Using Heat Tape For RV Water Hoses This Winter

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Camping is fun, especially when you own an RV. Do you still RV only during favourable weather conditions? No matter how exciting it is, many of us still hate RVing in winter. The reason is simple. 

When the temperature drops, the water hose freezes, or pipes crack, leaving you out of water in the chilly weather, spoiling the RV experience. You have to do all the plumbing to unfreeze the pipes in the snowy weather. It is the biggest spoiler out of all winter RVing challenges.

We have devised a solution to make your winter camping experience a breeze without all that nasty plumbing. Utilizing heat tape for RV water hose answers the freezing hose and pipes problem in winter. We have devised easy measures to update your RV for camping even in low temperatures. 

Heated RV Water Hose

While initially RVing, it may appear that you must purchase several items to have everything you need. Must one invest thousands in another item to have running water in the RV in winter? RV users favor installing heated water hoses, for instance, the Heated Water Hose by Camco. 

To help stop the hose from seizing and prevent frozen water, it automatically switches on as the temperature falls below a particular level. It can be made simpler by purchasing a pre-built heated water hose for the RV. It requires minimal installation and is a good option for those who go out occasionally.

Limitations of a Heated Water Hose for RVs

Purchasing a heated RV water hose has some drawbacks, just like any ideal quick fix. Many RVers review that these water hoses are pricey and frequently wear off after some time. Hence, it necessitates the possession and upkeep of two different water hoses. Moreover, even with the heated RV water hose, water might freeze as it reaches your RV. 

It is because water still freezes in several spots. For instance, it might freeze at the faucet, valve, or fixture. Brass fixtures (pressure regulator, elbow joint, etc.) are also necessary to protect the vehicle’s water system throughout the year. It is a low-cost means of averting potentially expensive and annoying problems. 

People also use water filters for RVs, which are also susceptible to freezing. Despite the heated RV water hose, these items must be heat taped to prevent freezing. A pre-built heated water hose’s comfort can be worthwhile if you only go camping in RV for a short time. 

However, you also need to heat-tape troublesome areas. RVers will prefer this DIY despite their short journeys due to the above limitations of heated RV water hoses and the benefits of using heat tape for RV hoses.

Benefits of Using Heat Tape for RV Water Hose

The RV plumbing is susceptible to freezing in cold weather, which could result in expensive replacements and repairs. However, applying heat tape is a quick and reasonably priced approach to safeguard the pipes and fittings. 

Heat tape is a thin, long strip made up of a material that emits heat upon electrical stimulation. Even in below-freezing temperatures, it will protect the RV water systems from freezing. Hence, selecting a heat tape made exclusively for RVs from various available varieties is crucial. 

The heat tapes are limited to being wrapped around pipes and fixtures and can also be applied to freshwater tanks, preventing them from freezing. It is much preferable to easily access the water when needed by insulating the RV water hose using heat tapes than to attempt to defrost the pipes or fittings in icy weather conditions. 

Heat Tape for RV Water Hose- Buying Guide

Although heat tapes are a better option than buying a pre-built heated RV water hose, one must consider the following factors before buying them.

Length and Width of the Heat Tape

It’s critical to pick a length that will allow you to carry water from the source to wherever you need it inside the RV. The heat tape’s width is also important as it determines the area it can cover and the insulation layer thickness.

Temperature Range

Temperature can vary greatly depending on where you plan to spend time in your RV throughout the winter. Different heat tape models have different minimum operating temperatures. Some varieties are superior to others. 

If you are RVing where the temperature drops below -15°C but the heat tape available to you can’t handle temperatures below -10°C, it will fail to produce enough heat to keep the hose pipes from freezing. 

Hence, it is recommended to attentively check the lowest temperature it can withstand when purchasing a heat tape. As some regions get extremely cold than others, you must also consider the temperature of the region you’ll be traveling to in your RV.

Non-regulating VS. Self-regulating Heat Tape

A non-regulating heat tape requires monitoring because it does not regulate its temperature. This heat tape needs extra labor to prevent overheating; thus, it is not preferable. But a non-regulating heat tape is frequently less expensive.

The best type to purchase is self-regulating heat tape. It implies that the heat tape will react to temperature fluctuations and modify its heating system as necessary. It is an excellent property since it adapts to changes in temperature and consumes less power. It is, however, expensive compared to a non-regulating one, but worth it.

Power Rating

You should think about the heat tape’s watts per foot rating. It determines its power consumption and the amount of heat it will emit. 

