How To Keep Water From Freezing Van Life

How To Keep Water From Freezing Van Life

Many people choose “van life” to live on the road, and that’s not going away anytime soon. The apparent reason is less interference from a tyrannical government or unruly neighbors. It’s also safer, practical, and eco-friendly to remove yourself from a highly populated city as long as you do so responsibly.

The most practical solution for camping out in winter is keeping your water supply hot with a propane water heater or electric water heater. The problem with electricity is that it requires electricity, which you may not have in remote areas or when you’re camping. Propane tanks are the most practical solution for off-grid setups, but if you’re on a budget, you can’t beat the heat retention of water buried in your soil overnight.

How To Live In A Camper Van Without Freezing

In climates with high temperatures or temperatures that are usually below freezing, this method is less effective but can still be utilized. Supply your water will make you more confident when venturing off-grid and decrease the gear you need to purchase.

1. Create a hole in your water heater or fresh-water tank large enough for the pipe to accommodate the pipe’s diameter.

2. Connect your propane or electric heaters to the heat pipe by loosening the plastic hose clamp and securing it to the heat pipe with a hose clamp. The flame height on your heater should be set such that it heats your water to no less than 140°F (60°C).

3. Place your heater in your van and fill it up with water. Whether you’re using a water tank or a propane tank, make sure it’s placed in such that the pipe can get its entire length (as shown above). If possible, place something in the tank to ensure no air will get into the heater.

4. Place a thermometer inside your heater and set it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) for at least 10 minutes after the initial heating time has passed. If your water ever drops below 110 degrees, Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), you can refill the heater.

That is all it takes to keep water from freezing overnight. You can also create a small drain hole in the pipe such that you don’t lose all of the water at once when it drains out. This method is simple, effective, and free, but if you want something a little more complicated and easier to use, you can check out this solar thermal collector.

How To Insulate The Floor

The insulation underneath the van floor is vital for several reasons. 

Thermal performance:

Insulation from the outside keeps heat from escaping. You want your floor to trap the warmth even when your van is parked, but not so hot that it damages the equipment. The best insulation is a material that can absorb a lot of heat but not much in the way of infrared radiation. In terms of insulation thickness and weight, polyurethanes or foams like polyisocyanurate perform best.

Noise reduction: 

Insulation from the inside reduces noise by absorbing vibrations and echoes. Reflective insulation bounces sound back at you, and it’s the first thing you should remove if you want to create a quiet spot in your van. Foam is the least reflective, followed by fiberglass and then polyurethane. Most van floors will be acoustically reflective enough to allow for a radio or television without additional insulation.

  1. Emergency tarp: 

Insulation is excellent for building a makeshift tent over your gear in emergencies, but it’s also great for an enclosed storage area. When your gear gets cold or wet, you can pull a tarp over the floor to keep out the weather and reduce the temperature.

Double-glazed Window In A Van Conversion

A double-glazed insulated window cover in a van conversion is the most effective but expensive way to turn your vehicle into a mobile dwelling.

You need three layers of glass for this to work: 

The exterior glass on the outside and the interior glass are inside various layers of glass and air. If both of your windows are at a constant temperature, you won’t lose much heat through them.

The inside glass seals out cold from the outside:

You want to keep your interior insulated so that it’s warmer than the exterior, even when you’re parked in the winter. 

The outside pane protects against heat loss when you’re moving: 

The reflective coating on the outside of your windows will reflect most infrared radiation, keeping your interior warm and allowing for more comfortable temperatures. A temperature change between day and a cold night is especially problematic in colder climates.

Water Is The Most Important Thing

Water tanks are essential things in a van. The water tank must be high quality, well-insulated, and leakproof. Water should be dispensed as efficiently as possible using gravity, so it should be located in the best place possible.

 An ideal water tank would be one with a minimum capacity of 150-300 gallons for a van.

Keeping Fresh Water Inside

Water is vital, so we need to keep it inside the van without any trouble. You have to check whether the van has a drain hose for water in front of it before purchasing one because if you’re old, a van can be challenging to clean. You also want a water tank with an airtight fitting that can hold up against your van’s daily wear and tear and not leak.

Kitchen Sink And Shower Drain Outside The Van

The shower drain is not a very good model for use in a van because of its way of draining water, which can cause scalding. More advanced models have safety spouts that allow you to stop the flow of water in the case of an accident.

You can get an outside window washer if your van has one, but it’s only designed for use on the driver’s side because the window glasses are lower on that side, and small parts could potentially fall into the washer and become a hazard.

What Causes Water Pipe Bursts

The things that cause water pipe burst are legion. They can’t all be stopped, but there is no shortage of ideas for prevention and detection. Here’s an overview of the main reasons why pipes can burst in your van.

Back Pressure:

Water pipe bursts are most common during the winter when the water is frozen. It can cause very high pressure because you have to thaw the pipes and especially your water heater before starting using it. That is why it is essential to use a good water tank that won’t burst or even a solar thermal collector and insulation like polyurethane foam to keep your tank warm and avoid bursting water pipes.


The most common cause of water pipes breaking is heat produced within them themselves, rather than by the water inside. They are usually due to hot and cold temperature differences on the walls of your pipes. Experts recommend keeping your water heater off when you’re not using it. Still, if you have an excellent insulator like polyurethane foam, there won’t be much difference in temperature because there will be no heat transfer.


