How to Keep Water from Freezing in a Camper
The plumbing of most RV trailers is rather fragile and this means that it is rather easy for frozen water to break your pipes over the winter. You will want to winterize when you are ready to put your trailer up for the winter. Be sure to check your owner's manual for more detailed information and special winterizing instructions.
There are some differences between manufactures, but all trailers have a similar water system. Begin by draining all water from the water system. Remove your drain plug from the fresh water holding tank. Drain as much of the water out as you can.
Next, replace your drain plug and pour in RV antifreeze into the fresh water holding tank. Camco Freeze Ban RV Antifreeze is formulated to protect down to -50 degrees and does not require mixing with water. The antifreeze should be a pink anti-freeze that is sold especially for RVs. Do not use car antifreeze, as it is highly toxic. RV antifreeze is not toxic.
Next, you will drain and bypass the hot water heater. There should be two connections on your heater:
1. Fresh water inlet
2. Hot water line out
Most pop-ups come with a bypass hose. Some of the water will drain out when you install the bypass hose, but you need to drain it all out. Once you have removed the water, you will want to remove the anode rod and inspect it. Refer to your owner's manual, but these parts are designed to be replaced every year to two years. They are made of a metal, which corrodes from chemical and electrical reactions with the water.
Now, turn on the pop-up water pump and run all sink, shower faucets and flush the toilet until the water is pink coming out of them. Remember to run both the hot and cold water. Run sufficient pink water through the fixtures to fill any areas in the fixture.
The water in your porta-potties and cassette toilets should have protected water in them. If you use a cassette toilet, it will have its own fresh water tank. You will need to place water in it. The black water tank should be emptied and allowed to dry over winter.
Enjoy your camping trip and how to keep water from freezing in a camper.