Best RV Heated Water Hose for Cold Weather Camping

Winter camping in an RV is a fun adventure; especially in the snow. However, the fun quickly comes to an end when your water hose freezes solid and damages the RV’s plumbing and pipes. Without having to pack it all up and head home, you can still camp in freezing temperatures using a heated water hose. While we found the best RV heated water hoses, we also talk about how they work, when to use them and other alternatives to keeping your water running from your water source to your RV.

→ Cover photo courtesy of Camco ←

In this article, we’ll discuss several important points about RV heated water hoses:

What is a heated water hose?

Why your RV needs one

What to look for when buying a heated water hose for your RV

Which is the best RV heated water hose will keep water from freezing into your camper or motorhome?

Important tips and the Do’s and Don’ts when using one

Why You Need an RV Heated Water Hose - Always On Liberty

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Best RV Heated Water Hose for Cold Weather Camping

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Photo source: CANVA

What is a heated water hose?

A heated water hose is a special type of hose that integrates electric heat inside a durable water hose to to prevent the water from freezing inside the hose.

It also helps to maintain a specific temperature to help avoid ice damming into your RV’s water system.

Heated water hoses are a bit different than a regular RV water hose or even an all-purpose garden hose.

Heated water hoses are more durable and flexible to withstand harsh temperatures and environments as well as application requirements; especially when camping in your RV in cold weather.

Does your RV really NEED a heated water hose? 

The answer is yes and no. Yes, if you plan on using or living in your RV in freezing temperatures while being hooked to an outside water source.

While you can always allow your water to drip in your sink to allow the water to flow freely, you may have to contend with filling up your gray tank. But, that means your gray tank can freeze as well.

An RV heated water hose eliminates the need of leaving your gray tank open and your RV sewer hose from freezing.

How does an RV heated water hose work?

A heated water hose contains a heating element, usually a self-regulating heating cable or electric wire inside the hose structure.

The heating element is insulated with a specialized wire or cable coating. It helps to retain or evenly distribute heat along the entire length of the water hose to a consistent temperature.

A good heated hose will be provided with a built-in temperature control system. Or, it may come as a separate unit apart from the heated hose itself. The temperature control helps set and regulate the temperature the user prefers.

Some heated hoses may come equipped with a thermostat or temperature sensor to monitor the hose’s internal temperature.

This allows the user to manipulate the heating output based on the actual outside temperature. It also helps to ensure the water inside the hose remains within the desired temperature range.

Of course, an electric power source is needed to enable a heated water hose to work. RVers can plug it into the power pedestal or their own RV’s electrical outlet.

Personally, I would plug it in separately into the power pedestal to help alleviate over-taxing your RV’s electrical system.

What to look for when buying a heated water hose for your RV

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When you’re looking into buying a heated water hose for your RV, there’s a few variables and special considerations you’ll need to pay attention to.

You need to consider your personal preferences, climate you’ll be using the water hose in, as well as if one of these heated hoses is okay to use in your motorhome or camper.

Here’s a great guide on what features to consider when choosing a heated water hose for your RV.

Heated Water Hose Length

You’ll need to choose a heated hose length that suits your particular RV setup. Make certain it’s long enough to reach from the water source to your RV.

Keep in mind though, you don’t want it to be too long that it becomes cumbersome to setup or store.

While these type of insulated hoses are flexible, you’ll want to avoid kinking or severe bending which could result in damaging the heating element inside the hose..

Voltage and Power Consumption

When researching different RV heated water hoses, you’ll need to consider the power requirements of the heated hose.

For example, some heated hoses operate on 120 volts. Others may be specific to a 12 volt electrical system.

So, ensure your RV’s electrical system can accommodate the power requirements of the heated water hose.

Oh, and don’t forget to check the power consumption. This is especially important should you plan to use it with a generator or limited power supply.

Heated Water Hose Certifications

Make certain the heated water hose is compliant with industry safety standards. Alway look for the UL certification tag. UL is short for Underwriters Laboratory.

Temperature Rating and Thermostat Control

Heated water hoses will come with a temperature rating that’s conducive to the climate where you plan to park your RV or camp.

Look for a heated water hose that has a higher temperature rating as they are better suited for extremely cold conditions.

An RV heated hose with a thermostat control will automatically regulate the temperature. It automatically turns on and off when the desired temperature is reached.

This is an important feature that helps prevent overheating and electrical issues inside your RV. They’re all known to help conserve energy which is essential if you’re paying for your electricity separately from your RV site fee.

Insulation Material

You’ll want to pay attention to the quality of insulation of the heated hose. This is crucial for ensuring the hose remains flexible in frigid temperatures. Also, it helps to prevent heat loss inside the hose.

So, make sure you look for a heated water hose that can withstand freezing temperatures.

