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How to Prevent Your Camper Water Pipes from Freezing

November 28 , 2018

If you have an RV, chances are you enjoy traveling and enjoying the great outdoors as often as possible. During the winter though, things are a little less fun when it comes to keeping your water pipes from freezing over. One way to do this is to keep the water running at all times, but this is obviously not an ideal situation if you’re on the road regularly. That’s okay, there are other ways to keep your pipes from freezing over!

Insulated Tape

When sitting still inside of a metal pipe, water is more likely to freeze over because the surface around it is so cold. However, RV enthusiasts and plumbers alike have found solace in heating tape! When applied, insulated tape should be placed along the length of the pipe, and not wrapped around it. Since this tape uses electricity, you’ll need to allow the actual heating portion to remain exposed at the end of the pipe. The rest of the tape needs to be covered with insulated padding and secured with duct tape; now you can easily adjust the setting.

Pick a Good Campsite

Location is important when dealing with cold weather, and if you’re sitting in one spot for awhile you’ll want to park somewhere in the sunlight. If you stand in the shade for a few minutes and then move into the sun, you’ll feel a sincere difference even if it’s only by a few degrees. If temperatures are determined to be below freezing at your site, skirt your RV and use a tarp for extra insulation.

Cut Off the Water if Your RV is Not in Use

If you plan on staying home for the holidays, or just finished your travelling for the year, empty your supply. It does take a few minutes to do, but it’s worth preventing the hundreds of dollars you’ll spend trying to fix a broken pipe.

Drain and flush out your pipes completely before placing it in storage. Use an air compressor below 50 psi and a connector to your city water to push the water out of each faucet, toilet, and water heater. Be sure to pull the plug on your water heater to drain all excess water. Shut off access to the valves of your black and gray water tanks and empty them as well. Don’t forget to fill the pipes with non-toxic antifreeze and pour a little into your J-tube in the drain. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises when it’s time to turn things back on and get them running again!

Like your pipes, you have the option using heating blankets on your tanks as well in case you do need to get back to RV life during the winter.

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