Winter will roll in, as it always does. And before it does you need to properly winterize your RV, including taking care of the plumbing. The best way to do that is to empty all the tanks and blow all the water lines. And then, fill them with antifreeze. It might seem crazy, but it’s a must for proper winterizing.

In this RV care guide you will learn everything you need to know about RV antifreezes that are available on the market, which ones are the best ones, what you need to know about them, what their temperature ratings are, if they’re environmentally-friendly or not, in-depth reviews, how to select the best one for you, answers to commonly asked questions and much more.

So without further ado, let’s go!

Our Top RV Antifreeze Picks

Best Overall Value
Runner-up
Name
Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate
Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
Image
Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate - 36 Ounces of Concentrate Makes 1 Gallon of Antifreeze, Just Add Fresh Water, Great for Use in RVs, Boats, Vacation Homes and Pools - Pack of 2 - 30611
Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
Tempature Rating
-50 F (-45.5 C)
-100 F (-73.3 C)
Environmentally-Friendly?
Odorless?
Tasteless?
Contains corrosion inhibitors?
Flammable?
Base
-
-
Best Overall Value
Name
Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate
Image
Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate - 36 Ounces of Concentrate Makes 1 Gallon of Antifreeze, Just Add Fresh Water, Great for Use in RVs, Boats, Vacation Homes and Pools - Pack of 2 - 30611
Tempature Rating
-50 F (-45.5 C)
Environmentally-Friendly?
Odorless?
Tasteless?
Contains corrosion inhibitors?
Flammable?
Base
-
More details on Amazon
Runner-up
Name
Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
Image
Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
Tempature Rating
-100 F (-73.3 C)
Environmentally-Friendly?
Odorless?
Tasteless?
Contains corrosion inhibitors?
Flammable?
Base
-
More details on Amazon

It takes several things to prepare your rig for the winter season. I used to think that covering my trailer is enough, boy was I young and naive.

I was a newbie back then. Thankfully, my meticulousness took over and reading helped a lot. I joined RV forums and groups and found friends that helped me with my first ever winterizing.

From there, I learned that storing your RV is different in the winter. It’s not the same as the warmer seasons where you just stow it away in your garage (if you’re really lucky) or on the driveway like most of us. No, winter storage is much more intricate than that.

Apart from protecting the RV’s exterior, it’s equally important to protect the interior. And when I say interior, that mainly means the plumbing. Forgetting to winterize your pipes leads to broken seals and burst pipes. Fixing those things can really break the bank.


Other than drawing and blowing water out of the pipes, it’s important that you use antifreeze as well. This is because it is VERY difficult to get 100% of the water out.

The thing with water is that it expands when it freezes. Leaving even a little bit of water in your RV lines over the winter can lead to cracks in the pipes, water tanks and possibly even in the toilet bowl.

While anti-freezing shouldn’t be a replacement for blowing or drawing water out of the pipes, it should be done right after. If there is too much water left in the lines even the best RV antifreezes will be too diluted to work.

And since we’re here, let’s talk about the best RV antifreezes to get you all prepped up for the coming winter. You definitely need some and it’s a non-negotiable when you live in colder regions.

If you’re in a hurry, here are the best of best compared.

10 Best RV Antifreezes for 2021

If you want your RV to be ready in the spring and not have broken plumbing, here are antifreeze options you shouldn’t miss.


Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate

Camco’s first-ever product was antifreeze, which was over 50 years ago. Over the years, the company expanded and developed over thousands of products for every RVer out there.

Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate - 36 Ounces of Concentrate Makes 1 Gallon of Antifreeze, Just Add Fresh Water, Great for Use in RVs, Boats, Vacation Homes and Pools - Pack of 2 - 30611
651 Reviews
Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate - 36 Ounces of Concentrate Makes 1 Gallon of Antifreeze, Just Add Fresh Water, Great for Use in RVs, Boats, Vacation Homes and Pools - Pack of 2 - 30611
  • 36 ounces of concentrate makes 1 gallon of antifreeze
  • Great for use in RVs, boats, vacation homes and pools
  • Burst protection down to -50F when properly diluted
  • 100% biodegradable, GRAS, non-toxic, non-hazardous, safe with pets and kids
  • Includes 2 gallon bottles

This is why you’ll see a number of options on this list coming from the same brand, first of which is the Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate.

This concentrate comes in 2-gallon bottles, which last A LONG TIME. Just like the juice concentrate you buy in the frozen food section of the grocery store, you add water to this antifreeze before you use it. 36 ounces of concentrate 1 gallon of antifreeze!

That means, one 2 gallon jug of concentrate will make just over 7 gallons of useable antifreeze.

Some people will tell you that you should use all the of the concentrate as shortly after the bottle is opened. But I doubt your RV will need 7 gallons of antifreeze. Luckily, you can use this Camco RV antifreeze in all sorts of plumbing from engines, to boats, to pools, to vacation homes.

When properly diluted, it can protect your pipes down to -50 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius).


What I really like about this product is that it’s 100% biodegradable, non-toxic and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for kids and pets. With that said, it’s safe to use even in freshwater systems.

It comes in easy-to-use measure bottles which makes it convenient to use anytime.

Zecol Antifreeze

Another great option that is easy and ready-to-use is the Zecol Antifreeze. It comes in 1-gallon bottles that you can use immediately so you save time not measuring and mixing.

It’s proven to provide up to -50 degrees Fahrenheit (-45.5 degrees Celsius) burst protection just like most of the other products here. However, if you’re using this product to winterize your pipes for the first time, one bottle may not be enough. You’ll have to use more.

Fortunately, you can get it in packs of 6, which should last you a few seasons. Also, you won’t have to worry about getting a large bottle and not using all of it at one go. Getting it in packs would be more practical especially if your RV is not that large.

It’s biodegradable and organic. This is one of the things I look for in a product because I sometimes spill, so I want something that is not harmful to the environment.


You can use it on acetate tubing as well as copper, metal, brass and plastic pipes. All-in-all, it’s a good and effective product although you may need more than one bottle during your first winterization.

Camco Mfg. 30757 RV And Marine Antifreeze 

As mentioned earlier, there are several Camco products on this list. Camco Mfg. 30757 RV and Marine antifreeze is one of the best. You can use it on pipes and on engines. Check the price on Amazon.

It can also protect pools and vacation houses from freezing. It’s rated down to -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius). In addition to that, it prevents water from tasting foul and it inhibits algae from growing. At the same time, it lubricates pumps and valves so it also prevents corrosion throughout the water or engine systems.

These are things that you should be looking for in a product because some formula leaves a nasty aftertaste through their residues. If you’re traveling with kids like us, then make a mental note and see to it that you have this factor on top of your list.

Unlike the first Camco featured product, this is not a concentrated formula. So there’s no need to mix it with water before you’re able to use it.

It’s non-toxic and doesn’t add taste to the water which makes it safe for freshwater systems. What’s more, is that it’s formulated with a special coloring to help you detect any leaks in your pipelines. It’s a good way to see leaks early on so you can fix any cracks immediately.


Century Chemical TF1 Heat Transfer Fluid

Century Chemical is another reliable antifreeze on the market. It’s a versatile formula that can be used in many other systems in your RVs. Check the price on Amazon.

Century Chemical TF-1 Heat Transfer Fluid Ready to use formula, Green, 50% Glycol / 50% Water ( -20 Below )
272 Reviews
Century Chemical TF-1 Heat Transfer Fluid Ready to use formula, Green, 50% Glycol / 50% Water ( -20 Below )
  • Provides freeze protection
  • High boiling points
  • Stability over a wide temperature range
  • Low or no fire hazard
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion

You can use it on your tanks as well as floor heating systems, hydronic, solar and HVAC units. This makes it more convenient to use because you don’t have to purchase another product for other areas in your RV.

