Protect Your RV’s Pipes By Following These Tips
When you are busy making every day count there’s no waiting for the frost to pass before going on your next adventure. Even when it’s freezing cold you can travel with all the comforts of home, and indoor plumbing is definitely one of those essential comforts that we need. If you’ve never used your RV in the winter, or in freezing cold conditions, it is definitely an experience we recommend. Quite a contrast to a typical warm weather adventure, getting on the road during the winter brings a whole different set of adventures and challenges. Before you pack up your RV or trailer and hit the road, there are a number of steps you should take to ensure optimal comfort and fun along the way above and beyond the usual checking of the weather and RV systems. When traveling in cold climates you should protect your RV’s plumbing system from serious damage due to frozen pipes. This includes your holding tanks.
Taking a few short steps before you head out to adventure in a winter wonderland and you’ll be sure to make it back with fun and exciting tales that didn’t end in distaster. Most of these items can be ordered online or found at your local hardware store. Of course, if you don’t know where to start, or want a professional to do the job for you, a quick call to Elite Mobile RV Service and Repair will get you prepared to hit the road and for the journey that lies ahead.
5 Ultimate RV Winter Trip Tips
1) Insulate Your Plumbing System
Frozen pipes are often the culprit to some costly, yet avoidable, repairs. Taking a moment to insulate your RV pipes will not only prevent freezing, but will help you avoid the damages and repairs that frozen pipes bring with them once they thaw. Similar to exposed pipes on a stationary property, pipe sleeves, foam insulation, or even pipe insulation tape can be placed and applied over the pipes directly. It is important to take your time to identify all the exposed pipes, including those umder sinks, in the bathroom, and throughout the kitchen. Any pipes left exposed could be potential for a leak later.
2) Apply Heat
Choosing electrical heating devices, such as heat tape or heat cables, is an alternative to insulation. If you decide to go this route, be sure to select and install options designed specifically for your RV’s pipes and plumbing system, and follow the directions.
3) Skirt Instead
Yet another alternative to insulating your pipes is the skirt your RV, and create heat beneath the RV. Skirting materials are used to block cold winds by surrounding the bottom or underbelly of your RV with either a pre-made skirt or with various materials of your choice. This may include vinyl or insulated foam. The pre-made RV skirts are more popular for this option and can be easily found from a number of manufacturers.
4) Bring In The Heaters
For short trips or unplanned freezes you can bring in the heaters and strategically place them around your RV to keep your pipes warm. This could mean that a small electric heater is placed under the sink in the bathroom while a larger heater is placed in your living area to warm the kitchen and sink areas. Be sure to keep your heaters in an area that doesn’t pose any safety risk to yourself and your family as you move about your cabin, but close enough to keep those pipes from freezing.
5) Consider Holding Tank Heaters
If you are considering freezing weather encounters on a more regular basis then something more permanent like holding tank heaters might be a solution you consider. With proper installation they can help you keep your holding tank water from freezing even in extremely cold conditions. These specialty items are fairly common for year-round travelers.
What To Do If Your Pipes Freeze?
Even with the best of plans your pipes may still freeze. If this happens to you then you can use a hair dryer, heat lamp or heat gun (if you have one available) to defrost your pipes. Taking action immediately can stop pipes from bursting. At the first sign of your pipes freezing turn off any water supply to your RV, open your faucets, turn on the hot water, and start attempting to defrost them. Two common signs of frozen pipes is a lack of water flow or frost on the pipes. If you need professional assistance contact our team 24/7 and we will come to you to help you resolve your plumbing issue, whether it’s due to frozen pipes or just your run-of-the-mill plumbing problems. You’ll be glad you did!