You are winter camping or you are thinking of winter camping. Some people may think you are crazy or that is can’t be done, but we are living examples that it is not only possible – it doesn’t have to be miserable. Yippee. The first couple winters in our RV we spent in the north. Ohio. West Virginia. Pennsylvania. Then this one time we end up in North Dakota. Craziness. We follow the work so being snow birds isn’t an option and for some reason right now the good work has been north. It is because of this that I am able to confidently share with you how we make our own heated water hose. We have been doing this from the get go and can honestly say that our heated hose has never been the reason we were without water in the winter (oh the stories we could tell).
In the past, we have looked into a already heated water hose but after looking at reviews and hearing of all the trouble people have with them we have always opted to make our own. We are able to do this for around $130 and if something goes out (dang heat tape) we are able to repair for little cost and still keep some of the supplies. If you are interested in making your own hose then I hope you will find this post or video helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about things I may have forgot to mention or anything else about RVing in cold weather.
- Drinking water hose: http://amzn.to/2izWABi
- Electrical tape: http://amzn.to/2jRY0s1
- Duct tape: http://amzn.to/2iA3fvx
- Tube insulation: http://amzn.to/2jpI3Ne
- Heat tape: http://amzn.to/2iA83Rh
- Insulation tape: http://amzn.to/2jRMwou
- Faucet sock: http://amzn.to/2jpSuAj or Makeshift faucet cover: http://amzn.to/2ivakSP
- String your hose out so that it is laying in a straight line with no bends or kinks. This will allow you to work faster.
- Mock up how you will wrap your heat tape to ensure you purchased the correct length.
- Secure thermostat of the heat tape at the end of your hose (this is how I like to do it some people leave it to hang outside – your choice). This is also the end of the heat tape that needs to be plugged in so make sure it is on the end you will always have access to electricity. We put ours on the end that will connect to our city water in the bay of the RV because we have 2 outlets in the bay.
- Spiral wrap heat tape and secure with electrical tape every foot or so. This allows for everything to remain snug when you roll your hose for transport, etc.
- Wrap the rubber pipe insulation tape overlapping every 1″
- Wrap tube insulation around the hose. I suggest not just using the sticky ends that come on it, but they are helpful to get you started. Use duct tape to secure the joints together.
- Wrap duct tape down the entire hose using a spiral method and overlapping every 1″. This will keep everything as water tight as possible and snug.
- Cover the faucet with a faucet sock or other make shift method to make sure your connections stay out of the weather.
- Congratulations. You now have a beautiful heated water hose that will allow you to be a very happy camper. Enjoy!
Other RV winter water tips:
- When looking for a campground for winter camping look for one with water faucets below ground or with hydrants that have heat tape and insulation around them. It would also be helpful to have an electrical post that has multiple 110 plugs for the heat tape and plug ins for your diesel truck.
- Frost free hydrants WILL freeze. They are only frost free if they are off. Don’t believe you read on the internet.
- If the campground will not supply the heat tape you need to use the same method as above to heat the hydrant.
- Cover all connections like where your hose connects to the hydrant. We love our new hydrant sock (http://amzn.to/2jpSuAj)
- DO NOT use fiberglass insulation. It holds moisture and in my mind that just doesn’t seem like a product that would do you much good.
I really do hope you found this useful. The first couple winters for us were trial and error. I can’t say we like to learn the hard way, but it seems like it happens that way the majority of the time. RV life can be tricky especially in the winter, but by taking the right steps you can stay warm and with water the entire time. Look out for our other “RV in the Winter” post and stay warm out there.
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