Winter RVing & Waterlines

Since we are officially into Spring, I figured I’d post some thoughts about winter RVing and our issues with the waterline freezing.


This past winter, we made it through some bitterly cold days and nights in the camper.  I have to say, it was not all that bad.  One thing we ran into multiple times was freezing waterlines.

Do you remember how we put out the heat hose and insulated the line?  In theory, that works GREAT, just as long as the outlet on your breaker doesn’t trip.  Yes, we had a couple of nights where the heat hose wasn’t even getting juice.  Honestly, we can’t figure out why it tripped, but it did.


Another night it got around zero and the line froze again.  Not through the entire hose, just where the line attaches to the spigot.  This was in the 2013 Forest River Sandpiper.  Obviously, it wouldn’t have mattered what RV it was.  The spigot gets mighty cold and it freezes.

So The Man insulated that portion of the hose with a Rubbermaid tub and placed a sand tube on top to hold it down during the 300 mph South Dakota gusts of wind.  Problem diverted.  (I’ve seen other campers put a 5-gallon bucket over the spigot)


But I will say that at the time, the freezing water was annoying.  Since we hadn’t filled up our water tank we had zero water.  It really is a trade-off…

  • We had our entire 5th wheel freeze over when we went on vacation over Christmas.  If our tank had been filled we would have likely had to replace it because it probably would have cracked.
  • But when our line froze and we had no reserve water in the tank, we got thirsty.  I’ll take thirsty any day of the week and twice on Sunday over replacing our water tank. We simply had to go get water while we waited for the line to thaw.

It’s a good thing we don’t like to be prepared.  🙂

So now we’ve weathered the storm and we feel sorta like pioneers.  This statement is likely laughable since we weathered the storm in a very comfy and heated RV.  Regardless, we like to focus on perceived positives rather than reality.

But all these waterline freezes were in the 5th Wheel.  It really wasn’t so bad looking back.

We had high hopes of no waterline freezes once we moved into the Winnie. In a slightly insane way, I’m comforted in telling you that we also dealt with frozen water in the Winnie.  We are seasoned vets at this water freezing deal.

So the problem at our Winnie was due to the fact that there is a little piece of a pipe fitting that connects through the outdoor shower hookup.


It is not insulated and we are certain it was the culprit.  We tried wrapping the excess heat hose around that area, but it just couldn’t keep up with the freezing temps.

We wised up and bought a shop light.  $5 bought us a thawed waterline and peace of mind.  No more problems since that $5 shop light.


All this to say, keeping the water flowing is NOT completely impossible.  You just have to be prepared to roll with the punches.  It’s best to save your energy and sanity and not get all worked up or upset about the problems that come with the cold weather.

Could we do another winter in the RV?  Absolutely.  Am I happy we don’t have to?


3 thoughts on “Winter RVing & Waterlines”

  1. 1) They sell thermostat type plug in sockets that would turn the light when it goes under 35 degrees, but then turn off when it’s over 45 degrees

  2. Hi Kelici,Lurkuyy there are no snakes in our grass. That is a good point you raised because some competitors will try and undermine you. That is one reason why I like Google Alerts and other tools to keep an eye out. It seems that even today many do not do what you have suggested which is a shame.


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