Sanitizing the RV Water Tank

This should of been one of the first things I did when I got the RV, but it was one of those task that had me unsure of what to do. I know how to demo and rebuild stuff but sanitizing a water tank, that smelled like death, was out of my league. I needed time to pull my big girl panties up and tackle it! I read many post in the RV facebook groups I am in, watched a few YouTube videos and talked to the guy at the RV repair shop.

Frankly it’s not hard or complicated, not like I had psyched myself into believing it would be, but it did take time, and at the end of the day I ended up having to re sanitize the tank after I changed out some pretty nasty hoses, which were the source of the smell.

First I located the release drain for the tank. Our water tank is inside under one of the twin beds in the back bedroom. The drain is inside and a pull up plug, some tank drains are located underneath the RV, so check your manual.

I had picked up a sanitize kit at the RV store. Most blogs I had read said just to use Bleach, our tank is 64 gals so about 1.5 cups is what I would of needed but it smelled really bad so I was hesitant that would take care of the issue all alone. The kit I found had a soap to wash the tank and lines and then a sanitize solution (like bleach) that killed the bacteria.

After I put the blue soap in, I drove the RV around in the yard so I could pull it into the drive way and drain the gray tank into the yard ditch, this allowed the soap to slosh around inside the tank. I let it sit for a few hours too.

My in-laws live on 60+ acres of farm land and the soap is not harmful to environment so I had blessings from my Father in-law to dump in the ditch, but Check your local laws before you start dumping just anywhere!

I ran the soap through all the lines by turning on the water faucets. Then I had to fill the water tank again and add the sanitizing solution. I repeated the step of running the water through all the faucets again.

I filled the tank a 3rd time and rinsed the lines again, then filled the tank a 4th time so we could use it.

The next day the water not only smelled like death still but it also smelled like bleach. UGH!

I ended up draining and refilling again but still no luck. That is when I pulled up my sons bed so I could see the tank. I was hoping to find an access hole so I could get in there with a scrub brush. Unfortunately the port was melted shut. AND then that is when I noticed the clear hose, which was the over flow hose was full of black junk. YUCK!

I decided to try and remove the hoses and replace them before deciding I needed to spend the money on a new tank. That was going to be at least a $500 investment.

I had to unscrew the access port on the outside so I could disconnect the hoses. That is when I found the fresh intake hose also had some scum in it.

I made it to the RV shop before they closed and they hooked me up with the right sized hoses and the rubber putty strip gasket to replace the old one where I had to remove the access port.

After I took the boys to hockey practice I got back to work and got the new hoses installed.

 

I waited till the next day to refill and sanitize the tank since it was cold and raining the night before!

I lead a pretty natural life. I use all natural and organic products so having to use the box sanitizer was honestly unsettling. Especially all the warnings on the side of the box. One of my friends suggested I just use my Thieves Cleaner. Of course! It actually works better then bleach, I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it sooner! I ended up adding 3/4 of a bottle into the tank. I’m sure that is way too much but it was pretty gross! Plus my tank is 64 gallons. I let it sit for 2 days before I drained it, refilled to rinse and refiled to use. I am happy to say the tank is clean and the water doesn’t smell at all!

I was told not to ever use the tank water to drink with so we do have a blue water bottle I picked up at Walmart along with a auto pump (love that!)

I eventually want to get a Berkey but that will have to wait since they are an investment!

 

Boys room in the RV

2 twin beds really appealed to me once I saw it while scrolling through used RV’s online. With all of my RV shopping I had done I was always looking for a bedroom for me and bunks for boys and another bed- either dinette or over head bed for my daughter to use. But then I realized once I was envisioning the realities of living in such a small space and how I like my quite morning time I realized that having the kids in the living area would pose an issue. I could tell them to suck it up but lets be honest, cranky kids are no fun to deal with!

I on Demo Day I removed the oversized valence boxes and window treatments, painted the walls and cabinets and removed the carpet. I installed new Vinyl Plank flooring through out the RV.

I was going to add a bunk above one of the beds but I wasn’t 100% happy with design and I knew that it would pose an issue with making the bottom bunk. Once we decided my daughter was going to stay with my sister & attend High School the need for a 3rd bed in back was needed right away. I would still like to add one so she has her own space when she meets us on breaks or for summer travels. I’m hoping my dad can help with that when we come down to visit! He’s got a great workshop and loves making things!

I love how bright and warm it feels even though I used a cool color pallet! I saw this bedding at Target one day as I roamed the isle alone one day. (Seriously the best mom break ever!) I knew instantly the boys would love it. When we went back to get bedding they both saw it and instantly ran over and grabbed the blankets and started jumping up and down! You can take a kid out of Hawaii but you can’t take Hawaii out of them. They love the ocean and anything ocean related! The Shark pillows were so cute too! They had other cute ocean themed stuffed animals but since we have a huge bag of stuffed animals to deal with I just gave them the mom look and the put them back on the shelf!  They totally got past my “You can only take 2 with you” rule. How does this happen. Why are we over run with stuffed animals?!

There are a few small projects that will get done soon. I left the wood shelf that was behind the wood valence box I removed. I will add a trim piece to that and the boys can keep their small toys safely stored up there. I was going to replace the countertops when I did the kitchen ones but I think I will just paint them. That is defiantly easier and cheeper in the long run! I need to look online at  Target so I can find a new lamp shade for the light too, its a bit yellowed from time!

Decorating & Finishing Touches on Living Area

Before- Looking from driving seats towards back
Looking forward from hallway

One of my must haves when trying to find an RV to live & travel in was a clothes washer. I have two active boys, and boys are boys and get dirty.

