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Old 10-26-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
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Anti-freeze help

I am new to rving and haven't really been on but one camping trip. I will be going this weekend on a trip to the mountains and the temps will be 29-30 at night. I have read posts about winterizing if you will not be using your rv during the winter, but what about just a weekend trip while using the rv. Do I need to put anti-freeze in my tanks? Will keeping the water running all night be enough? I have a Class C and will be using the tanks while camping. Please help.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:08 PM   #2
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I would think that if the temps are as you say you should be just fine. Daytime heat, furnace heat, and hw heater heat should provide enough to keep the water from freezing.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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When it gets to 17 degrees for over 8 hours, then you need to worry.
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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I would agree that as long as the temperatures stay above 20 degrees at night and stay below freezing for only a few hours, you should not have any problems.

Your fresh water tank is probably inside of the RV where it will be warm anyway as that is pretty standard design. You can put some RV antifreeze into the waste tanks if you are really worried about it but I don't think that you really need to do that.

Remember that when you do use antifreeze in the RV, it must be special RV antifreeze and not the automotive type.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:25 AM   #5
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Thank you for the replies. I feel much better about it. I love this site!
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:06 AM   #6
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Just getting back into RV'ing. Back in the 80's I was told that putting windshield washer fluid in the holding tanks worked in cold weather. Please explain the RV anti freeze...is it safe for all tanks? Thanks for bringing an old camper up to date.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rovinredneck View Post
Just getting back into RV'ing. Back in the 80's I was told that putting windshield washer fluid in the holding tanks worked in cold weather. Please explain the RV anti freeze...is it safe for all tanks? Thanks for bringing an old camper up to date.
We hand flush with w/w antifreeze on our trips south. When we get to South of the Border it is drained out along with other "stuff".
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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When it gets to 17 degrees for over 8 hours, then you need to worry.
I'm not quite sure where Mick came up with 17 deg. I have to admit that I do not know an exact temp but I always used a temp around 28 or below. However the truth is that it takes some time for liquids to freeze and more time if they are not exposed. The tanks in your MH will be protected by the enclosure and also effected by the heat produced from your furnace. It is not a good idea to hook up the water hose or the waste hose except when you are filling the tanks or dumping them. Hooking up to electric source and things as simple as having a light bulb in the compartment where the tanks are can add lots of heat. My MH has a heated basement and we can withstand a pretty good drop in temp before special attention is called for. Staying at campgrounds that offer shower and bathroom facilities, and using them rather than the MH facilities will reduce exposure as well.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #9
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Remember to drain your water hose not just turn it off. It will freeze rather quickly. If you leave your sewer drain hose out drain it as well.

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Old 11-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #10
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Question... Marine and RV antifreeze is not toxic....
Automobile antifreeze is absolutely toxic... isn't most winshield washer fluid also toxic ?
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:35 AM   #11
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Please, please, please do not use windshield washer anti-freeze for any part of your winterizing. When it comes time for dewinterizing the septic system you use for dumping will thank you.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:48 AM   #12
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Thanks so much, Jesse. I learn something new every time I come in here. I'm going by a local rv parts and repair center to get their input...I think they charge $80 to winterize.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rovinredneck View Post
Thanks so much, Jesse. I learn something new every time I come in here. I'm going by a local rv parts and repair center to get their input...I think they charge $80 to winterize.
If you will be living in your RV, you will also be heating it with the furnace. This will keep your plumbing from freezing overnight when temperatures are well below freezing. When an RV is unheated, my formula is; if lows are not below 28 and daytime highs are over 40 the plumbing is safe from freezing.
For a winterizing checklist and instructions, you might consider this one from RV Resources
written by Art Knapp.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:36 AM   #14
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I like the 28 degree mark you mentioned. Large hoses and pipes won't freeze at that temp, but I've had problems on two occasions (different rigs) with the small icemaker lines freezing when it only dipped into the high 20's for several hours. Both times, the rigs were in storage, with no heat. If the heater had been running, there would have been no problem, but just sitting in storage allowed them to freeze hard enough to rupture the polyflow lines and connections.
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