Winter is coming, and many RV owners are starting to think about what they need to do in order to prepare for the upcoming cold weather. Winterizing your RV can be a daunting task, but luckily there are some easy steps you can take that will make this process much easier.

In this Magic Bus article you will learn about:

  • What is RV antifreeze?
  • What are the benefits of antifreeze?
  • What are the different kinds of antifreeze?
  • How to winterize your RV?

In this article, we'll discuss 8 reasons why you should start winterizing your RV with antifreeze now! Let's get started before it gets too cold!

Before you hit the road during winter or prepare your RV for winterizing, there are some things that need to be done in order for your RV to be ready for winter. One of these tasks involves using antifreeze for your RV. It does not have a lot of maintenance requirements, but it is important that you know what type of RV or VAN you have so that you buy the right product. In this article, we will discuss what types of RVs require antifreeze and what type should not use it, how much you'll need, where to buy it from, and more.

What Is RV Antifreeze?

Antifreeze helps to lower the freezing point of fluids (usually water) in your RV. This means that it helps to prevent ice from forming in areas where water may be present, such as in and around pipes, the plumbing system, the water heater, the water pump, and other parts of your RV, during severely cold weather. This is needed, as freezing water expands and can break pipes, hoses and leave you with a hefty repair bill.

If you are planning on storing your RV for some time, it is important that antifreeze is added in order to protect the pipes and other essential parts of the RV.

Antifreeze comes in different types - ethylene glycol (EG) and propylene glycol (PG). Some RVs use EG while others use PG, so be sure to check what type of RVs require which one before purchasing any product! 

What Is The Difference Between RV Antifreeze And Regular Automotive Antifreeze?

The difference between RV antifreeze and automotive antifreeze is the type of antifreeze used. RV products are PG-based while automotive is EG-based, so they have different properties and each is meant for a specific purpose.

RV products typically come in larger containers than automotive due to the fact that one package may be needed per season depending on how long you'll be storing your vehicle or camper during winter months.

There's also an added bonus to using RV antifreeze - since it has lower toxicity levels than automotive antifreeze, pets will not get sick if they accidentally ingest RV antifreeze! So there really isn't any reason why you shouldn't use RV antifreeze when preparing your vehicles for storage over the winter months.

If you have an RV, never use automotive antifreeze in your plumbing since it will cause damage.

What Are The Benefits of Using RV Antifreeze

The most common benefits of using RV antifreeze are that

  • It helps to protect your plumbing system against freezing and prevents the water in your tank from freezing over and bursting (which can cause major damage to your RV)
  • Most RV antifreeze is non-toxic and keeps harmful minerals like calcium and magnesium out of the system
  • Easy to use as most antifreeze comes ready to use
  • You can use it for multiple purposes like plumbing at home, swimming pool, ...

What Are The Best RV Antifreeze Products?

[amazon box="B09MKBZP93" title="1. SPLASH 619526 RV/Marine Antifreeze" tracking_id="best-rv-antifreeze0d-20"]

Avoid the risk of freezing pipes and electronics with SPLASH® non-ethylene antifreeze. This good antifreeze for winterizing your recreational vehicles, boats, spas, hot tubs, pools, vacation homes, and campers with a plant-based additive that is made for burst protection down to -50°F.

The product has a convenient pump system and can be safely used with incidental contact with humans, pets, and wildlife because it's biodegradable and non-toxic to aquatic life.

Use this antifreeze as it adds an extra layer of protection against winterizing your favorite ride or toy its piping system during winter season!


[amazon box="B08PND31TW" title="2. PEAK RV & Marine Antifreeze -50°F Guaranteed" tracking_id="best-rv-antifreeze0d-20"]

The PEAK RV and Marine Antifreeze is the only leak-free alternative on the market. It has a formulation that protects against corrosion, scaling, and rust without harming animals, aquatic life, or pets who come in contact with it. Plus you can use it to keep drinking water safe for your family – no need to worry about long-term storage!

It's a non-toxic alternative to the harmful propylene glycol in other brands. It can be used on all types of portable water systems and protects down to -50 degrees with additives that keep pipes, valves, and fittings safe from corrosion.

Pay attention to the engine region before buying your coolant.


[amazon box="B07N8BWRLB" title="3. RecPro RV Antifreeze -50°F Protection and Non-Toxic" tracking_id="best-rv-antifreeze0d-20"]

If you're one of the many who dreads wintertime because of all the hassles it brings, then RecPro RV antifreeze is exactly what you need. From cutting off your fresh-water intake to keeping pipes from freezing at -50°F, this non-toxic solution seriously solves every potential problem.

I tried dealing with frozen pipes by boiling water inside my RV but that didn't work out very well. Luckily for me, though, now I know that if any pipe in an RV does freeze solid it can be thawed with a little hot water and few squeezes of this low-cost supplement!


