When the characters from Game of Thrones say winter is coming, they make it sound so ominous. As if something terrible might happen! But when it comes to your camper, something terrible might really happen if you are not prepared for the winter. For instance, your pipes might burst and your RV’s entire plumbing system can get ruined.
If you don’t want to have to pay for a new plumbing system when spring comes, you would have to use the best RV antifreeze. This seemingly magical product prevents your pipes from freezing and leaving you with a watery mess.
So if you want to make sure your fifth wheel is ready for adventures when spring is here or even during the winter season, here are your antifreeze options.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best RV Antifreeze Reviews 2020
- 1. Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate
- 2. Star Brite Anti-Freeze
- 3. Zecol Antifreeze
- 4. Camco Mfg. 30757 RV Antifreeze
- 5. Century Chemical TF1 Transfer Fluid
- 6. Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
- 7. SPLASH 619526 Pink Antifreeze
- 8. BioTherm Fluids RV Antifreeze and Heat Transfer Fluid
- 9. RecPro RV Antifreeze
- 10. Froggy’s Fog Propylene Glycol
- What to Look for When Buying an RV Antifreeze
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best RV Antifreeze Reviews 2020
1. Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate
This Camco RV Antifreeze concentrate helped me save money last winter by preventing my pipes from bursting due to extremely low temperatures.
Three years ago, I made the mistake of not thoroughly preparing for winter in my RV – I had all my supplies alright, but I forgot to winterize the RV. This cost me hundreds of dollars in repairs, as apart from the pipes bursting, the flooring also got water damage. I avoided this mistake the following year by using the Star Brite antifreeze, which worked well for my RV.
However, last year, I thought of ordering this Camco antifreeze concentrate instead, because I was thinking that there might still be some antifreeze remaining in my piping system from the year prior (I used up all 6 gallons of the Star Brite one) and I could simply top it up with 2 gallons of this antifreeze.
I am glad that the Camco antifreeze served its purpose well and my RV survived another winter without any trouble, especially since it is much easier to have the antifreeze concentrate shipped because it only comes in two 1-gallon bottles that are partially full (you have to add fresh water to it).
I cannot say for sure, but I’ve been told that this antifreeze should be used right away as soon as it is opened as it will lose its effectiveness if not used at once. Even so, given that it gives me the peace of mind during the colder months, I am fine with using this Camco antifreeze to winterize my RV as soon as the bottle is opened.
2. Star Brite Anti-Freeze
I used the Star Brite antifreeze to winterize my RV, and I must say that it has given me a convenient and effective method in preventing unnecessary damage to my piping system.
I liked using the Camco antifreeze, but I am not entirely sure how much of it I need for my large RV, so I usually order eight 1-gallon bottles each time I needed to prepare my RV for winter. It works well, but I thought of trying this antifreeze from Star Brite just to see if it could last me the whole winter – and it did.
I like this Star Brite one now because I don’t have to add fresh water to it – I could use it straight away.
I would say that the Star Brite one is a great option for my RV because it’s sold in packs of 6, and I have the option to use one bottle at a time. On the other hand, the fact that this Star Brite one comes in a 6-gallon set might also be unsuitable for some who have smaller RVs. Fortunately, if unopened, the antifreeze have a long shelf-life and can be used in the next winters to come. It can also be used on pools or boats, so it would not go to waste.
3. Zecol Antifreeze
As an RV owner, it is important to prepare your RV for the winter – and this includes securing your piping system with a reliable antifreeze like this one from Zecol.
When I first got my RV, it was during the beginning of fall, and the guy who sold it to me was kind enough to tell me about winterizing the RV. I could use all the help I needed at the time because I know nothing about RV living (at that time), and fortunately, the guy at the shop gave me all the information about preparing the RV for winter.
I thought of getting just one bottle of antifreeze to save money, and I got this Zecol antifreeze – I am glad that it worked well and I have been using it since. The RV I use this in was small enough to need only one bottle of antifreeze.
It’s great that it comes in an easy-to-use 1-gallon bottle without having to mix with freshwater.
However, if you are winterizing your RV for the first time, you will need more than one bottle of this antifreeze, and it could get a bit expensive. There are 6-gallon options out there that could also do the job.
