If you RV all year long, a heated water hose is a must-have accessory as you never know when temperatures will plummet, putting your camper’s water lines at risk of freezing.
Dealing with the aftermath of burst RV plumbing lines is not only expensive to repair, but can derail your camping plans for weeks or months.
To avoid being caught off-guard, you need to carry a heated water hose in your RV, so you can swap it out for your standard hose when cooler weather arrives.
To help you find the best RV heated water hose for your motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel camper, dive into this guide that explains why you need one, which hoses RV owners find the most reliable, and which features are essential.
Every penny you invest in keeping your RV in top condition is money well spent so that you can enjoy years of adventures across the US!
What is a Heated RV Water Hose?
A heated RV water hose design includes an insulating layer and a heating element that runs the length of the tubing.
Some hoses only offer one of the above design options, but the best-quality heated hoses for RVs will have both.
Because of the extra insulation and the heating element, the hose will be thicker and heavier than a standard drinking water hose for recreational vehicles. Unfortunately, heated hoses also cost quite a bit more, which is why many RVers tend to put off purchasing one.
You may wonder if a heated RV water hose will provide your camper with hot water as it flows through, but the answer is no.
While the first few gallons of water standing in the hose will be warm, once you continually run the water, it will cool down to ground temperature.
The hose is heated to prevent water freezing inside and is not an on-demand heating system. You’ll need to rely on your hot water tank for large amounts of hot water inside your RV.
Why You Need A Heated RV Water Hose
You need a heated hose for your RV because water that freezes expands, which can jam up your water lines to prevent flow into your camper.
If the winter weather situation is terrible, the expanding water can crack your water hose or RV plumbing lines and fittings, which will cause leaks when temperatures warm up.
Plastic is more prone to cracking, and RV plumbing almost exclusively uses plastic pipes and fittings, unlike metal residential plumbing.
A heated water hose generates warmth down its length to keep water from freezing inside during frigid camping conditions, helping you avoid costly damage from burst pipes or cracked fittings.
The heat also keeps water flowing so you can use your sink, shower, and toilet as usual, which makes winter camping much more enjoyable.
While many RVers think they will only need a heated hose for winter camping, you can experience freezing nights during fall and spring as well, especially in the more northern regions.
But don’t think you’re safe if you only camp in warm locations.
For example, I full-time RV in the south and had to purchase an RV heated hose when an unexpected ice storm was going to hit my campground. Thankfully there was a Camping World just down the street with some in stock.
That initial purchase has saved me several times over the years, as you never know when the weather will turn cold and ugly!
As much as you want to believe covering your standard RV drinking water hose with foam insulation or wrapping it in heat tape will protect your RV, they often fail as those methods can only go so far to buffer the water in the hose from freezing.
Another important reason you’ll want to have a heated RV drinking water hose is that some RV parks that experience freezing winter temps require them.
The park will insulate their campsite water spigots and insist guests use a heated hose. This rule prevents water leaks inside and outside the RVs, which is a massive headache for campground managers.
It’s not always convenient to buy a heated hose for RV at the last minute, which can leave you without a campsite to park or expose you to damage when the temperatures drop.
Having a heated hose in your camping-gear stash is the smartest way to avoid issues when you need to make quick decisions when the weather turns icy, so check out these top choices below.
The 5 Best Heated Water Hoses for RV Use
After plenty of online research and in-person surveying of all my RVing friends, here is a review of the top five heated water hoses for recreational vehicles.
1. NoFreeze Heated Water Hose
The NoFreeze Water Hose is the most reliable heated water hose for RV use you can find.
The military-strength design features a braided polyester monofilament that covers the PVC foam insulation for a highly durable casing that can withstand years of being used over all types of terrain and rolled up for storage.
But, the biggest reason the NoFreeze is the best is that it doesn’t use a finicky thermostat to regulate the heating cable but instead can monitor temperatures down the entire hose length and adjust the heat setting accordingly.
