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How to Prevent Freeze in Your RV (Both Inside and Outside)

Written by Philip Lopez / Fact checked by Paul Lemaire

how to prevent freeze in your rv

I love camping outside in winter because it is so romantic. My family can set the fire and converse together in thick clothes at low temperatures. Although camping in winter is an excellent idea, it can occur many sudden bad problems. One of the worst issues is the freeze of water. The RVs are not good insulators as buildings so that we can feel cold even staying inside the RV.

Additionally, the RV plumbing such as fresh-water tanks, pipes, waste tanks could be freeze and cracked when they get too cold. Therefore, you should equip pieces of knowledge carefully if you want to travel in winter. In this article, I will share my helpful experiences on how to prevent freeze in your RV.

Table of Contents

Ways to Prevent Freeze Damage in Your RV

1. Keep the Temperature of the RV Above Freezing

Many pipes have shown the freeze at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but you should set at least 45 degrees on your thermostat of the furnace.

Keep this temperature overnight to prevent frigid inside the rig. Moreover, you ought to open the sink cabinet doors to maintain warm air around those pipes.

When you open the doors, you can see cavities around the hole where the pipe contacts the floor or wall. These gaps can lead cool air into your RV, so you can use the sealant to cover those gaps. Besides that, the sealant can prevent rodents or bugs from approaching your RV.

To hinder the escape of warm air, make sure to insulate doorways and windows with beneficial products such as insulating curtains or Reflectix.

The important thing that you need to remember when running propane is ventilation. Keep the ceiling vent cracked or window open so the toxic fumes can get off. Besides that, you could use space heaters to warm up the area inside your RV.

2. Insulate Tanks And Pipes on the Outside of Your RV


Some types of RVs consist of insulated basement storage places, and this thing is very beneficial to prevent pipes from freezing when they go over storage bays. If your RV doesn’t have this function, you need to equip other measures to protect your pipes.

Moreover, you can wrap these pipes and exposed tanks with insulation. With your exteriors in your unit, you use the insulation to cover them and hold that padding at a permanent position with rubberized sheeting. To maintain the warmth of the interiors, you can add more layers of insulation to the bays.

3. Warm Up the Tank And Pipes on the Outside of Your RV

A tank heating pad is a good temporary solution for you to warm up your pipes. The pads are integrated with thermostats so that they will turn on automatically when the temperature of your tank is too low, and they turn off when the tank gets warmer.

Another way to warm the pipes is by putting heat lamps or small heaters inside the bays. But remember that you should keep the stored appliances far away from the heating items.

4. Don’t Get Your Tank Too Full

You must know that water can expand when it freezes. Hence, when you face with freezing temperatures, you ought to keep your tank empty. Unless the pressure of freezing can crack the tank.

If your RV’s tank isn’t cracked by thick ice, the thawing liquid can be backed up the pipes into the closest interior such as shower area, toilet and sink drain. Certainly, it will cause flooding of wastewater and bad odors.

5. Protect Connections Between the Park’s Utilities And the RV


It would help if you kept a downward slope of the connection between RV’s sewer and the drain because fluids in hoses are effortless to freezing. Some campers have changed to use solid PVC pipes instead of original RV sewer to prevent them from leaking and cracking.

You can protect your fresh-water hose from freezing by making your own product. Cover the hose with insulation and finish by applying the heat tape outside.

You can maintain one tap dripping as your faucets to remove stagnant water from freezing inside your fresh-water hose.

6. What Should We do if Our RV Plumbing Freezes

Although you have followed the entire steps above, you can often face not running water problems. In this case, you ought to perform some quick tests to prevent damage.

Step 1: Determine where the freezing happened so that you can address the wastewater tanks first. Go outside and check the wastewater hose. If you feel it is frozen at all, you have to defrost it immediately.

Step 2: Use a hair-dryer or heat tape to warm up along the length of the wastewater hose until the water removes completely, you should start from sewer drain to RV’s sewer outlet.

Step 3: Check the fresh-water hose. Turn off the spigot and remove it from the RV. Use items on step 2 to thaw the water inside. Remember that you do not use hot water to defrost the water inside the hoses because the difference in temperature will crack them.

Step 4: Check the entire water source inside your RV.


These are some ways to prevent freezing both inside and outside your RV. I have successful and enjoy romantic journeys conveniently.

Did you find these tips on how to prevent freeze in your RV are beneficial with your RV? There are a lot of ways to prevent freeze damage to your RV like using RV antifreeze or you even can winterize your RV without using it.

Let us know in the comments below!

Please share them with other campers once you are successful.


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