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How You Know It’s Time To Replace Your RV Tank Heaters

How You Know It’s Time To Replace Your RV Tank Heaters

If you plan on traveling through subfreezing temperatures, you need to make sure your water system can handle the cold. That’s why RV tank heaters are a vital part of a fully winterized vehicle. Tank heaters prevent your pipes and tanks from freezing, which means you don’t have to worry about bursting, cracking, or other damage. Instead, you can enjoy running water and a functioning system all season long.

Once you install your RV tank heaters, how long will they last? The answer is different for every RV and RV owner. However, with proper maintenance and basic knowledge of your RV’s water system, you can keep your heating pads in good shape for years or even decades to come. Learn how you know it’s time to replace your RV tank heaters—and how to make the most of your heating pads while you have them—with this overview.

The Importance of an RV Tank Heater

One of the best ways to make the most of your RV is to travel as much as possible. For many people, this includes traveling in the winter. While some RVers choose to head south and spend the cold season in warmer climates, others love the thrill of adventuring through quieter, snowier landscapes. Winter RV trips are the perfect time to get cozy and explore the country’s natural beauty in a unique way. However, the cold weather can damage your RV if you’re not careful.

There are a few things you need to do to prepare your RV for winter travel, and winterizing your water system is one of the most important tasks. Installing heating pads on your water tanks, pipes, and valves helps protect your water system when temperatures drop below freezing.

RV tank heaters and other heating pads do more than just make sure water continues to flow through your RV. When pipes or tanks freeze, the icy contents within them expand. This puts pressure on your tanks and pipes, which can eventually lead to cracks, bursts, and other expensive repairs. Heating pads are a preventative measure that helps keep your vehicle safe and functional no matter what kind of weather you face on the road.

Tips for Maintaining Your Tank Heating Pad

The lifespan of your RV tank heaters depend on how well you take care of them. Proper maintenance keeps your heaters in good shape, ensures proper electrical connection, and helps you get the most out of your winterization equipment. Your RV goes through a lot when you’re on the road. Keep your equipment safe over the long miles and diverse terrain with these essential tips:

Correct Installation

Get off on the right foot with your heating pads by installing them correctly. While putting your RV tank, pipe, and valve heaters into place isn’t complicated, proper installation can be the difference between stressful winter problems and years of success on the road.

The first step of RV heating pad installation is finding the right place for the heater. You want the tank heater to be as close to the drain outlet as possible. The wires should run toward the outlet as well. Once you know where you’re going to place the heater, prepare the tank’s surface by wiping it clean. When the area is ready, peel off the backing on your heating pad and press it onto the surface of your tank. Finally, pat down the entire pad to help it stick securely.

Inspect and Clean Heating Pads Regularly

As you travel, your RV will see a lot of dirt and grime. While RV tank heating pads come with thick foam backings to withstand the conditions of the road, it’s still a good idea to check your heaters from time to time.

While you’re inspecting the area, keep an eye out for wear and tear. Bigger pieces of rock or branches can fly up and damage the heater. Regular inspections will help you catch mild damage early so that you can address the issue before it completely ruins your heating pad.

Protect Your Underbelly

Protecting your RV’s underbelly means protecting your water tanks and tank heating pads. You can install protection or insulation to your RV’s underbelly to act as an extra layer of padding between your water tanks and the roads you drive over. A sheet of corrugated plastic can act as an effective protection barrier. You can also use insulation materials such as underlayment insulation sheets to preserve the bottom of your vehicle. Options like these are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to extend the life of your RV tank heating pads.

Only Use Tank Heaters When Necessary

Another crucial part of maintaining your heaters is to use them properly. Most importantly, don’t use your heaters when the temperature is above freezing or when your tanks are empty. Using RV tank heating pads when there’s no risk of your tanks freezing is unnecessary. It drains power and burns through the life of your heating pad. Always keep your heaters off until the weather calls for them.

Additionally, only use heating pads when the tanks have liquid in them. If there’s no liquid to absorb the warmth, the heaters can damage the tanks themselves. In addition to replacing your heating pads, you might end up replacing your entire water tank.

When To Replace RV Tank Heaters

How do you know it’s time to replace your RV tank heaters? Keep up with regular maintenance and pay close attention to your heaters, especially when the weather first gets cold. Look out for signs of problems such as loose adhesive, damaged wires, or tanks that don’t get warm when the heaters are on. These are indicators that something is wrong, which means it might be time to replace your heaters.

At UltraHeat, we design our RV holding tank heating pads to last for years of adventures. With proper installation and care, your heaters can last for decades and still work as well as they did on your first trip with them.

How You Know It’s Time To Replace Your RV Tank Heaters

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