How Much RV Antifreeze Do I Need To Winterize My RV?

RV antifreeze is used to winterize your RV when you’re not using it. It prevents freezing and bursting of your water lines. It is also used to keep your holding tanks from freezing when you’re camping in cold weather.

The amount of RV antifreeze you’ll need will depend on the size of the tanks in your RV and the temperatures you’ll be encountering.

A good rule of thumb for winterizing and storing your RV is 2-3 gallons of antifreeze in each tank. However, if you’ll be living in it through the winter, you’ll need to keep plenty of RV antifreeze on hand.

how much RV antifreeze do i need

How Many Gallons Of RV Antifreeze Do I Need?

To figure out how much RV antifreeze you need for winterizing your RV, start by determining the size of your water tanks.

A 40-gallon tank will require 2-3 gallons of RV antifreeze, while a 60-gallon tank will need 3-4 gallons. If you have multiple tanks, simply add up the total number of gallons to get your estimate.

Once you know the size of your tanks, consider the temperatures you’ll be dealing with. If you’re winterizing your RV and storing it in a cold climate, you’ll need more antifreeze than if you’re just camping in cool weather.

In general, 2-3 gallons of RV antifreeze is sufficient for winterizing and storing your RV.

However, if you’re going to be camping through the winter, you’ll need quite a bit more on hand to keep your tanks flowing the way they should in cold temperatures.

Take it from someone who lived full-time in their 5th wheel RV for several brutal winters – RV antifreeze is your best friend.

There’s nothing worse than your tank valves freezing shut for days on end, your toilet backing up, and having to use the outdoor facilities (i.e. the yard) when it’s below freezing.

A good rule of thumb is 1 gallon of antifreeze for every 2-3 days. So, if you’re planning on living in your RV for a month, you should have 8-10 gallons of RV antifreeze on hand.

This will give you enough to flush your lines and keep your tanks from freezing in cold weather.

How Much Can You Dilute RV Antifreeze?

Many RVers ask if they can dilute their RV antifreeze to make it go farther, but it doesn’t work that way.

The more you dilute your RV antifreeze with water, the closer its freezing temperature gets to that of just plain water. So, if you’re planning on winterizing your RV and storing it in a cold climate, don’t dilute your antifreeze.

If you’re just camping in cool weather and need to keep your tanks from freezing, you can get away with diluting your antifreeze 60/40 with water.

This will still prevent freezing, but it won’t be as effective as using 100% RV antifreeze.

Bottom line – when in doubt, err on the side of using more RV antifreeze rather than less. It’s better to have too much than not enough, especially if you’re dealing with freezing temperatures.

Camper parked on snow

Do You Put RV Antifreeze In The Freshwater Tank?

The short answer is yes, you do put RV antifreeze in the freshwater tank. This is because the freshwater tank is where your water lines start. If your water lines freeze, they can burst and cause serious damage to your RV.

To winterize your RV, add RV antifreeze to your freshwater tank until it’s full. Then, turn on the pump and open all the faucets in your RV until the antifreeze comes out.

This will help to ensure that all of the water lines in your RV are full of antifreeze and won’t freeze.

However, the most important thing to remember is when you pull your camper out of storage for the season, you must flush your lines thoroughly with fresh water before using them again.

This is because depending on the type of RV antifreeze you use, it could be toxic and you don’t want to drink it.

To flush your lines, simply add fresh water to your tanks and run the pump until the water comes out of all the faucets in your RV. Then, drain the tanks and you’re good to go.

Can You Put RV Antifreeze In Your Black Tank?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s a good idea to put RV antifreeze in your black tank as well.

This is because the black tank is where your toilet waste goes and you don’t want that freezing, backing up, or preventing your use of the toilet if you’re camping in the winter.

Even when winterizing, you want to protect these tanks from damage so you can use them again during camping season.

To winterize your RV, add RV antifreeze to your black tank until it’s full. Then, flush the toilet several times to ensure that the antifreeze has gone through the entire system.

Just like with the freshwater tank, you’ll want to flush your black tank with fresh water before using it again after winter.

To flush your black tank, simply add fresh water to the tank and let it slosh around for a few minutes. Then, flush the toilet several times until the water coming out is clear.

If you have a grey tank, you’ll want to do the same thing with that as well.

What Type Of RV Antifreeze Is Best?

There are a few different types of RV antifreeze, and it’s important to understand the differences. Some are toxic and some are not.

Ethanol

Ethanol-based RV antifreeze is the most common type and it’s also the most toxic. This type of antifreeze is usually pink in color.

If you use this type of RV antifreeze, you must flush your lines thoroughly with fresh water before using them again.

This is one of the most effective types of RV antifreeze, so it’s definitely what you should use if you’re camping through the winter and don’t want your black tanks to freeze.

Since you don’t drink your toilet water anyway, you won’t have to worry about ingesting it.

The main problem with this type of antifreeze is that it can cause your seals and gaskets to dry out quickly.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol-based RV antifreeze is another common type and it can be toxic in large amounts, but it’s much less of a concern than ethanol-based antifreeze. This type of antifreeze is usually green or blue in color.

If you use this type of RV antifreeze, you should still flush your lines thoroughly with fresh water before using them again, but you don’t have to worry too much about causing harm to humans or animals, because ingesting small amounts will not be toxic.

This isn’t the best option to use while you’re living in your RV during the winter because it’s a bit more expensive and it doesn’t work as well.

However, for storage through the winter, it’s a great option. It’s also a natural lubricant, so it won’t dry out your tanks.

Ethanol/Propylene Glycol Blends

Ethanol/propylene glycol blend RV antifreeze is a non-toxic RV antifreeze that is becoming more popular. This type of antifreeze is usually purple in color.

If you use this type of RV antifreeze, you don’t have to worry about flushing your lines as thoroughly because it’s safe for humans and animals to ingest.

This offers the best of both worlds. It’s non-toxic, it has a lower freezing temperature, and it’s a natural lubricant.

See Also: 16 ways to keep your camper warm in Winter.

Conclusion 

RV antifreeze is an important part of winterizing your RV. It’s important to use the right type of RV antifreeze and to follow the instructions on how to properly winterize your RV.

In general, you’ll need 2-5 gallons of RV antifreeze to winterize your RV, and you’ll need about a gallon a day to make it through the winter if you’re living in it.

Madeline Cooper
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