Water Connection and Cold Weather

Currently we are located in Branson Missouri. On 11/18/19 we will be stopped outside Little Rock Arkansas, moving south to Texarkana and then eventually to Livingston Texas.

Here is a quick post regarding how we are handling our water connection during below freezing temperatures.  Any feedback or suggestions is appreciated.

We have been in our fifth wheel in temperatures as low as 12 degrees outside. It handled it well and we are impressed with the heating and insulation.  This campsite (America’s Best in Branson Missouri) had a note posted in the office. If you leave your water connected to the spigot in freezing temperatures and there is damage to the spigot the repair costs start at $250. I’ve heard other parks have the same warning.

We don’t have a heated hose so we disconnect our water hose during freezing weather. And as we do not expect to stay longer term in freezing weather I don’t intend to buy a heated hose which costs between $80 and $120.  If you do plan to buy a heated hose then I refer you to Bill and Kelley’s American Odyssey blog for an option to build your own as part of your research. I’ll be saving the storage space and skipping the heated hose for now.

I keep an eye on the expected low temperature and unhook our water hose, drain the hose and put it in the basement so it does not freeze. We have a fresh water holding tank that is 70 gallons plus the hot water tank at 10 gallons for a total of 80 fresh. Make sure your water heater tank is full before turning it on or it will be damaged by the way.

When temperatures are freezing I add water to our fresh tank to feed from while unhooked from the city water spigot. I turn on our 12 volt heat pad tank warmers. I’ve read that even if the tanks are dry the 12 volt heat pads will not hurt the tanks. We figure about 10 gallons of fresh water per day. I put at least that much in the fresh water tank for overnight when unhooked, maybe more if we are going to take showers and don’t want to run out. If it’s above freezing during the day we will reconnect to city water and take showers.

For now, I do not use our external charcoal water filter when I’m adding water to the fresh water tank. Seems to me if we remove the chlorine from the water then it would go bad over time in the fresh water tank.  Although on occasion I can drain the fresh water tank and sanitize it (another maintenance item I need to do).  Our trailer has an inside water filter which I understand will filter the water from the tank to the faucet.

If you stay hooked-up to city water in freezing temperature, even with a heated hose, beware of the external water filters as they will freeze and the cheap plastic may rupture. I saw that at our last stop and turned the guys water off as he was away from his trailer. I notified management who said the external water filters (like the blue one’s at Walmart) are very likely to crack in freezing temperature. The below photo is an idea using a bucket to heat the spigot if you leave it on and it’s short enough to cover with a bucket:


Bucket covers spigot

Our water pump is somewhat loud. I’m in the process of researching if I can get in the basement and maybe install some rubber under it to help with the vibration. I’ve also intended to buy a spare water pump in case ours goes out. I’d use the spare to pump water into our holding tanks from a water bladder someday.  If the spare pump is of better quality, I may install it in the camper and use the old one to transfer water from a bladder.

We are getting ready to travel in some hilly areas so I’ll be keeping our fresh water tank weight down. Before we leave I’ll be draining the remaining water from the tank and using my water counter (gauge) to add back maybe 10 gallons plus what’s in the hot water tank.

I’ll post more later about how we are heating our trailer. Just a quick reminder to run your furnace at times if your basement and utility bay is heated or the water lines inside the trailer may freeze.

3 thoughts on “Water Connection and Cold Weather

    • This year has stated off to be a strange one in terms of low temperatures. Seems like here in the middle of the country you can’t outrun them. We are heading south another 150 miles today. My dad always said winter moves 100 miles a week and does spring. Maybe the move will buy us another week of moderate temps.

      I keep watching the weather back home. Is it terrible of me to want the weather back home to be miserable?


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