4. Camco Mfg. 30757 RV Antifreeze
Maintaining the RV’s top condition during winter is a duty of any RV owner. If you wish to prevent the important fluids in your engine from freezing due to extremely low temperatures, you certainly need a good antifreeze. This one from Camco Mfg. is certainly one of the best choices in the market these days.
Of all the antifreeze products I’ve seen so far, this one is definitely worth considering. It is non-toxic, tasteless, and prevents water fouling. The fluids in my RV plumbing flows easily even during the harshest winter conditions.
Another remarkable feature of this antifreeze product is its ability to detect leaks. Due to the special coloring applied to the chemical mix, it can help me detect any leaks in the plumbing in my RV. this way, I can easily fix it before it gets worse.
What I don’t appreciate about this product is the packaging. One of the gallons has a small hole on the upper part which caused a minor leak. I believe that the packaging could be improved a little bit in order to prevent this kind of incident from happening in the future.
5. Century Chemical TF1 Transfer Fluid
When it comes to antifreeze, you need the one that will not compromise the integrity of your plumbing. If you are searching for a non-corrosive antifreeze, this product from Century Chemical will definitely satisfy you.
There are so many things to like about this product. First is the low-toxicity. If a single drop accidentally ends up in the drinking water supply, I’m not worried that it would cause any damage to my health. In addition, this antifreeze product doesn’t corrode the delicate pipes in my RV. Exposure to too much water can really affect the quality of the pipes over time. With this antifreeze, I am confident that no kind of corrosion will occur any time.
Another feature that really won me over is the special pH inhibitor. Other antifreeze brands really changes the pH of the water. This one, however, maintains the natural pH of the water system. Moreover, this product has low toxicity so it is very safe to use (except for drinking). I can also put it with other chemicals because it presents no fire hazard.
What I don’t appreciate about this antifreeze product is that this antifreeze products does not mix well with other brands. I had to remove the sludge that formed when I poured this in my RV sink. Other than this minor issue, I have no problems with this product at all.
6. Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze
Keeping the boiler properly functioning is one of the greatest challenges that any RV owner tackle during the winter season. If you are in desperate need of an antifreeze to help you maintain your boiler’s top condition, the Camco 30027 Boiler Antifreeze is certainly the right product for you.
This product is truly trustworthy! It can keep the water in the boiler usable even during the harshest winter conditions. It is very easy to use. I don’t really enjoy doing chores in my RV but with this around, I can pour it. Also, this antifreeze product is non-corrosive. The pipes and the tank itself stay rust-free all the time no matter how much I pour into it.
I would also like to talk about how safe this product is. As a matter of fact, this product is non-toxic and non-flammable. This is really important because the occupants inside my RV are totally safe. I am sure that this antifreeze product won’t be the cause of fire should an accident occur.
What I don’t like about this particular antifreeze product is that it doesn’t mix well with other brands. I poured this into my boiler but it clogged the pipes instead. I didn’t realize that there is a residue of the old antifreeze brand. Instead of having a good night, I ended up de-clogging the boiler in order to resume the hot water supply inside my RV.
7. SPLASH 619526 Pink Antifreeze
Despite the number of antifreeze products available in the market these days, winterizing an RV is not an easy task. This is due to the fact that not all antifreeze products are created equal. If you want to use the most effective antifreeze product, the SPLASH 619526 Pink will help you keep your RV on top condition during the winter season.
This antifreeze is really effective. It really kept all the important fluids in my RV functioning during the winter vortex. Just this whole gallon is enough to prevent the water from freezing. What’s even more impressive is that it works with other types of vehicles such as motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, speedboats. I was also able to winterize my camper and car using this product.
I am also glad to report that this antifreeze product is non-corrosive. With this, I am confident that the pipes and other important tubes in my RV engine won’t decline quality-wise.
What I didn’t expect to happen was to find floating tiny black things. I was surprised to find out these black sludge when I drained it. I called the company and they said that it only happens if you used bottles that were opened for a long time. However, I know that I used mine in brand new condition, so there’s no way that I opened it (except if I purchased an opened one).