Heated Hose Durability

Water hoses are subject to all kinds of exposure, use and abuse.

So, you’ll want to make certain the heated hose you’re vying for has a durable outer layer to withstand constant dragging, rubbing and abrasions. You certainly don’t want an inferior hose that will crack or split in fluctuating or freezing temperatures.

Make certain it’s also UV protected as the sun’s rays can quickly degrade the hose’s outer membrane.

Always read the Customer Reviews

As with anything you buy for your RV, you should always read the customer reviews from other RVers. They can provide real-world insights and opinions on performance and durability.

Cost

A heated water hose for RVs can range anywhere from about $100 upwards to over $300. Be aware, more lengthy hoses will cost more due to more materials being used to construct them.  

Now that we’ve learned all the ins and outs, let’s see which are our top 3 picks for the best heated water hoses for RVs!

Best Heated Water Hose Options for Your RV

There are a few companies that make and/or distribute higher quality heated water hoses for RVs.

Valterra Heated Fresh Water RV Hose

Valterra Heated Fresh Water Hose - Always On Liberty

Valterra is a highly trusted brand and known worldwide for their RV accessories.

In fact, we use several Valterra products on our Winnebago View such as our self-installed sewer hose storage tube. We also use their water pressure regulator, various sewer connectors and even our leveling blocks to stabilize and level our RV.

Which is why Valterra is one of our top picks for an RV heated water hose.

Valterra’s 25′ x 1/2″ heated fresh water hose is great for keeping your water flowing freely even down to -5° Fahrenheit. Valterra’s heated fresh water RV hose operates at 120VAC.

It has a self-regulating heat source that supplies additional heat as the mercury plummets. It eliminates needing a separate thermostat which helps to save energy.

The Valterra heated fresh water hose comes with heavy-duty insulator cuffs and zippers at both ends of the hose to provide additional protection from low temperatures.

It’s also equipped with plug-and-play 6′ cord length and a light-up plug. This allows for easy setting up with no extra tools or hardware. 

Valterra all offers two other sizes of heated fresh water hoses for shorter or longer runs.

✰ RELATED ✰ How to Stabilize Your RV – RV Stabilizers & Leveling Tips

Camco 25′ Heated Drinking Water Hose

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Camco is another trusted brand of RV accessories; particularly in their water source products. 

The Camco 25′ Heated Drinking Water Hose provides water line freeze protection down to -20° Fahrenheight (-28°C) using thermostat-controlled technology. 

Inside and out, Camco’s 25′ heated drinking water hose is made of a Polymer that is drinking water safe. So, no worries of ingesting toxic chemicals that are in cheaper heated water hoses.

The kink-free Camco heated hose is made of durable construction. It’s superior exterior covering protects the electrical components inside the hose.

And, its’ heavy duty, diamond-hatch woven reinforcement, weather resistant jacket protects the hose from cracking or splitting in freezing temperatures. It protects the water hose and electrical components from damage or exposure.

What’s also great about the Camco RV heated water hose is it has a 5/8-inch internal diameter; features heavy-duty machined and plated fittings for maximum corrosion resilience.

This heated hose uses an 18AWG 6-foot power cord with LED indicator and operates on 120VAC. It includes a female-to-male adapter to allow connection to the water supply on either end of hose.

If you’re going to be camping in extreme cold temperatures, you’ll definitely want the Camco 25′ Heated Drinking Water Hose that features water line freeze protection to -40° Fahrenheit. 

NoFreezeWaterHose

RV Heated Water Hose - NoFreezeWaterHose - Always On Liberty
Photo source: NoFreezeWaterHose

Saving the best (in our opinion) for last when it comes to heated water hoses for RVs.

We actually found the NoFreezeWaterHose by reading reviews and thought to try one out. Now, before you get all up in arms about the cost, let’s just say this is one of those best cases of ‘you get what you pay for’.

The inception of this top brand is this family-owned and operated business brought their product to pipeliners who live in their RVs in states that winter temperatures plummet well below freezing. Their mission is to keep their water flowing, from the spigot to their RV’s, 24/7.

Through the years after a few trials and improvements, they mastered the world of heated water hoses.

This is why their heated drinking water hoses are pretty much the king of kings. They are super durable, self regulated, efficient and reliable.

Why I say that is they’re actually designed for commercial use. This makes them the most highly rated heated water hose to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions and environments.

Though we’ve never parked in our RV in subzero temperatures, the NoFreezeWaterHose is proven amongst many RVers to work at -30F/C in the most extreme environments.  

Their insulated heating drinking water hose can be used not just for your RV but also for your home, cabin or cottage. Heated hoses come in a standard 3/4″ diameter in a variety of lengths as well.