The materials used in this formula are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) per US standards. It remains stable over a wide range of temperatures, has a high boiling point and it has high specific heat and thermal conductivity. These are benefits not specified in most other products, so if you’re looking for these features then this is your best pick.

Since it is considered GRAS, this product is good for people bringing along kids and pets. It doesn’t cause harm to neither the family nor the environment.

On top of that, it’s non-corrosive and has remarkably low toxicity so it’s safe to use on water systems. Its’ special pH inhibitor helps retain the pH level of the water in your RV and can also be mixed with other chemicals because it is inert.

It’s available in different volumes so you get to choose whether you want it by the bottle, container, drum or even a tote tank.


Froggy’s Fog Propylene Glycol

Froggy’s Fog solution has many practical uses, antifreeze is one of them. What’s really remarkable about this product is that it’s certified 100% food and pharmaceutical grade. Check the price on Amazon.

SMPLY. Propylene Glycol USP Kosher Certified 99.9%+ Pure Food & Pharmaceutical Grade - Highest Possible Purity - 34.5 lbs. nt. wt. in 4 x 1 Gallon Safety Sealed HDPE Containers with Resealable Caps
11 Reviews
SMPLY. Propylene Glycol USP Kosher Certified 99.9%+ Pure Food & Pharmaceutical Grade - Highest Possible Purity - 34.5 lbs. nt. wt. in 4 x 1 Gallon Safety Sealed HDPE Containers with Resealable Caps
  • 🔹 Food Grade - This high-purity propylene glycol can be used to keep food moist, prevent caking of ingredients, as an emulsifier or solvent, and many more uses
  • 🔹 Skin Safe - PG is an excellent moisturizer and is used in cosmetics, lotions, soaps, shampoos, and many other
  • 🔹 Crystal Clear - Our 100% pure formula is odorless and practically tasteless, making it a great carrier for all types of flavorings and other ingredients
  • 🔹 Preserves Moisture - Commonly used in humidor systems to keep humidity levels at the perfect range for freshness and flavor
  • 🔹 Non-Toxic - PG is a safer alternative for marine antifreeze, coolant in glycol chillers and refrigeration systems, and in other applications that call for a non-toxic coolant

Its’ main component is Propylene Glycol which can be used in many ways. It can be used as a moisturizer in hair care, mouth wash, toothpaste, cosmetics, medicine and food. It can also be used as an antifreeze solution as well as a solvent for resins, oils and waxes.

Apart from that, it’s also used as a water absorption agent, coolant and as an aid in preventing and treating ketosis in dairy cattle. These are just the common uses of Propylene Glycol, but it has many other practical applications as well.

The point here is that, because it’s food and pharmaceutical grade, it’s not harmful to our health. So if used as an anti-freezing agent, it will not be harmful in any way.

It has the highest possible purity that makes it safe to ingest, thus safe on food and medicine products. It’s non-toxic both to humans and animals and has de-icing compounds. Because of that, it makes a good alternative to conventional antifreeze products.

So if you’re looking for the safest antifreeze, this is the safest you can get. It comes in many packages, giving you the option to purchase depending on the volume that you need.

It doesn’t leave a bad taste and is safe to ingest. Therefore, it gives you the confidence that while you use it for de-icing purposes, it will not be harmful to your health even when residues are left behind.

Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze

This may be the last Camco product on the list, but this doesn’t mean it comes last in terms of performance. It is used in boilers and solar systems and protects down to -100 degrees Fahrenheit (or -73.3 degrees Celsius). Check the price on Amazon.

Sale
Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
83 Reviews
Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
  • This product adds a great value
  • Product is highly durable and very easy to use
  • This product is manufactured in United States

Besides boilers, it also works on cooling and hydronic heating systems. It can also be used in AquaHot and Hydra-Hot systems. So if your primary concern is winterizing your boilers, then this is the one for you.

