How to keep RV Pipes from Freezing while Camping? Here’s the Solution!
Winter camping is totally different from summer camping. Snowy landscapes, noiseless surroundings, quiet campsites can attract you to the best nearby snow station in winter.
Winter camping is challenging, unpredictable, and adventurous. Traditional camping in winter can be difficult without prior experience and guidance.
In comparison to traditional camping RV camping is safe, easy, and comforting. Well, if you are planning to pack your RV and take on the chilling cold weather while camping this winter, it is best to familiarize yourself with the following methods.
One of the common concerns that we face while camping during winters is frozen RV pipes. Heat flows by the water that runs through the RV pipes and if they get frozen then there is no free flow of running water.
So let us have a look at what we can do to protect RV pipes from freezing:
Table of Contents
8 Important Points to Keep RV Pipes from Freezing while Camping:
1. Never allow the temperature of your RV to fall down to Zero
No matter if your RV is parked or open in your campsite area, the heat must always be on. To avoid freezing, the best thing to do is to keep to the inside of your RV.
Once the temperature starts to decrease outside, your RV pipes are at higher risk to get frozen so ensure the inside of your RV is at least 50 to 55 Fahrenheit. RV pipes begin freezing when the temperature is less than 20 Fahrenheit. Try to keep the cabinet windows open and make sure the warm air reaches the RV pipes.
The best way to maintain the temperature is by installing heaters. Such as,
- Gas-powered RV furnace or heater
- Electric space heaters or furnace
2. Empty the Tanks Regularly to prevent them from Freezing
One of the unfortunate events one can encounter journeying in their RVs is a power outage. It is hard to maintain warmth and freeze-free pipes. If you face any such misfortune in your camping tour then follow the following course of action.
When water becomes frost it expands in size. So it is wise to never use your RV tank in its full capacity, otherwise, it can cause serious damages to the RV pipes.
The one and the only cure to this problem is keeping your RV tanks half-empty all the time and drain out the waste regularly.
3. Use an Anti-Freeze
Another common and effective way to keep your pipes from freezing is by using an antifreeze solution. All available antifreeze products may not be suitable for RV use. Antifreeze solutions have different compositions, so pick a solution that is suitable to use for your RV.
Toxic antifreeze solutions are green in color and the non-toxic ones are generally pink.
Here’s one that you can use for your RV:
The correct way, to begin with, is by emptying the whole tank, continue with this process until the water turns clear. Lastly, pour your antifreeze solution into your empty tank. Check your antifreeze bottle or user manual for the amount you should apply.
The amount should be proportional to the size of your RV tank. Use the correct amount for efficient results.
4. Keep the Valves Closed
If you search online, you can come across tips that advise you to keep your RV valves open. But on the downside, open valves can start flooding. It is better to keep your valves closed in winter.
When water starts freezing inside your tanker, it expands and some of the water reaches the hoses due to that pressure. Open valves cause damage to your pipes or hoses. Do your best to try and avoid that and make sure valves are closed.
5. Use Heat Tapes on Pipes and Hoses
If you apply warmth to anything directly it keeps the cold away for a long time. Heat tapes are cost-effective, simple, and hassle-free which is meant to provide heat to the RV pipes.
You can easily find heat tapes in any hardware store as well as online. Another interesting feature about heat tapes is that they adjust themselves to the surrounding temperature. The heat tapes increase the heat when the outside temperature decreases.
Heat tape only works effectively if fastened tightly. To make it more secure an electrical cap can be used.
6. Safeguard the Hose
Do not park your RV in an open area when the weather is freezing outside. But in case you are left with no other choice then take other possible measures to safeguard your RV pipe.
We have already discussed various ways you can protect your RV from freezing while camping, but you can always take some precautionary measures. Such as the measure of installing heated hoses.
While parking your RV at a freezing temperature, always try to place the drain in a downward direction. You can also put the sewer hose or pipes supports aloft to protect and safeguard them.
7. Make the best use of the Skirting Method
Among other popular methods, skirting is known to effectively prevent RV pipes and plumbing from freezing. But it is ineffective if not done right. At first, layout your RV skirt and ensure that there is no gap left, heat can escape even through a small gap.
Secondly, you need to pick the right size skirt for your RV, which is available both online and offline. Measure the length required or simply pick up the skirt according to your RV model.
Thirdly, park your RV on your campsite area, spread the skirt, and cover the skirting with an insulation board for complete heat protection.
Last but not the least, insulation can preserve the heat and prevent freezing. Insulators are non-conductive materials that heat cannot penetrate.
Based on popularity and availability three elements are used for RV insulation, block foam, spray foam, and fiberglass.
- Block Foam: Block foams are easy to use as they may be cut according to need. Block foams are long-lasting. It can resist both heat and moisture.
- Spray Foam: Spray foam is a great insulator for protecting pipes and hoses. Just spray on the required areas.
- Fiberglass: Fibreglass is easy to install and cost-effective. But it is ill-advised to use fiberglass in areas where your RV is open to moisture.
Your RV’s heating pipes ensure that you have somewhere warm to rest and relax even when you are out camping in the winter. Ensuring that these pipes are always well insulated will go a long way in making your camping experience flawless.
You can employ any of the methods mentioned in this article to keep your RV pipes from freezing while camping in top-notch condition, no matter the cold.