But there are two problems with that: 
1- cost
2- bad reviews/issues.

Then I found a small portable washer that is gravity drained (no pump to break) a super fast spin cycle that leaves clothes almost dry and stellar reviews… kicker was it was about $100! 👊🏼

I knew I wasn’t going to use the dinning table so I took one bench out to install the washer and I used the other bench as a shelf and added butcher block counter above.

The distressed wall is actually peal and stick wallpaper! Its so easy to apply and if you want to take it down and change things up it won’t ruin the wall! You can find it in many styles and patterns here!

Metal Basket on wall are from amazon too!

The round circles on the fridge are peel and stick too. I used Rust-Oleum chalk board paint.

The curtains are from Target and are light block, which will help keep the RV cool! I trimmed the curtains to fit the length I wanted and used the extra and made a bed skirt for the jack knife sofa in the living room area.

Raised dog bowl was a great find at Target! Even though it takes up floor space, having it raised allows feet to go under it so it feels like it doesn’t take up so much room.

 

For the Living Room

I had this vision of a space full of color and mixing patterns. I wanted the small space to pop but also flow, ya know since an RV is the ultimate open floor plan!

Before sofa

Target is hands down my favorite store for decorating my house. Each year they never disappoint with their collections!  I bought the same curtains I had in my house because I absolutely love them.  I was drawn to finding a mauve cover for the sofa bed, originally I was envisioning a darker color but I fell in love with this jersey knit blanket ❤️

I scored a few things on clearance like the round blanket and long throw pillow. *Pro tip- check the end caps for discounted items! 👊🏼

I took some of the wood panel wallpaper off of the wall because I’m in love with one of my abstract paintings I did so I just had to hang it up! It pulls all the colors together in the space perfectly.

I can not wait to relax on my sofa after long days exploring the US on our travels!

Before

On the opposite side of the sofa are the boys chairs. One of the reasons I fell in love with this RV was these chairs. I wanted the boys to have seats with seatbelts to travel in and not just a dinette booth. Traveling for 4-6 hrs a day would not be comfortable in a dinette booth! We also have 3 seat belts in the sofa too. I really like sitting in them because I can prop my feet up on the sofa! The table in between the seats I found at an antique shop. I cleaned it up and put a clear spray sealer on it. I just need to get a glass top cut and that project will be complete!

There is a pull down twin above the cab. Kai has requested they use that as their “kid cave” I’ll figure out something to make it special soon but for know I just need to get a sheet on the mattress. It was still wrapped in its original plastic when we got it, the original owners never used it!

Boys hanging out while I worked on finishing the bathroom

This week my mother in-law will help me finish up the new front window curtains we are making. They slide on a track and will give us privacy and help keep things cool. One of the old ones is still hanging but only by a few snaps! My daughter broke off most them when she took them down so we could wash them. But when the sun is beating in the front window they are still useful!

RV Bathroom Remodel

Before Shower/Tub

I had a crack in the tub surround when I bought it. I was hoping for no water damage and thankfully there was none!

The first thing I did was paint the tub and sink. It saved me from having to replace them, which saved me a lot of money! My tub is fiberglass (plastic) but this product can be used on fiberglass, ceramic and porcelain.  I prepped it by cleaning it and doing a light sanding.

The bathroom actually had carpet. CARPET people. WHY??

I found out the toilet was actually installed ONTOP of the carpet. Yeah. Gross! Since I took that out and it wasn’t expensive to replace I ordered a new one.

Now I debated on what to do in the tub area. I looked and actually fell in love with real tile. But I was concerned with weight and the prep work needed. I would of either need to scrape the Styrofoam off the walls and added backer board, which would of added at least an inch or two to the wall by the time I was done. Space is at a premium all ready! I could of done the standard panel wall surrounds but they are just so …Blah!

Luckily I found Dumawall click and lock vinyl tile that you can use in the shower area! It was pretty easy to install. You can even install over just studs so the back of the wall not being perfect was ok. I found that paint sticks were the same thickness as the missing styrofoam so I filled some of the bigger areas in with those by gluing them to the wall with the same adhesive that was recommended for the tiles. I used screws in the first rows of tiles to secure them into place. Yes this was recommended! You place the screw into the lip of the locking part so they are hidden and won’t leak water. In between the seams you place a bead of clear silicon to help insure a water tight joint.

Cutting the tile was easy. I do suggest a long square and clamps to hold tile down when cutting. Unfortunately I did not have access to those so I made due, but I could of made better cuts! After I was done I did find one for $2.50 at a thrift store. I quickly bought it for my father in-law!

Now because I didn’t have the most accurate cuts and my wall was a a slight slant I needed to cock the corners… a lot! lol!

I was trying to finish it up in one day, but at midnight my little one came out and scared me! He said he couldn’t sleep with out me. So I put him to work for a little bit helping me clean up as we goofed around taking silly photos.

 

I wanted a pop of color in the bathroom so I painted the mirror a teal color. I love how it looks! I went to Home Depot and picked out what color I wanted. Since I only needed a little bit of paint, I had them mix it up in a sample jar.

Sample paint jar
Bathroom Selfie
Before- Bathroom

I switched out the sink faucet and ended up needing the tub faucet replaced since it was leaking.

I got a corner shelf to use for storage and added a soap dispenser on the wall for the boys Young Living KidScents soaps, cuz they need portion control! I found a cute shower curtain at a thrift store for $2.00! Score!

 So in love with the renewed bathroom!