Customer Reviews

Before buying a particular heat tape, browse reviews and learn the opinion of other users about that specific heat tape you intend to purchase. It helps you to decide which one will better meet your requirements.

DIY Heated RV Water Hose Using Heat Tape

Heat Tape For RV Water Hoses


You may DIY a heated RV water hose and avoid all the issues by utilizing heat tape for the RV water hose, which is among the most effective methods for avoiding freezing. It requires a few materials to start. Most of these materials are easily available at any neighborhood home repair shop.

  1. Regular water hose
  2. Heat tape
  3. Electrical tape or duct tape
  4. Aluminum foil
  5. Foam-insulated tubes or foam pipe insulation

Following are the steps to build your own heated water hose for your RV using heat tape for a significantly lower price than buying a pre-built heated RV water hose:

Step #1: Connecting Water Hose to the RV and the Spigot

Attach the hose to the spigot and RV. This process is really simple. You can utilize the water pressure regulator, water filter, and elbow joint as you normally do because you will be applying heat tape for your water hose. Ensure that you leave some length of the heat tape at both ends of your hose to tie to the spigot and water inlet if you assemble it before connecting it.

Step #2: Wrapping the Water Hose with Aluminium Foil

To create an RV water hose using heat tape, completely cover the water filter and the water hose with aluminum foil. It will improve the efficiency and uniform distribution of heat along the length of the heat tape and water hose. Even though the foil itself adheres effectively to the surface of the water hose, you can apply some duct tape to the aluminum foil to secure it further.

Step #3: Tying the Water Hose and Heat Tape Together

It’s time to tie the heat tape to the water hose, which is now coated in glossy aluminum foil. Use electrical tape to secure the heat tape and RV water hose together by laying them parallel to each other. Ensure you do not coil or braid the heat tape around the hose. 

Doing so will overheat the hose, and it might melt. The heat tape and the hose must be bound together in a parallel line. There is no need to coil or wrap them because the duct tape will secure them together in place.

Also, fasten the heat tape over the brass fittings, including the water pressure regulator, elbow joint, etc. Additionally, it would be best if you spared sufficient heat tape at the ends for tying the spigot, preventing it from freezing.

A sensor also controls when a heat tape must power on. To ensure that the sensor powers on properly, you must keep it uncovered or connected to the hose. Detailed directions and guidelines are provided with the heat tape.

Step #4: Concealing With Foam Insulated Tube

The final step is completing this DIY heated water hose for the RV. Wrap all of it (the water hose covered with foil and attached with heat tape) within the foam insulation pipe covering the water hose overall. The insulation tube must be placed over the water filter, spigot, and fittings.

When you’ve finished, secure the foam insulation pipe by applying some extra duct or electrical tape. Voila! You have a DIY heated RV water hose for the winter now that you have managed to attach heat tape to the RV water hose. From now onwards, you can use water normally throughout the winter while not worrying about freezing.

Preparing Black and Grey Water Tanks for Winters

You must take a few more steps if you plan to camp in an RV and use water during the winter season. The handmade heated RV hose is only the beginning. Additionally, RVers will want to avoid having their storage tanks and water valves freeze.

Using DIY RV skirting is a crucial step in preventing freezing during winter. It is recommended to install a maximum watts light bulb or a heat lamp beneath the RV and use good RV skirting for warming purposes. 

You might require more than one lamp, according to your vehicle’s dimensions, the weather outside, and the competence of the RV skirting. Another advantage of RV skirting comprises reducing the fuel consumption required to warm up you and your RV.

Furthermore, you must ponder installing tank heaters in gray and black and freshwater tanks. Attach the heat tape over gray and black water valves to protect them from freezing. These must be kept shut except if you need to empty the tanks. 

To avoid a terrible frozen disaster inside the sewer hose, ensure the downhill slope from the camper to the sewer connection when leaving. A sewer hose anchor or support is one simple method to achieve the downward slope. Even some folks unplug their hose when not disposing of it.

Final Verdict

Is the cold keeping you from enjoying the activities you like? In contrast, camping in the winter season helps avoid the multitude and secure the finest location. Camp lovers can still go out and explore the neighbourhood. While enjoying the trip in the RV, you can rest assured that the water hose’s heat tape keeps it from freezing. You may enjoy camping throughout the year using heat tape once creating the DIY heated water hose for your RV.

Find more about : Flex Tape Rubberized Waterproof Tape

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