February 5, 2021

How To Keep RV Pipes from Freezing While Camping

Nicholas Bates

Written by

Nicholas Bates

verified-author

If you are thinking of ways to keep your RV pipes from freezing while camping, you have found the right article to help you.

To give you an overview of what we will cover in this article, you will be learning about some of the secret methods that I use that most people don't know about. We will also be covering the use of antifreeze, positioning your RV in the right place, and how to avoid getting a frozen tank, just to name a few.

Some of the ways that you may use to keep your RV pipes from freezing during camping is by using heat tapes on your pipes and hoses, turning on your space heater to increase the internal temperature of your RV, and by adding some antifreeze to your holding tanks.

Keep in mind that all of the available information in this article has been tested beforehand in real life, so they are completely legit and effective in helping you keep your RV pipes from freezing. On top of that, I would only share the methods and techniques that have proven to be working for me in real life so you can be sure that these methods do work.

How To Keep RV Pipes from Freezing While Camping | Today I'm Outside

Table of Contents:

Empty Your Tank To Prevent It from Freezing

One way you could use to prevent your tanks from freezing is by emptying your tank at a certain period. It might be difficult for you to prevent your tank from freezing, especially when there is a power shortage in a certain area where you might be located. Just in case you're facing this type of situation when you are currently in a spot where the temperature is extremely low, you might want to consider following some of these rules.

Firstly, it's vital for you to know that water expands when it freezes. This means that a full or almost full holding tank will increase the level of pressure inside of the holding tank and, in a worst-case scenario, will cause your tank to get cracked. The second worst-case scenario would be when the tank starts to thaw out starting from the top surface.

Consequently, this might lead to unwanted things such as the push-back effect of the thawing water that will fill the pipes in your RV. When this thing happens, you will most likely be able to notice that your shower, sink drains as well as the interior toilet starts to malfunction. If nothing is done to fix this condition then, it's just a matter of time when your RV will start to get flooded with freezing water.

The best solution to solve this problem is by emptying your waste tank right before they are full. Based on my previous experience, I would highly recommend you to empty your waste tank when it's half-full to avoid any unnecessary problems in the future.

Set Your Thermostat Furnace to Balance the Interior Temperature

Just in case you are planning to use your RV to drive all the way to your destination or even use it as your accommodation throughout the winter season, then you might want to make sure that it would be able to provide as much warmth as it possibly could. An extreme drop in temperature in your RV may have the potential to cause the rig to be frigid, which is clearly not good for you.

One thing that you should keep in mind is the fact that pipes would usually start to freeze just as soon as the temperature reaches 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In order for you to maintain the pipes from reaching this level of temperature, you should always remember to set your thermostat furnace to at least 45 degrees when the night falls.

The reason for this is to prevent the temperature in the pipe from falling to the freezing level. Apart from that, the doors of the cabinet sink should also be opened so that you would be able to allow the warm air to pass around the pipe's surface, further preventing the possibility of the water inside from freezing.

One common thing that you might notice when you start to open the doors of your RV in the morning is the hole located on the surface of the pipe exit. If you are facing a similar situation as I was, then you should always cover those holes by using a sealant that is widely available for purchase in every hardware store. This is done to prevent any critters or rodents from crawling into those pipes.

Add Some Antifreeze into Your Tanks

Most people tend to just let the antifreeze do its work; however, you should also keep in mind the fact that not all antifreeze has the same quality and performance when it comes to preventing your water from freezing. The type of antifreeze that you want specifically for this case is obviously the one that is made for an RV.

Some of the characteristics of the one that is made for an RV would usually be non-toxic, so you have to read the labels before you buy one. Apart from that, it also has a special pink color that is entirely different from a regular antifreeze that would normally be found as a green liquid. The proper way to use this antifreeze is to start by first draining all of the tanks that contain black and gray water.

Once you have done that, start by pouring a considerably small amount of pink-colored antifreeze into your tank. Most of the antifreeze that is made for an RV would usually provide a suggestion of the amount of antifreeze that you should pour, which you can follow as well. However, you should also bear in mind that the amount of antifreeze that you should pour also depends on the size of your tank. If you're not sure, then you may just pour a small amount of antifreeze into the tank, just like how I've mentioned before.

Use Heat Tapes on Your Pipes

Another cheap way that you may use to maintain the temperature of your RV pipes from going down is by using some heat tapes to apply a decent amount of heat onto the surface of your pipes. This is one of the easiest and cheapest options that works extremely well with me in the past. You can find these heat tapes in most hardware stores.

By default, it has been designed in a way that it would automatically increase the temperature by releasing heat just as soon as it detects a temperature change on the pipes. To reap the most benefits from your heat tapes, I would highly recommend you to fasten your heat tapes by using electrical tape to securely fasten them along the hose length.

Other than that, you will also need to make sure that you fasten the heat tape on every single foot of the hose to get an ideal result.

Use a Portable Space Heater

Let's just agree to the fact that no one knows better than you when it comes to your RV, and for this reason, you most probably know best which particular areas in your RV that are most vulnerable to freezing. Hence, you should always try to add some extra heating elements to prevent yourself from getting any discomforts.

For example, since the water compartment of your RV contains a lot of valuable water valves and it would usually be located outside of your vehicle, it's important for you to give it some extra care. The only thing that you will need for this is a portable space heater. In most cases, this would usually be more than enough to prevent the water from being frozen.

However, when deciding to buy which space heater is the one that you would use for your RV, it's important that you add the size of the space heater into your consideration. The reason for this is to prevent yourself from buying a space heater that is too big to fit into your RV and ends up just losing money at the end of the day.

My Secret Method

Most people overlooked the importance of skirting your RV and how it could impact the overall temperature of your RV pipes. Skirting your RV is very simple to do and is also one of the most effective techniques that I personally used before in my camping adventure. However good skirting may be, it needs to be done the right way; otherwise, all of your efforts will be in vain.

The first step that you need to do is to make sure that you install the skirt tightly to your RV so that you would be able to prevent any heat from escaping into thin air through the small openings that you might not notice. For this particular reason, you will also need to pick just the right skirt for your RV and to make sure that you park your RV on a flat surface.

Parking your RV on a bumpy surface will most likely cause your RV skirt to have some small gap, which could let some heat escape. A bumpy surface is not an ideal place to park your RV, so be sure to park it on a flat surface. If you would like to minimize the chance of leaking more heat from your RV, then I would recommend you to cover your RV skirt with an insulation board just to be safer.

Home /

Posts /

How To Keep RV Pipes from Freezing While Camping

About THE AUTHOR

Nicholas Bates

Hi there! I'm a 30-year-old RV owner. My wife and I started our RV journey back in 2013 when we had our first son. The first RV that I purchased was the 2007 Tiffin Allegro. One of the things that I love the most about this lifestyle is that it allows me to travel to multiple places with my family while having the comfort of being at home in my lovely RV. Currently, we're using the 2016 Forest River Grey Wolf 26DBH Travel Trailer, which we tow behind our truck.

email-iconEmail Author

Legal Information

Todayimoutside.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.