Other top features include:
- Protects to -30°F
- High-purity LLDPE hose for FDA-approved safe drinking water
- Inner core is white PVC for clean tasting water
- Forged brass fittings that won’t leak or torque to prevent damage
- Thermal insulation stays flexible
- Available in lengths from 4-100 feet
The NoFreeze company also offers heat element extensions (12″ long), which is one of the most useful accessories to go along with your hose. You add the extensions to the ends of your hose to wrap around the spigot piping and your RV water intake pipe to protect the connections from the cold.
On the downside, this is an expensive heated water hose for RVing with prices around $250 for a 15-foot hose, and it draws more wattage than other brands. On the bright side, the company offers financing for those who qualify to make the purchase easier on the budget.
2. Camco TastePure Heated RV Drinking Water Hose
The Camco TastePure Heated Drinking Water Hose is an affordable and reliable hose for RVers that is readily available for purchase online or through camping and RV supply stores.
The design includes an energy-saving thermostat that will automatically shut off and on to maintain a safe heating level.
I really like the rugged exterior jacket that will protect the water hose and interior electrical components from damage during use or storage to extend its lifetime. The no-kink design also reduces frustration when setting up or packing away the hose.
You can plug the hose into your campsite power pedestal or one of your RV or generator AC outlets.
Other top features include:
- Protects to -20°F
- NSF-61 certified drinking water safe/Lead and BPA Free
- Self-Regulating Thermometer
- Durable stainless steel fittings
- Includes female-to-male adapter
- Available in 25 and 50-foot lengths
On the downside, this hose can be bulky to store at longer lengths, and if the thermostat does malfunction, the hose becomes useless.
3. FreezeFreeHose Heated Water Hose
The FreezeFreeHose gets great reviews from RV owners for the quality construction, reliable performance, affordable pricing, and low amperage draw during use.
I like that this hose has the self-regulating temperature feature, and it only uses virgin drinking-water-safe polyurethane in the inner hose. I also like the design that encloses the plug to keep moisture away from the connection.
The best part about the FreezeFreeHose design is that the heating element is inside the hose, surrounded by water, so the warmth level rises faster and more evenly with no heat loss.
Other top features include:
- Protects to -20°F
- Sunblock lined inner hose to prevent algae or fungal growth
- Drinking water safe
- Self-Regulating heating element
- Corded casing and durable fittings
- Thinner and less bulky than other heated hoses
- Available in 5-100 foot lengths
On the downside, this hose starts to get pricey if you need a long length, and they make many of the hoses on-demand, which can delay shipping times by several days.
4. Valterra Heated Fresh Water Hose
The Valterra Heated Fresh Water Hose comes from a company long-known and respected in the RV industry, which means you know they’ll provide a heated hose you can rely on.
The hose delivers safe drinking water and has a self-regulating temperature feature and a convenient 6-foot cord and lighted plug. This hose also has one of the best freeze-resistant ratings for people who love winter camping.
I like the thoughtful design with the integration of zippered cuffs at either end of the hose to keep the connections from freezing and exposure to the elements that may cause corrosion.
Other top features include:
- Protects to -40°F
- Thermostat free operation with a 7 watt draw per linear foot
- Clean tasting water
- Heavy-duty fittings
- Hose stays flexible
- Available in 15, 25, and 50-foot lengths
On the downside, a few customers find issues with leaks at the attachment seals, which may be due to a faulty manufacturing batch that loosens the glue holding it in place.
5. Pirit Heated Hot Water Hose
The Pirit Feated Hot Water Hose is another super-reliable RV heated hose that provides smooth water flow and a low amperage draw of 1.5 amps per 25-feet in length.
I like how this hose winds up with ease for compact storage, even if you have a 100-foot length. I also appreciate the ten-foot-long power cord with a lighted plug for instances where a power source is farther away than usual.
