There is a lot of equipment you’ll need to become familiar with whenever you decide to buy an RV. The RV water hoses are much like a garden hose, yet it plays a vital role in the functioning of your RV. The hose connecting your RV to a campground water spigot is known as an RV water hose, and any appliances or faucets using water rely on this hose.
In most weather, the use of these poses no issues, yet once temperatures drop, you can find your RV water hose freezes. So, learning how to keep the RV water hose from freezing is one of the first things you should do. There is a strong probability that the nights turn extremely cold when traveling in your RV. So, what can you do to freeze-proof RV water hose?
In our guide, you can find out when to expect an RV water hose freeze and how you can get over a frozen RV water hose. By the end, you’ll know the fixes, but prevention is better than cure, so you can learn how to avoid a frozen water hose when you are off cold weather camping. (Learn How To Install Bubble Levels On A Travel Trailer)
At What Temperature Do RV Water Lines Freeze?
Once the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius, your RV pipes may freeze. However, water doesn’t immediately freeze when it hits freezing.
It takes a while for the water to be completely frozen, thus why you often find your RV water hose freezing in the morning as the temperature drops for the desired time at night.
Overview of unfreezing an RV Water Hose?
Sometimes there is nothing you can do since the temperature is just too low to keep the RV water lines from freezing. However, you still need water in this case, so you must unfreeze your RV’s water hose.
Use a heat gun on the hose connections as soon as possible to unfreeze your frozen RV water hose. The connection locations should be heated for five to ten minutes. Make sure to circulate the gun around the connection on all sides, so it thaws evenly.
You can detach the hose from the valves on your RV and water supply once the connection point has thawed. Then, bring the entire hose inside once it has been unscrewed so that it may warm up.
To stop the melted ice dripping everywhere with the hose inside, put the ends of the hose in your RV’s shower.
Can RV Skirting Prevent An RV Water Hose Freezing?
RV skirting will keep your RV water system from freezing, preventing cold air from flowing beneath your RV.
Make sure you scroll down to find out more about heated water hoses since your RV skirt does nothing to stop your hose from freezing. (Learn How Long Does Flex Glue Take To Dry)
How to Keep an RV Water Hose from Freezing
Many RVs struggle in freezing temperatures, which leads to your water lines freezing. If your hose is already frozen because it is extremely cold, a heated RV water hose can thaw in time.
Here are more free tips on ensuring water freezes where it should and not inside your water hose.
1. Wrapping Water Hose
To know how much RV water hose insulation to purchase, measure the hose length and write the length.
To make it easier to measure your water hose, lay it straight on a flat surface.
2. Use Heat Tape
Every 1 ft along your hose, tape heat cable. An RV hose heater tape senses the temperature of the hose, and the heat cable detects when it is too cold. On your heated hose kit, you’ll need to tape the sensor to the hose and wrap electrical tape to hold them together.
Two things to note are that you’ll need heat cables and heat tape that matches your hose’s length, and electrical tape could come unstuck once it gets wet.
Ensure heated hoses are not coiled, as this can cause the hose to heat too much and cause damage.
3. Foam Insulation Tubes
With foam insulation tubes, enclose the hose and heat cable. Get enough foam tube to match the length of your hose.
Pull the side of the insulating foam tubes apart to insert your hose. Insert your hose, and then use duct tape every 1-2 feet to hold the hose in position.
You can use this foam insulation to insulate your water hose port on your RVs; these are available in 90-degree angle pieces.
There is no need for tape because you can find some self-adhesive foam tubes.
4. Insulation Tape
Pipe insulation tape can protect the foam’s outside and help stop heat from escaping. Wrap close to the hose’s end, and overlap the tape with each coil by roughly 1/2 inch until you reach the other end of the hose.
Insulation tape is easily found in your local hardware store.
You can wrap your hose in aluminum foil rather than insulation tape as a substitute. To hold it in position, use duct tape every foot.
5. Connect Power
Plug your heat cable into a power supply to keep your hose warm. Heat cable must have a power source, so run the plug from the campsite power supply or your RV outlet.