[amazon box="B0044UWTWY" title="4. Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate -100 Deg. Propylene Glycol" tracking_id="best-rv-antifreeze0d-20"]

This RV antifreeze will undoubtedly keep your lines and hoses from freezing, as it is odorless, tasteless, biodegradable, and non-toxic. It’s perfect for any type of vehicle as it only has to be mixed as needed. A non-oxygenated fluid that can be used at up to -100 degrees Fahrenheit so you never have to worry about leaks during winter months!

Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate will protect your engine from damaging frost or freezing temperatures—something that is especially important for RV owners who have a lot on the line with their investment in a second home they lead a different life in.

Protecting my RV is just one way I work to tame my wanderlust at home before it consumes me again, knowing anytime I want to hit the road, Camco has got my back covered.


[amazon box="B0172BZY64" title="5. BioTherm Fluids RV Antifreeze and Heat Transfer Fluid" tracking_id="best-rv-antifreeze0d-20"]

When the harsh winter descends on us, I was worried about what would happen to my vehicle. Driving an RV means that I have to take extra care for maintenance and safety because it is a much different beast than your basic car or truck.

A lot of thought goes into the creation and production of this RV Antifreeze and Heat Transfer Fluid. Which is biodegradable, safe to use in a water heater (based on water requirements), and non-toxic.

It also stands out by not containing any heavy metals such as mercury or lead. Above all, it keeps your rig's plumbing system, RV's pipes, plumbing systems, and cooling system protected against the cold winter.


[amazon box="B00GI2CIQS" title="6. SMPLY. Propylene Glycol RV Antifreeze Safe" tracking_id="best-rv-antifreeze0d-20"]

Propylene Glycol is a safe alternative to ethylene glycol antifreeze and de-icing compounds. It's non-toxic to humans and animals and it'll last through wintertime by preventing freeze lines on the vehicles, homes, and any other catered surfaces.

This can of Propylene Glycol meets all USP standards with its 99.9% purity for excellence in food-grade use and works its magic to keep your RV's plumbing system, plumbing lines, water lines, water pump frost free.


What Are The Different Types of Antifreeze?

There are 3 common types of antifreeze that each have their own unique properties. Make sure you purchase the right type for your RV needs!

  • Ethanol Based Antifreeze
  • Propylene Glycol Based Antifreeze
  • Ethanol and Propylene Glycol Blend

Ethanol Based RV Antifreeze

Ethanol-based antifreeze is just what it sounds like - antifreeze that has been mixed with ethanol, which helps to provide freeze protection down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of RV antifreeze is typically used in RVs that are only stored during the winter months and not for extended periods of time.

This type of product comes premixed so you do not have to mix anything together before adding it into your RV plumbing system or tank.

The disadvantage is that it may taint the flavor of drinking water, and the odor can be unpleasant.

Another disadvantage is that alcohol dries out rubber, possibly causing cracks and leaks and therefore creating the need to replace them.

Propylene Glycol Based Antifreeze

Propylene Glycol antifreeze is a non-toxic RV antifreeze and environmentally friendly that is colorless and odorless. It's also extremely effective when used in RVs since it can give freeze protection down to -65 degrees Fahrenheit.

As you may have noticed from the name itself, this type of RV antifreeze contains propylene glycol rather than ethanol or ethylene glycol like most common types of automotive antifreeze found at your local auto shop! Due to its toxicity levels being lower than other types of antifreeze, pets are less likely to get sick if they ingest any product which uses PG as an ingredient.

Ethanol and Propylene Glycol Blend

Ethanol and Propylene glycol blend antifreeze is a combination of both ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. It brings the best of both antifreeze together.

As mentioned above, before choosing which kind of RV antifreeze you'll need make sure you know what your winter climate conditions will be like! If you live in an area where there is no chance freezing weather occurs, then PG would work fine. If you live somewhere that the water freezes over multiple seasons, then it is best to choose Isopropyl antifreeze or use RV deicing salt instead.

There are other specialized types of RV antifreeze formulas as well such as RV Marine Antifreeze and Heavy-Duty winterizing antifreeze - these products typically contain propylene glycol mixed with low concentrations of ethylene glycol and can be used in colder climates where temperatures may drop lower than what PG alone can handle.

Remember: RV antifreeze comes in different forms depending on your needs! Make sure you purchase the right type for how cold your climate gets.

How To Choose The Best RV Antifreeze?

Before buying antifreeze there are a few points you need to take into consideration:


The concentration of your antifreeze is an important factor before purchasing a product. Do you need a prepared solution (pre-diluted) or do you prefer a concentrate to mix yourself? A pre-diluted solution has benefits like convenience and no need to measure out a specific amount. However, diluting products can be time-consuming and may cost you more money in the long run.