8. BioTherm Fluids RV Antifreeze and Heat Transfer Fluid
Not all antifreeze products are totally safe for children and adults. Most of them will indicate that the product has low toxicity. However, if you are looking for a completely safe and non-toxic antifreeze to use in your RV, this one from BioTherm Fluids will bring your trust to antifreeze products to a new level.
I truly like that this product has an RV antifreeze safe to drink feature. As a matter of fact, this one is biodegradable – something that no other antifreeze products can openly advertise. When I put this in our RV’s water tank, it didn’t have any effect on the taste of the water. Also, we didn’t get sick when we drank the water. This is due to the fact that it is glycerin-based and not alcohol-based unlike most of the antifreeze products that are sold in the market today.
The fact that this product is non-corrosive is also impressive. The copper pipes of my RV didn’t corrode during the long winter during the early months of 2020. With this, I know that I won’t have to replace any of it, therefore saving me a great deal of money.
Another magnificent feature of this product is its flexibility. Aside from RVs, it can be used with other types of vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, trucks, campers, and all-terrain vehicles. In addition, boats and other marine vehicles can greatly benefit from this antifreeze product.
What I don’t appreciate about this product is that the antifreeze gives the water a little sweet taste. This has been noted by one of my children. Although the water itself is safe to drink, the taste can be a little turn-off.
9. RecPro RV Antifreeze
I have made it a point to always winterize my RV ahead of time to prevent any damage to the RV’s plumbing, and the RecPro RV antifreeze has been very useful for this purpose.
My first winter in the RV was a disaster: I didn’t know about winterizing then, so I was surprised when my pipes busted due the water expanding under extremely low temperatures. I couldn’t use the RV for a week because of all the repairs that needed to be done. The worst part is that I had to spend a lot of money on repairs that could have easily been avoided had I known that I could prepare the RV for winter with such a simple solution as this RecPro RV antifreeze.
On a pinch, I borrowed a Zecol 1-gallon antifreeze from a neighbor and it also worked well, so after I replaced my neighbor’s antifreeze, I decided to just get the RecPro in bulk as I prefer to have more than one bottle so I can feel at ease. I love that this product protects even the seals and gaskets by lubricating them.
Probably the best thing about this product is that it is safe for drinking water.
I didn’t like that this takes up space in my RV, but I am more comfortable going through winter having enough bottles of antifreeze available at all times.
10. Froggy’s Fog Propylene Glycol
This Froggy’s Fog antifreeze has a lot of practical applications, but I mostly just use it for winterizing my RV – and it has proven to be an effective way to protect my RV’s plumbing.
Since it is USP food-grade propylene glycol, the Froggy’s Fog RV antifreeze is safe to use in freshwater tanks and in any other application that requires consumption or use on skin (drinking water, pools, moisturizers, etc.) – I heard that it can also be used on e-cigs to dilute liquid nicotine. I don’t smoke (traditional cigarettes or otherwise), so I won’t really know how well it works on those applications.
I can confirm, however, that as a winterizing agent for my RV, this antifreeze is one of the best I have used so far. I decided to get this Froggy Fog Propylene Glycol because I only need one gallon at a time – no need for storage space because I use it right away.
I like that when used for drinking water, it did not have any weird taste or smell, which is one of my main concerns when using antifreeze in consumable water.
I didn’t like that the bottle is not the slim, rectangular type: the gravity fill port for my RV’s freshwater tank is at a weird angle and the round bottle is a bit difficult to manage while pouring. It is a minor inconvenience, but since I only have to do it once every winter, I just shrug it off.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Antifreeze
The RV, being your home away from home, while at the same time the vehicle that brings you from Point A to Point B, is bound to encounter different challenges along the way. Some challenges might come from the terrain, some might come from travel slips, while some might come from the weather itself.
And unsurprisingly, one of the RV’s biggest challenges is facing the dreaded wintertime. This is the time where the upstanding RV owners are separated from the rest, for a great owner will always have the right RV antifreeze by his side.
As a seasoned RV owner myself and a longtime enthusiast of the vehicle at that, I have noticed that it is not only new RV owners that are unfamiliar with the RV antifreeze, and that there are a handful of old-time owners as well. For starters, the RV antifreeze is vastly different from the automotive antifreeze. The automotive antifreeze is commonly used as an engine coolant, and is toxic to animals and humans, while the RV antifreeze is a non toxic RV antifreeze that is commonly used in potable water systems and plumbing of RVs, and even boats!
