How to Keep RV Pipes from Freezing While Camping

How to Keep RV Pipes from Freezing While Camping

Frozen RV pipes can be more than just a headache during your camping trip. Severely frozen lines may cause major damage to your RV’s water system and other undesired consequences. 

However, you can try a few tricks on your RV’s water pipes to prevent them from freezing when the temperature drops down. 

If you don’t know what to do, this post will list down some easiest ways of preventing your RV pipes from freezing.

Insulate the Water Pipes

The first thing to look for in your RV is the line for freshwater that runs from its storage tank to your sinks and other pipework. There is a higher chance for the RV pipes to freeze if exposed outside from the underbelly. 

Therefore, insulating your RV pipelines is an effective way to prevent them from freezing. You can wrap heat strips around your freshwater and sewer hoses to keep them warm and avoid freezing. Don’t forget to cover the valves and connectors that are most likely to freeze.

For added protection, you can use foam insulation in combination with heat tape.

Insulate RV Bays

One of the most effective methods to insulate your RV bays and pipes is to add extra insulation. For example, you may caulk any holes or gaps in the insulation that might allow chilly air inside the RV.

If you’re headed to regions that may lack insulation, make a trip to a nearby home improvement store. There you can purchase 8ft x 4ft insulation board sheets and slice them to fit any weak areas in your RV.

Skirt Your Camper

RVs are designed to sit above the ground and enable cold air to circulate beneath them. RV skirts prevent this by completely covering your pipes. You may either make your custom RV skirting or buy one that is specifically made for RVs.

Skirting the RV is an excellent idea if you plan to be parked throughout the winter. So, consider skirting before the weather gets too cold, as it may protect your RV from freezing air, snow, and ice.

Open Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

The heat in your RV cannot flow through closed doors. However, you may notice a significant temperature difference when you open your cabinets. So, you should open your RV cabinet doors to allow the heat to the back walls. This will likely prevent any piping from freezing behind the wall or inside the cabinets.

In addition, check this list of the most convenient RVs with toilets and showers

Heat the Bays

The RV storage bays usually contain water lines, pipes, and electronics critical for the RV to function correctly. They can be affected by the freezing temperatures. As a result, you can face several issues. 

However, four-season campers often contain heat ducts that can warm your storage bays by pumping warm air whenever the furnace runs. These ducts are designed to keep the storage bay temperature just above freezing level to prevent any damage to the pipes. 

But what if your RV is not a four-season camper? In such a case, you can place a space heater inside the bay. This may help protect your pipes and essential items from freezing and breaking. 

However, it can be risky to keep a space heater. Therefore, you should always stay alert and watch the heater to counter any emergency as soon as possible. 

Drain the Tanks and Water Pipes

If you’re staying in an RV park or the forecasted temperature makes you worried, you should empty all your tanks and lines.

This will prevent the water from freezing inside the pipes, which can cause damage such as clogged pipes, split hoses, and leaked tanks. 

Moreover, If you’re still using an RV park’s resources, double-check that all pipes in or out are slanted downward. Since even the tiniest loop or bend can hold water, making it more susceptible to freezing or clogging with slushy water.

Add Antifreeze

If you’re going out for a short trip, you can get away by adding antifreeze to your tanks containing water. However, you must make sure you have ample water supply to drink and cook food as you can not use water with antifreeze for drinking. 

Moreover, you should never add antifreeze to your freshwater tanks since that is the only source of consumable water in your RV. 

Final Thoughts

Keeping your pipes from freezing is important as the water expands when it freezes, causing the pipes to leak or break apart. Luckily, protecting your RV pipes from freezing is not very difficult as you can easily deal with the freezing temperatures by following some effective tricks. 

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

Recent Posts