One of the worst types of pipe bursts is water pipes that have been installed in older buildings. They frequently break because they are not supported adequately by walls and foundations. Water pipes can easily break because they are made of plastic or rubber, and plastic-coated iron piping can rust. Also, the shape and the location of the water pipes can cause leaks.

Burst Water Tank:

Water tanks are a poor choice of pipe because they are not correctly installed. The best way to avoid this is to have a well-insulated water tank that can withstand bumps and knocks. An insulated tank will also prevent water from cutting into your pipes. 

Don’t Install Water Tank In Front Of Van.

Enough said about the importance of keeping your water tanks safe, but there are some things about this that you don’t know. You should never install your water tank in front of the van because it can fall if you hit an obstacle from the front. In this way, you can be exposed to many risks and dangers.

How To Warm Up Frozen Water In The Van

When you get a new van, you can use the cheapest water heater that you can afford. It is not necessary to worry about complicated things inside the van, like tanks and pipes. But it is easy enough to heat your water tank when the water freezes and you want to use it.

Using Hot Water Heater

You can use just any old water heater, but there are better models available. They have a thermostat, so they can make the most of your solar energy and save money. You also want the heater to be easy to install and to work with the propane system in your van.


It is pretty simple to insulate your water tank. It is made of steel, and you can put it in the same place with insulation like polyurethane foam. It would help if you had a humidifier or dehumidifier in the van because you don’t want to freeze your water when it runs out. That will cause some problems with your pipes.


If your water pipes are made of steel, they can get warm. If you use a water heater that shuts off when the tank is full, there probably won’t be enough heat source in the faucet to melt the ice, but it will get hot enough to make it melt. Your best bet is to have a faucet that’s turned off when the tank is full and connected to a drain hose. We would appreciate it if you also had an extra faucet to have hot water while hot shower or washing dishes and clothes.

Drain Hose

If you’re not using water from the tank, you should drain it. If you have a faucet that’s turned off when the tank is complete, you can use a drain hose to ensure that your tank is never empty. A drain hose is also helpful if your water heater doesn’t have an automatic shutoff valve.

Pressure Regulator Valve

Your electric water heaters should come with an automatic regulator valve to prevent excess pressure during times of heavy use. However, this device doesn’t always work as expected. That is why it is a good idea to install a pressure regulator valve near the water heater. Using this method will allow you to control the pressure of your water plumbing lines without having to worry about starting a fire.

Radiant Water Systems Freeze Protection For RV Plumbing Lines

RV and boat owners can now enjoy the convenience of RV plumbing water systems that freeze protection when their water system freezes up. These systems are perfect for those with outdoor activities, with an RV during winter driving.

Aquasana Water Conditioner And Softener

This system is an excellent combination of water conditioner and softener. It has a built-in heating element that keeps the stored water from freezing in your tank. It also gives you clean drinking water at all times. You can use this system anywhere in your home without worrying about freezing pipes.

RV Pipes Kink Guards

A kink in a pipe takes some time to develop and is not easy to notice right away. At this time, you can easily prevent it by using kink guards. These are strips of plastic that are sold with a water line hose. They are thin enough to fit your pipe and protect against kinks that can cause leaks.

RV Water Filters And Faucets

These filters have room for sediment and other impurities in the water system, making them very good for an RV or boat. You have to remove the filters and clean them when you want to use the water system or freeze up. The faucet also has a low flow rate, which helps prevent freezing up in the winter.

RV Tank Insulation Level

Adding extra insulation around your tank can help regulate the temperature of your van in the winter. By doing so, you will keep your water system from freezing and preserve your system’s energy so that you don’t have to waste money on propane or electricity.

RV Solar Thermal Collector

The best way to protect your grey water tank from the cold in winter is to insulate it. In addition to keeping your tank warm and insulated, it also uses solar thermal energy. It is a simple device, so you won’t need a plumber to install it.

Black Water Tank Winterization

You can easily winterize your black water tanks with a small solar thermal collector. It is lightweight, so it doesn’t have to be installed on your roof, and it won’t take much space in your van. You can also use it as an electricity generator or keep a battery on hand when it’s not sunny.

On a budget, you can care for your van with grey water recycling so that you can power it without being plugged in.

Solar Water Heater

A solar water heater is an excellent source of hot water in your mobile home, but it needs to be handled properly. Like any other grey tank used on the road, you have to install insulation because the hot water from the tank will heat your pipes or freeze them if you don’t.

Water Pressure Regulator For Mobile Homes

To prevent damaging your pipes when you turn the water on and off or prevent them from bursting, you should install a pressure regulator. There are many models available online, but they are not the same quality. You should purchase a high-end model for your mobile home, so you can have hot water at all times and never worry about burst pipes in the winter months.

Water Reservoir And Solar Water Heater For Mobile Homes

The water vehicle solar system is a great way to have hot water available in your mobile home at all times. It is made to provide 3 gallons of water per day, and it uses only about 10% of the energy you use on your system.


The best way to keep water from freezing is to avoid it altogether. You can accomplish this by bringing a stove, and using the propane tank for cooking. If you don’t have one, you can use the fan heater or electric kettle, but it can break down or be exposed to many things. The best option is to use a solar water system or generator that will make hot water available at all times, and you won’t have to freeze your pipes ever again.