There are a number of basic factors that you must consider as you pick the best RV antifreeze for you. And so with the experiences I have amassed over the years of owning an RV, I have made this shortlist to help you make that decision!
Consider the Temperature Rating
Every RV antifreeze solution comes with its own temperature rating. But what exactly is a temperature rating when it comes to RV antifreeze?
The temperature rating of the product tells you how strong your RV antifreeze is by working under that particular temperature. For example, there are -50 degree RV antifreeze out there that can help you have a pleasant time inside your RV on a cold, snowy night.
If you are still quite confused on what the temperature rating pertains to, basically it means that the antifreeze will start reacting to the cold at the particular temperature point they have mentioned. In short, you are looking at temperature protection for your RV’s pipes before the antifreeze becomes slush inside your pipes. The upside here is that the RV antifreeze will prevent the pipes from exploding due to the expansion brought about by the ice inside.
Multiple variations are out there in the market, only differing on their temperature rating. It is also worth knowing that the RV antifreeze works better when not mixed with water. This is because the more water that is mixed with it, the higher it will be for the freezing temperature, which is the opposite of what you actually want to do which is to protect your RV’s plumbing and pipe systems.
Although most owners opt for the -20 and the -50 antifreeze, there are also stronger variations out there like the -100 antifreeze. This is for the owners that are situated in the colder and more elevated areas.
Consider the Types of RV Antifreeze
There are three main types of RV antifreeze. As it is with most things, these variations come with a number of upsides and downsides. It is up for you to decide on what type you will use, for it really depends on the usage and the situation.
- Ethanol-based antifreeze
The first type that we have is the ethanol-based RV antifreeze. Also called alcohol-based RV antifreeze, this is a pretty common option that is widely available in local RV shops. It is highly effective and is also the cheapest among the options, typically with price ranging from $4.00 – $6.00. However, there are multiple downsides to this option that makes numerous RV owners think twice before picking it up the shelf.
For one, it has been known to actually damage standard RV pipe and plumbing systems, being utilized only by specific plumbing line brands. It is also able to dry out rubber seals in your main lines, even the faucet and the toilet lines. There are also a number of complaints when it comes to the bad smell from the pipes, as well as the water supply having bad taste upon reusing of the pipes. Lastly, it is highly flammable and should not be near small fires and cigarettes, which can drastically change the feel around the vehicle.
- Propylene Glycol-based antifreeze
The second type that we have is the propylene glycol-based RV antifreeze. This is the more sought-after between the types and is widely known to have a good effect on the RV. Typically, its price ranges from $7.00 – $9.00 per jug, which is quite a big jump from the cheaper $4.00 option.
This product has RV antifreeze ingredients that are non-toxic and is trusted when it comes to the RV plumbing. Being also a lubricant aside from being an RV antifreeze, it is able to prolong the life of the rubber seals in your pipe and plumbing lines. Moreover, it is not flammable, so it will not be as dangerous keeping it as it is with the ethanol-based RV antifreeze variation.
- Propylene-ethanol blend antifreeze
Lastly, we have the propylene – ethanol blend RV antifreeze. This combines the best of both worlds. For one, its price range is typically at $6.00 – $7.00 per jug. It is not such a huge jump from the $4.00 starter option, and being only at a standard price for a basic propylene glycol option. It is also non-toxic and is known to be safe for RV plumbing systems.
However, the one thing that makes RV owners hesitate in buying this is the doubt regarding how much ethanol it takes to damage a pipe. As some would say, it is better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to such delicate system which you expect to utilize all the time, whether you are cruising along highway road or camping off the grid in a wintery weather.
All in all, these are some of the basic factors an RV owner needs to consider before picking up an RV antifreeze in your local shop. Remember, driving the RV is only half the battle, the other half is knowing how to keep it in tiptop shape.
Other Important Factors to Consider
- What is an antifreeze?
For both seasoned and new RV owners alike, the topic of winterization can be quite confusing. Winterization is when you prep your rig for the coming offseason, adjusting and strengthening certain key points as repair would less likely be done throughout the snowy weather. One of the main things that any RV owner worth their salt does is to utilize the help of an RV antifreeze for the general protection of the RV’s pipes and plumbing systems.
