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What Can Cause a Bad Plastic Taste in Your Camper Trailer or Caravan Tanks or Hoses?

Feb 3

Have you ever gone away for a trip in your van and found the water in your tank to have an unpleasant taste? If that is your only supply of drinking water it can quickly spoil your holiday.

There are a few possible causes and so it is important to work out what is causing the problem, before you can fix it. Work through the following steps to identify the problem and fix the bad taste in your caravan drinking supply.

Step 1 – Buy the right equipment

When purchasing your equipment do not cut corners. Make sure you buy a hose, attachments and tank that are all food grade. Your common garden hose is generally not made from food-grade plastic and may taint your water. 

Step 2 – Identify where the problem is coming from


The taste could be caused by mold or algae if you have left the water in your tank for a long time.


It can sometimes just occur if you have a new tank that has been sitting in the sun for a long time. In this case if the tank is food grade and there is no other cause a flush of the tank should resolve the issue.

Non-food grade equipment:

Alternatively, if you are finding a plastic taste in the water supply it could be caused by your equipment.

But which piece? The bad taste could be caused by either your tank, fittings or hose. You will need to separate each of these to work out the source of the taste.

Step 3 – Removing the taste

Depending on the cause flushing the offending equipment with one of the methods below will generally help alleviate the problem.

  • Household bleach
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Red Cordial

Yes, red cordial. This solution has become famous among caravanners due to its low toxic and cheap nature. If the tank is the cause of a plastic taste, filling with a two liter bottle of red cordial and letting it rest over night is claimed to remove the plastic taste.

Step 4 – Maintaining a clean drinking water supply

Once you have cleaned your tank and are ready to refill with a good clean food grade drinking water hose you may also want to use a water filter to ensure a good clean supply of drinking water. There are a range of water filters on the market and price tends to reflect the level of filtration.

Contact Campsmart