NoFreezeWaterHose features:

    • Dependable – Will not burn, break, freeze, leak, burst, under perform or short out
    • No temperamental Thermostat – Only heated hose that is self-regulated throughout the entire hose
    • Insulated – Only heated hose with a water proof thermal foam sea
    • Protected – Only hose with an outer braided polyester monofilament
    • Efficient – Only draw 1.5A per 25′ of hose and insulated 
    • Reliable – Will last for years on end
    • American Made – Best of all, this family-owned business manufactures their heated water hoses right here in the USA!

Lastly, since we’re talking about protecting your RV’s water system from freezing temperatures, they also offer a solution to prevent your RV sewer hose from freezing.

Their No-Freeze-Waste-Hose for RVs comes in 3″ diameter in 4 different lengths: 10′, 15′, 20′ and 25′. And each heated sewer hose comes standard with male cam lock fittings.

But, because bayonet fittings are the standard fittings used with waste systems in the RV and tiny home industry, you may also want to look into their conversion kits applicable to your particular RV sewer hose setup. 

And if that isn’t enough, the NoFreezeWaterHose  reputation is backed by RV Life and FMCA which makes it a product you can trust will work in your RV.

Important tips when using an RV heated water hose in freezing temperatures

Be aware, a heated water hose will not prevent water source or post entry and/or exit points from freezing.

Also, heated water hoses are for outdoor use only.

Water Pressure Regulator

Regardless if you’re using a regular drinking water hose or heated water hose, it’s imperative that you use a water pressure regulator before connecting to any water source.

A water pressure regulator helps to minimize high pressure from exterior water sources into your RV. If you do not use one, you stand a good chance blowing out your RV pipes. And that comes with a hefty price tag I’m sure you don’t want to incur.

✰ RELATED ✰ How to Keep Your RV Pipes from Freezing in the Winter

RV Water Filter System

If you’re wondering if you can use your external RV water filter you hook up to a heated hose, our answer is that we don’t recommend using one.

The reason is your external water filter like those little blue water filters or even a 2 or 3-stage water filter unit that you set outside will most likely freeze since it’s not temperature regulated.

Even if you wrap it with insulation, it still has a highly probable chance of becoming frozen. Thus, water will not be able to pass through the filter system.

If you’re still hep on providing safe drinking water inside your RV, I highly recommend a countertop Berkey Water Filter System.

Or, for a more extensive future project, you can permanently mount an inline water filter system inside your RV’s basement compartment where it’s a little warmer and won’t freeze.

✰ RELATED ✰  ClearSource RV Water Filter System for RVs & Boats

Give your heated water hose a lift

In super cold weather below 32°F, anything lying on the ground stands a probable chance of freezing to the ground surface.

So, it would be advantageous for you to avoid laying your hoses and even electrical cords directly on the ground. I highly recommend lifting them off the ground using a sewer hose sidewinder (or two) to keep them from touching the ground.

Insulate the exterior water source

Another good measure of keeping your water from freezing at the campsite water faucet is to cover it using an insulated outdoor water faucet sleeve.

✰ RV PRO TIP ✰  Prepare your RV and yourself for cold weather! Check out these RV winter camping how-to’s: 

 How to Survive Winter RV Camping in Cold Weather & Snow

✰ How to Keep Your RV Warm in Cold Weather.

Do’s and Don’ts of using a heated water hose

As always, with any electrical appliance, it’s important and lifesaving to handle with care. Most importantly, never attempt to cut, splice or even disassemble a heated hose. Doing so, may result in serious injury or even death. 

Do…

    • Use only with UL approved GFCI outlet.
    • Flush hose to wash out any excess residue before connecting.
    • To help protect your spigot and connections points from freezing, look into purchasing a heat trace pigtail.
    • Be sure to take appropriate measures to protect your campsite water spigot from freezing such as an insulated faucet cover, water pipe heat blanket, or heat trace (heat tape). But, always ask the campground owner or manager first for permission and before installing.
    • Always disconnect your heated hose when not in use.

Don’t…

    • Use extension cords or overload the outlet with multiple appliances.
    • Bury any heated hose or submerge in water.
    • Torque the neck of hose when installing or uninstalling. This will cause hose to leak and void warranty.

Check out our friend, Matt from Adventurous Way as he discusses heated hoses:

 

Wrapping up

RV Winter Camping in the Snow - Always On Liberty
Photo source: CANVA

A heated water hose is an integral piece of gear that will prove its’ worth during the winter or when temperatures dip below freezing. These type of insulated hoses help prevent water from freezing at the entrance into your RV. 

Popular brands in the RV accessories market include NoFreezeWaterHose, Camco, Valterra, just to name a few. However, new or improved products and brands may emerge over time.

But we encourage our readers to always check the latest reviews, products and specifications, Also, pay attention to any user feedback to make an informed decision on which heated water hose you’re going to hook into your motorhome or camper.

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