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Will my RV holding tanks freeze?

February 18, 2021

If you’re spending the night in a cold climate—where the temperature will drop below 32 degrees—you might worry that your RV tanks and pipes will freeze. If you take a few precautions and understand the capabilities of your RV, you should be fine. Keep reading for helpful tips.

Keep your lines and valves warm.

The parts of your RV plumbing that are most vulnerable to freezing are the lines and valves rather than the holding tanks. In frigid temperatures, these can freeze and crack, causing costly repairs. In some RVs, the pipes are more exposed, while in other RVs, the propane furnace pumps heat around the tanks. If your RV’s configuration makes you think your lines aren’t warm enough, you can add a small electric space heater in the basement.

Drain the tanks and pipes and add RV antifreeze.

If the temperature drops down into the teens, you’ll want to add RV antifreeze to the pipes to keep them from freezing and cracking. First, drain the tanks and lines to ensure nothing interferes with the action of the antifreeze. Then, dump a gallon of RV antifreeze down the sink and toilet drains.

RV antifreeze is very different from automotive antifreeze; the active ingredient is propylene glycol, a grain alcohol that raises the freezing point of water. Propylene glycol is non-toxic. When temperatures rise, and you resume use of your holding tanks, you can also continue using holding tank deodorizers such as Bio-Pak or Porta-Pak.

 

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