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Old 11-20-2015, 09:41 PM   #1
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RV anti freeze

Time to winterize. Blew down all the water taps, lines, water heater, low point drains & bypassed etc etc with compressed air and went to my RV paraphernalia shelf and realized I was out of RV anti freeze. Went to my local hardware place and found out it's almost $7/gallon! Sitting right next to it was -20F windshield washer fluid for $1.49/gal. Since I only use it in the "P" traps, waste tanks and toilet, I decided to get the ww fluid for 1/4 the price. I know I can't use it in the supply water system, it contains methyl alcohol but does anybody know of any reason why I can't or shouldn't use it in the waste drain system? Seems like if it's safe in your windshield washer reservoir and hoses it should be safe for waste pipes, etc.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:47 PM   #2
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FYI. I purchased RV AF at Wally World for $2.58 per gallon yesterday.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:57 PM   #3
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I got mine @ Manard's @ $1.79 a gal. Personally I wouldn't use it.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:32 AM   #4
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Even Lowe's and Home Depot have it for 3-4 dollars a jug. Mine came from Wally World at less then 3 bucks a gallon. I would NOT use the windshield wash fluid in anything other then drains - and not even sure that's a good idea either as it's false economy when you figure the cost of your RV. At $7.00/gallon you should only need a gallon or at the most two - bypassing the HW heater, I used just a single jug.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:13 AM   #5
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Agree with the others about cheaper sources, but the Windshield fluid you bought is ok for drain traps. It won't harm ABS or PVC, and it is dilute enough that rubber shouldn't be a concern either.

Be aware, though, that it may not be rated for as low a temperature as antifreeze, so check the label. Around here, washer fluid is typically rated for 20 F., but that's in Florida. Presumably stronger stuff is available elsewhere.
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:18 AM   #6
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The reason you might not want to use wiper solvent to winterize (anything!) is that it doesn't take long for the alcohol to evaporate out of it, leaving you with nice blue water..... that will freeze harder than a rock.

I'm sure guys will now advise they've been using it successfully for years. Fine, your call.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:27 AM   #7
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I have an RV, Boat, and 2 S&B, Been using RV Anti Freeze for may years to Summarize and Winterize. The windshield stuff will work for a while, but is bad for sewer and septic systems, it evaporates faster than the AF. My biggest use of RV AF is in the S&B toilets, not for freeze protection, but odor, it evaporates much slower than water in the HOT TX summer. I also cover the bowl with stretch plastic. It will keep them sealed for 6 months.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:50 AM   #8
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Look on the label of cheap RV anti-freeze and you will find alcohol.
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Old 11-21-2015, 02:44 PM   #9
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Windshield washer fluid is usually about 90% alcohol. This stuff is toxic to septic systems and it's these systems you will find in most campgrounds where in all probability you will be dumping your tanks. Let's be responsible RVers and have some consideration for campground owners.
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Old 11-21-2015, 02:58 PM   #10
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90% , wouldn't that make it flammable?
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:15 PM   #11
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Hard to think anyone would take a chance for an extra $10.

Russell
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:25 PM   #12
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Alcohol ain't alochol and plastic ain't plastic, there are several different versions of each. Your sewer system, and the windshield washer fluid, aren't made with eachother in mind. It might work, but it might not. So, if it melts or gums up your sewer system, what're you gonna do? Ask your wife, if she thinks it's stupid, it probably is.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:42 PM   #13
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Lived in Michigan for years and Always put washer anti in traps. Always.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:52 PM   #14
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Windshield wiper fluid is water based. Depending on the alcohol content it may not freeze solid until it gets to -25*F. However when it does freeze it will expand just like water. IF/When that happens you'll probably crack a pipe. RV antifreeze does not expand when it freezes so there's little chance it will damage anything.
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