It doesn’t only protect your boilers and cooling systems, it also contains corrosion inhibitors to keep rust from forming. So apart from winterizing, it also doesn’t leave any damage behind.

It’s tasteless and odorless which makes it great for the fresh water systems in your RV. I like that I won’t have to worry about this because the kids will know for sure if the water doesn’t taste normal.

Also, it’s non-flammable and is generally safe to use.

The formula is ready-to-use right out of the bottle, so you don’t have to do any mixing. It’s environmentally safe and non-flammable, so don’t have to worry about spilling it accidentally.

One word of caution though, this antifreeze may not mix well with other products. So if you’re using it for the first time, make sure there are no residues from other brands or you may have the risk of clogging the boiler.

SPLASH 619526 Pink Antifreeze

If you’re looking for an antifreeze that can be used on vehicles other than RVs and boats, you’d be interested to know that this Splash Antifreeze works on many others too. It can be used on utility vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, speedboats, scooters, and marine personal crafts among others.

This way, you won’t have to buy separate products for different vehicle types. It’s one formula you can use across every vehicle you have, giving you the least hassle and the most convenience. You won’t have to write down which product you used on which vehicle.

Its’ pink color helps you spot leaks in your pipes right away. It has a high boiling point so it doesn’t heat up immediately when the temperature changes.

On the other hand, its’ freezing point is -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius) so it’s able to protect your water systems down to this point.

One gallon of this antifreeze is enough to winterize a small RV. Most systems would require at least 2 gallons and more if you have a really large rig.

It has corrosion inhibitors so it also protects your systems from rust and other damage. It’s good that it provides protection other than keeping your lines from freezing. Some antifreeze products leave damage behind and it’s a plus that this one doesn’t.

You have to use the full strength of this antifreeze, so you should use it directly without diluting it. Residues of this formula that may be left in the RV systems are not harmful and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. It’s labeled as safe for incidental contact with animals and humans.

When using it in pools, which is by the way included in the list of things it can winterize, follow what the manufacturer recommends and you’ll be good to go.

Star Brite Antifreeze

This Star Brite antifreeze is a ready-to-use formulation that doesn’t need to be diluted. If you’re always on the go and don’t want to measure and add water, then this is a good product for you. Check the price on Amazon.

Sale
AMRS-31400R * Starbrite Sea Safe Non-Toxic Anti-Freeze, 50F 1 Gallon (Shipping Restrictions: Ground Only To Contiguous 48 States)
18 Reviews
AMRS-31400R * Starbrite Sea Safe Non-Toxic Anti-Freeze, 50F 1 Gallon (Shipping Restrictions: Ground Only To Contiguous 48 States)
  • Safe for all engines including aluminum.
  • Non-toxic virgin propylene glycol formula.
  • Provides copper burst protection down to -50F.
  • Contains corrosion inhibitors to protect all metal engine components and seals.
  • This product contains NO Ethylene Glycol so they do not require any bittering agent to be added.

It can protect your pipes and tanks up to -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius). It’s made with non-toxic chemicals that are pure per USP standards. It doesn’t have any alcohol content so it’s safe to use even in drinking water systems.

This is a critical factor for me because we travel with kids. And we don’t want to use something effective yet can potentially cause harm to us. It’s hard to know for sure if there’s absolutely no residue left, so it’s safer to get something that we know will not cause harm in the first place.

You can also use it engine’s radiator as it helps prevent corrosion of copper, aluminum, brass and solder. While it does that, the formula doesn’t damage rubber, hose materials nor the seals. Because of this, we can say that this is a well-rounded antifreeze product.

Unlike other antifreezes, this one is bright pink in color. Star Brite wants to provide outstanding visibility when you drain the antifreeze in the spring. The color also makes it easy to notice when there are leaks that should be fixed immediately.

