Best RV Antifreeze (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Risk-free anti-freeze protection for your RV.
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON March 3, 2021
The cold season can take a toll on your RV’s engine and plumbing system with the fluids freezing, expanding, and causing irreparable damage as they burst out of the lines. However, you can save both systems with the right antifreeze. While regular automotive antifreeze is effective in preventing frozen pipes, it’s toxic and can be harmful to the plumbing lines. This is what makes it necessary to have RV antifreeze, which is a non-toxic formula that helps to prevent pipe expansion and explosion as a result of freezing water.
If it’s your first time winterizing your RV, you may be uncertain about which is the best antifreeze for your RV. There are many choices available and we will help you find the ones that offer the best protection for your RV's water supply.
One 36-ounce bottle of this concentrate makes one gallon of antifreeze for your RV’s pipes. It provides up to -50 degrees of burst protection.
- Reasonably priced for a two-pack
- Non-toxic and 100 percent biodegradable
- Suitable for various applications
- Comes in an easy-to-mix bottle
- Doesn’t have a long shelf-life
- Needs dilution
- Colorful packaging can be confusing for kids
This 1-gallon bottle of ready-to-use antifreeze is safe for RVs and marine equipment. It offers up to -50 degrees of burst protection.
- Can be used on almost all types of vehicles
- Pink color can be used to detect leaks
- Comes ready to use
- Strong odor
- May form a black residue or sludge if left open for too long
Six 1-gallon bottles of this ready-to-use antifreeze provide up to -50 degrees of cold weather and anti-corrosion protection for your engine and plumbing system.
- Non-toxic formulation
- Enough stock to last an entire season
- Designed with corrosion inhibitors to protect the metal components
- Has an unpleasant smell
- Six-pack may be too much for smaller RVs
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Benefits of RV Antifreeze
- Prevent freezing. RV antifreeze can be used in the RV’s plumbing system to keep water from freezing and bursting in the pipes. For the same reason, it can also be used in your RV’s water holding tank or sewer system. It will help save you the cost of expensive plumbing repairs.
- Non-toxic. Most RV antifreeze is safe for drinking water and won’t harm animals. Also, most are made of biodegradable material so they won't have any negative effects on the environment if they accidentally spill, leak, or are flushed down a sewer system.
- Convenience. Most RV antifreeze comes as diluted solutions so they are ready for use right out of the bottle. They are also easy to use and eliminate the need of having to blow out water from the plumbing lines.
- Multiple uses. Not only will you get antifreeze for your RV’s water system, but you can also use it in your vacation home, swimming pool, boat, and some formulations can also be used in the engine.
Types of RV Antifreeze
Also known as alcohol-based antifreeze, this type of antifreeze is the most affordable option available. It works by raising the freezing point of water to help keep your pipes from bursting. However, there are many downsides to using alcohol in your water system. For one, it can affect the taste of drinking water and the smell can be unbearable. Also, it may require quite some effort to flush it out of the system. Another thing is, alcohol tends to dry out rubber seals so you may experience leaks and have to replace the seals at the end of the cold season.
Propylene glycol is a synthetic type of alcohol that also raises the freezing point of water. It’s the best type of antifreeze for your RV’s water system since the compound is odorless, tasteless, and non-toxic. Also, it’s good at retaining moisture so it will help condition and prolong the life of the rubber seals.
Combining the best of ethanol- and propylene-based antifreeze, this option is just as effective at raising the freezing point of water and keeping your RV’s plumbing lines in good condition when the temperatures dip below -40 degrees. It’s also non-toxic but the alcohol content may still go a long way in damaging the seals.
When Camco was founded in 1966, it only specialized in designing antifreeze fluids. Over the years it has grown to develop more than 5,600 products of which more than 140 are patented. Some of these products include RV cleaning products, RV covers, RV toilet treatment solutions, and RV water heaters. It’s headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., but has other operating centers in Indiana, Albany, China, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Peak has more than 40 years of experience in designing products that can withstand harsh climates and operating conditions. Its parent company is Old World Industries, which is headquartered in Northbrook, Ill. Peak specializes in designing motor oils, diesel fuel additives, automotive lights, windshield wiper blades, and antifreeze.
As a subsidiary brand of Ocean Bio-Chem Inc., Star Brite has been designing high-quality automotive, marine, and home care products since 1973. It’s headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but has other operating centers spread throughout Europe and the United States. Some of its top products for RV’s include RV wash and wax, RV polish, water treatment, and freshener liquids, dehumidifiers, coolants, and antifreeze.
