Unless you get to use your RV year-round, you’ll need to spend time each year taking it out of storage and de-winterizing it. One of the most critical steps in this process is flushing out the antifreeze from your camper, as unused antifreeze can leave behind a lingering smell and taste.
Uncertain how to flush antifreeze from your camper? In this guide, you’ll learn why this is important, how to flush it from your camper, and what antifreeze is. This is an important step to de-winterizing your camper or RV!
Why Do You Have to Flush Antifreeze?
As part of de-winterizing your RV, you should flush the antifreeze from the pipes.
Why flush antifreeze from your RV?
- RV antifreeze is not meant for consumption. And because of its ethanol content, it is flammable. It’s a good idea to get rid of this from your pipes and heater before beginning the camping season.
- Over time, RV antifreeze will lose its strength. Even if you aren’t using your RV each year, it’s a good idea to flush and add fresh antifreeze every couple of years.
- Despite what some blogs say, RV antifreeze doesn’t corrode the pipes. And unlike automotive antifreeze (which is poisonous to humans), RV antifreeze is generally non-toxic.
How to Flush Antifreeze From Your Camper
You can eliminate all the antifreeze in your camper or RV by following these simple steps.
1. Put Water in Your Fresh Water Tank
Put 5-10 gallons of water in your freshwater tank. And connect your tank to city water.
2. Turn on Your Water Pump
Turning on the water pump will allow water to flow through the RV and help flush the antifreeze.
Because you added antifreeze to your pump in the fall, you’ll want to flush it out now.
3. Open Up All the Taps and Faucets
Next, open up all the taps and faucets in your camper or RV.
You should open the hot and cold water taps at full to better flush out the antifreeze.
- Run kitchen taps (hot and cold)
- Run bathroom taps (hot and cold)
- Run shower head (hot and cold)
- Flush toilet
- Run outdoor faucets (hot and cold)
4. Let the Water Run
Now, let the water run for a few minutes. Letting the water run will help to clear out any remaining antifreeze and ensure it is completely gone.
Let the water run until it comes out completely clear from all sources.
5. Turn Off the Faucets and the Water Pump
Once you flush all the faucets and the toilet, turn off all the faucets and the water pump. The antifreeze should now be out of your RV’s water system completely.
6. Reset Your Water Heater
Part of winterizing your camper or RV is disconnecting the water supply from the water heater. After flushing the system, you can reconnect your water supply to the water heater and get hot water again.
If you’ve gotten antifreeze in your water heater, you can undo the plug at the bottom of the water heater and run water through it to wash all of the antifreeze out.
7. Replace the Water Filter Cartridges
After reconnecting the water supply to the water heater, you should replace all the water filter cartridges.
Replacing the filters will help remove any lingering taste or smell of antifreeze that may remain, as well as ensure that your water is clean and safe.
8. Dump Your Grey Water at the Nearest Dump Station
Once you have flushed the antifreeze, it is important to dump your water at the nearest dump station. Dumping your water will ensure all traces of antifreeze have been removed from your RV and will prevent any potential contamination of water sources.
Following these simple steps, you can easily flush antifreeze from your camper or RV and enjoy a safe and comfortable summer season. Be sure to store any extra antifreeze safely and not dispose of it in water sources.
What About the Smell and Taste of Antifreeze?
If you have flushed the antifreeze correctly and still notice the smell or taste of antifreeze in your water supply, you can take several steps to eliminate the taste and odor.
You can usually solve this problem by flushing the system with clean water several times. Alternatively, you may need to replace the water filter.
What is Antifreeze?
Antifreeze is a type of fluid that lowers the freezing point of water. When used to winterize your RV, it circulates through the plumbing components to prevent them from freezing during colder weather.
If you do not use antifreeze, you risk damaging your plumbing over the winter. Damage to these systems could cause thousands of dollars in repairs and prevent you from taking your RV or camper out until you fix your systems.
More Reading: Should You Cover Your RV in the Winter?
Flushing antifreeze is an essential step in de-winterizing your camper or RV.
If you follow the proper steps and fully flush out your water supply, you’ll be ready for a safe and enjoyable summer.
How did it go for you? I would love to hear about your experiences and tips below!
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is a co-founder and blogger on GudGear – and is working to make it the best resource for outdoor gear and guides.
He loves the outdoors and has hiked the Andes, kayaked the Galapagos, and biked and camped around Nova Scotia, Canada.
He is a travel blogger at Storyteller Travel and blogs about photography at Storyteller Tech. He is also co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with his wife, Dena.