Going camping in your RV, and it’s wintertime? Then, it is essential to know that as much as you might find winter camping fun, there are also downsides to it for all the recreational benefits. RV pipes are unsuited for cold weather extremities, and in such conditions, they begin to freeze.
When frozen, water access as the water in the plumbing and tanks will freeze too. This will undoubtedly put you in an uncomfortable situation, unable to make the best use of your trip. It can also cause damage to your RV pipes.
Are you thinking of canceling that trip and staying put in the comfort of your home? No need to worry. There are several ways to keep RV pipes from freezing as you set out on your trip.
How To Keep RV Pipes From Freezing
1. Install insulation
Installing insulation is the easiest way to keep your RV warm in the winter.
It will keep your vehicle components and RV pipes free from damage and your living space as warm as possible.
It blocks out the cold winter breeze from damaging your RV pipes and also sucks the heat out of the vehicle.
You can keep your camper warm by:
- Sealing the windows and doors
- Installing window covering
- Using heavy drapes
- Insulating the floor
- Installing foam boards to prevent cold winter winds from freezing your pipes, tanks and sucking the wind out.
2. Protect your RV plumbing
When ice expands, it causes the pipes to expand and crack, leading to severe damage.
The only way to prevent this is by insulating them properly.
▪ Using heat tapes on your pipes and hoses keeps the lines warm and prevents freezing. You can add foam boards for better insulation.
▪ Opening your bathroom and kitchen cabinet allows the interior heating of your camper to keep your internal plumbing system warm.
▪ Fill your internal freshwater tank instead of connecting to an external source. That way, you can disconnect and safely store your freshwater hose to prevent it from freezing.
▪ Use a space heater to keep your water lines from freezing. Do not let the heater come too close to your pipes to avoid overheating and melting.
▪ Adding anti-freeze to your tanks is one good way to protect your valves from freezing.
▪ Only dump your tanks when they are full to avoid exposing them to the harsh wind that can cause them to freeze.
RV engines and their components require extra protection to withstand harsh winter conditions.
- Check your engine before going camping for corrosion and damage. Make sure your batteries are fully charged and secure. Batteries that are partly charged or weak are more likely to freeze or die out in cold temperatures.
- Check your engine for anti-freeze and refill it with the proper solution of anti-freeze and water. Using an engine block heater can provide enough protection and insulation when camping in colder regions. They should be allowed to run for three to five hours before starting your engine.
- Check your RV furnace to ensure that it is in proper working condition before going winter camping. Get a certified technician to inspect as you do not want to get to where you are camping out and discover that it is faulty.
- Check your furnace vents for damage or obstructions that could prevent airflow. If obstructions are found, clean with a soft brush or compressed air to remove dirt and debris.
What to do if your RV pipes are already frozen
- Find out where the freezing is, and use a hairdryer or heat tape to thaw the pipes and continue until the water starts to flow.
- Check if your freshwater hose is frozen. If it is, turn off the spigot and then detach it from the RV. Use a hairdryer or heat tape to defrost.
- Reconnect the hoses and proceed to check other water sources to see how well they function. This will help you to determine which pipes require your attention.
- Keep your window and kitchen cabinet open and your furnace on.
- Do not use hot water to rinse or thaw your pipes, as this can cause cracks that can cause further damage.
- After inspecting the pipes, check the interior and exterior of your van for any possible leaks. If there is any evidence of leakage, switch off your rig and repair the cracks causing the leakage.
When going camping, especially in winter, one cannot be too careful and, as such, must take care to ensure that all proper protocols are put in place. Following the above-listed steps and hacks ensures an enjoyable winter camping trip in your RV. So, go out, make the best of your winter and have fun!
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