Apart from protecting your RV water systems and engines, you can also use it on your vacation homes, pools and boat engines. It’s even safe to use on all types of plastic.

So while it may not be as economical as the other concentrated products, it’s more versatile in some ways. Another thing is that it’s sold in packs of 6, so you can use it one bottle at a time if you want to.

BioTherm Fluids RV Antifreeze and Heat Transfer Fluid

Most antifreeze products have toxicity levels that may be harmful to our health. Some will proudly announce that they have low-toxicity, but the fact remains that there is a level of toxicity, which is not good.

There will always be residue left behind that will mix with your freshwater. Most of us are not willing to risk exposure to toxic chemicals..

If you’re looking for an antifreeze that is 100% non-toxic and safe even for freshwater systems, BioTherm Fluids is one of the safest you can get. It’s a critical feature I like about this product because I won’t have to worry about any leftover antifreeze in my pipes.

There’s no change in the smell of the water and there’s also no change in its’ color. It’s biodegradable so it doesn’t pose any risk to your health or the environment.

If this antifreeze is mixed into the water, the water is still safe to drink. Its’ formula is not alcohol-based, unlike most other brands. Instead, it’s glycerin-based which makes it more beneficial compared to other formulas.

More than that, it’s non-corrosive so it doesn’t cause any damage behind after winterizing. Other products can damage the pipes after a long period of winterization, so it’s an advantage to have something that doesn’t cause repair expenses.

Flexibility wise, BioTherm Fluids is not to be outdone. It also works on campers, motorhomes, trucks, cars, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats and other water vehicles. It’s pretty well-rounded.

RecPro RV Antifreeze

Even if you live in an extremely cold region, RecPro RV Antifreeze can protect your water systems very well. This antifreeze can also be used as engine antifreeze. For part-time RVers like us, this is great because one type of antifreeze does double duty. And you can buy in bulk when it’s on sale.

RecPro Fluids burst protection is up to -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius). That wouldn’t be enough in Northern Alaska or Nunavut, but it’s more than enough for most other places in North America.

You can use it in many vehicle types such as fifth-wheels, motorhomes, food trucks and many more. Basically anything with plumbing or a radiator.

This formula is also safe for marine engine blocks, so you also get to winterize marine vehicles as well. Apart from that, it lubricates gaskets and seals instead of leaving them dry and rusty. What’s more is that it’s safe to use on any steel, brass, copper and plastic plumbing systems.

It doesn’t leave a bitter taste and is generally safe for your freshwater systems. This is because it’s made from chemicals that are considered to be non-toxic per FDA recommendations.

It comes in packs of 4 so if you need to winterize a large vehicle, you will have more than enough antifreeze on hand. Or if you have a small RV, then you’ll have enough for multiple seasons.

What to Look for in RV Antifreezes

There are hundreds of antifreeze products on the market. They are all pretty much the same shade of pink or blue and they come in very similar bottles.

So, it’s tempting to assume that they all work the same regardless of the name or the brand. That’s a rookie mistake.

There are hundreds of types of antifreeze for good reason. They serve different purposes and provide different levels of protection.

As much as it’s easier to randomly pick, it’s something that no RVer should do even if you’re a beginner.

The first time I bought an antifreeze product, I read through tens of product labels and reviews before I finally decided what to get. It was there that I realized how all antifreeze formulas are similar yet different in so many ways.

For example, most of them have -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius) burst protection, yet they have different toxicity levels. Some are organic and biodegradable and others aren’t.

The point here is that you came to this page looking for the best RV antifreezes. This probably means you are not randomly picking, but you may not know yet what exactly it is you’re looking for.

I would like to say that your being on this page is a good sign. And if you’ve reached this far in this post, then I know that you’re doing your due diligence to look into more helpful information before purchasing an antifreeze product.

I’m saying this because antifreeze is very important in winterizing an RV. Without it, your water system will be at risk of irreversible damage over the winter. And when you use the wrong product, it can also cause damages like corrosion or clogging.