Since propylene glycol-based RV antifreeze can cost up to 50% less than its ethylene glycol counterpart, it's a good idea to start there first when searching for the best RV antifreeze. Ethanol-based RV antifreeze is usually cheaper but they come premixed so make sure you know what kind of winter climate conditions you'll be facing before choosing which product works best for your situation!

Temperature rating

What kind of weather conditions does your area get? If you live in a very cold climate, then it is best to choose propylene glycol-based antifreeze. But if this option is not available and freeze protection isn't needed for extended periods, ethanol-based RV antifreeze will work just fine!

Some products contain special additives that can help prevent freezing in low-temperature conditions while others contain RV deicing salt (sodium chloride) which can be used to melt existing ice.

Toxicity level

It's important to understand the toxicity levels of your antifreeze. Most antifreeze is made out of ethylene glycol which is the same chemical used in your car's radiator. When ingested, this type of antifreeze can cause serious injury or even death to pets and children because it contains poisonous toxins.

When you use RV antifreeze for your RV plumbing system make sure to check what ingredients are included within the product you purchase! Always remember that PG is non-toxic while EG has harmful poisons inside.


Make sure you know which type (ethanol or PG) works well with your specific water system and appliances. Some say that PG can ruin rubber seals over time while others swear by its safety advantages compared to ethylene glycol-containing products, but unfortunately, there's no clear consensus on whether using PG as an ingredient leads to more problems in the long run.

Choose RV antifreeze that is compatible with your drinking water system and appliances, especially if you want to avoid any type of unpleasant smell or taste caused by alcohol! 

At What Temperature Should You Winterize Your RV?

The best moment to start winterizing your RV is when outside temperatures dip below 40°F (or at least 30°F). During this process, you should drain your water system and remove any items that may freeze if the temperature drops below freezing.

You'll also want to make sure you use RV antifreeze or deicing salt during winterizing RV steps because, without it, most homes will experience damage due to frozen pipes! 

How To Winterize Your RV?

Here are a few of the most important steps to winterize your RV;

  • To begin with your can best park and stabilize your RV
  • Drain the water system and remove any items that may freeze if temperatures drop below freezing.
  • Turn off your propane tank(s) or disconnect them from their lines (whichever is more comfortable for you).
  • Remove all exterior accessories such as antennas, outdoor kitchens, etc., leaving only TVs and appliances inside.
  • Add RV antifreeze to the freshwater holding tanks and plug in your black and gray drain valves with stoppers or rags so they don't get clogged by snow or ice. Make sure the caps are tightly closed! This will prevent leaks caused by expanding ice when it melts during warmer weather conditions outside.
  • Add RV antifreeze to the plumbing system if it has an anti-freezing agent built into its formula.
  • Remove all window curtains and store them away inside your home where they'll stay safe!
  • You can also cover windows with thick plastic sheeting in order to keep cold air outside of your RV during the winter months. This step is especially important for skylights and fiberglass doors/windows because snow and ice accumulation could cause damage over time (a common problem among older RVs).

Frequently Asked questions

Is RV Antifreeze Toxic?

A major toxic ingredient of RV antifreeze is ethylene glycol (PG). This particular chemical can be dangerous to pets and children. It's important to make sure the RV antifreeze product you choose contains this type of chemical otherwise it could cause serious injury or death.

Is RV Antifreeze Toxic for Dogs or Other Animals?

RV antifreeze can be toxic for pets, but it depends on the type of product you use. If your RV antifreeze contains ethylene glycol (PG), it can cause serious injury or death to your furry friend. Meanwhile, if the ingredient is promoted as ethylene glycol-free and FDA-approved, then don't worry; it'll not be toxic for pets! But in any case: Better save than sorry! Keep any chemicals stafely stored away from your pets.

Should You Put Antifreeze In Your Fresh Water Tank?

Yes. Adding RV antifreeze to your fresh water tank and RV water lines is important because it will prevent leaks caused by expanding ice when it melts during warmer weather conditions outside. RV antifreeze without ethanol is advised if you want to avoid any type of unpleasant smell or taste caused by alcohol! 


Winterizing your RV with RV antifreeze is a great idea because it will ensure that you are safe from freezing pipes. The best time to winterize your RV is when the outside temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but before the snow starts falling. You can make sure you have RV antifreeze by checking compatibility and reading reviews on what other people say about how RV antifreeze affects their plumbing system or appliances. With these tips in mind, be prepared for cold weather so you don't experience damage due to frozen pipes this season.

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About the Author


Peter has a passion for the outdoors & software. He loves to hike, discover new and old places, read, and learn about new things as often as possible. Originally from Germany, Peter has lived in New Zealand, Taiwan, Georgia, and Thailand over the last few years. Along the way, he explored many other countries and cities over the last decade. Who was it again who said 'to understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities'? These days he is taking it easy at home planning new adventures with his wife from Thailand!

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