just drain the water from below the RV directly from the tank. But some things like the water heater and pump will get damaged. And the water won’t be out faster. 

Following these steps will ensure all your appliances are not damaged and your tank is drained perfectly. 

Step 1: Turn Off the Heater And Water Pump Water And Power

The first thing to do is ensure your water heater and water pumps safety. So kill the power and also their valves. This will not trigger them when the water is running out to turn on and start working. We will come back to them later.

Step 2: Open Faucets And All Valves In The RV

Once the heater and pump are secured, turn on all the faucets and valves of your RV. We mean all of them. This allows the water to flow out faster. 

Step 3: Drain The Water Tank From Below The RV

To make it extra clear that you want your tank totally empty, drain the tank from under your RV. there might be a hose that can be used to control the flow. 

Step 4: Drain The Water Heater (For Winterizing Only)

After all the water in your fresh water tank is drained out, it is time for the heater to be drained. Simply take a screwdriver or wrench and unscrew the heater and drain it. If you are not winterizing and simply moving, you can skip this step as you will need to fill the heater to activate it again.

When all the water is drained, you can double-check by turning on the motor and removing any water left. And you are good to move again without any weight. 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)

Why is my RV fresh water tank not draining?

If your RVs fresh water tank is not draining, then the valve is to blame most of the time. Also, a plugged vent pipe or clogged fresh water drain can be the reason. Check the valve first and if it is okay, you might need to work on the vent pipe or freshwater drainage pipe for any clogs and unclog it. If you are not experienced enough, calling a professional will get you going in a few minutes. 

How long can I leave water in your RV fresh water tank?

You can leave water unused in your RV fresh water tank for two weeks top. After that, it will be unsafe to drink or use as organisms will start to grow. 

Is it OK to leave fresh water tank empty?

Yes, you can leave the fresh water tank empty. As it is an extra weight to carry while traveling, your RV will use more gas to carry that. So it is the best practice and most RVers empty their tank. But make sure to sanitize it afterward when you are going to use it again. 


RV is your home, a bit smaller, on wheels. For camping and taking a trip across the country, we would love to have the comfort of our bed, kitchen, and other amenities rather than stopping at a Motel. And having your own toilet and shower along with fresh water outdoors is the most precious gift you can have. So make sure to clean your RVs water tank regularly and sanitize it before using it again. 

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