If you’re boondocking somewhere with moderate temperatures in the day, that dip to freezing overnight, you might worry about your tanks or water lines freezing. Rest assured, if it’s freezing temperatures for just a few hours, you probably have nothing to worry about.
Most of your water lines, if not all, are inside the RV. That means, unless the interior drops below freezing long enough to freeze the lines, the outside temperatures will not be an issue. Likewise, the water inside your tanks will take more than a few hours to freeze solid.
Preventing Your RV Water Lines From Freezing While Boondocking
Check the weather report every day while camping; look at the hourly forecast to see exactly how long it’s going to freeze overnight, and what time the freezing temperatures will begin.
Often, the freezing temperatures are just for a few hours right around sunrise. If that’s the case, you probably nothing to worry about, even if you’re not heating the inside of the RV. Also, if you’re heating the inside of your RV, a couple of hours of freezing temperatures outside won’t affect you.
However, an entire overnight freeze could be an issue. The best thing you can do for one night of freezing temperatures is to keep the interior warmer. Since most of the water lines are inside, behind the shower and under the sinks so open the cabinet doors to the cabinets to let warm air in.
Also, running water won’t freeze, so turn on the faucets, just a little, if you get up to go to the bathroom during the night.
If You’re at a Campground with Water
If you’re at an RV park or a campground with a water hook-up, unhook the hose before bedtime to keep it from freezing. Simply turn on the water pump overnight.
The Snowbird Lifestyle
One of the wonderful things about the RV lifestyle is that you can travel to warmer weather; most full-time RVers are “snowbirds” who “fly south” to warmer weather during the winter. Rather than camping somewhere with freezing winters, consider moving your RV to someplace warmer. Keep in mind, even in the deserts of Arizona, you will still get at least a few nights with freezing temperatures.
If You Can’t Move During the Winter
If you’re living full-time somewhere cold in your RV, and you can’t move, there are some things you can do to keep your water lines from freezing.
Go stay at an RV park with full hookups, and get a heated freshwater hose. You can purchase a water hose with a built-in electric heater.
- Skirt your RV; this means blocking off the underside, to keep the cold air from blowing under your RV.
Once your RV is skirted, you can also place a small electric heater underneath to keep it warm.
Cover the windows with Reflectix to keep the cold air out.
Keep the inside warm with a heater.
Keep in mind, most RVs are not made to withstand prolonged freezing temperatures. RVs are built with summer vacations and snowbirds in mind. If you have to stay in a cold place, the best thing you can do is to skirt the RV and keep it well heated.