How to Keep RV Pipes from Freezing While Camping

Whether you are going for a long drive during the winter or are camping somewhere more local, you will need to keep your RV pipes from freezing in the cold weather while you are away.

Frozen RV pipes can be a significant inconvenience to you, and they can even cause damage to the water system of your RV. There are other complications that can be caused by frozen pipes too. 

Luckily for you, we have some tips and tricks up our sleeves that you can use to help keep your RV in great condition.

To make sure that your camping trip during the colder months goes off without a hitch, you can find out here how to get your RV winter-ready by methods like insulating water pipes and keeping warm air and water circulating.

There are also products that you can purchase to help you along the way.

Heat Tape

A great way to help keep lines warm and stop them from freezing is to use heat tape on the pipes and hoses in your RV.

You can wrap up the hoses with heat tape, which will help to keep them warm and prevent them from freezing over. This tape can even be used on valves and connections that are at a higher risk of freezing in cold weather.

Heat tape is a type of small resistor that will transfer heat energy into the metal to help keep them warm. Here are some steps to help you with the process:

1. Run the heat tape along the length of your water hose and anywhere else that you wish to use the tape. Make sure that it is pressed down firmly to ensure that it will stay down.

2. You will need to make sure that the areas you are placing the tape are fully covered to allow for proper insulation. 

3. You can also use this method for application to your sewer hose or any other external hose. 

RV Insulation

There are lots of ways that you can insulate your RV to help things to keep working as they should.

The first thing that you can do to insulate your RV is to seal any windows and doors. Have a look at the seals surrounding the doors and windows to make sure that there aren’t any areas that aren’t fully sealed.

If you do find a weakened area, then you can replace the seals. Do the same for any weather stripping around the exterior of the doors to prevent cold air and moisture from getting inside.

Another thing that you can do is to install window coverings in the form of window film or reflective foil, as these are both affordable and effective ways to insulate your RV.

Foiled reflective insulation is probably the best option of the two as you can cut it to fit your windows, and it also reflects light to create heat, which will help to warm your RV.

If you don’t already have drapes in your RV, now is the best time to get some. These will help to block any drafts of cold air that manage to make it inside when it is cold out.

You can get insulated drapes that work slightly differently from standard drapes as they are specifically designed to insulate.

To take things one step further, you can even insulate the floor of your RV by using foam boards that will block the cold air that comes through the flooring. If you do not wish to use insulating foam, you can lay a carpet inside instead.

Our final method of insulation is RV skirting, which can be installed around the base of the RV to stop cold air and winds from stealing your warmth and freezing any components that you are trying to keep warm.

Facon 12' x 18' RV Holding Tank Heater Pad, 12Volts DC, Use with Up to 50 Gallons Fresh Water/Grey Water/Black Water Tank, Holding Tank Heating Pad with Automatic Thermostat Control

You can purchase these heating pads in different sizes, but the one we are going to look at now is the 12x18 inches version, and it is designed to protect your RV holding tank, pipes, and steps from freezing.

It is thermostat controlled and simply needs to be switched on when the outside temperature is near to freezing.

The built-in thermostat will turn itself on when the temperature reaches 45 degrees Fahrenheit and turn itself off at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This pad will work well with a holding tank of up to 50 gallons, but if it is any larger than this, you will need to use an extra pad. If this is the case, then Amazon also stocks two packs to save you some time.

It is easy to install and can be fixed for your convenience. All you need to do is wire the pad to a 12-Volt DC power supply and RV power switch.

The pad is self-adhesive, which makes it easier to install, and the product comes with a one year warranty.

Pros

  • These pads come in a variety of different sizes and quantities
  • It is designed to protect the RV holding tank, pipes, and steps from freezing
  • Works well with any tank up to 50 gallons
  • Easy to install and use
  • Thermostat controlled for your convenience
  • Comes with a one year warranty

Cons

  • None that we could find

Use the Sun to Your Advantage

There is one way to increase the temperature inside the RV that doesn’t cost any money at all, which is to park your RV in the sun when you stop.

While this can’t be relied on as the only source of heat, it will provide a helping hand when you need it. The sun can help to heat your RV and melt any snow on the outside of your vehicle. This is especially useful if you park in an area that isn’t windy.

If you can’t find such a place, try to position your RV so that the wind hits the front of the RV and not the sides.

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