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Does RV antifreeze work?

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When winterizing your RV, antifreeze is crucial, because it keeps your vehicle healthy. If you are camping in a colder climate, antifreeze helps prevent residual water in your lines and tanks from freezing. You will not have to worry about residual water freezing in your tanks or lines over the winter. There are certain risks to be aware of when using antifreeze in an RV, despite products designed specifically for it. The purpose of this article is to teach you what antifreeze is, how it works, and how to use it safely.

What is the mechanism of antifreeze?

Antifreeze slows the expansion of water at subzero temperatures by lowering the freezing point of water. The freezing point of water is raised by the presence of alcohol in all antifreeze. Antifreeze consists of three main chemical components:

  1. Ethanol
  2. Propylene glycol
  3. Ethylene glycol

1. Ethanol:

Unique products are not suitable for this type of antifreeze because it contains ethanol, which kills the bacteria needed to break down waste. Ensure that rubber gaskets are in good condition before applying this type of antifreeze to prevent them from drying out too quickly. If seals are in good condition, ethanol antifreeze should work fine, but worn and brittle seals may be pushed beyond their capacity if you use it frequently.

2. Propylene glycol

Propylene glycol antifreeze is safer for campers, humans, and the environment. A propylene glycol-based antifreeze is commonly referred to as RV antifreeze. According to Unique, RV antifreeze with this level of propylene glycol does not kill bacteria. Due to its low propylene glycol content, antifreeze will eventually be consumed by bacteria. Regular antifreeze treatments are necessary to prevent sewage tanks from freezing.

3. Ethylene glycol

Using ethylene glycol to fill RVs is not recommended because it is highly toxic. The chemical in automotive antifreeze should not be poured into RV holding tanks. The product should be treated with extreme caution since swallowing, inhaling, or spilling it could lead to serious health problems.

A mixture of RV antifreeze (ethanol and propylene glycol) should not be used in place of automotive antifreeze (ethylene glycol). Antifreeze used in plastic holding tanks is not toxic, but it is made for powerful engines. In RVs, antifreeze is used to prevent the holding tanks from freezing and causing damage. Instead of lubricating seals and allowing rubber seals to dry, propylene glycol lubricates them.

More to explorer

Which RVs should be winter-ready?

RVs can withstand freezing temperatures with the following features.  If you plan to camp in cold weather, look for these RV features. 

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