Splash is a Minnesota-based manufacturer of automotive care products that’s under the umbrella of Factory Motor Parts. It manufactures some of the best windshield wash fluids, pressure washer soaps, ice melt agents, vehicle detergents, de-icing, and antifreeze fluids. Its products are designed for marine equipment, home care, passenger, and recreational vehicles.
RV Antifreeze Pricing
- Under $30: Expect to find the inexpensive ethanol-based or propylene-ethanol antifreeze within this price range. Most are sold as single one-gallon bottles of pre-diluted formula.
- $30-$50: This price range mostly includes propylene-glycol-based antifreeze that is safe for your drinking water system. On top of acting as antifreeze agents, they also include lubricants and anti-corrosion additives to help keep your plumbing lines in good condition.
- $50 and up: Typically, the antifreeze within this price range comes as packs of two or more one-gallon bottles. Most are eco-friendly and have a long shelf-life so they can work for anyone who wants to buy antifreeze in bulk.
Most RV antifreeze have a temperature rating, or otherwise known as burst protection, of -50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is good enough for most locations that experience a frigid climate. But if possible, you can choose an antifreeze with a higher temperature rating of up to -100 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure your plumbing lines won’t freeze no matter how terrible the weather gets.
You want to prioritize a non-toxic solution so you can use it in your drinking water system, and not have to worry about harming your kids or pets in case they happen to consume the antifreeze. For this reason, prioritize propylene-glycol-based antifreeze that are eco-friendly and FDA-approved. Ethanol-based antifreeze is flammable and can be dangerous to have around children.
Consider if you want an already prepared solution (pre-diluted) or if you would like a concentrated solution so you can prepare it yourself. The benefit of a pre-diluted solution is, it eliminates the risk of messing up the solution by preparing it yourself. However, a concentrated solution is typically more affordable and has a longer shelf life than a diluted formula.
- Compatibility. Make sure to read the label and ensure the antifreeze is RV compatible. The last thing you want is having to flush it out only a few days after you notice that it’s clogging your pipes.
- Additives. Prioritize formulations that come with extra additives that help to preserve the condition of your water and sewer system. This may include rust or corrosion inhibitors and lubrication additives to help condition the rubber seals.
- Liquid Color. Consider purchasing a colored antifreeze so it can help you detect leaks in the plumbing lines. Also, when it’s time to de-winterize your RV, colored antifreeze makes it easier to tell when the water system is clear after you start flashing it out.
Best RV Antifreeze Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- If you have a concentrated solution, we recommend mixing the entire bottle instead of dealing with smaller proportions. Also, mix in the proportions recommended by the manufacturer so you don’t end up with either a weak or strong solution.
- While most antifreeze are non-toxic, you should still exercise caution and keep them out of reach of children and pets, especially if you have a concentrated solution. RV antifreeze is colorful and some may smell fruity so kids may be encouraged to ingest it.
- Do not mix different types of antifreeze in your water lines — the two solutions can form sludge, which can be difficult to flush out when it’s time to de-winterize your RV. Be sure to flush out the older solution before adding the new one.
- Be sure to know what your plumbing lines are made of so you can purchase the right antifreeze for the material.
Q: How does RV antifreeze work?
RV antifreeze is a liquid solution that’s poured down your RV’s water tanks, drains, or sewer system. It helps to raise the freezing point of water so it doesn’t freeze, expand, and rupture the pipes.
Q: Is an RV antifreeze toxic to animals?
Propylene-glycol-based antifreeze isn’t toxic to animals. Generally, it’s eco-friendly and safe for your drinking water system.
Q: Can I use RV antifreeze in cars?
Using RV antifreeze in a car can be a disaster since it’s not formulated with anti-boiling agents, unlike regular antifreeze. The engine may overheat and eventually get damaged.
Q: How do I get the antifreeze out of my RV?
When the cold season is over, you can de-winterize your RV by running fresh water in the plumbing system. You can either connect a water pump from a nearby freshwater tank or use the city’s water inlet. You can also check out how to dispose of your vehicle antifreeze here.
The Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate is the best option for maintaining a steady flow in your RV’s pipes throughout the winter season. It also doesn’t affect the taste or smell of your water system. However, if you are looking for a budget-priced option that still gets the job done, we recommend the Splash RV/Marine Antifreeze.