Other top features include:
- Protects to -42°F
- High-purity PVC hose for safe drinking water
- 200 psi pressure resistance
- Thermal insulation increases heat retention
- Available in lengths from 12-100 feet
On the downside, the thermostat sits 12-inches below the hose end that connects to the RV. If your RV water inlet connection is within a small compartment, this will warm the air inside the compartment and cause faulty readings of the thermostat that will cause the heating element to shut off.
Protecting Your RV Pressure Regulator and Water Filter
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If you attach an RV pressure regulator or use an external in-line water filter with your heated RV water hose, you must also insulate them against freezing temperatures.
You can use an insulating foam or heat tape (or both) over these components to keep them warm enough to prevent water freezing in these areas.
Remember that the heated hose will not warm other RV hose components, and you’ll need to prepare protection for those parts when you go on winter RV trips.
Features to Look for When Buying a Heated Water Hose for RV
To ensure you buy a high-quality heated hose for recreational vehicle use, read up on these important features to look for.
RV Heated Hose is Safe for Potable Water
The material that goes into a heated hose may not always be safe for use in an RV where you rely on the water for drinking and cooking.
There are heated hoses on the market that are only for washing vehicles or for other non-drinking uses. Look for labeling that states the hose material is BPA-free and drinking (potable) water safe.
Some heated hoses have other benefits, like a sun-blocking layer that prevents fungus or algae from forming inside the hose when the water is sitting for long stretches.
RV Heated Hose Length
The problem with RV parks and campgrounds is that all the campsites are different in where they place the power pedestal and water spigot.
This issue means your 15-foot hose reaches the spigot most of the time, but every once in a while, it’s just too far away! To avoid this problem it’s best to buy a heated hose that will work all of the time, most likely being a 25-50 foot length.
Paying for a longer heated hose and storing all that extra hose bulk may seem frustrating when you rarely need it, but when you do, you’ll be grateful you did.
RV Hose Burst Pressure or PSI Rating
A low-quality RV heated hose won’t have the strength to withstand higher water pressure that is common when you hook up to residential spigots or at campgrounds within metropolitan areas.
Look for high PSI ratings on any heated hose while shopping to avoid the hose bursting or the fitting leaking under higher or even normal ranges of 30-80 PSI.
I also suggest you use a water pressure regulator for RV connections to protect your camper’s plumbing lines from the stress of high PSI coming from the external water source.
Temperature Rating of the Heated Hose for RV
The whole point of a heated RV water hose is to allow you to run your water during freezing temperatures and prevent damage from frozen water expanding and cracking your hose or RV plumbing lines.
As you never know what nature will hit you with, try to buy a hose with the lowest freeze protection rating you can find. For example, a -10°F protection rating isn’t nearly as useful as one that is -30°F, especially if you winter camp or full-time RV in frigid climates.
Heated RV Hose Safety Controls
A heating element warms a recreational vehicle hose and should run down the entire length.
This heating element should be self-regulating, so power is applied to warm up the hose when temperatures drop below a set level, and power shuts off to the component when exterior temps rise.
Heated hoses for RVs without a self-regulating element can overheat from continual power warming the hose to the point it can melt, burn, or blow the camper’s electrical circuit.
Energy Draw of the RV Heated Hose
Some RV heated hoses will use more electricity than others to maintain the warmth necessary to prevent water in the line from freezing.
As power in any recreational vehicle is limited to a 30-amp or 50-amp service, it’s best to select a heated hose with the least amount of amperage draw, so you don’t overburden your RV’s electrical system.
You never know where you’ll roam on your RV travels, and even warm climate regions can experience below-zero temperatures during the winter season.
With a quality RV heated water hose, you can enjoy cold-weather camping in any location and keep water flowing through your rig to wash dishes, shower, brush teeth, or flush the toilet.
The best way to keep your RV trips on track is to purchase and always carry along one of the best RV heated hoses from the list above.
Once temperatures begin to fall, you won’t be caught off guard and can quickly protect your RV’s water supply from freezing and avoid costly damage and repair bills!
RV Heated Hose VS Diy Heated Hose For Your RV (Video)
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