Save Your RV Hot Water Heater from an Early Death

Don’t forget to change your RV’s hot water heater’s anode rod at the very least every 5 years (and more often if you’ve been around a lot of campgrounds with hard water). They are easy to check the condition of if you aren’t sure. If it looks well corroded, change it sooner.

Just simple RV water heater maintenance.

For those of you not sure what this is, it is a sacrificial rod that attracts corrosive elements in the water instead of letting it destroy the inside of your water tank. They are easy to replace (they just screw out), are quite cheap (usually $5 to $20), and making sure they get changed out regularly will at least double the lifespan of your much more expensive water heater tank.

Just look for the type and model number of the hot water tank on your motorhome, travel trailer, or 5th-wheel. Some tanks have separate holes for a drain plug and anode rod, but some combine the two. If yours is combined, you can consider the combined plug/rod, or simply buy just the rod and remove it anytime you need to drain the tank.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before removing the rod and emptying the tank of water, be certain to turn off the breaker for the hot water heater. If you empty the tank and it turns on, the heating element will burn out in a few seconds, and then you have another project on your hands.

That’s it! It’s super easy maintenance. The only tricky bit is to remember to do it. 

Where can I find anode rods?

Your Camping or RV part store or Amazon carry replacement rods.

Anode Rods available on Amazon

This tip applies to motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels and vans with hot water tanks.

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