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Comments for Not all RV antifreeze is created equal

  • 1) does ethanol or glycol based antifreeze have a different freezepoint? Freeze behavior (yes, AF does freeze into slush but doesn’t expand like water!)?

    2) I’ve never tasted antifreeze, but I explicitly drain and flush it in the Spring, rather than some who logorithmically dilute it to death with fresh water. I assume the $2 AF is ethanol?

    3) funny you mentioned RVers recycling with buckets. Just this year someone asked if I recycle back into the RV between seasons since my air+AF winterize and Spring drain routine recovers almost pure antifreeze. I don’t because I want the maximum protection for $2, but wonder how much efficacy I really lose? It can’t evaporate in a closed system, but does it age or denature?

  • Alcohol-based anti-freeze is already diluted to 50 or 60 percent. While it won’t evaporate in a closed system it will progressively dilute from residual water in the RV . It’s so cheap, why re-use?
    That said, I strongly recommend using propylene glycol. It gives better freeze protection and is safe for human consumption. If you read labels, you will find it as an additive in many packaged foods.
    In my experience, it has little taste or odor and flushes out quickly.
    I have owned a number of RVs and have never had freeze damage and it get below 0 here most winters. Hey, it’s only a few bucks more.

  • I enjoyed your well written and easy to understand article. I do however note the article misstates that antifreeze raises the freezing point of water. Antifreeze widens the range water remains a liquid – lowering the freezing and raising the boiling point. Correctly stated from the article’s and an RV-er’s perspective, it lowers the freezing point, not raises it.

  • When I worked in the oil field in Alaska,and the Rockies,in wintertime we always used air to blow out water lines and if done properly never had a problem with freeze ups. Of course air is not always available in enough quantity to do a good job of removing water from lines,but most small tank type compressors will usually do it if you have a little patience. Many newer coaches have water manifolds installed so the on board water pump can suck RV antifreeze out of a jug thereby winterizing the water pump.You have to winterize that pump..or it will freeze..and possibly break.

  • Might your water pump freeze if you don’t run antifreeze through it? Blowing air through the system won’t clear the water pump of water, will it?

  • We spent November parked in our son’s driveway in Maine. Temperatures ranged from high teens to low forties, but mostly from a low in the mid-twenties and a high in the mid-thirties.. We stayed in the house but were leaving for our home in Florida after Thanksgiving, so I didn’t want to go the whole winterized route. I heated the travel trailer to 50 degrees for the plumbing, pump, and tanks. I was concerned about the exposed pipe at the dump valves so I added a gallon of the Walmart brand RV antifreeze at $5 to both the grey and black tanks.

    I can’t tell you anything about the taste afterward, but I can attest to the sensor cleaning ability of this product. They haven’t been so clean since they were new. I’ve used other products that didn’t work half as well.

  • A few years ago I captured a gallon of used antifreeze, when I was going to use it the next fall it had stuff growing in it like algae very nasty looking. I only use fresh now and sanitize my system every time I drain the antifreeze.

  • Normally parked in a mild climate during the winter months, I don’t need to winterize. But during late fall or early spring trips away from Southern California we sometimes hit freezing conditions. All freshwater is inside and protected from outside temps. For the shower drain trap and the holding tanks we carry rock salt and dissolve it in hot water. Much less expensive, lighter in weight, and more compact than liquid antifreeze, I’ve never read any reports of others who do the same. Wonder why?

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