Winter RV Camping – Prevent Water and Sewer Lines from Freezing in Very Cold Temperatures


We have hit the COLD weather, with the recent blast of arctic air and cold wind chills that has blasted across the US this winter 2009. Beyond skirting the RV, we have now added heat tape to the sewer line, as well as redone the heat tape on our water line.

Heat tape both sewer and water lines going to park utility service. (this is electric conductor generated heat tape that plugs in to 110v, and heats water lines), for both sewer and water pipes.

Prevent RV Sewer Line from Freezing with Heat Tape

We also purchased outdoor plug extensions with triple outlet on them. We then wrapped the sewer lines with a hot water heater blanket.  We chose this because of the plastic exterior, a smaller insulation thermal blanket option complete with a rip stop plastic coating on the outside.  This insulation blanket will to help prevent the RV sewer line from freezing up by helping maintain the temperatures the Electric Heat Tape was providing inside the blanket, that is wrapped around the sewer pipe.  We left the blanket a bit loose for internal air space, although tried to seal the opening pretty well.  We split the blanket to get 14 linear feet out of it, leaving us excess material.  In anticipation of winter, RV water and sewer lines are as short as possible by where we parked the rig.

Wrap RV Sewer with heat tape and Insulation blanket for cold weather RV living

Here you see the blanket laying open,

RV Sewer Line insulated for Winter RV Camping

Here the blanket is wrapped and taped. We added three trash bags that were cut to make sleeves, the tucked the excess in the sewer hose ladder.  We did this as an extra moisture barrier as we have been getting “feet” of snow…

Sewer and Water lines have heat tape, insulation, and overall wrapped.

We re wrapped the water line with tube insulation for pipes because it had been so cold, and realized a leak that we fixed immediately with a new set of washers, one with the screen that is on your rv, as well as a new hose due to a coupling that would not seal.  Any leaks however small will freeze a line or hose if ice is allowed to build up.  We used the (water and gas line type) black foam hose insulation with split, found at hardware stores and your local building supply. (The little green box on the water line is provided by our RV park.  It has spray insulation in it, and a bulb mounted to the inside with wire coming out the outside.  It is another a great Winter RV Camping idea, but we have heat tape and insulation on the entire line all the way to the ground, so only use the box as an additional cover to the RV Park water faucet part of the line.  We have the line heat tape wrapped all the way to the ground and well insulated so the RV park line is protected with our water hose anyway, but we add it because they request it.)

We wrapped water line again, this time using aluminum tape to prevent sun damage

then used aluminum tape to coat as the sun damages this material easily. For the sewer lines, we also applied the heat tape, then added hot water tank sheet material by cutting the “hot water tank” blanket sheet down the middle, and creating about 14 feet of length that way. We leave tanks open so nothing is held to freeze, and with the under side heated with bulb, and the heat tape and insulation on both the water and sewer, the wind chills will not effect the exterior lines, and the heat tape does enter the skirting for a foot or so to keep that transition warmed. With the bulb under the tank lines, they too seem unaffected at this point to these extreme temperatures.

Be sure and read our feature on RV Skirting.