6. Connect Water
Connect your water supply and your RV’s pump. Connect the far end to the camp water supply pump. Open the valves so fresh water can run into your RV.
To prevent your hose from freezing, you can fill your fresh water tank and then disconnect your hose. (Learn How Many Wheel Chocks Do I Need)
Insulating Water Valves and Tanks
- To keep water lines from freezing, wrap a skirt or insulating foam boards around the base of your RV so it won’t be cold underneath. The foam boards won’t work if they don’t fit tightly under your RV.
- The water valves and the supply hose you’re using need to be insulated.
- Keep a heat lamp there to melt any ice in the water chamber. Typically, the RV’s exterior compartment is where the water valves are located.
- Even though a water compartment could be heated when your RV is running, if the temperature drops, it could still freeze. To prevent your valves from freezing and stopping water flow through them, plug in a small space heater or heat lamp in the compartment.
- When not in use, make sure the heater or lamp is unplugged.
- You cannot keep your tanks thawed using a heater or lamp if exposed to the elements or outside.
- Try using a heat gun or hot water to melt any ice that has formed on the valves if they freeze. Keep the heat gun moving, or it could get too hot.
- Don’t empty the water tanks until they are full. Because they are more likely to freeze, empty water tanks risk having ice plugs, clogged valves, and hoses.
- If there is any possibility of freezing, use a holding tank heater. Similar to electric blankets, holding tank warmers keep your tanks from freezing. Plug the water-holding tanks into the tank heater before plugging it into your RV. Then, keep the heater on when it gets below freezing to prevent frozen hoses and water tanks.
DIY Heated RV Water Hose
The first technique is as easy as heating and insulating your current water hose. Here are the methods to achieve that correctly:
- Measure enough heat cable to cover the length of your hose after measuring it. In colder climates, these cables naturally warm up and offer insulation.
- Disconnecting the hose from the water system will make this step simpler. To keep the sensor firmly pushed to the hose, use electrical tape.
- Next, wrap the cable so that it is parallel to the hose and tape it to place it in place.
- Never wrap it around because doing so could cause the hose to overheat and damage. For maximum safety and effectiveness, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions whenever in doubt.
- After the heating cable has been fastened to the hose, you can insulate the entire assembly with insulation tubing or pipe wrap. This additional covering traps heat and blocks out cold.
- Insulation made of pipe wrap is chosen because it may be bent by your water hose easily. And it’s as simple as hanging the thermostat and plug for the heating cable from the end of the hose and cable while wrapping them in insulation.
- If insulation tubing is your preferred option, separate one side of the tube and insert the hose.
- Never wrap a heating cable around a hose; it could cause damage and overheat.
- If not, use duct tape to link the locations where you formed the opening and tape them every one to two feet.
- Have difficulties covering the hose’s attachment point to your RV? Special foam insulation pieces with 90o angles are available and fit correctly.
- A unique adhesive designed for frigid temperatures and a metalized surface are features of insulation tape.
- Wrap the tape around the hose beginning at one end and overlapping it by half an inch with each coil until the opposite end is covered.
- You inserted a heating cable that is powered by electricity. You can plug the cable into any nearby power supply or one of your RV’s outlets once the hose has been completely insulated. The heating operates when the sensor determines that the temperature is low enough.
- The water tank port on your RV should receive the hose. Next, connect the port’s opposite end to a neighboring pump system. Before opening the valves, make sure all connections are solid.
To be cautious, you can add water to your tank before cutting the hose to stop it from freezing.
Even though it could be a little more labor, you won’t have to worry about manually using a heat gun to defrost a frozen hose.
One of the safest and most straightforward options is to keep a spare water hose for when temperatures drop. (Learn RV Water Pump Not Pumping Water)
In addition, you can find a few different brands of heated water hose, yet you need to ensure these are suitable as drinking water hoses. If you have bottled drinking water, your heating cable and hose options are more when you connect to a city water supply.