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Old 08-21-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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Engine Coolant in the carpet

My old Holiday Rambler has a rear auxiliary heater under the right twin bed that uses engine coolant to heat the rear of the coach.


Today I took the HR to the propane supplier to fill up the 60 gal propane tank. On the way back I kept smelling hot antifreeze. The rear heater had sprung a leak and saturated the carpet under the bed and between the beds. Do any of you have a great suggestion on how to get antifreeze out of carpet? I'm going to get a Rug Doctor but I don't think that is going to be enough. Any ideas? It also got on the bedspread and blankets, but I can replace those if necessary.

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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I'd have to seriously consider pulling it up and replacing it. Did it get into any of the wood?
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:22 PM   #3
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When I bought my 83 Rambler it had been used for many years as a storage shed. There was oil, tire marks and many other nasty things there. Rented a carpet cleaning machine and got the carpets like new. I have the same brown carpet in my rig and one almost can't get that type of quality in a carpet any more. A good cleaning and lots of fans should get it out and dry.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:31 AM   #4
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I think the "Rug Doctor" will work where you can get it on the carpet. For those more difficult areas a shop vac capable of handling liquids might be a good plan? Just rinse carpet and equipment well when done to prevent sticky residue.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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You already decided on my best suggestion.. Several applications may help.

To be honest. A lot of folks worry about any water on wood under carpet but what does damage is not flowing water, but standing water.

If you can you might try flooding it out. Then soon as you are done with the flood, Fire up the rug doctor and vacuum it for .. Well a long time. A long long time. Then add ventelation to air it out for about a week and you should be fine.

Suggestion for modification....

Get a tray big enough and put it under the heater so if it springs a leak the tray (plastic or metal) will contain the leak (at least till it overflows)

Add a drain line from the bottom of the tray to.. Somewhere outside the motor home. so the tray NEVER overflows.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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Another, very effective modification might be to disconnect the heater hoses where they splice in at the front of the coach and do away with the whole thing for good? I found mine to be completely ineffective any time I ever tried using it, and you could avoid the possibility of trouble with 50' or so of heater hose at the same time? Just me...
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
Another, very effective modification might be to disconnect the heater hoses where they splice in at the front of the coach and do away with the whole thing for good? I found mine to be completely ineffective any time I ever tried using it, and you could avoid the possibility of trouble with 50' or so of heater hose at the same time? Just me...
-Al
That is exactly what I am going to do. I have never used the heater, don't ever see when I would use the heater, and after this little fiasco, I don't need all that hose under the MH or under my bed. The only time the heater could used would be while the engine is running. If it's that cold, I'm not going! Plus, I've looked all over the internet and apparently this auxiliary heater is no longer made or available. The company is dead and I don't see anything similar even offered. There is an engine assist water heater that I could see would be worthwhile but that just seems like another problem waiting to happen.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #8
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If you can use a rug cleaner to get up the coolant, then leave the windows open and use a fan for a few days, the wood and whatnot will be just fine. Better would be a dehumidifyer, but its not needed. You would be amazed at how much water damage can be 'fixed' from just drying out the wood.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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Well, I cut the hoses and reconnected straight to the motor. I've Rug Doctored the carpet and, surprisingly, the antifreeze came out fairly well. I kind of overdid the soap and had more trouble getting the soap out than the antifreeze. The last two days low humidity has helped with the drying process. Two fans, the power vents, and open windows dried it out in very little time. The only casualty was the MDF panel that the heater was screwed to. It swelled up in places to twice its thickness. All the actual wood did just fine.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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Great, glad to hear it. Now you can get back to concentrating on

Happy Motoring!
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