Is RV Antifreeze Non-Toxic?
RV antifreeze is used to keep the pipes in your RV or travel trailer from freezing and bursting during the frigid winter months or to keep the seals in the toilet and pipe connections from drying out in the summer.
It’s non-toxic and safe to use in the same pipes drinking water flows through.
Even though it’s non-toxic it’s still important to make sure all the antifreeze gets flushed out of the freshwater system when de-winterizing your RV or travel trailer. If any is left behind it can make your water taste terrible and it’s better to get it all out before you use it.
One thing I’ve learned from purchasing non-toxic antifreeze is mistakes can be made in any factory and if you really want to be extra careful you should put some in a cup and leave it in the freezer overnight. If it’s unfrozen by morning you know the mixture was done right and you won’t end up with a nasty surprise when you de-winterize your RV in the spring.
For more information on using RV antifreeze for winterizing, how to dispose of it, and what it’s made of check out this article here.
Best For -50°F
Best For -100°F
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Best RV Antifreeze Reviews & Info
Peak RV antifreeze is guaranteed to protect pipes from busting in temperatures as low as -50°F. It’s safe for brass, metal, copper, and plastic. The only thing it can cause damage to is acetate, which isn’t a common material used in RV plumbing.
All of the ingredients are categorized as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA, which means it’s safe for use in a potable water system.
The main chemical used is Propylene Glycol, which is the most popular base ingredient for non-toxic antifreeze because it’s non-harmful, won’t dry out rubber seals, and it’s easy to wash out of plumbing systems.
The RV antifreeze is ready to get to winterizing right out of the jug and there is no mixing necessary. It is not recommended to dilute Peak antifreeze as it will raise the freezing point of the liquid and may cause damage to your pipes at temperatures higher than the rated -50°F.
Peak RV & Marine Antifreeze -50°F is recommended for winterizing RVs, travel trailers, boats, homes, swimming pools, and other water systems that may need protection during the cold winter months. It is septic safe.
- Rated As GRAS by FDA
- Main Ingredient is Propylene Glycol
Star Brite’s camper antifreeze is an alcohol free Propylene Glycol based RV antifreeze that will lubricate rubber seals and gaskets in your plumbing system instead of drying them out.
It’s rated as effective in temperatures as low as -50°F and is made from chemicals that are classified as non-toxic by the FDA. Which means it is safe to use in your RV’s fresh water system.
It is safe to use in all kinds of plumbing systems and will not harm steel, plastic, copper, or brass.
Star Brite Winter Safe RV Antifreeze can be used to winterize the water systems of RVs, travel trailers, pools, and boats. It is also safe to use in marine engine blocks.
Because it lubricates pipes and seals you can also use it to “summarize” a home or RV you don’t intend to use during the hot months. Heat can damage your RV as well, adding a bit of RV antifreeze will help keep any plastic or rubber parts from drying and cracking.
You can get 1-gallon jugs of ready to winterize Starbrite Antifreeze in packs of 2 or 4. Do not dilute and it’s also septic safe.
- Rated As GRAS by FDA
- Main Ingredient is Propylene Glycol
- Can Be Used in Marine Engine Block
Star Brite makes a lot of great cleaners and products for campers and their RV antifreeze is fantastic for winterizing drinking water systems and engines. It comes in packs of 6 one-gallon jugs that are ready to use and should not be diluted with water.
The non-toxic antifreeze offers burst protection in temperatures as low as -50°F. Although it’s safe to use in frigid temperatures, Star Brite recommends using -100°F RV antifreeze in areas where temperatures fall below -10°F daily.
Its main ingredient is Propylene Glycol and it will not corrode aluminum, copper, brass, or solder. It’s also safe for rubber seals and hose materials.
The products used in Star Brite RV antifreeze are virgin (not recycled), septic safe, non-toxic, and USP-grade.
You can use Star Brite RV Antifreeze Antigel -50°F in homes, RVs, travel trailers, any water systems, boats, pools, and even engines.
- USP-Grade Ingredients
- Uses Virgin Propylene Glycol
- Can Be Used In Engines
When shopping for liquids and chemicals online it can end up being harder to ship for companies because liquid weighs so much. Camco has figured out a great way to get around this and makes an RV antifreeze concentrate that is more lightweight for shipping than standard ready-to-go RV antifreeze.
You get 1-gallon jugs just like normal RV antifreeze but they are only about 1/4 of the way filled with a non-toxic antifreeze concentrate. When you get the jugs, simply fill them up the rest of the way with water, and it’s ready to winterize your camper, boat, or home.
The main ingredient to Camco’s RV antifreeze is Propylene Glycol. It won’t dry out rubber seals and gaskets. It’s 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, septic safe, pet safe, kid safe, and has a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) rating from the FDA.
You can use it in campers, travel trailers, boats, homes, and pools. It’s rated to protect freshwater and plumbing systems in temperatures as low as -50°F so long as you follow the instructions and don’t add more than the recommended amount of water.
