RV Anti-Freeze - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-18-2008, 11:20 PM   #1
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In the Tutorial on Winterizing it mentions adding RV anti-freeze (a non-toxic solution) into the water system. Is this anti-freeze really non-toxic? Is it the alternative to blowing compressed air through the system? Can you really drink water from the faucet one you run anti freeze through it? I will be owning a new Trillium soon and want to know about these things before I pick it up during the winter and drive it through some pretty low temperatures.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:18 AM   #2
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It is non toxic but it doesn't taste very good. Although I don't think I'd drink it right out of the bottle and it might make you at least a bit ill drunk straight. Read the label.

I use this on both my trailer and my sailboat. I flush the lines with water before making my first coffee in the spring. It is a good alternative to blowing the lines out with air.

Some people never drink from the on board tanks (I don't have a problem with it). Some people think it forever taints the water (in my opinion, only if the lines are dirty to begin with and the the antifreeze has someplace to attach itself to). It will attack the hot water heater anode pretty vigorously which is a big reason for the bypass switch on the hot water heater (Plus, who wants to buy the gallons and gallons of antifreeze to fill the water heater before it gets to the faucets).

Your new trailer may or may not have a bypass valve. Something to ask. Not a deal breaker in my opinion.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:31 AM   #3
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I'm with Steve. I used to blow the lines out, which takes forever and requires some dis-assembly of some of the system to drain it (water pump, for example). It's much easier to pump anti-freeze throughout the system, particularly when you're on the road. You don't need a compressor or second set of hands to do it. Contrary to what some folks will tell you, my experience is that it flushes out of the system quickly and completely (as soon as the water is running clear, it's gone).

Here's a link to the MSDS for the Prestone brand RV anti-freeze.

Apparently unless you drink the stuff for breakfast every morning, there's nothing terribly toxic about it.

Roger
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:37 AM   #4
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I made a real stupid mistake yesterday and while i thought i was running RV Anti freeze thru the lines i was actually running windshield washer fluid ( the orange stuff....which is very toxic) thru my lines...... that was a very bad senior moment for which i immedietly flushed the lines out cleaned it out with fresh water and reinstalled pink rv antifreeze.....come spring i will flush numerous more times and do the bleach thing...... I put this here in hopes that no one else makes the same mistake as that stuff is really toxic.
I blow out my lines then put 2 gallons of RV antifreeze into the freshwater tank....turn the pump on and run it thru the lines to winterize.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:51 AM   #5
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a good video tutorial of winterizing is at the end of this video Here
I learned a lot from it. you need high speed internet though.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:30 AM   #6
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a good video tutorial of winterizing is at the end of this video Here
I learned a lot from it. you need high speed internet though.
Ken, Roger, Steve, Joe,

Thanks for the info and warnings...my wife thinks anything with the word anti-freeze has got to be bad for you. She doesn't trust labels these days. Couldn't we use it and flush with a bleach of some kind to rid the lines of any residual non-toxic chemicals? Knowing us, we probably will drink bottled water while camping anyway. The water from the faucet will be used for cooking and cleaning. Don't you think that is a good idea for newbies like us?

Ken, I noticed you are still in a tent like us. What made you decide on fiberglass or have you decided yet?

Thanks again,

Lloyd
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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Couldn't we use it and flush with a bleach of some kind to rid the lines of any residual non-toxic chemicals? Knowing us, we probably will drink bottled water while camping anyway. The water from the faucet will be used for cooking and cleaning. Don't you think that is a good idea for newbies like us?
Lloyd, it's probably a good idea to use a 10% bleach solution to sanitize your freshwater system the first time you use it, but remember that bleach is a h*ll of a lot more toxic than RV antifreeze.

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Old 11-19-2008, 11:10 AM   #8
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I don't recommend putting any in the fresh water tank but I do use an old sump pump in a 5gal bucket and hook it up to the water line on the trailer. turn the pump on and run the taps till they flow pink. I used to just use air but if there's a drop of water left in a valve when it drops to minus 40... you'll be busy in the spring. don't forget to dump some down the drains (traps).
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:13 AM   #9
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The CDC tells of using bleach to decontaminate water so you can drink it. I forget the ratio.. something like one tablespoon of bleach to ? gallons of water. I Remember the info was all over during Katrina too. So i would think, yes, you can to that. Im sure google will bring up the mix ratio.

Well, since 2005, inflation has been out pacing my savings piggy bank so I can't seem to catch up. But with the economic downturn, if prices come down, I might now be within reach of a purchase some day. I'm Trying to hold out for a new, not used purchase. I Sure am looking forward to photos of your trailer!
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:18 AM   #10
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this guy says he drinks it all the time and there's no problem.

BTW, it's a real photo of a real person outside my office this week.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:34 PM   #11
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I guess I do a combination of the above. I blow the lines out as well as I can and then put about a gallon in the fresh water tank. Turn the pump on and flush until pink comes out. I then blow the lines out again and catch the pink stuff in a small bucket. I recover most of it til next year and the lines are not sitting with pink stuff. Oh then I drain the fresh water tank into the bucket too. End up not using much at all.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:44 PM   #12
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This will depend on your climate (because it will not work to as low a temperature as RV antifreeze) but on boats we sometimes use the antifreeze on non-potable things, and then use (cheap) Vodka for the potable tanks.

This is because, while the anti-freeze is not toxic, it can impart an odd flavor to them (and it foams and foams in spring and can be hard to get rid of, especially in more complicated systems).



Technical info:

Ethylene Glycol is the typical "permanent" anti-freeze that is in engines. It is toxic, and is (unfortunately) very attractive to pets.

Propylene Glycol is non-toxic "RV" antifreeze
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:30 PM   #13
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The CDC tells of using bleach to decontaminate water so you can drink it. I forget the ratio.. something like one tablespoon of bleach to ? gallons of water.
Just remember that something harmless in small doses may be harmful in large ones -- Warfarin is a human heart medicine and a rat poison, depending on the dose -- Two teaspoons of water in your lungs will drown you (Learned that when I had a tracheotomy stoma earlier this year!).
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:16 PM   #14
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This will depend on your climate (because it will not work to as low a temperature as RV antifreeze) but on boats we sometimes use the antifreeze on non-potable things, and then use (cheap) Vodka for the potable tanks.

This is because, while the anti-freeze is not toxic, it can impart an odd flavor to them (and it foams and foams in spring and can be hard to get rid of, especially in more complicated systems).



Technical info:

Ethylene Glycol is the typical "permanent" anti-freeze that is in engines. It is toxic, and is (unfortunately) very attractive to pets.

Propylene Glycol is non-toxic "RV" antifreeze
Raya, I am getting a Trill 13 also. A new one from the U.S. How old is yours and where are you in the Mid Atlantic? I am originally from N.J. now living in Ohio. Thanks for the info....Lloyd I'm set now with this issue.
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