19 Unfreeze Your 12 Volt Water Pump EASY

Welcome to This Nomadic Idea Show where we discuss the uncensored truth about living LIFE on the road full-time. Whether it’s a full time RV’er, a VanLifer, those living in a Skoolie, or someone who desires to live a nomadic lifestyle, THIS show is for you.

We are Scott and Ariane from This Nomadic Idea. We broadcast this podcast each and every Sunday night at 8:00 PM eastern standard time on our YouTube Channel (thisnomadicidea) and the audio podcast is available to download on Monday Morning. Just go to www.thisnomadicidea.com or catch it on Spotify or Apple Podcast OR on any of your favorite podcatchers. Each show is different so you want to catch both.

On today’s show we talk about “When is it too cold to stay in your RV or Van?”. The reason I ask is because the last 10 days I drove through 9 States where temps ranged between 15 degrees at night to 40. But with those extreme temps how does one prepare for cold nights. I am going to share some tips on how to stay warm in the worst conditions and how to plan way ahead of time for weather so you don’t get caught in some real suck.

So how does one choose or make the decision on how cold is too cold? What is the breaking point? For us it’s about 15 degrees over a 3 day period if the temp does not get back up above freezing during the day. This would be called a Hard Freeze and at that point, it’s just to damn cold and stuff will break. At that point we start looking for hookups at an RV Park where we can at least fight the war (and it is a battle) with the cold.

On this last road trip I spent a night at a friends house (moochdocking) in Des Moin Iowa when temps fell to 15 degrees. Often Van Lifers have to be a little more creative than RVers simply because RV’s have small furnaces in them. However, this is a problem since RV furnaces blowers is normally running from the 12 volt battery. And you can empty a 20 gallon propane tank pretty fast.


long periods of freezing weather can start doing damage
Freezing 12 volt water pump, pipes
Diesel Van has to be plugged in
Propane cost’s go up
Battery charging maybe an issue if boondocking

Boondocking in cold weather has it’s issues. RV Furnaces run on Propane but the blower often runs on your 12 volt battery. this is why we went with a wood burning stove in the Airstream.


Kinds of heat – we have a Little Buddy Propane Heater that take Coleman Propane tanks
Safety Warning: Always have a carbon monoxide alarm like this one (click to view on Amazon) in the area when using any indoor propane appliances. Remember, Mr. Heater’s guidelines say there must be at least 4 inches of ventilation at the floor level and in the roof.

Electric Blanket. Great if you are at a RV park with hookups. This saves from running a ceramic heater and uses much less electricity as some RV Parks and now charging for electric. We have one and have never used it and it’s highest setting. That with a down comforter and you are warm.

If you have a 12 volt water pump. Most if not all RV’s have them. They can freeze. Here is a pro tip to get that sucker working again. Hot water Bottle.

By the way, we just launched our Facebook Group This Nomadic Idea. Please come out and hang with us at facebook.com/groups/thisnomadicidea This is a private Group where we give the scoop on upcoming Caravan Meetups. Our first one is scheduled in June with Randi from Randi’s Adventures. She has invited This Nomadic Idea subscribers to Wisconsin. Dates – June 3rd- 5th 2022 The campground is in between Green Bay and Minneapolis all details can be found at https://randisadventures.com/summer2022/

Gear we talked about on our Show!

Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector, Plug In with Battery Backup, CO Detector, KN-COP-DP2

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium

Safety Warning: Always have a carbon monoxide alarm in the area when using any indoor propane appliances. Remember, Mr. Heater’s guidelines say there must be at least 4 inches of ventilation at the floor level and in the roof.

Biddeford Velour Sherpa Electric Heated Warming Blanket Twin Linen Washable Auto Shut Off 10 Heat Settings

Eolus 15 & 30 Degree F 800 Fill Power Hydrophobic Goose Down Sleeping Bag with ClusterLoft Base

*This product will unfreeze your 12 Volt Water Pump. Boil water, pour in Rubber Hot Water Bottle, and lay it directly on the water pump.

*BAYUTE Premium Classic Rubber Hot Water Bottle, Durable Hot Water Bottle, Used for Hot Compress and Hyperthermia,2 Liter

Show Notes:

How cold can you RV in?

Freezing temps could start causing damage

7.3 liter diesel engines need love

The perfect hack for your 12 volt water pump when it freezes

Goose Down Sleeping Bags ROCK!

Electric Blankets VS Furnace

Propane costs

Wood burning stoves

Catch us every Sunday on our YouTube Channel when we record our Audio Podcast, This Nomadic Idea.

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