Is antifreeze okay to use in RV tanks?



You should use antifreeze when winterizing your RV, especially because it is crucial to the health of your car. Antifreeze prevents residual water in your lines and tanks from freezing when temperatures drop below freezing while camping in colder climates. During the winter, your tanks and lines won’t freeze with any residual water. There are certain risks to consider when using antifreeze in an RV, despite products designed specifically for it. Throughout this article, you will learn what antifreeze is, how it works, and how to use it safely.

How does antifreeze work?

By lowering the freezing point of water in subfreezing temperatures, antifreeze slows the expansion of water. All antifreeze contains alcohol, which extends the freezing point of water. There are three main chemical components in antifreeze:

  1. Ethanol
  2. Propylene Glycol
  3. Ethylene Glycol

1. Ethanol:

Due to the amount of ethanol in this type of antifreeze, it is not suitable for Unique products, since ethanol kills bacteria that break down waste. In order to prevent rubber seals from drying out too quickly, make sure they are in good condition before you apply this type of antifreeze; ethanol antifreeze should do just fine for seals in good condition, but weathered and brittle seals may be pushed over the edge of effectiveness if you use it regularly.

2. Propylene Glycol

Campers, humans, and the planet are safer when using propylene glycol antifreeze. Antifreeze containing propylene glycol is generally referred to as RV antifreeze. The level of propylene glycol in this type of RV antifreeze is not high enough to kill bacteria, according to Unique. Bacteria will consume antifreeze at some point because it contains low levels of propylene glycol. To prevent freezing, wastewater tanks should be treated with antifreeze periodically. 

3. Ethylene Glycol

It is not recommended to fill RVs with ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic. Recreational vehicle holding tanks should not be filled with automobile antifreeze, which contains this chemical. When using this product, you should use extreme caution, as it is highly toxic if ingested, inhaled, or spilt.

In contrast to automotive antifreeze (ethylene glycol), RV antifreeze (ethanol and propylene glycol) should not be mixed together. Automobile antifreeze is toxic and designed for powerful engines, unlike antifreeze used in plastic holding tanks. The purpose of RV antifreeze is to reduce the likelihood of RV holding tanks being damaged by freezing. In contrast to ethanol-based RV antifreeze, propylene glycol actually lubricates seals, preventing rubber seals from drying out.

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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