With an antifreeze, the RV owner would not have to suffer the damage of a pipe burst in the middle of the winter, which in turn can turn into a spillage and can cause a domino-effect of complications that will come back to bite you when the snow season is done.
When dealing with RV antifreeze, it is important to note that they are largely different from the automotive antifreeze. Automotive antifreeze is a toxic compound, harmful to both animal and man, that is mostly used as coolants for engines. The RV antifreeze, on the other hand, is non-toxic, biodegradable, and is mainly used in potable water supplies, usually for boats and RVs.
- How does it work?
Both the boiling and freezing points of liquids are colligative properties in nature. What does that mean? It means that in the solution, it is dependent on the concentration of dissolved substances (also called solutes). With pure solutions, they freeze as the lowering temperature slows down the molecules, which then results in the binding of the said molecules into crystalline structures as they are caught by natural attractive forces. This is how ice forms from inside the tubes and the pipes.
The only way to counter this is to introduced another kind of molecule that can possibly block those natural attractive forces and delay, or maybe completely prevent, the forming of such crystalline structures. The more of those that are added to the mix, the lower the temperature can go before the solution freezes.
Basically, the antifreeze effectively delays and prevents the chain of events that would lead to the crystalline structures’ formation, which might eventually lead to pipe freezing. However, there is a limit to it. The temperature rating that is on the jug’s label will indicate protection up to a certain extent in temperature. This is how the strength of the RV antifreeze is determined. Most of the time, RV owners who live in an area with moderately changing weather opt only for the – 20 F antifreeze, while some opt for the – 50 just to be safe. When you live a cold country, your rig would probably need the – 100 F RV antifreeze.
However, if by any unfortunate circumstance the temperature drops lower than the RV antifreeze’s temperature rating, what would happen? The good news is that in this event, the antifreeze freezes into a slush-like form, which would prevent further damage to be done to the pipes and actively defends against bursts.
- What are the different types of RV antifreeze?
As mentioned before, there are different variations when it comes to the temperature rating of the RV antifreeze product. Varying from – 20 F and even as low as – 100 F, this is something you need to determine considering the actual weather in your area. Not every place is going to be the same, and as a responsible RV owner, it is an area that you should plan out.
Now, when it comes to the chemical composition of the RV antifreeze, we have three main distinctions. They all come with their unique pros and cons, and their usage differs in every situation.
Ethanol-based RV Antifreeze – The ethanol-based RV antifreeze is probably the most known among the three types. It is widely available in the market, and the main factor for its popularity is its cheap price. With price ranging from $3.00 up to $4.00 per single jug, it has the lowest price among the three and is considered a good starter. However, in my years of owning and driving the RV, I have heard various reasons against stocking it.
For one, it seems to be highly compatible only to specific brands of plumbing lines. And since alcohol makes up this cheap RV antifreeze, it can dry out the rubber seals that you might have somewhere in your plumbing and pipelines. And after its usage pipes are said to smell bad, and water taste awful. All this atop the fact that it is highly flammable, it might significantly affect your travel lifestyle and increase safety precautions.
Ethanol/Propylene Blend RV Antifreeze – This is the midway price range with regards to the three types. Sold at prices ranging from $4.00 – $5.00 per single jug, this is antifreeze receives moderate reviews in the community. It is safe for all RV plumbing systems and is non-toxic. However, a handful of owners still have doubts on this blend because it is still not known how much of ethanol is required to damage your rig.
Propylene Glycol-based RV Antifreeze – This is the RV antifreeze that most owners rave about. It is non-toxic like the others and is generally safe for all RV plumbing systems. The most exciting part about this RV antifreeze is that it does not have the same fire safety risks that the other options present, and it does not leave an unpleasant odor and taste in the pipes and tubes.
And while talking about pipes and tubes, the propylene glycol-based RV antifreeze is also created with similar properties to lubricants, so it rests easy in the system and actually extends the life of your dry seals.
- Why do you need an RV antifreeze?
