Will Your RV Water Heater Freeze In Winter? (Read Now!)

Yes, the RV water heater will freeze if it is filled with water and not on all the time which is not ideal. To overcome this situation you need to winterize your RV before traveling in winter.

Generally, it takes about 24 hours below the freezing point (32 F) for the RV water heater and pipes to start freezing.

We know how disgusting you might feel if you end up with the frozen water heater as you know how well your life depends on it from bathing in winter to washing dishes.

Let’s discuss some common issues you’ll face when an RV water heater freezes and how to prevent it on the first hand and lastly how to deal with a frozen water heater.

How to know if your water heater is frozen?

Here are some noticeable things to know whether your water heater is really frozen or not.

  • The first thing you’ll notice is the water is not coming out in the same quantity as it were. This means the water has frozen in some parts where it is blocking the pressure to cut through.
  • If you’re seeing the icy residue over the body of the heater.
  • It is commonly seen that frozen pipes can produce sounds like gurgling, banging, and clanging.
  • Another sign of a frozen water heater is that some kind of damage like cracks has occurred on the pipes or the body of the tank due to the pressure build-up by the freezing water.

It is time to ask the plumber for help if any of the above signs are visible.

If your water heater is frozen it is good that you do not turn on the heater for any purpose until it’s properly fixed.

Problems come after the water heater freezes

Here we go from normal to an extreme level of discomfort! When the RV water heater freezes the first thing you’ll face is discomfort during the bath, washing dishes, and various other activities.

The frozen water inside the heater can even cause damage to the overall water heating system like pipe breakages and internal damages which will be an expensive deal for you to fix.

In some cases, the damage will be irreparable so even more loss of money.

That’s why you need to think ahead for the critical situations and prepare your RV for them.

This not only applies in winter but in summer too.

How do I keep my RV water heater from freezing?

You need to check out this video from 4:51 to learn how to insulate your RV water heater with spray foam.

Maintain the RV temperature: This is more helpful when your freshwater lines run along the body of the RV rather than the underbelly.

Keeping the interior warm can help in this situation by shaving off some freezing effect inside the water lines.

Winterize RV: Winterizing RV is a must no matter you have a water heater or hot because winterization ensures that the pipelines inside your RV won’t freeze and prevents tanks to crack.

So yes, if you’re a winter camper you need to winterize your RV. For this sole purpose, you can find the experts near you or you can do it by yourself by following this video.

Products mentioned in this video are available on amazon:

Using tank heating pad: The heating pad is a series of tiny small electric resistors that produce heat in small quantity to prevent the water to dip below the freezing point.

It is good to go for a pad that has a thermostat in it which allows you to turn it up when the temperature is colder which are normally in winter nights and down when the temperature starts to warm up which are usually in the morning.

This will be a life-saving gift for those who stay in a location where the forecasted temperature can dip below 32 degrees but not sub zeroes.

RV water heater on without water – Is it bad?

Yes, it is bad and not advisable to run an RV water heater without water because the overheating and rapid chilling can damage the longings of the tank.

Also when you do so it obviously demands a continuous supply of electricity which is a wastage of energy that can be used to run other appliances.

This question is might be coming because you’re worried about your water heater freezing in winter. There’s nothing to worry about because when there is no water inside the heater there will be no freezing.

Just a tiny bit will freeze as some water may be still on the lining of the tank which will be melted once you start the heater.