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Just before we arrived in Kalgoorlie, as we were preparing to travel on the remote Great Central Road on our way to Uluru from Perth, we realised there was something wrong with the water in our water tank. We quickly had to work out how to solve the problem, because water is pretty important in the Australian desert.
We didn’t want to use bleach to clean the camper water tank (we were planning to drink out of it after all!). So, we did a lot of research and tried it out and found that this worked pretty well. Follow the steps below to clean the water tank in your own campervan, caravan or camper trailer.
Dump the Bad Water from the Camper Water Tank
First you need to get rid of the bad water. Preferably dump it on some grass or near some trees or shrubs so that the water is not wasted.
Add Water Tank Cleaning Products: Bi-Carb Soda and Vinegar
Add 1 litre of vinegar to your water tank. Mix half a box of baking soda with water and add that to your water tank also. Fill the water tank approximately 3/4 full. Here are some ideas on how to find water while travelling.
Take the Camper for a Drive to help Cleaning Process
Take the camper for a drive, go around a few corners and over a few speed bumps. Get the water to slosh around all over the water tank.
Run Water Through the Caravan or Camper Water Tank to Clean Pipes
Once the water has settled (it should be fizzing in the tank because of the reaction between the bi-carb and vinegar.) Let the water run through the pipes and into the sink to make sure that is cleaned as well.
Leave for 24 hours before dumping water
Then park it up and leave it for approximately 24 hours, or at least over night. The next day, dump the water again.
After Cleaning Refill Caravan or Camper Water Tank with Water and Cordial
Refill the tank with water (fill it as much as you can this time). Make sure there is room to add 1 litre of cordial. The reason we add the cordial is to take any residual bad taste out of the camper or caravan water tank after cleaning. We used a lemon flavoured cordial but red cordial would work as well. A stronger flavoured cordial would work best. (You can skip this step if you like, but we found that there is still some bi-carb residual taste to the water even after refilling.)
Dump the Water And Refill Again
This is the last dump of water. It will get rid of most of the off-tasting water flavour. We found with the next refill there was still a very faint lemon cordial flavour, but by the next refill it was completely fine.
If you follow these steps you should end up with a clean caravan, camper or campervan water tank without having to use any corrosive chemicals.