That’s why, even when all the best RV antifreezes were already presented above, it’s still important not to randomly pick from the list. 

You should know what you need depending on the below factors.

Temperature Rating

You may have noticed that in the above product descriptions, there is always a specified burst protection. Burst protection refers to the ability of the antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing at a certain temperature. 

So if you see -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius) burst protection, it means that the antifreeze can de-ice the liquid down to that temperature. But if the temperatures falls lower than that, then the fluids, including the antifreeze itself is as risk of freezing, which can potentially burst the pipes. Thus, the term burst protection.

With that said, the specified temperature is what we call the temperature rating of the antifreeze. This temperature rating tells us how strong the formula is. It is expected to work down to that temperature value.

This is important because you should know how strong you need the antifreeze to be. Otherwise, it will not be able to give the protection you need for your RV.

If you live in extremely cold regions, then you need stronger protection. That is why you’ll find -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius) as the most common burst protection of antifreezes.

The strongest you can find is -100 degrees Fahrenheit (or -73.3 degrees Celsius) burst protection. You will need that strength of antifreeze if you live in an area known to get colder than -50 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45.5 degrees Celsius).

However, if you live in a region that’s not extremely cold, but is still known to snow once in a while, there are also products with -20 degrees Fahrenheit (or -28.9 degrees Celsius) burst protection.

Types of RV Antifreeze

Different products have different main components. These are the bases that determine what type the antifreeze product is. Look into the three main types to determine which one of these you will need for your RV winterization.

Ethanol-based antifreeze. This type of antifreeze is alcohol-based. It’s the most common option and is available in almost all RV shops.

Antifreeze products having this formula are effective and the cheapest among the three. However, it has many disadvantages that you should think about before deciding to use it.

Although it really works in de-icing, it’s’ most common side effect is the damage it causes. Because it is alcohol-based, it causes the pipes to corrode and it even leaves a nasty smell behind.

It also dries out rubber seals, the toilet lines and the faucet lines. It makes water taste nasty, which is very undesirable. And the worst disadvantage is that it is highly flammable.

While it works well on specific plumbing line brands, it’s not as effective on the others. So it will help if you know what you’re plumbing system brand is before you buy ethanol-based antifreezes. Or just use one of the other two types of antifreeze.

Propylene Glycol-based antifreeze. This type is the most in-demand among all the antifreeze types. It costs slightly more than ethanol-based products and for good reason.

For one, it’s highly effective. It works great in protecting your pipelines and water systems from freezing throughout the entire winter season.

Two, this type is known to be non-toxic so it’s safe to use on freshwater systems. You don’t have to worry about residues and their harmful effects because it doesn’t cause any harm.

Three, it has lubrication properties that don’t dry out the rubber seals and pipelines, unlike ethanol. With that said, it helps prolong the life of these materials making it a great option.

Lastly, it’s not flammable so this is also one less thing you have to worry about.

Propylene-ethanol blend antifreeze. This last antifreeze type is a combination of the first two. The basic components are combined and its’ price is also somewhere in the middle – slightly higher than ethanol and slightly lower than propylene.

It’s known to be non-toxic and safe for plumbing systems, but it has its’ own downside because of its’ ethanol content. Even though it has propylene, it’s not as safe as the second type because there’s no way of saying how much of the ethanol content can leave damage behind.

If your system is a delicate one, then this might not be the best type for your RV.

Overall, the propylene-glycol-based antifreezes are the safest. So when in doubt, stick with those.

Formula Type

There are two basic types of formulas. Some products are concentrated, others are ready-to-use.

The concentrated products are those you need to mix with water based on the manufacturer’s instructions. While some RVers prefer this because it’s more economical, it has its’ downsides.

Because you need to mix it water, it has a higher percentage of freezing at a certain temperature. This is exactly what we are trying to avoid that’s why we are using an antifreeze solution in the first place.

