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Can I Leave My RV Tank Heating Pads on for Long Periods?


Can I Leave My RV Tank Heating Pads on for Long Periods?

RVs are filled with devices that ensure your travels are comfortable, sanitary, and safe. But knowing how some of these features work can be harder to come by naturally. For instance, there are a lot of questions surrounding the purpose and usage capabilities of RV tank heating pads. Fortunately, we’re here to clear the air and answer a few FAQs about these heaters so that you can use them confidently!

What Are RV Tank Heaters?

Before we delve into whether or not you can leave your RV tank heating pads on for long periods, you must have a firm understanding of what tank heaters are. Moreover, it’s beneficial to know how, exactly, they work. To start, tank heaters are precisely what they sound like. They’re warming devices used to keep the water in your RV’s holding tanks from freezing in frigid temperatures. These devices are essentially electric heating pads that live on the of your holding tanks and are wired into your RV’s electric system.

Typically, there’s a switch in your RV control panel so that you can switch the heaters on and off with ease. Tank heaters are integral to safe and sanitary RVing, especially if you’re traveling through inclement winter weather. They effectively prevent cracking, freezing, and other issues. Plus, the residual heat from these devices paired with gadgets like RV pipe heaters can keep your mobile home’s pipe systems from sustaining damage from hard freezes.

Who Should Use Them and When?

Knowing what RV tank heaters are and how they work is only half the battle. It’s also imperative that you understand who benefits from these devices most and when it’s appropriate to use them. Let us start by saying that RV tank heaters are a valuable tool for RVers of all levels. That said, many have gone without using them and done just fine. For this reason, there always seems to be a debate around whether or not they’re entirely necessary.

Truthfully, it all depends on where you’re traveling. If you’re planning on navigating through snow, ice, and below-freezing temperatures, you’re going to want these devices. They protect perhaps the most sensitive and necessary areas of your RV. They ensure that you have plumbing and clean water regardless of how cold it is outside. So we think it’s safe to say that these heaters are helpful for everyone, especially with freezing weather.

Can I Use Them for Extended Periods?

Now that there’s an understanding of the purpose of these devices, we can finally explore whether or not you can leave your RV tank heating pads on for long periods. The truth is—in most cases—yes, you can leave them on. These devices are built to ensure that your holding tanks don’t sustain damage from freezing weather.

For this reason, their design allows them to stay on without becoming hazardous as long as ambient temperatures are below freezing and there is liquid in the holding tanks and lines. But be mindful; some heaters constantly run so they can be an energy drain if running off of a battery bank. When camping off grid in cold weather, it’s always a good idea to have an alternative power source like a generator to replenish you batteries when they get low. It is also a good idea to install a switch kit so you can easily turn your heaters on and off as needed.

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