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Can RV Antifreeze Be Diluted? + Antifreeze Ingredient Info

Why You Shouldn’t Dilute RV Antifreeze

Ready to use RV antifreeze should never be diluted with water if you want to have the full cold weather protection it’s made for.

That being said, you can buy RV antifreeze concentrate (click to view on Amazon) that you add a specified amount of water to before you use it.

Even though you add water to the concentrate, you should never add more than the instructions say to add.

It will lose its antifreeze abilities and you may end up with broken pipes once winter is over.

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.

That’s why antifreeze should be 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.

See Also: Best RV Antifreeze For Winterizing Your Camper Reviews

What Is RV Antifreeze Made Of?

There are two main ingredients used in the two kinds of non-toxic antifreeze for campers, ethanol or propylene glycol.

Ethanol is a simple chemical compound that is also known as alcohol.

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, it lowers the freezing point drastically and makes an effective antifreeze that is safe to use in pipes used for drinking water.

See Also: Best Heated Water Hoses For RV Campers, Barns & Livestock

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.

rv antifreeze that cannot be diluted inside a store
RV Antifreeze is usually pink, but it can be other colors depending on where you are.

Which Base Material Is Better For RV Antifreeze: Ethanol Or Propylene Glycol?

For the anti-freezing properties, either work for the intended purpose 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 damaged 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 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 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.

See Also: Best Small Portable Propane Heater For Indoor & RV Use

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 don’t recommend it.

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 why RV antifreeze is pink, but it’s a straightforward way to identify it in a store.

You should only use RV antifreeze when winterizing your camper or trailer’s water system because it’s 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, take a closer look at the label before you dump it into your freshwater system.

It could be the wrong antifreeze that could be toxic and not safe for an RV water system.

Have questions about RV antifreeze and its main ingredients? Leave a comment below.

by Jesse
Jesse has always had an interest in camping, technology, and the outdoors. Who knew that growing up in a small town in Sweden with endless forests and lakes would do that to you?

5 thoughts on “Can RV Antifreeze Be Diluted? + Antifreeze Ingredient Info”

  1. After winterizing out RV and toilet with antifreeze do we also add the toilet disinfectant to our RV toilet(black tank) and grey tank . Thanks

  2. On 11/07/2021 I purchased 3 gallon jugs of PRESTONE WATERLINE ANTIFREEZE for my RV, at my local WALMART, for $4.20 a gallon. I drained all my water supply lines and the main tank. I also drained the commode tank and drain water tank and the Hot Water heating tank. In past years, I have purchased more reasonably priced RV WATERLINE ANTIFREEZE from WALMART and after putting 3 to4 gallons in my RV via the water tank ourside fill line, I could turn on the all the faucets, and flush the commode, which ensured the Antifreeze had filled all the waterlines. After putting the PRESTONE WATERLINE ANTIFREEZE in my RV, I cannot get any water through the faucets (only AIR). The water pump is working and has never failed me since purchasing the 1996 Ford, E350 Fleetwood Tioga Walkabout many years ago. The limited data on the Jugs warns about FLAMBLE AND EXPLOSIVE VAPORS which the product can produce and makes me afraid to leave my windows closed for the rest of the winter season. The label claims adding water can lower the effectiveness of the product but I need to get some water moving through the pipes, etc. It is an old RV, and if the water lines and main storage tank rupture this winter, it will be because I ignored the label and added a small amount in order to get water moving through the lines and into the commode and waste tanks.

    • Hi Elbert,

      It sounds like there might not be enough antifreeze in the water tank for the pump to suck it up. I would try driving up on blocks on each side to see if you can’t get the antifreeze that’s in the tank to move to whatever side the hose is on inside the tank. You could also try adding more antifreeze.

  3. I’m going to try common sense here. RV antifreeze will freeze solid as a rock starting in the +20’s. From what I read the RV antifreeze will freeze but not expand so it won’t break any pipes. I feel if any RV antifreeze is mixed with any amount of water will ruin the antifreeze. Water expands RV antifreeze doesn’t so any water mixed with the antifreeze will freeze and expand breaking a pipe. I blow all my lines out first after that I fill everything with -90 below(burst temperature) antifreeze. After everything is running red I connect the air compressor again and blow the lines out (you can’t freeze what’s not there). Next all faucets are left open because when a pipe in a house freezes that little piece of ice pressurizes the water between the closed faucet and the ice and the thousands of pounds of pressure breaks the pipe not the frozen spot but at the weakest spot. You can’t compress a liquid so leave the faucets open


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