How Do Heated Holding Tanks Work?

by Jackie Johnson
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RVs and camping trailers have holding tanks for fresh water, gray water and black water. Heaters can keep the liquids in these tanks from freezing. Most of the time RVs and trailers do not come with heaters for the holding tanks as a standard feature.


Holding tank heaters can be like heating pads or electric blankets. The heaters plug into a socket or a battery and provide heat when the weather dips below freezing, preventing the contents of the holding tanks from freezing.


Some RVs do not need tank heaters if the RVs furnace provides heat to the area where the holding tanks sit. However, if the tanks and pipes rest in areas that are not insulated or heated, the pipes need protection as well. Adding heat tape or cylindrical and elbow heaters keeps the water pipes from freezing.


The pipe and holding tank heaters make it possible to use the RV or camping trailer all year long. Winter getaways in an RV provide access to the outdoors and the heaters help self-contain the RV. Keeping the waste water tanks from freezing also makes dumping the contents possible.

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