Published Date: October 17, 2020
Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Camper Front
Will RV antifreeze thaw a frozen RV pipe? The answer is no! But there are several other methods out there that can be used to thaw frozen pipes, which we’ll discuss here.
Antifreeze is used to prevent freezing in the first place, but it has to be applied in a certain way so that it can be functional.
However, how to use antifreeze in your camper isn’t our focus today; if you have frozen pipes and you are looking for ways to thaw them, keep reading.
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Will RV Antifreeze Thaw A Frozen RV Pipe?
Well, RV antifreeze cannot thaw a frozen pipe. Antifreeze is only used to prevent RV pipes from freezing and not for thawing frozen pipes.
But like I said earlier, there are other ways you can thaw a frozen RV pipe if you really want to do that. We’ll be looking at other ways of thawing frozen pipes below.
How To Thaw A Frozen RV Pipe
To thaw a frozen RV pipe, you need to first locate the frozen areas of the pipes. To do this, you need to turn on the faucets in your property, and If no water comes out, or just a few drops, then a pipe leading to the faucet is likely frozen.
If one pipe is frozen, there is a high probability that others have frozen also. If you have exposed pipes, such as pipes under sinks, in basements, or along the exterior of the house, you may be able to see the frozen areas of the pipe because frozen pipes often have frost on them, or they may have a slight bulge.
If the blockage is located in an easily accessible area of the pipe, you will have more options to easily thaw the RV pipe than if the frozen portion is enclosed behind a wall. Here are some easy methods to thaw your frozen pipes.
Apply Heat Tape To The Pipes
Before you do this, you need to check the pipes and make sure it is not cracked, if there isn’t any visible crack sign, then locate the frozen area and wrap it with some heat tape. Although this item is called a tape, heat tape is actually a wire that you can wrap around a pipe.
After wrapping the frozen area with the heat tape, you will need to plug it into an outlet. This warms up the wire, which eventually warms the pipe and thaws it. Heat tape is available in different lengths and sizes, so you should go for the one that suits the size of your pipes.
Use a Heat Gun
If you are trying to thaw a frozen RV pipe, a heat gun might do the trick. This is a commonly used thawing method, but it is very time-consuming. You will need to plug in the heat gun and point the gun at the frozen area of the pipe moving it back and forth in order to spread the heat evenly between the two frozen areas.
Use a Space Heater
You can make use of a space heater if you are trying to thaw a frozen RV pipe that is inside the RV. You just need to place the heater close to the frozen area, but you want to be very cautious with this procedure as heaters can be fire hazards.
You want to keep a close watch on the heater while it is in use and turn it off once you are done with the unfreezing process.
Use Plumber’s Torch
This method is only applicable if you have pipes made out of copper or galvanized steel. Using a plumber’s torch on a plastic pipe will totally damage it. Before making use of the torch, you need to check the pipe for cracks or breaks.
When you find the frozen area of the pipe, move the torch back and forth to heat it up. But you want to Be careful not to overheat the pipe. Apply only a small amount of heat to an area at a time.
Make use of the Piping Hot Machine
A piping hot machine can be used to thaw frozen pipes and is best if your RV is parked in a driveway. You can rent a piping hot machine from your local plumbing store, or you can purchase it online.
The piping hot machine has spring-loaded clamps that can be used to connect to the pipe. After making the connection, you can turn on the machine to heat the section of the pipe that is between the clamps.
Use a Hair Dryer
This is an easy way to thaw frozen pipes. Simply turn the dryer on and point the heat at the pipe, beginning with the portion closest to the faucet. You want to be very cautious during this process, and you want to prevent the dryer from coming in contact with water.
How To Prevent RV Pipes From Freezing in The First Place
If you are boondocking during the winter period, insulating your RV properly is the only way you will be able to enjoy your trip.
The type of insulation also matters; if you have thin or low-grade insulation between your walls, your RV will lose heat faster compared to when you have thicker and high-grade insulation.
So applying proper insulation inside your RV will help to keep the cold at bay, thereby preventing freezing.
Run Antifreeze Through Your Plumbing Lines
This is the heavily recommended method for preventing your pipes from freezing. Running antifreeze through your plumbing lines is a very effective method of preventing freezing, and the procedure isn’t that difficult.
Use Heated Water Hose
If you want to park your RV for the winter, making use of your home or campground water and electricity, you will need a heated water hose. It is sometimes called a water hose with freeze protection, and it provides a good flow of water while preventing freezing.
Heated water hoses usually have a heat strip that lines the side of the hose and can be plugged into a standard 110-volt electrical connection. This helps to keep the temperature of the hose above freezing and eventually prevents the pipes from freezing.
When buying a heated water hose, you want to make that it is not overstretched or prone to curling, and that it is the right size and length. Getting the suitable length of a heated hose can pose a bit of a problem if you are on the road because the distance from the water source at campgrounds can vary greatly
Use A Tank Heater
Alongside your pipes, your hold tanks are also prone to freezing; you can prevent this by investing in a tank heater. Tank heaters are usually powered by electricity and stuck to the bottom of the tank with adhesive tape.
However, due to their constant need for electricity in order to function, parking in an area with limited electricity, such as a limit of 30 amps, can pose a problem.
So, Will RV Antifreeze Thaw a Frozen RV Pipe?
Will RV antifreeze thaw a frozen RV pipe? I guess you already know the answer to that question by now. Antifreeze is only used as a preventative measure against freezing and not for thawing frozen pipes.
But there are numerous other easy methods you can use to thaw a frozen pipe, which we’ve listed above.