Heated RV water hose for better cold weather camping

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Cold weather camping can be exciting, but a frozen water hose makes for a terrible camping experience. A heated RV water hose is an essential item for anyone who camps in areas where the temperature gets below freezing. Last year in the Spring we ran into a frozen hose problem and this would have helped a lot. Fortunately you don’t have to suffer the same situation.

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Why do I need a heated RV water hose?

When water in a hose freezes it prevents water from flowing. No water can pass through the hose into your camper through the fresh water outlet. Many modern campers are enclosed underneath with a small vent blowing heat into the belly. This heat will keep the other water lines underneath thawed, but will not keep the fresh water hose flowing.

Fresh water drinking hoses become brittle in the cold, because of the material they are made of. When water freezes, it expands. Expanding freezing water in a brittle hose can lead to a broken or cracked hose. The hose cannot be repaired until the hose is thawed.

Is a heated RV water hose worth it?

People who camp in cold areas, or camp late into the season, will want to have a heated hose as part of their camper setup. The benefit of having working water on a night where the temps go just below freezing outweigh the cost of the hose. There’s nothing worse that getting caught off guard on the first freezing night where you have no running water for the toilet or sink due to freezing.

What’s the best kind of heated RV water hose?

There are only a handful of choices for heated water hoses for RVs available.

Will a heated RV water hose work on my camper?

Fresh water drinking hoses are universal, so pretty much any drinking water hose will fit on any camper. The most important thing about choosing a drinking water hose is to make sure it’s safe for drinking water. This means any heated RV drinking water hose will fit on any camper with a street water intake.

How do I keep my RV water hose from freezing?

Using a RV water hose that’s heated is the easiest way to keep your camper’s water source from freezing. The heating element for the hose automatically keeps the hose warm to prevent freezing. It does this by keeping the water above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

A second way to keep an RV water hose from freezing is to keep a slow trickle of water turned on in the bathroom. This is a trick some people will use to keep their pipes from freezing at home. The movement of the water helps prevent the water from freezing.

Does a heated RV water hose need to be drained?

A heated hose does need to be drained like any other water hose before it is stored for the winter. It also needs to be drained if you’re planning to turn off the power to the heated hose while it’s below freezing because it will freeze like any other hose. 

How to thaw a RV fresh water hose?

If you have a heated RV water hose but you forgot to plug it in, simply plug in the hose to thaw it. As long as there has not been a deep freeze, the hose will not be damaged, However, if you only have a regular RV fresh water hose, you need to get creative.

One way to thaw a frozen RV water hose is to disconnect it and bring it inside the heated camper. Be careful when spooling the hose so you don’t accidentally damage or crack the hose. Place the frozen hose inside your shower and turn up the heat in your camper. Eventually the hose will thaw and you can drain out the slush.

Where won’t a heated hose work?

Campgrounds with above ground water lines will still freeze even if you have a heated water hose. The water will freeze in the line leading up to the spigot. The best way to tell if it will work for you or not is to see if there is heat tape on the line coming out of the ground up to the faucet. This will tell you the campground has invested in keeping the lines thawed.


A heated water hose for your RV is a bit of a convenience and luxury item that not everyone can afford. However, if you are doing cold weather camping and trying to maximize your season for Spring and Fall, a heated hose would be a good investment. This will save you a whole lot of heartache in the long run.

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  • Dan Mitchell

    Dan Mitchell is a writer and RV enthusiast. He started camping in 2014 with his family in the Catskills and has had a seasonal site there ever since. Dan is married with 4 adult children, and works as a product manager.

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