How do I stop my static caravan pipes from freezing?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do I stop my static caravan pipes from freezing? We will explain how to protect your static caravan pipes in winter, but also how to properly winterize your caravan. 

How do I stop my static caravan pipes from freezing?

To stop your static caravan pipes from freezing in winter, use one or more of the following methods:

  1. Insulate the static caravan tank and pipes: Before heading into the coldest winter, you can insulate the tank and pipes with Reflectix insulation. Reflectix insulation comes in 25 ‘x 2’ rolls, shiny, reflective and reflective, in plastic bags. The idea is that this thin material can act as a type of insulation in tight spaces where you can’t put thick fibreglass insulation.
  1.  Install a heating plate in the caravan water tank: One of the most comfortable options is the installation of a heating plate in the grey water tank. This heating plate is self-adhesive and is placed directly on the bottom of the tank. It has a thermostat that activates the resistance when the temperature is below three degrees.

Remember that before installing the plate you have to thoroughly clean the area where it will be attached. To connect it, you just have to look for a mass or negative and a direct positive to the battery so that its operation is constant, even if you remove the contact. It can also be fitted with a disconnect switch.

  1. Install a heating probe in the caravan water tank: This probe has a thermostat that automatically activates it when the temperature drops below five degrees. This probe is more complicated to install since it has to be inserted into the tank. The probe is then connected directly to the battery with a fuse. Then you forget, as it activates automatically based on the temperature.
  1. Leave the caravan water tank open:: If you are somewhere where you can empty, it is a good idea to leave the grey tap open and collect them with a bucket or an external tank. In this way, it does not accumulate and you keep your static caravan pipes from freezing.
  1. Do not misuse antifreeze liquid: There are people who squirt antifreeze liquid into the water tank. Don’t even think about it! We know it can be tempting, but these fluids designed for vehicle engines are highly polluting. You can’t flush them down the sewer!
  1. Slightly tilt the caravan to protect the pipes from freezing. When you leave your static caravan at the campsite for winter, it is recommended that you leave it tilted so that the water from the drains goes to the waste tank, so that it does not stagnate in the pipes.

What to do if my static caravan pipes are frozen?

If there was no time to avoid the static caravan pipes from freezing, the water would stop coming out of the tap. To recover the supply, it is recommended not to defrost them with hot water because they could burst the pipes. In that case, it is appropriate to apply dry heat to both the pipe and the meter. Applying it with a hairdryer is a good option.

How to properly winterize your static caravan

When leaving your static caravan for winter, there are several steps you must follow to make sure everything will be protected during the harsh weather. 

Ventilation• Store your cushions and mattresses on their side to ventilate them.• Leave the doors to rooms and furniture open.• Do not cover your mobile home with tarpaulins. It will cause condensation.• Do not block the aerators.• Use products that absorb moisture.• Clean and empty the refrigerator and leave the door open.• Make sure all windows are securely closed.
WaterIf your residence is not inhabited in winter, it is imperative to follow the following procedure:• Shut off the water supply and unplug the power supply.• Drain the circuit by opening the tap located under the residence (next to the arrival).• Open all the mixers (hot and cold) and put the showerhead in the shower tray.• Drain the water heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions.• Empty the flush and the toilet bowl and put antifreeze in the bottom.
Gas• Close the valve of the gas cylinder and put it in a safe place.
Electricity• Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker.
Electric water heater• Cut off the power supply and the cold water supply, open the hot water mixers and drain using the safety group lever.

Helpful tips for leaving your static caravan prepared for winter

If you are in possession of a static caravan, a motorhome or a camper van, or if you plan to acquire one soon, it is likely that you will not be able to inhabit it throughout the year, since the obligations and the work sometimes make it difficult for us to enjoy our vehicle as much as we would like.

That is why sometimes we are forced to park our vehicle for long periods of time waiting for a vacation period in which we can enjoy it as it should. This section offers useful tips to keep your vehicle in good condition during that period of time in which we have our uninhabited vehicle parked in a caravan park.

An important factor to consider is the weather. Because you will keep the static caravan outdoors and the weather is cold, it is necessary to pay attention to issues such as water. It is advisable to empty all the tanks because in case of freezing the water occupies more volume and our pipes, the pump or taps can crack and even break.

Humidity is one of the biggest enemies of a parked static caravan, so certain precautions must be taken. It is convenient to park it in well-ventilated places with minimal humidity, separating it from other caravans or walls so that the air circulates well.

If you have a caravan, it is advisable to cover the hitch head with a tarp or cover it to protect it from oxidation, but leaving a hole open at the bottom to keep it dry.

If it is not too inconvenient, it is advisable to visit the caravan regularly to open it and ventilate it. If it is in a very humid place, the heating can be turned on to dry the environment.

Putting a dehumidifier can also be a good option, in addition to leaving the aerators open. It is important not to leave anything in contact with the roof of the caravan to avoid condensation.

They may seem obvious, but it is important to cut off the gas and electricity, as well as not to leave anything in the fridge.

Final thoughts

The pipes of your static caravan can freeze with frost and suffer a possible blowout due to the deterioration of the material. And is that keeping your pipes protected from sub-zero degrees is essential to have a calm winter and avoid breakdowns that make your wallet shiver.

Frozen pipes are a problem in both hot and cold climates and affect families every winter. This can happen in static caravans with both plastic and copper pipes. By taking the prevention measures listed above, you can also reduce the risk of frozen water pipes that result in property damage.

Please let us know if we can be of any further help or if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on How do I stop my static caravan pipes from freezing?

How cold does it have to be for pipes to freeze?

The coldest temperature for RV pipes to freeze is 32 F (or a temperature below 0ºC) for a long time. 

What to do so that the pipes do not freeze?

So that the pipes do not freeze, a splash of hot and cold water may be all you need to keep the pipes safe. Let the warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an exterior wall. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature during the day and at night.

How are pipes protected from the cold?

Here are some tips to protect the pipes from the cold:

  1. Wrap the pipes in heating tapes or paper. 
  2. Insulate all water pipes to prevent cold air from entering. 
  3. Insulate and heat drain pipes. 
  4. Let the water run for moments. 

Why is it important to protect water pipes from freezing?

It is important to protect water pipes from freezing because, in cold winter areas, icy pipes can cause a sudden emergency. The frozen water expands and cracks the pipes which, when thawed, lose water through the cracks.

What causes water to burst pipes in winter?

The most common cause why pipes burst in winter is if a pipe full of water is cooled so much that the water freezes, its volume will increase, which will cause pressure on the inside of the metal pipes that, if sufficient, will eventually break the pipe.

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