As the unprecedented snowfall in western New York recently reminded us, winter is already here. If you have not yet winterized your portable restrooms, now is the time! Protect your restroom trailer investment with these easy tips on winterizing and skirting your unit.

Make a heat traced hose for your water supply lines to the trailer.

Start by wrapping heat tape around a ¾” garden hose. Every 12 inches or so, use a piece of duct tape to hold the heat tape in place. Next, place foam tube insulation around the hose and heat tape leaving the plugs and power lights uncovered. Unroll the duct tape down the insulation, just leaving the connecting ends, plugs, and power lights uncovered. If you cover them, you will not be able to connect the water or power. You should also leave test lights and power lights uncovered for testing, and to be sure the hose remains working.

Create a “Box.”

Place two 1500-watt electric heaters under the unit, ensuring you have sufficient power for both prior to placement. Build a 2x2 or 2x4 wood frame to fit on each side of the unit, underneath. This is going to box in the bottom of the outside of the unit. You can fill any small gaps with insulation, so it doesn’t have to be precise. Cut ½ inch plywood to fit the frame for each side, and don’t forget to consider the stairs when cutting your wood. The stairs should be out and in place during measurement for accuracy. Measure and cut out a 6”x6” square for the drain access. Then, hinge it back on – allowing you to access the drain when needed, while protecting the drain valve from freezing.
Use R-13 or heavier insulation under the tongue side of the unit to eliminate the gaps and holes for boxing. Before putting the box in place, staple insulation to the inside of the wood. You should also cut R-13 insulation in half and lay it on the ground where your box will go. This will eliminate gaps in between the wood and the ground, further protecting your restroom trailer from the cold.
After the plywood is attached to the frame and under the unit, fill in the small gaps on the top and bottom of the frame box with insulation. Then, staple bubble wrap to the outside of the wood around it. This will close off any gaps between the boards and on the corners, keeping the cold air out and the heat in. Finally, tape the plug connections that will remain outside using electrical tape.
Here is a list of other things to consider if a unit will not be in use for a period of time.

  •  Drain all the water out of the lines.
  • Apply non-toxic RV “Pink Water System” anti-freeze to the unit.

Want to keep this information on file with your portable restroom unit? Download these instructions in a printer-friendly version here. >>