On the other hand, the ready-to-use solutions no longer require water, so there is less probability of it freezing as compared to the diluted solutions.

Biodegradability

Not all antifreeze products are biodegradable. Some are eco-friendly, most are not. So if this is something that you are particular about, read the labels carefully.

Eco-friendly products are safer for the human skin, pets and to the environment. So even if you accidentally spill it, it would not cause harm to anything or anyone.

Versatility

There are products that are intended only for RVs and work only on specific materials. There are also products that can be used on other vehicle types and most materials. If you need to winterize several vehicles with different types of systems, look for well-rounded formulas for convenience and practicality.

For example, there are antifreeze solutions that are safe for pools, motorcycles, marine vehicles and cars. They also work well on plastic, brass, steel and other types of pipes. Getting a solution that would be good for different systems is the best for people who have multiple vehicles.

It’s the safest way to go because you’re not at risk of applying an incorrect solution to a certain vehicle with a particular pipe material. A single product for multiple vehicles would simply make your life easier.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an antifreeze?

Antifreeze products are formulated solutions that are used to de-ice or prevent certain amounts of liquid from freezing. This is done in preparation for winter to protect pipes, tanks, faucets, pools and other water systems of RVs, vacation homes and vehicle engines.

Antifreezing is done as part of winterization to keep pipes from bursting due to water expanding as it freezes.

How does an RV antifreeze work?

Winterizing does not only stop at covering your RV. It’s also important to take care of your water and plumbing system before the winter comes.

After you draw out or blow out all the water that you possibly can from your pipes and tanks, there will be a little water left behind. In most cases the small amount of water left won’t be enough to freeze and burst pipes in your RV. But there’s no guarantee, better safe than sorry.

Water, no matter how small will expand when it freezes and can in turn cause the pipes to leak or even burst. So we all need to do some anti-freezing to take care of the water that we can’t draw out or blow out.

Antifreeze solutions lower the freezing point of fluids down to a certain temperature. So even if water is known to freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees Celsius), the antifreeze, because of its’ chemical properties, will not allow it to freeze until a much colder temperature is reached.

What antifreeze does is it actually delays and prevents the formation of ice, thus the water remains fluid even when the temperature is low. Its’ burst protection depends on how it is formulated, so you have to choose between -20, -50, or -100 degrees Fahrenheit (-28.8, -45.5, or -73.3 degrees Celsius).

For people who live in moderately cold areas, -20 or -50 degrees Fahrenheit (-28.8 or -45.5 degrees Celsius) would be great. However, if you live in areas where it’s perpetually cold or in high altitudes, then you should use -100 degrees Fahrenheit (or -73.3 degrees Celsius) antifreeze.

What would happen if the temperature drops below the temperature rating of the antifreeze?

The antifreeze will first turn to slush and then eventually freeze, possibly bursting the pipes.

Why do you need antifreeze?

Storing your RV for the winter is very different from storing it in other seasons. Apart from making sure that it’s protected from snowfall, you should also make sure that there is no water stored in the water systems or else you may broken water pipes in your RV in the spring.

It is almost impossible to get all the water out of your RV’s plumbing. And any water left in the system will freeze so you need to use antifreeze to lower the freezing temperature below the lowest winter temperatures in your area.

For me, one of the greatest mistakes an RVer can make is not using antifreeze when winterizing. Trust me, refusing to use antifreeze will cause irreversible harm to your pipes and will cost you hundreds of dollars, if not thousands to fix.

With that said, here are the main reasons you need an RV antifreeze.

First, its’ main purpose is to protect your RV by preparing it from the harsh effects of winter.

You may or may not know that the water pipes in RVs are thin to make them lightweight. Yet, they are durable enough to withstand all the miles you’ll be traveling whether on smooth or rough roads.

