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Protecting Your RV Plumbing for Winter Camping

Winter camping can be a beautiful adventure, but only if your RV is ready to take on the frigid conditions. Frozen plumbing lines can quickly ruin a cold weather getaway.
10-1A Protect plumbing for winter camping
Dominic v.d. Ruit from Pixabay

The good news is that with some preparation, RV plumbing systems can be kept warm and running so you can enjoy camping all-year round.

Dangers of Frozen Plumbing Systems

It isn’t just inconvenient to have frozen plumbing systems in an RV. Without proper care the plumbing lines, water pump, and holding tanks in an RV can easily be ruined. When water freezes, it expands and can crack lines, hoses, and even holding tanks. Cracks in plumbing may be small enough to avoid detection until the water damage becomes apparent, which means even more repairs will be required.

Simple DIY Steps to Keep RV Plumbing Warm

For occasional shorter winter camping trips, there are a few simple and inexpensive tasks that can be done to keep RV lines from freezing up. If the camping schedule is flexible, try to choose days with milder weather in the forecast. It is much easier to keep plumbing lines from freezing when it is -5°C than if it is -30°C.  

For the most effective DIY winterizing of your plumbing systems, focus on the following:

  1. Water Lines

Since water lines in an RV are so narrow and relatively unprotected, they are usually the first to freeze. Heat tape that plugs into the electrical system can be wrapped around the pipes and then covered with pipe insulation.

  1. Storage Tanks

Storage tanks can be kept warm using an RV tank heating pad with a built-in thermostat. Remember to turn up the thermostat at night and turn it down when the temperature rises in the day.

  1. Inside Temperature

Keeping the interior temperature of the RV warm can also help keep the plumbing working properly. Leave the cabinet doors open so the areas where the plumbing is located can warm along with the rest of the RV interior.

  1. Exterior Skirting

Exterior winter skirting is an important part of keeping the underbelly of an RV from freezing up. It is easy to install once parked at the campground and it does a good job of insulating the underside of the RV.

  1. Heated Freshwater Hose

Using a specialty heated hose for freshwater hookup can save a lot of hassle. Standard hoses freeze and crack easily.

10-1B Protect plumbing for winter camping
Image by AJS1 from Pixabay

Enjoying Alberta’s Winter Beauty

Winter RV camping is a great way to experience the sparkling beauty that Alberta’s gorgeous landscapes have to offer in the coldest months. Properly winterizing your RV and always being prepared will make sure that your winter travels are safe and enjoyable.

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