All-in-all Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate is a fantastic high-quality product. All types of antifreeze have water in them and it just makes sense to have the customer add the water later to save on weight.
- Lightweight When Shipped
- Main Ingredient is Propylene Glycol
- Rated GRAS by FDA
Most people don’t need RV antifreeze that is rated for below -50°F but if you happen to be one of those lucky ducks who live in an extra cold climate that gets into the sub-zero temperatures daily during the winter then you will want to use -100°F RV antifreeze like Star Brite’s Winter Safe RV Antifreeze.
The main ingredient is Propylene Glycol. It’s non-toxic, alcohol-free, and safe to use in fresh water systems. It won’t dry out rubber gaskets, and it fights corrosion and stops algae growth.
This is the extreme version of RV antifreeze and it comes ready to use in a one-gallon jug. Do not dilute it as this will lower its anti-freezing capabilities.
Start Brite Winter Safe RV Antifreeze -100°F can be used in homes, RVs, travel trailers, boats, pools, and engine systems.
- Ultimate Cold Weather -100°F Protection
- Main Ingredient is Propylene Glycol
- Odorless & Tasteless
If you are a new RV or trailer owner who is about to winterize a trailer for the first time you may want to consider getting something like Camco’s winter readiness kit.
It comes with everything you will need to not only properly but thoroughly winterize your camper. You get some of the essentials that first time RV winterizers will need like a blow out plug, hand pump kit, a step by step winterizing handbook, and an RV fridge door stay open tool. The best part is you can keep using these items for years to come.
Other very important products you get for winterizing are non-toxic RV antifreeze concentrate that makes around 5 gallons, rated for -50°F.
Also included are a mini tub and a hanging absorption dehumidifier.
You will have everything you need in a single easy to use kit so you won’t have to run back to the store for little things you may have forgotten. Camo knows what RV owners need to make life easier and they’ve done a great job with this RV winterization kit.
- Hand Pump for Distributing Antifreeze
- Blow Out Plug
- RV Winterizing Handbook
- Fridge Door Stay Open Tool
- Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate
- Two Absorption Dehumidifers
What To Look For In RV Antifreeze
You are going to be putting RV antifreeze in the drinking water system of your camper. Since you can never be 100% sure that you have gotten every last drop of antifreeze out of the system using non-harmful and non-toxic products is key to being safe.
Luckily most RV antifreeze like the ones in this review is made with virgin Propylene Glycol. It’s used because it has a very low freezing point and it’s generally recognized as safe for humans and even pets.
You will even find small amounts of propylene glycol in some foods like liquid sweeteners, ice cream, and whipped dairy products. It’s also a main ingredient in e-juice or electronic cigarettes.
Properly Mixed RV Antifreeze
Letting your camper sit in freezing temperatures can be a cause for anxiety. Even if you’ve done everything right there is always that small chance that something has gone wrong and you may end up with a cracked seal or pipe in the spring.
Using RV antifreeze helps with that worry since it adds an extra layer of protection against the cold.
One thing you don’t want to have to wonder about is if the antifreeze you used was mixed correctly in the factory. It doesn’t happen often but there have been years where RV antifreeze has been recalled due to improper mixing which made it freeze in cold temperatures.
One way you can give yourself peace of mind is to put a small amount of the RV antifreeze you are going to use that year in your home freezer overnight. If it isn’t frozen in the morning you know that that batch was mixed right and you can get to winterizing.
Most non-toxic antifreeze is rated for -50°F temperatures. For most cold weather climates that more than enough anti-freezing power but in really cold climates and areas sometimes -100°F RV antifreeze is recommended.
The main difference between these two temperature ratings is the amount of water added. The -100°F has more propylene glycol in it.
If you don’t feel confident in your ability to properly blow out or drain the water pipes in your camper you may want to use the stronger RV antifreeze as it will be able to keep its low temperature properties even when mixed with a little bit of water from the pipes.
Other RV Winterizing Products
A blow out plug you connect to an air compressor or compressed air tank is going to be key to getting out all the unwanted water in your RV pipes so the antifreeze can work properly.
The hand pump is the easiest way to get RV antifreeze into the freshwater pipes. You can’t use the electric water pump inside your camper because the inlet is located down in the freshwater tank. If you use a handpump you can insert antifreeze into the city water connection and fill up all of the water pipes that way. Just make sure you turn on the hot water heater bypass so you aren’t pumping gallons of RV antifreeze into the hot water heater.
If it’s your first time winterizing you can get all of these products and more with the Camco winterizing kit reviewed above.
Most RV antifreeze is pink which is to help you identify it and also to help you see it when you are flushing out your camper water system.
There is one kind in this review that isn’t pink but for the most part when shopping for a non-toxic antifreeze for your camper always look for the pink liquid.
