One of the most fabulous traveling ways to keep going around throughout the entire year has to be RVing. However, there are challenges every now and then. And that’s why we tend to look for matters on RVing so that our trips are more comfortable and less inconvenient.
For example, you looking for methods right now on how to keep rv holding tanks from freezing. I agree that this one specifically is really a concerning thing during the colder months. Because of the outside temperature drops, holding tank contents freezes up and the whole thing becomes a weird problem that many don’t know how to sort out.
Oh, did I mention how awfully expensive it gets once that freaking tank contents decide to freeze up?
No doubt you want to avoid things from turning out that way. And here in this piece of writing, I’ll try to break down some solutions, tips, or ideas (whatever you want to call them) that helps for such a purpose.
Table of Contents
Keep RV Holding Tanks from Freezing – The Key Points at a Glance
- To maintain the heat levels of holding tanks and prevent freezing, a RV holding tank heater can be applicable and a great investment overall.
- Going for RV skirting can show great results from holding back the tanks to be freeze till unusable.
Tips to Keep RV Toilet from Freezing for All 3 Holding Tanks
Generally, there are 3 holding tanks in an RV that you need to take care of. These are the freshwater, black, and grey tank. The location of all three tanks is on the underbelly area of your RV. Now the question is how to keep rv holding tanks from freezing and ensuring all three can be used during the wintertime.
If you have ever noticed the setup in fifth wheels and travel trailers, you’ll see these are quite exposed down there. There are the ones with underbelly insulation too. However, the contents are not really in a great condition to not freeze as soon as the temperature drops. And stays that way for quite a long period.
One effective idea to keep grey tank from freezing is by using some antifreeze product. You can easily pour them inside the tank and this won’t let the freezing happen. You can even antifreeze black water tank.
However, for freshwater tanks, avoid using such a formula. Because the automotive antifreeze in rv black tank is in no way safe for the water system and can contaminate it with toxicity. Also, avoid using these for temporary cold storage securing needs.
Go for Tank Pads with Heating Element
There are many high-end motorhomes that use heated tank pads to keep the freezing problem at bay. However, for other types of RVs, you can choose to install these later.
If you’re questioning and still serving on will rv holding tanks freeze because the weather in your area is quite unpredictable, then maybe it’s not yet a necessary step due to the overall cost.
Don’t Let Heat Escape Through Skirting
This is something that applies to all the holding tanks that are not in a very insulated area. And for such cases, having a method that would not allow any heat to escape through, would be very helpful. Something that also helps in keeping the cold air and wind away from reaching tanks.
Now you can have a few materials and find some attachment techniques for getting this process work. But the most inexpensive one would be using snow, especially for RV fresh water tank insulation. This one work really well when you shovel the snow right around the RV perimeter in piles.
DIY Options To Skirting.
The main part about going with diy options is to ensure that the item is strong enough to fight cold temperature. Most people would like to go with foam boards to do the RV skirting.
Of course, it’s one of the most viable options to go for. However, if you want to use something such as straw or hay bales, then it would be great for mobile homes. Just know that hay bales are usually a pretty mess-making option and you would go through quite a bit of daunting process for getting things done.
This thing even attracts smaller critters as well as mice, so that’s something to be concerned about as well. Be careful when making the choice of material when trying to find a DIY route.
About Dumping Wise & Winterizing
To keep the freezing risks as low as possible, try to keep both valves closed when you dump. And also, make sure you do so when the tanks are quite full. You want to keep the hose at a support. It should be not on the ground but slightly elevated. Maybe during full-timing, this won’t help but try to keep the tanks empty otherwise for winterizing.
Maintaining The Tank with Freeze Protection
Now let’s talk about a few habits that you can get into for keeping the tanks out of any freezing chances. These are mostly pretty little tricks you follow that combinedly can make a huge difference in solving this problem.
The first one is meant to keep rv fresh water tank from freezing. And it’s pretty simple, just make sure it’s full all the time. Why? Because freezing up a huge quantity will be difficult compared to when the amount is less. And that’s how to keep rv freshwater tank from freezing without putting much work.
The next one is about the water hose. You don’t want to keep it attached with any water connection. Because that way you basically allow the water contents to get inside and freeze into solid. Making things hard for the hose to function properly.
However, if it’s empty, which is the case when there’s no water connection attached to it, there are no freezing chances as well. And that’s how to keep rv water hose from freezing easily.
Another idea that helps with the hose is buying one that comes with a heating system built-in. These are usually available in many lengths range. From 12 to 50 feet usually, you can pick according to preference.
Try to follow some sort of app that would notify you whenever there’s going to be a temperature drop in your location. And then you can simply keep the hose detached from water connection. Also, you’ll be able to fill up the fresh water tank if not already.
However, in case, you just forgot the hose thing and it’s already freezing up, use a hairdryer. This would allow the contents inside to melt. And it will take time though but the situation will be under control.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are RV antifreeze and toilet chemicals bad for dumping?
Now if you are not a fan of using heaters and want to learn how to keep a water tank from freezing without electricity then using antifreeze can be an option. However, some may wonder if it’s safe to dump in sewer systems and stations. And not be an issue to water quality.
Well, try propylene glycol. One really great type of antifreeze that you can grab from most RV shops and use as it’s quite nontoxic and goes well with RV plumbing. This is also nonflammable by the wat. And there are no tainting changes to the water system as well.
It is a great sealer and life extender item actually for toilets and faucets. And so, it’s fabulous for those who really want to keep a water tank from freezing without electricity. However, with the automotive antifreeze, it’s not very safe for many living things out there.
What happens when RV pipes freeze?
Things get really frustrating. First of all, there will be super inconvenience with flushing rv toilet in winter. Secondly, the pipe contents getting frozen will also expand. And this would create a huge pressure on the pipe as well as connections.
Clearly, the pipe will crack at worst case. Not to mention the chances of splitting and bursting open. There are also potentials of having water damage as well as sewage spills.
Can you use rock salt in rv holding tank?
Yes, you can use rock salt in the RV holding tank actually. For every 5 liters of water, adding around 100 grams would be enough. And this is supposed to drop the freezing point almost to -26C. Now since the water isn’t meant for drinking, there’s no problem with it getting salty.
Next Read: Best RV Toilet Treatment
And that was some notes on how to keep rv holding tanks from freezing. There are higher-end and cost-demanding routes, for example having thermostat controls. However, all of these are not going to cost you a fortune and so, let’s keep it cheaper today.
Not just for using your rv toilet in winter but also to protect the whole RV plumbing system from cracking and bursting due to frozen content expansion, the whole matter of preventing that freeze to take place is important. Kudos to you for taking the time and educating yourself on possible solutions!
See you soon on some other similar crucial topics, take care.
Philip Robert is an avid camper and hiker who loves nothing more than spending his weekends camping and hiking in the mountains. He has been camping and hiking since he was a young boy and has never lost his love for the outdoors.
Philip is a firm believer that there is no better way to connect with nature and get some exercise than by spending time in the great outdoors. He is always on the lookout for new trails to explore, and loves sharing his experience with others.
“MyOutdoors.net” is a place where you will find a comprehensive guide you need to know about camping and hiking. Philip has the knowledge and experience to help you enjoy the great outdoors.