As winter approaches, the term RV antifreeze becomes popular among RV fanatics. RV antifreeze is an agent that you can use to prepare the plumbing of an RV for winters.
When added to water, the antifreeze lowers the freezing point and prevents it from turning to ice and jamming the system.
Also, in some cases, it acts as a lubricant to protect the drains and taps inside the RV.
One important thing to remember is that RV antifreeze is different from your regular automobile antifreeze. (Pro tip: Do not use the ordinary automobile antifreeze for your RV.)
Will RV antifreeze melt ice?
A common question that arises when realizing the purpose of antifreeze is- Will RV antifreeze melt ice? The answer is YES. An RV antifreeze can melt ice.
Since antifreeze’s primary function is to lower the freezing point of water to slow down the freezing process, we can use it somewhere outside the RV.
We use RV antifreeze and not any other antifreeze to do the job because the regular one is highly toxic.
To use antifreeze for melting ice, you need to learn the types of RV antifreeze available. There are three types of RV antifreeze:
- Ethanol-based: This type of antifreeze is highly flammable and toxic. And thus, not suitable for melting ice.
- Propylene glycol-based: This type is not toxic and has a label of being non-toxic on the package. You can mainly use it in melting ice as it is not harmful to the environment.
- Ethanol/propylene blend: This is a combination of ethanol and propylene glycol. You also use it for melting ice, but it is not preferable as some ethanol is also harmful.
Now that we know RV antifreeze, let’s see how we can utilize it for something other than keeping our RV up.
Ways to Use RV Antifreeze to Melt Ice
There are several ways to remove the ice from your garage. The most direct method is to use a shovel and other gardening tools to break the ice and remove it manually.
But this is a cumbersome task because it requires a lot of time and labor. Another famous solution is to spread salt on the ice.
As salt is water-soluble, it spreads evenly and lowers the freezing point of water. But salt might speed up the rusting process and also causes harm to the landscape when mixed with soil.
Using RV antifreeze is preferred as it causes no permanent damage to the environment and is quick and effective in melting ice. Let us see how to use it.
Selection of RV antifreeze: The RV antifreeze for this purpose must be a non-toxic kind. The propylene glycol-based antifreeze is the only one you can use for melting ice in your homes.
It should be readily available at your nearest hardware store. Before buying, ensure that the package has “Non-Toxic” written on it.
Preparing the area: Clean out as much ice as you can from the area you want to use the antifreeze. It works best when applied to the first coat of ice.
Empty the space by removing any vehicles if present. Having a clear surface to apply on ensures even applying the RV antifreeze and not having to deal with ice for a longer time.
Applying the antifreeze: After clearing the area and ice, read the package instructions to apply antifreeze to the surface.
If the temperature is not too low, you can dilute the antifreeze to make the approach more efficient. When used without dilution, an RV antifreeze can melt ice having a temperature as low as -50 F.
You can use a spray bottle to spread it evenly throughout the surface. You can use a pressure receptacle for a larger surface to evenly apply RV antifreeze to get the job done quickly.
But one serious doubt arises – Can RV antifreeze freeze? Well, 95% of the time, it does not.
It has a shallow freezing point that does not allow it to freeze to its burst point even in shallow temperatures. The burst point is when it freezes to the extent that it causes the pipe to burst.
The purpose of RV antifreeze is to protect the pipes from bursting. As water turns to ice, it expands, increasing the risk of pipe bursts.
However, if you mix propylene glycol with water, it reduces the freezing point of water. So, it prevents too much expansion of water and ultimate busting of the pipe.
Does RV antifreeze get slushy?
If temperatures exceed the limit of propylene glycol, the antifreeze’s consistency might become slushy or gel-like.
However, even then, the RV antifreeze does not expand as much as water does when it turns into ice. It means when RV antifreeze gets slushy, which is rare, it is still safe (and recommended) to use it in the plumbing of RVs. It still protects the pipes in the winter season.
While RV antifreeze might turn slushy and not have the free-flowing consistency at shallow temperatures, one thing to remember is that it does not freeze solid.
If it does, it is spoiled and is no longer usable. Do not consider thawing it to put inside the pipes as it may cause damage.
There is no denying that winters are beautiful and snow is captivating. However, it can cause a lot of damage if we have not prepared our home and vehicle (vacation home) for it.
In this article, we learned how a thing could serve two essential purposes.
Using RV antifreeze to remove the ice from your garage is an efficient and environment-friendly approach (Those are rare!) and is highly recommended for all the couch potatoes out there.