How to Safely Unfreeze and Empty an RV Holding Tank
Having an RV holding tanks can be very useful for storing fresh and waste water for when you’re out on the road. However, in the winter, cold temperatures can cause the water to freeze and render the tanks unusable. This can be prevented by adding anti-freeze to the radiator, but this is toxic and it’s important not to mix fresh water with the anti-freeze. In order to keep your RV up and running, you need to know how to unfreeze and empty an RV holding tank.
Before you begin, make sure the RV is under cover and in a location that is above freezing. Put on safety glasses and gloves to protect your hands and eyes. Make sure to check your RV manual for the exact location of the tanks, as they are generally situated under the vehicle and close together. Next, remove any debris that has accumulated on the tanks using warm soapy water and a cloth.
Now it’s time to begin the defrosting process. Plug in a hair or blow dryer and direct the warm air toward the tanks. Keep the dryer 6 to 12 inches from the tanks and move it back and forth, up and down, and in a sweeping motion. Don’t stay in one spot too long, as this can melt the plastic material of the tanks and pipes. Check that the ice has not caused any damage to the tanks or pipes, and make sure the securing rings connecting the pipes to the tanks are tight and undamaged. If you notice any damage, stop defrosting and purchase replacements.
Once all of the tanks are unfrozen, you can drive to an RV waste dumping station. Here you should empty the tanks in this exact order: first black, then grey, then finally the stale fresh water. Make sure to replace the water with a non-toxic additive (like a bio-based additive) to act as an anti-freeze. This should help keep the tanks clean and functional even in cold temperatures.
Unfreezing and emptying your RV holding tanks is not a difficult process, but it does need to be done correctly. Start by making sure the RV is in a covered place above freezing, and then take the time to inspect your tanks and connections to make sure they are not damaged. Keep in mind that anti-freeze is toxic and should never be mixed with fresh water, so always make sure to use a non-toxic additive when refilling your tanks. With the right steps and precautions, you’ll be able to keep your RV up and running no matter what the temperature outside.