As the winter fast approaches, the dreaded time of RV winterization is about to begin. And if you do not want to have any sudden damages done to your RV by only the sheer dropping of temperature, then remove yourself from a position that might cost you hundreds of hard-earned dollars in repairs, and utilize the unique help of the RV antifreeze. When you damage your rig, your wallet will take a hit. Determine the kind of RV antifreeze your rig for its pipes and tubes to survive the winter!
As the season of winter approaches, RV owners get busy as they try to do whatever it takes to protect their beloved vehicle from such a cruel and grueling time for it. The winter season is dreaded in the RV community because as it is likely with most vehicles, winter is famous for damaging systems in your rig, making it fall apart as soon as the sunshine peaks again from the clouds. There are two main reasons to use RV antifreeze in your rig.
Convenience – This is probably the main factor that the RV antifreeze strives to help. The wintertime can be cruel to RVs, especially with their plumbing and pipelines. RV rigs have famously thin pipe systems, lightweight and durable enough to carry around as you travel off the grid or to some beaten path. Those thin pipes are in danger of expanding and suddenly bursting due to the sudden drop in the temperature.
And with the cold weather approaching, it will be increasingly difficult to navigate through this rig damage especially when shops are usually closed. Even if it survives the winter without antifreeze, the quality of the pipes will be questionable, and it would be mentally hassling for the driver to have second thoughts about his rig as you drive it off-grid or high up the mountains.
Maintenance Cost – This is the second factor which the RV antifreeze helps to deviate from. Because the cold weather has unpredictable drops especially in the wintertime, there is no guarantee that it will only be a problem in one aspect. There is always the risk of a pipe burst that causes water spill and other damages that will add up to the maintenance cost of the rig itself.
Basically, there are multiple ways the RV antifreeze helps with this problem. For one, the RV antifreeze is equipped with non-toxic chemicals that can help manage the temperature to which the pipes react to. There are also RV antifreeze options out there that are actually built like lubricants and extends the life of rubber seals in the plumbing and pipe systems in the rig, which means better security for both the RV and the owner. And lastly, when the temperature drop is just too much to bear, the antifreeze does not entirely freeze but turns into a slush-like state, which prevents pipe burst and spillage all over the rig. By having an RV antifreeze, you are actually saving up from months of hassle and damage repairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the good antifreeze brands?
There are many antifreeze brands in the market today. However, not all of them can give you satisfactory results. Here are some of the most trusted antifreeze brands that you should include in your shopping list:
- BioTherm Fluids
- Century Chemical
These brands have been approved by many satisfied customers all across the United States. This is because these brands are known for being non-toxic, non-corrosive, and completely flexible. If you are searching for a reliable antifreeze to use during the winter season, you can start your selection with these brands.
What is RV antifreeze?
An RV antifreeze is a special fluid which keeps the plumbing and pipes of an RV from breaking. During the winter, the pipes and plumbing tubes compresses and the liquid inside it freezes. Once the winter ends, the pipes and plumbing begin to expand, causing ruptures and leaks. This is what the RV antifreeze products aim to prevent.
Is RV antifreeze poisonous/safe to drink?
Most RV antifreeze products are non-toxic or has a low toxicity. Even though this is the case, you are advised not to drink water from your RV water supply if you have laced it with antifreeze.
Also, store your antifreeze products in a place where children cannot easily access it. Most antifreeze products smell and even taste like candies so children will be attracted to it. The truth about antifreeze is that it is mostly alcohol-based. To prevent accidental poisoning, keep it out of children’s reach.
How much antifreezes do I need?
Not all antifreeze products are applied on the same amount. To maximize the effect of your chosen antifreeze product, please refer to the instructions indicated on the packaging.
Where to buy?
You can purchase antifreeze products on your favorite stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes and Home Depot. Furthermore, you can get one from your favorite auto supply shops such as AutoZone, and your local RV stores.
If you don’t want to go to shops personally, you can always choose to shop online. Amazon.com sells many antifreeze products. From there, you can refine your search until you locate the one that suits your specific needs.
Searching for the best RV antifreeze is definitely a challenging task, especially if this is your first time to do so. However, there are many reviews to help you determine which one will work for your RV.
By reading reviews like this, you will learn a great deal about the products that you are interested to purchase. In addition, you will be able to discover negative things about the ones that you know nothing about. This will help you protect your RV more against unwanted damages especially during the winter season.