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Old 10-11-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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Freezing Water Hose

If you stay in your RV in a campground or otherwise have it hooked to water during freezing weather you need to be aware of the possibility that the water hose that feeds your unit is susceptible to freezing unless you provide some protection. It still a disaster if you are freeze protected inside if you can't get any water TO the unit.
I went to Lowe's Home Improvement and bought a hose fitting first of all so that I could shorten my hose. No need to try to freeze protect 25 feet of hose if all I need to reach my unit is 12 feet! Next, in the plumbing section I found 110 volt heat tape in various lengths. It comes equipped with a thermostat built in that makes the tape begin heating around 32 degrees F. I bought a 12' roll. I also bought 12' of 1" ID foam pipe insulation. I wrapped the heat tape around my hose securing with zip ties and then wrapped the hose in the pipe insulation. I left enough heat tape exposed at the faucet end that I could wrap the exposed faucet too. Voila! Freezing weather? Bring it on!
All the stuff together cost me about $20.00. I've seen heated hoses in RV stores selling for upward of $100.00
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have it under control! I try to face West in cold weather so my plumbing is in the sun all day.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Good post....if I had to stay for a prolonged time in a place where it froze at night, I would take the same approach .
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:37 PM   #4
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I fill the on board fresh water tank and take the hose in. You can go a long time on 100 gallons of water. No need to leave a hose out to freeze.

I also do not leave the sewer house out to freeze. Hook it up and use it to dump and then store
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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I agree with dons2346 and mmartinkus has a good long term resolution but another that I'm going to try is going South.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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mmartikus, I did the same thing a few years ago. Then my wife noticed the water tasted bad (like vinyl). This coincided with the first cold weather. When I checked the hose, it was partially melted. I then purchased a better quality hose and it melted also. You cannot install the heat tape directly against the vinyl hose. I contacted the heat tape manufacturer and they say their heat tape is intended for copper or galvanized steel pipe only.

Now I first wrap the vinyl hose with an insulator tape that is aluminum foil backed with gray foam. I then apply the heat tape (running it straight along the hose, not wrapped around it) and tape it with black tape every 4". I then install the gray foam round tube pipe insulation over everything and apply duct tape every 10". Some other cautions are to install the heat tape thermostat portion partially exposed through the outer pipe insulator. If it is exposed completely to the elements and it snows or ices over, it will turn on the heat tape for an extended period and melt the hose. If it is completely inside the insulation, it will not turn on the heat until too late and the hose can freeze.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:49 AM   #7
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Arrow Pirit Heated Hose

Check out www.pirithose.com. I bought a 25' one on Amazon for $90 with free shipping. Works great. You can use heat tape or insulation but this is a nice clean one shot solution that solves frozen water hose issues.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrosecity
Check out www.pirithose.com. I bought a 25' one on Amazon for $90 with free shipping. Works great. You can use heat tape or insulation but this is a nice clean one shot solution that solves frozen water hose issues.
I spend Nov and Dec each year in east Tn where the temps will drop into the 20s and occasionally the teens. After doing the heat tape & insulation for several years, which worked but tended to be hard on the hose, I did as suggested above. The Pirit hose works great.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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Heat tape has a lot of issues especially with a vinyl hose. Make sure you apply the heat tape correctly and do not overlap it. This one mistake has caused many a house fire. There's an rv park near Breckenridge Co that recommends that you just use your hose to fill your tank and run off that. If your hose can freeze so can the pipe that runs to your hose if it's not insulated properly. Many rv parks in cold areas have a self draining pipe that drains all the water out of it when it's shut off. If it's not shut off it will freeze.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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I have been to a couple of parks that had one faucet equiped for winter time use, had to fill your tank and run off the pump. Was okay for a short visit but got a little tiresome I now stay home during the winter. In Santa Clara, CA, about 45 mile south of San Francisco, where I live the temp today was in the high 60's.

Go 49ers

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
mmartikus, I did the same thing a few years ago. Then my wife noticed the water tasted bad (like vinyl). This coincided with the first cold weather. When I checked the hose, it was partially melted. I then purchased a better quality hose and it melted also. You cannot install the heat tape directly against the vinyl hose. I contacted the heat tape manufacturer and they say their heat tape is intended for copper or galvanized steel pipe only.

Now I first wrap the vinyl hose with an insulator tape that is aluminum foil backed with gray foam. I then apply the heat tape (running it straight along the hose, not wrapped around it) and tape it with black tape every 4". I then install the gray foam round tube pipe insulation over everything and apply duct tape every 10". Some other cautions are to install the heat tape thermostat portion partially exposed through the outer pipe insulator. If it is exposed completely to the elements and it snows or ices over, it will turn on the heat tape for an extended period and melt the hose. If it is completely inside the insulation, it will not turn on the heat until too late and the hose can freeze.

Hope this helps!
I saw a You Tube video (can't find it now) which showed wrapping the vinyl hose with aluminum foil then attaching the heat tape. I did that and then covered it with pipe insulation. 6 weeks so far with night time temps down to 17 degrees and no problems.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #12
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the obvious

Besides the PIRIT house I mentioned, I don't see anyone mentioning the obvious. In an house they always say that if it's gonna freeze overnight in any area where this is rare and protection is limited, the suggestion is always to just leave the faucet dripping. If you are living in a drought stricken area this may nibble at your conscience but it works... movement of the water in the hose will go a long way towards freeze protection. Of course, depending on your holding tanks, you may want to leave your grey water drain open to the sewer
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