Conclusion & My Recommendations For Best RV Antifreeze
You should look for RV antifreeze that uses propylene glycol as the main ingredient because it’s non-toxic and doesn’t use harsh alcohols that will dry out sensitive seals and connections in your camper.
All of the RV antifreeze reviewed in this article use propylene glycol as the main ingredient and they are all great choices for winterizing your RV.
Some are slightly better for certain uses than others though. Here are my recommendations based on those uses.
Best -50°F RV Antifreeze – Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate
Using an RV antifreeze concentrate to save on shipping is a genius idea that allows you to get high quality non-toxic antifreeze without breaking the bank. Camco is a trusted name in the camping world and they know RVs better than anyone.
You can use it in every kind of pipe and trust that your camper’s water systems will be protected during the cold winter months. When it’s time to flush it out it comes out easily and won’t leave a bad taste. It’s septic safe and easy to dispose of.
Best -100°F RV Antifreeze – Startbrite Winter Safe RV Antifreeze -100°F
-100°F non-toxic antifreeze isn’t super common because most areas don’t need that level of cold weather protection. But if you do live in an extra cold climate or don’t have the resources to fully blow out the pipes in your camper you may need to get the extra strong -100°F RV antifreeze.
The kind made by Starbrite is blue in color but still non-toxic and drinking water system safe. It’s especially good for marine and engine use and the best choice for extra cold climates.
Best RV Winterization Kit – Camco Winter Readiness Kit
If this is your first time winterizing a camper you may want to consider getting a kit that will have everything you need like a blow out plug and a hand pump.
The Camco Winter Readiness kit comes with a few more extras you don’t necessarily need but you can reuse most of the included gadgets and products every year and it comes with enough of Camco’s high quality RV antifreeze concentrate to winterize your average sized camper or trailer.
There is also a handbook to help you get started. There’s a lot to think about when winterizing a camper and even for experienced campers having a guide can be a fantastic way to make sure everything is done right.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Antifreeze
What is Propylene Glycol in RV antifreeze?
There are two main kinds of RV antifreeze. The kind that is made with Propylene Glycol and the kind that uses an Ethanol base. Both chemicals work great as a non-toxic antifreeze for fresh water systems, but there are some pros and cons to each one. You can read more about them and their differences in this article here.
Will RV antifreeze freeze?
If you’ve ever looked at a jug of RV antifreeze you’ve probably seen that it says either -50°F or -100°F. The -50°F is the most common type of RV antifreeze and it will be strong enough to protect plumbing systems in most of the climates found around the world.
RV antifreeze is not made with 100% anti-freezing chemicals and it is mixed with water. The ratios are still safe for the rated temperature but when it starts to get super cold the water in the antifreeze can freeze. That’s why you want to be sure and buy the proper strength of antifreeze for your climate.
Also, make sure to never dilute RV antifreeze, which will make it freeze at warmer temperatures. Be sure to follow the instructions, so the pipes of your water system will be safe all winter long.
How do I dispose of RV antifreeze?
RV antifreeze is non-toxic and therefore septic safe. After de-winterizing your RV and flushing out the water lines just take your RV to a dump and dispose of the antifreeze in the holding tanks the same way you would black or grey water.
Never dump your RV antifreeze on the ground or in a street sewer system.
What color is RV antifreeze?
RV antifreeze is for the most part pink. To read more information about that check out this article here.
Will RV antifreeze evaporate?
RV antifreeze is made with chemicals that do not evaporate but there is also some water mixed in that can evaporate in certain conditions.
If you are winterizing a house or RV that will be left for hot summer and cold winter months it’s a good idea to use extra strong RV antifreeze that is rated for -100°F. It’s a more potent mixture and has less water in it than -50°F RV antifreeze.
After extra hot summer months, there should be enough antifreeze left in the system to protect it against the cold winter.
How much RV antifreeze do I need to winterize my RV or trailer?
That mainly depends on the kind of RV antifreeze you buy, how big your RV is, and what method of winterizing you use. If you have a large RV and pump antifreeze through your fresh water system until you see pink come out of every tap you are going to need a lot of RV antifreeze, 6-8 gallons at least.
If you use the blow out method to get all the water out of your plumbing you won’t need as much RV antifreeze. Some people will spend a lot of time blowing out all of the water in their RV and just dump RV antifreeze into each sink and the toilet to keep the rubber gaskets lubricated over the winter.
If you are winterizing for the first time it’s always a good idea to use more RV antifreeze so there won’t be any problems during the winter. If you bought too much and have some leftover you can always use it next year.
Will RV antifreeze rust metal?
Most RV antifreeze like the ones in this review have anti-corrosion additives and are made with chemicals that are safe for materials like metal, brass, copper, and plastic.
Can RV antifreeze go down the drain?
Yes, it can go down the drain because it’s non-toxic and septic system safe. It’s also safe for plumbing systems and won’t hurt materials like plastic and metal.
Have any more questions about RV antifreeze or winterizing your camper? Leave a comment below.