Can RV Antifreeze Be Diluted? + Antifreeze Ingredient Info

RV Antifreeze + Water

Ready to use RV antifreeze should never be diluted if you want to have the full cold weather protection it’s made for. That being said you can buy RV antifreeze concentrate that you add a specified amount of water to before you use it. (click here to see on Amazon)

Even though you add water to the concentrate you should never add more than the instructions say to add because it will start to lose it’s antifreeze abilities and you may end up with broken pipes once winter is over.

See Also: Best Non-Toxic RV Antifreeze Including -50°F & -100°F

Another reason you should never dilute RV antifreeze is whenever you winterize an RV or travel trailer there’s going to be some water left in the pipes and that’s why antifreeze is used in the first place. There’s going to be some water added to the antifreeze when you dump it down the drain and you want it to be at its full strength so it will work right.

What Is RV Antifreeze Made Of?

There are two main ingredients used in the two kinds of RV antifreeze, ethanol or propylene glycol.

Ethanol is a simple chemical compound that is also known as alcohol, and it’s a great ingredient for RV antifreeze because of its low toxicity and very low freezing point of around -173 degrees Fahrenheit. When combined with just the right amount of water is lowers the freezing point drastically and makes an effective antifreeze that is safe to use in pipes used for drinking water.

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Propylene Glycol is a more complex chemical compound that is also derived from alcohol. Much like Ethanol, it has low toxicity and freezes at a very low temperature. You will even find propylene glycol in things like liquid sweeteners, sodas, and even ice cream. It’s also used for things like de-icing aircraft and environmentally friendly automotive antifreeze.

Which Base Material Is Better For RV Antifreeze?

As far as the anti-freezing properties either work as they should and there really isn’t one that’s better than the other. That being said propylene glycol is the more common type of RV antifreeze sold.

The main reason for this is ethanol based RV antifreeze has been known to damage rubber seals in plumbing systems. Because of this more people prefer propylene glycol-based RV antifreeze.

You may have seen companies stating that their RV antifreeze is made with “virgin materials” and wondered what that means. As I talked about before propylene glycol has many other uses and it’s recyclable. Airlines recycle much of the propylene glycol used in their de-icer. You don’t want to use recycled propylene glycol in RV antifreeze as it could have some toxic chemicals in it and be unsafe for your RV’s water system.

Related: Can RV Propane Lines Or Propane Regulators Freeze?

Companies use the term “virgin” to show that their antifreeze is made with non-recycled propylene glycol. If you find an RV antifreeze brand that is very cheap and almost too good to be true make sure you look at the ingredients to make sure it’s not made with recycled materials (this won’t happen often).

Today most RV antifreeze is made with propylene glycol that is FDA approved for use in freshwater systems. Just make sure you follow the instructions when winterizing your RV or trailer and be sure to flush out your water systems thoroughly when de-winterizing.

Can RV Antifreeze Be Dumped on the Ground?

RV antifreeze is non-toxic and some companies even state that it is biodegradable, but RV antifreeze should never be dumped on the ground.

On that same note, RV antifreeze should not be disposed of in a street sewer system either.

How Do I Dispose of RV Antifreeze?

RV antifreeze has low-toxicity and is safe to dispose of in a sewer system. Once you’ve flushed all of the RV antifreeze from your RV or travel trailers water system you can take your RV to a dump station and dispose of it the same way you would normally dump your RV.

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Some say you can catch the RV antifreeze in tubs and dump it down your sewer at home. This method works as well but I wouldn’t recommend it because you are getting the used antifreeze from your black tank and you may end up with some pretty nasty black water in a tub that you have to carry around.

The easiest thing to do is to take your RV or trailer to a dump station and dispose of your RV antifreeze there.

Why Is RV Antifreeze Pink?

There’s really no solid answer as to why RV antifreeze is pink but it’s a very easy way to identify it in a store. You should only use RV antifreeze when winterizing your RV or trailers water system because RV antifreeze is made with non-toxic chemicals that are safe to use in a drinking water system.

RV antifreeze could be pink because it’s a very easy color to see when you are running it through your RV plumbing system. When winterizing your RV with antifreeze you want to open the taps and run your water pump until the liquid coming out of the taps turns pink. That’s how you know the antifreeze is in the system.

If you buy antifreeze for your RV or trailer and it isn’t pink you may want to take a closer look at the label before you dump it into your freshwater system as it could be the wrong kind of antifreeze that could be toxic and not safe for an RV  water system.

Have any questions about RV antifreeze and it’s main ingredients? Leave a comment below.

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