Those thin pipelines maybe durable for traveling, but they are susceptible to freezing and cracking and bursting when water inside them is allowed to freeze. Antifreeze helps prevent that from happening.

So if you are to choose which is more convenient, winterizing correctly, or having to repair your plumbing system in the spring, I’d go with the former. It’s way cheaper and less time-consuming to use the best RV antifreezes than spend thousands on restoration, which leads us to the second reason.

The second and equally important reason it’s important to use antifreeze is that it helps you save on maintenance and repair costs. Again, damaged pipes are expensive to repair and can easily be avoided by spending a few bucks on antifreeze.

With all that said, it all boils down to looking for cheap ways to protect your RV while getting maximum protection during winter.

Is it okay not to antifreeze when I winterize?

The answer is NO. There’s too much at risk.

Even if you think you’ve blown out all the water, there’s going to be some left behind. The pipes are too thin to make it through winter without freezing when you don’t have antifreeze.

So never miss this step or else you will find yourself with expensive repair bills.

What are good and effective antifreeze brands?

You’ll never run out of antifreeze options because there are a lot of them on the market. At the same time, not all of those products can give you great results. 

But as far as the most trusted brands are concerned, the ones you should be looking out for are BioTherm Fluids, Camco, Century Chemical, Froggy’s, RecPro, StarBrite, SPLASH and Zecol – all of which are featured in this post.

Out of all these brands, if you’re looking for the most well-rounded non-corrosive and non-toxic products, without a doubt you should go for any of the following: Camco, Froggy’s, SPLASH, Century Chemicals, and BioTherm Fluids.

Check the details of each of these above to see which of them would fit your anti-freezing needs the best.

Is RV antifreeze safe to drink or is it poisonous?

RV antifreezes are not “poisonous” per se. Most of them are either non-toxic or have very low levels of toxicity. However, it is not advisable to ingest it or to drink water from tanks or water systems that have been treated with antifreeze products. You will need to thoroughly flush the freshwater systems in the spring to get rid of any antifreeze residue.

Although most products claim that they are safe for water systems, it’s not a natural product that you should intake carelessly. With that said, make sure that your stored bottles are kept out of children’s reach. 

These solutions smell like candies and are colorful so children may mistake them for something else. And the majority of them have alcohol content that may harm kids.

How much antifreeze do I need?

Every RV has different size plumbing systems. Look in your user’s manual for a section on winterizing. Antifreeze amounts are almost certainly mentioned in there.

Where can I buy antifreeze products?

You don’t need to buy antifreeze products from specialty stores. In fact, you can find them on Amazon. They’ll be shipped right to your door.

You can also find them in leading stores such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes. They’re also found in your local RV stores and auto shops

Conclusion 

If it’s your first time looking for antifreeze products, you may be overwhelmed by how it all looks the same. There are also a bunch of new terms and ideas to the understand.

That’s how I felt at first as well. What helped me is reading product reviews carefully after I go through the product labels.

It’s important that you read the reviews and not rely on the labels alone. This is because the reviews will tell you how the products work in real world. What might work for some may not work for others. And you will find more information that would be helpful in your decision making.

Getting an antifreeze is not as easy as choosing a wash and wax because getting the incorrect antifreeze could lead serious damage. That’s why I recommend that you research carefully and then follow the instructions properly when you finally find the right one.

This post is just meant to be a guide in your selection process, so don’t rely on the information found here alone. Use it as a starting point to narrow down your selection, then meticulously pick from there.

Take note of all the factors and types while you choose so you don’t end up with the wrong product. Remember that random picking is a no-no. Informed choices give you the best product results.

With all that said, I believe you already have a product or two in mind. Note down all the comparisons you can come up with so you can weigh your options properly. If you need to join forums or RV groups, by all means, do so. 

The more information you have, the more prepared you’re going to be. So arm yourself with the correct information and you’ll be ready to stow your rig away for the winter in no time.

Last updated on 2021-09-28 at 13:23