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How To Keep Your RV Pipes From Freezing


One of the joys of RVing is the ability to ride through the great outdoors while still having some of the comforts of home, such as running water. You can wash the dishes, have a warm shower, and take a drink when you want. Your RV’s plumbing system does a lot during every trip you take. However, the system can only work if you take good care of it. When you travel in the winter, your pipes, tanks, and valves are at risk of freezing and bursting. Keep your plumbing from harm with this guide on how to keep your RV pipes from freezing.


Keep the RV Warm

Insulating your RV is crucial to surviving a winter RV trip. When the interior of your RV is warm, it helps keep the pipes in and beneath (omit) the RV warm as well. Techniques like skirting your RV and insulating vents and windows can help your vehicle retain heat when the temperature drops below freezing. You can also use space heaters for added warmth, or open the cabinets closest to your pipes. This will give your RV’s heat better access to the plumbing, keeping your pipes safe.


Maintain Holding Tanks Wisely

Proper plumbing maintenance is a key part of how to keep your RV pipes from freezing. To prevent damage to the system, try to dump your holding tanks only when you are full. Full tanks are less likely to freeze and cause damage or a blockage in the pipes. Additionally, keep your RV dump valve closed when you’re not using it. This will prevent small amounts of water from lingering in the pipes and turning to ice. You can also use a small amount of antifreeze in your gray and black water holding tanks. (Remove this sentence)

For your reference – Most RV antifreeze is not designed to be diluted making it ineffective for this type of use. When using RV antifreeze, the antifreeze is pumped through the entire water system with the exception of the water heater and kept in the lines while the RV is in storage. It is not intended to be mixed with other liquids. Others will advise to add large amount of salt to the holding tanks as salt water freezes at lower temps – 28.4 F vs 32F. This is not recommended as the salt can corrode the metal probes used for measuring the tank capacity).


Install RV Pipe and Holding Tank Heaters

RV pipe, holding tank, and gate valve heaters can also keep your plumbing system safe throughout your winter excursions. These easy-to-install heaters attach directly to the pipes or tank and use your RV’s existing power source to heat the plumbing as necessary. RV heating pads can be lifesavers when you’re stuck in below-freezing temperatures. With proper use, you can ensure your water continues to run safely through the pipes for the entirety of your trip.

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