How to Remove Calcium Deposits From a Water Tank in a Camper

Explore America's Campgrounds

Calcium deposits are usually caused by the mineral content of hard water. Unfortunately, hard water is the most likely potable water available at campgrounds and RV parks where you can fill the water tank of your camper. That's because the water sources in these areas tend to be natural springs and well-pumped water, all heavy with calcium content. In time, the deposits will affect the taste of your drinking water and possibly clog the water lines in your camper. The best time to clean calcium deposits from your water tank is when you won't be using the camper for at least two days.

Items you will need

  • 6- to 0 gallons white vinegar

  • Water softening tablets or water softener cartridges available at outdoor supply stores

  • Garden hose connected to fresh water supply

Drain the camper water tank by connecting a garden hose to the bottom valve and allowing the water to run out of the camper.

Flush with fresh water to remove loose calcium deposits from the bottom of the tank. Connect a garden hose to the fill valve on the tank, and turn on the water to flush out the system, leaving the second hose outside the camper to divert runoff to the ground.

Close the valves on the tank, and add 6 gallons of white vinegar to a 40-gallon tank or 10 gallons for larger tanks.

Fill the rest of the tank with fresh water, and then close the valves.

Let the acid in the vinegar loosen and dissolve calcium deposits inside the tank for at least 48 hours.

Drain the tank completely, then reconnect the garden hoses and flush thoroughly to remove the loosened and dissolved calcium deposits as well as any residual vinegar taste and odor.

Fill the tank with fresh drinking water, and add mineral softening tablets based on the tank capacity and water hardness in your area.


  • You can also sanitize your water tank before heading out on the highway by diluting 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach to every 15 gallons of water capacity in your tank. Funnel the diluted bleach into the tnak, and allow it to sit overnight. Then flush the system for at least 10 minutes to get rid of any bleach taste or smell. Do not pour bleach directly into the tank. Dilute the chlorine with water before adding to the tank.
Gone Outdoors