Frozen RV Water Pipes

by Dennis


Yet another lesson learned as part of the RV lifestyle. For those who brave colder climates in the RV, take note. If you apply heat to thaw out frozen pipes you should WATCH THOSE PIPES !

My wife, Robyn, our Cat “Dumbass” and I are all newcomers to RV living but we are not new to frozen pipes and should have known better.

When our winter stay in Montana devolved to sub zero (18 below) as we naturally had anticipated and prepared for, we nonetheless had an ice plug form in the pipes that cross over from port to starboard. All of our insulating, skirting, heat tapes, and such did not prevent this. But we were able to locate the problem and apply a small space heater to the affected area in hopes of thawing it out.

We cracked open the faucets to be ready when, and if, the water resumed flowing. And then we went out to dinner and therein lies the problem. Returning to the unit after several hours we were met with cheerfully gurgling faucets and several inches of water on the floor and two large solid blocks of ice where our blackwater and greywater tanks formerly resided.

After about three weeks of chilly treks to the campground rest-rooms, carrying water for drinking and dishwashing, and severe self chastisement, the weather moderated for a long enough period of time to thaw everything out. So WATCH THOSE PIPES !

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Comments for Frozen RV Water Pipes

Dec 30, 2015


by: Anonymous

If you have hot water near the water heater but not far away the hot line is freezing. It is probably exposed outside of the camper below the steps or maybe just running close to a wall would do it.
Can the redytemp run from battery power?

Feb 28, 2015

Pipes Frozen

by: 371 Fuzion

I have a 2015 keystone 371 Fuzion 5th wheel toy hauler I saw a lot of people say leave your port side cabinets open. I don’t have any. My slide is on the port side that contains the fridge. Any one have any other ideas to help thaw out these pipes?

Dec 31, 2014

Frozen Pipes!

by: FredK

We just realized our pipes froze last night! We are living full-time in our camper and this is our first winter. Living in an RV has been full of learning experiences. I recently installed a catalytic heater, last night I opened all the port side cabinets(where the water puppies are) turned the heat on full blast. Within an hour or so our pipes defrosted. If you leave the cabinet doors open and circulate air pipes should defrost. I’ve been writing up our adventures on please check them out.

Nov 16, 2014

frozen pipes

by: Mickey

We have a 5th wheel with frozen pipes. The outside hose is a heat hose and is plugged in and there are heat lamps under the rv. The spicket is covered with insulation also.I had water about 1 hr. ago and now nothing. I don’t know if this is relevant or not but I didn’t have hot water last night. I couldn’t get the water heater to light up. I did have water. Right now I don’t know where it is frozen. I have opened up the cabinets in the bathroom, and kitchen and have small heaters nearby. I have the faucet on. What would you suggest I do?

Thank you,

Oct 10, 2012

New Scamp Owner

by: Pat

We live in Washington. In my research to avoid such situations as frozen water pipes and damaged water pumps, I found a product called Redytemp. This is a water circulator. It keeps the water running through your complete water system, including the hot water heater.

While growing-up in Alaska, I learned the key to winter living was to keep the water circulating. We used to keep one faucet barely on all night. This did the trick. Now and again, I do it here in Washington.

I also get tired of waiting for hot water to travel from my garage to the rest of the house before I finally get “hot” water! So, I may buy 2 of these. Previous Scamp owner did not winterize and I have already replaced one pump. Don’t want to replace the one to the toilet too!

Feb 03, 2011

Need more detail re frozen pipes

by: Your-RV-Lifestyle

I would love to be able to help you with your frozen water problem, but to be able to offer some meaningful advice, I need to know what “tried everything means.” I do suggest that before you attempt to thaw the pipes you turn off your water supply then make sure you have opened the faucets in the affected area.

Please provide some further details so I can try to help.

Feb 03, 2011

Frozen pipes

by: Anonymous

We have frozen pipes, think it is the hot water in the RV. We have hot water in the kitchen but can’t get it to go to the shower or bathroom sink. We have tried everything, do you have any ideas?

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