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Old 11-30-2020, 06:28 AM   #1
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Question How do you prevent frozen stored water jugs in your RV?

I am wondering what 'technique' others, who store water jugs in their RV, are using to prevent them from freezing?

We always keep our propane topped off and store some water (jugs) in our RV. No matter if something unfortunate is happening or we decide to go on a trip right now, we are always ready to go. We camp year around but do not drive when there is a chance of ice or snow on the road.

We store our water jugs in the overhead cabinets in the rear bedroom. We have a bed comforter that we put in there around it, but that takes up a lot of space.

Any other ideas? I heard cardboard would work, but would think it would take too much to prevent any water jugs from freezing.

We never had to think about something like that before, thanks to too many stores being open 24 hours. With what is going on now, shopping is limited during main daytime hours, so we started to store certain items all the time.

This is water for drinking only. We do not store water in our fresh water tank. Thus it is inside the RV, I think it would still freeze especially since there is no heat when stored.

Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:35 AM   #2
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Where do you live? Here in Minnesota, that would be a recipe for disaster.
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
We store our water jugs in the overhead cabinets in the rear bedroom. We have a bed comforter that we put in there around it, but that takes up a lot of space.
You store very heavy water in an overhead cabinet? You must have a lot more faith in your rigs construction quality than I do. I'd expect to find those cabinets ripped off the wall some day. Especially in a moving RV.

If the temp in the RV drops below freezing and stays there, for an extended period, no practical amount of good insulation will keep the jugs from freezing. Insulation slows heat transfer it does not prevent it. Cardboard is worth every dollar you paid for it as insulation
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:08 AM   #4
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You store very heavy water in an overhead cabinet? You must have a lot more faith in your rigs construction quality than I do. I'd expect to find those cabinets ripped off the wall some day. Especially in a moving RV.

If the temp in the RV drops below freezing and stays there, for an extended period, no practical amount of good insulation will keep the jugs from freezing. Insulation slows heat transfer it does not prevent it. Cardboard is worth every dollar you paid for it as insulation
The words "overhead cabinet" sort of jumped out at me too. I'm not sure I'd trust much weight in any of our overhead cabinets.

It'd help to know where the rig is and how cold it gets. Are you in Indiana?

We keep our RV plugged in, so I put a small heater in it turned on low and plugged into a Thermo Cube that turns on at 35 degrees and off at 45.
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:19 AM   #5
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Being a KISS kind of guy, I just move them into the house. If traveling, I keep them in an underbelly storage compartment sitting in a plastic bin. That way any leakage caused by freezing or even rubbing from vibration (I've had that happen) will be contained in the bin. I'd never store them overhead over the bed. That just sounds like asking for trouble on several levels.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:21 AM   #6
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Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Water weights 8.33 #/gallon. Can the cabinet carry the weight?

Next, rather than invite a disaster, why not remove the water from the RV and stoe it where it will not freeze.

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Old 11-30-2020, 09:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RV2009 View Post
I am wondering what 'technique' others, who store water jugs in their RV, are using to prevent them from freezing?
The technique we use is not to buy or carry bottled water of any kind. Takes up to much room, to much weight, something else to buy and puts more plastic in the landfills. We have triple filtered, softened water and use it throughout the entire coach for everything....including drinking and cooking. If your coach is storage with no heat, take jugs back home and bring them back when you get ready to leave again. But I still would not store them in overhead bins above the bed.

We always keep our propane topped off and store some water (jugs) in our RV. No matter if something unfortunate is happening or we decide to go on a trip right now, we are always ready to go. We camp year around but do not drive when there is a chance of ice or snow on the road.

We store our water jugs in the overhead cabinets in the rear bedroom. We have a bed comforter that we put in there around it, but that takes up a lot of space.
This is an accident waiting to happen.

Any other ideas? I heard cardboard would work, but would think it would take too much to prevent any water jugs from freezing.
Oh boy.

We never had to think about something like that before, thanks to too many stores being open 24 hours. With what is going on now, shopping is limited during main daytime hours, so we started to store certain items all the time.

This is water for drinking only. We do not store water in our fresh water tank. Thus it is inside the RV, I think it would still freeze especially since there is no heat when stored.

Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies.

I guess the saying is right, 'older is better'?

Ours is a 2001, and we have been storing water jugs in the overhead cabinet in the rear for years. We use quite some off-road roads, lots of bouncing. Naturally our jugs are secured from moving or bouncing inside the cabinets. Never thought about the rubbing against each other, guess this will have to be addressed.

Never had any issues. No leaks, no damage, no freezing.

The 2 cabinets on the passenger side hold 9 jugs (gallons, 6 with the comforter.) I can hold on to the cabinets and pull or push, the do not move, not an inch. We were thinking about new cabinets at some point (don't like the old wood style), I guess this is a big No! now.

We had temperatures as cold as in the mid-20s inside before, but never had anything frozen. The water gets quite cold though (I find that out when making coffee before my 'move the RV at least once every 30 days' task.

What makes me think in regards to all the replies is that there could be damage to a jug, not being apparent in the beginning, but could cause issues later. Regardless where they are stored inside.

Storing it in storage does not work, we have only 1 large storage compartment, therefore limited space already. Tried to store water there before (in a bin like hohenwald48 said), even with our 'homemade' insulation, the water froze.

Thanks all. I guess we will look for better containers. This will also allow us to fill them with our filtered water from home, so less trash.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:30 AM   #9
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As mentioned by others, no matter how much or type of insulation, the water will freeze if in an unheated space in northern climates.

Thinking aloud, I wonder if there is a "jug" material that will expand with the freezing water and have longevity that is food safe....
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:32 AM   #10
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You could buy in bottles marked "Vodka" and store them wherever is convenient.

A couple of decades ago instant canned dehydrated water was popular for prepping.



Seriously, the containers would have to be flexible enough to expand with the freezing. I have seen backpacker's water bottles that do that.

Theoretically it is possible to design water containers that are not damaged by freezing, but I don't know where you would get one. Ice cube trays come to mind.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:37 AM   #11
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We stored water under the dinette seats in a secondary containment tub. Does not keep it from freezing, but does control where the water goes if there is a leak.

We keep the water from freezing by moving it to a heated space in the house. Not hard to load up when planning to go. Takes an overnight to get the refrigerator down to temp, so the perishables, water included, go in just before we leave.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by hohenwald48 View Post
Being a KISS kind of guy, I just move them into the house. If traveling, I keep them in an underbelly storage compartment sitting in a plastic bin. That way any leakage caused by freezing or even rubbing from vibration (I've had that happen) will be contained in the bin. I'd never store them overhead over the bed. That just sounds like asking for trouble on several levels.

Agree exactly.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:19 AM   #13
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Trying to wrap my head around this. I don't live up north so I'm guessing that there must be times that fresh water is hard to come by. If not, why store it? My other question, if I did want to store water, why wouldn't I store it in the RV's fresh water tank?

OK, if I was insistent on storing water in there, I think I'd go with the PKI's idea. Put the gallon jugs inside another containment container that was placed on the floor. My other idea, maybe use one of those yellow contractor's type insulated water coolers. I would think it would resist freezing a bit but if it did freeze, that it might be flexible enough to expand but not crack.

One thing is for sure, I would not store water in an overhead cabinet.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:28 AM   #14
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I guess I don't get this at all.
#1 Why do you need to store 9 gals of drinking water in the MH ?
#2 Why would you think over the bed is a good idea ?
#3 Simple solution is to store in house until needed. ( We do store gals of water in the house in case of emergency and if we ever need to move into the MH in an emergency would put it there after the heat was turned on. )
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