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Old 09-14-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Heated water hose

Camping World has a PIRIT heated hose in both 25- and 50-foot lengths. Has anyone used a heated hose before, or would pipe insulation and heater tape work just as well? Also, does sufficient heat transfer across the water connection at the trailer along the copper line?

And what do folks do about the dump valves in freezing temps? Heater tape there as well?
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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Was reviewing some threads about applying heat tape to water hose sleeved in pipe insulation. Seems like an easy and cheap solution, but has anyone had problems with the heat tape damaging the hose over time?
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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I would also be curious about this!
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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Make yourself a water hose using PEX. It will stand up to the heat tape and insulation.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #5
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I made one once and had no real problem. But it was a PITA to deal with and maintain. If I had a need to do it again, I would buy a premade one. If If I used a heated hose, I still disconnected it from the trailer and let it drain at night and when we are gone from the trailer. If it is cold, I much prefer to fill the water tank and use it from there. Then it is just a one shot exposure every so often.

As far as tank drain valves freezing, I had it happen once. It was the gray tank and I thawed it by running a hair dryer up the pipe for several minutes.


Ken
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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I hate to sound like a pessimist, but heated hose or heat tape will work until the power goes out, which is usually in the coldest, windiest weather. Then, your back to plan B. Sal.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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I bought the 50' Pirit heated hose and used it last winter. It worked perfectly at temps down to 20 degrees. To keep the dump valves from freezing I modified a large plastic storage box (Home Depot) to fit up under the valves, placed a work light inside with a 100 watt bulb, worked fine.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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No problems with my homemade hose. Just used a standard RV water hose, wrapped it with the tape and made sure all the wraps were fairly close together but with an inch or inch .5 between wraps. Maybe a little more than that, can't remember.

Make sure you buy the appropriate length for the diameter and length of water line you are wrapping. There are charts on the back of the packaging. I believe I did size mine up one size (i.e. I bought one that was meant for a little longer pipe) to put out a little more heat with tighter wrappings.

Also, it's important to make sure the heat tape comes in contact with the metal ends of the hose as these get cold fast, and are the weak link where you get freeze ups.

Wrap the whole thing in self -adhesive pipe insulators, foil or duct tape all the seams.

Keep the length of hose as short as possible too.

People have had issues with the pre-made hoses, but people have also had issues with their home made ones. Try not to bend the hose and tape much, as the wires can get damaged and this is the primary reason either version fails.

Make sure there are NO DRIPS at either end of the hose. The little gaskets on the hose don't always make a great seal, so replace leaking ones with fresh gaskets.

Finally - make sure you get the heat cable with the external thermostat that lights up. There are two kinds of heat cable, and one kind has a thermostat that rests against a metal pipe and reads the temp of the pipe. You do not want this kind, you want the other version with the external thermostat. This also allows you to periodically test it to make sure it's working by depressing the built in test switch.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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Oh and one more very important tip. Buy 2 insulated spiket covers, cut a notch out for the hose, and slide that over both hose ends. Stuff extra insulation in there.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:08 AM   #10
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I bought one of those heated hoses at Camping World last month, in preparation for winter camping. Temps in south Louisiana don't get particularly cold (I have yet to see an overnight low below about 20F), so between the heated tanks on my Interstate, and the heated fresh water hose, I should be good for December/January camping relatively close to home, as long as I have shore power or I'm willing to run my generator 24/7. Where I live, local television stations use the "4P" scale of freeze risk: Plants, Pets, Pipes, People, in that order. If they get to the "Pipes" stage, I'll heat the hose and tanks, but if they get to the "People" stage (indicating it's cold enough to worry about frostbite, mostly due to wind chill here), it's time to disconnect the hose and store it inside the heated RV.

Wouldn't necessarily recommend heated hoses for people far to the north; even if the hose is heated, that doesn't help if the water faucet you're connecting to ends up freezing. Also, if you use an in-line water filter, the heated hose by itself won't keep the filter from freezing.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:44 AM   #11
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I assume this discussion is about longer stays in winter, in which case a heated hose makes more sense to me.

For our short stays of several days: We just use our freshwater tank. Even if I have to refill it during our stay, I don't have to worry about it freezing (well, at least not in the temperatures we camp in).
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I assume this discussion is about longer stays in winter, in which case a heated hose makes more sense to me.

For our short stays of several days: We just use our freshwater tank. Even if I have to refill it during our stay, I don't have to worry about it freezing (well, at least not in the temperatures we camp in).
Since I have no place to plug in my Interstate to shore power while in storage, I'd prefer to store it with empty tanks in winter. Using the heated hose for winter camping means I can leave the fresh tank empty even while camping, because the municipal water inlet bypasses the freshwater tank. Then, when I winterize again at the end of the trip, I waste very little water, only the contents of the water heater and inside lines.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #13
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You guys are lucky. A heated hose doesn't do a lot of good where the freeze line is four feet below grade, causing all water-filled pipes to freeze to that level underground.

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Old 10-16-2012, 11:15 AM   #14
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You guys are lucky. A heated hose doesn't do a lot of good where the freeze line is four feet below grade, causing all water-filled pipes to freeze to that level underground.

Lynn
Don't say that! A heated hose may not allow year-round camping for you, but if it extends your camping season by two or three weeks in late fall and early spring, isn't that worth the small investment?
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