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Old 09-29-2020, 09:38 PM   #1
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Anybody ever reuse RV antifreeze?

I know RV antifreeze is cheap but last spring when I dewinterized my TT I drained the antifreeze from my fresh tank back into the bottles the antifreeze came in. I got back about 4 1/2 of the 6 gallons I started with SO, does anybody see any problems with reusing last years antifreeze again?
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:48 PM   #2
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I know RV antifreeze is cheap but last spring when I dewinterized my TT I drained the antifreeze from my fresh tank back into the bottles the antifreeze came in. I got back about 4 1/2 of the 6 gallons I started with SO, does anybody see any problems with reusing last years antifreeze again?
It may get diluted with some water that was already in your system. Will get diluted even more with the water still in your system this year.

Kinda depends on how cold it gets where you are.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:51 PM   #3
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I never put any antifreeze in my fresh water tank so I don't have that much volume to consider reusing.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:36 PM   #4
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I never put any antifreeze in my fresh water tank so I don't have that much volume to consider reusing.
X2. We usually just drain the fresh water tank. Doesn't it take a long time to get the taste of antifreeze out of the tank?
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:56 PM   #5
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I agree about why you would put any antifreeze in your fresh water tank. if it's empty there is nothing to freeze. I winterize my 41ft 5er with 2 gallons and that's probably even using too much. And I'm in Alberta where it gets very cold and I have never had a issue in the spring.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:02 AM   #6
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I agree about why you would put any antifreeze in your fresh water tank. if it's empty there is nothing to freeze. I winterize my 41ft 5er with 2 gallons and that's probably even using too much. And I'm in Alberta where it gets very cold and I have never had a issue in the spring.
Yeah...can't believe anyone would do that. If you don't already have a setup to pump antifreeze into your system bypassing the water pump, takes two valves and a small piece of hose to add
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:58 PM   #7
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I agree about why you would put any antifreeze in your fresh water tank. if it's empty there is nothing to freeze. I winterize my 41ft 5er with 2 gallons and that's probably even using too much. And I'm in Alberta where it gets very cold and I have never had a issue in the spring.
Most tanks don't fully drain but since the water is not confined as it would be in a line, should it freeze no damage is likely.

Only possibility for damage might be the drain valve itself if not left open and water somehow made it's way from where it pooled in the tank to the drain line.

When I drain my tank I just leave the valve open. Winter here seems to keep any bugs away and haven't had any find their way into a water tank since the early 70's when I purchased my first TT.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:03 PM   #8
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At max i've never used more than 2.75 gals. I never put AF into my FW tank. I thought about reusing, but when you flush with water, it would be diluted.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:18 PM   #9
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One word, BACTERIA...............
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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At max i've never used more than 2.75 gals. I never put AF into my FW tank. I thought about reusing, but when you flush with water, it would be diluted.
We winterized for the first time in 2019 and I think we used less than one bottle (about two gallons, I believe) so since we bought two bottles, we have enough for this year. With regard to tanks, we drained the freshwater and hot water heater, bypassing the latter. The only parts containing antifreeze are the hot and cold water lines, the faucets and outlets, including the outdoor shower, and a little in the toilet. For a really tiny trailer, that's all we needed. We did not put any antifreeze in any fresh water storage.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:21 PM   #11
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One word, BACTERIA...............
Considering that I not only use Clorox when sanitizing, but also add some (1/2 tsp per 5 gallons) at each fill, those little critters better enjoy the taste of chlorine
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:21 PM   #12
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I spend less than $10 on AF every year. No need to re-use it.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:21 PM   #13
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We winterized for the first time in 2019 and I think we used less than one bottle (about two gallons, I believe) so since we bought two bottles, we have enough for this year. With regard to tanks, we drained the freshwater and hot water heater, bypassing the latter. The only parts containing antifreeze are the hot and cold water lines, the faucets and outlets, including the outdoor shower, and a little in the toilet. For a really tiny trailer, that's all we needed. We did not put any antifreeze in any fresh water storage.
1.5 gals in our old 26' TT and our 2018 Cherokee 304BS 36' (sold) took 2.75 gals. Two outdoor showers and a sink outdoors was a lot more line.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:25 PM   #14
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I use RV antifreeze but only in the drains. I drain all the lines and HWH first then blow them out using compressed air (40 psi). Once drained I put RV antifreeze in each drain, in the washer (I run the drain setting a few times). I don't have the water on to my ice maker so don't have to worry about that.
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:15 PM   #15
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I use RV antifreeze but only in the drains. I drain all the lines and HWH first then blow them out using compressed air (40 psi). Once drained I put RV antifreeze in each drain, in the washer (I run the drain setting a few times). I don't have the water on to my ice maker so don't have to worry about that.
I do the same. Adapted a quick release air fitting to fit the city water inlet I plug the air compressor into it than start opening faucets. Don't forget the toilet and outside shower.
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:33 PM   #16
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Unless you blow out the system first each time you winterize and again to dewinterize you would dilute the antifreeze with more water each time and that would mean it eventually would freeze and expand defeating the purpose of adding the antifreeze.

Now if you blow out the system first and drain it without adding water then the water amounts to very trace amounts and I don't see a down side if you also sanitize every year. It kind of defeats the purpose of pink stuff depending on your prospective. I blow the system out if I plan to use it again and it could freeze but pink stuff goes in at the end of the season.

Personally I blow the system out to winterize but I mix with water when dewinterizing. I will just pay the $4 each year.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:07 PM   #17
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I also pondered whether to reuse last years antifreeze again and not even draining it as we couldn't go South with Covid ( Canadian) but my thought was even though it MAY be ok just to leave it in for a 2nd winter why risk it for the cost of new $10 antifreeze?

I don't know if the antifreeze would lose any properties from turning to slush in the winter months and then thawing again in the warm weather?

To me it was a no brainer not to risk it just for the sake of $10 and 20 minutes to re-winterize as I do it myself.

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Old 09-30-2020, 04:19 PM   #18
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I know RV antifreeze is cheap but last spring when I dewinterized my TT I drained the antifreeze from my fresh tank back into the bottles the antifreeze came in. I got back about 4 1/2 of the 6 gallons I started with SO, does anybody see any problems with reusing last years antifreeze again?
Goes to 30 below here in Minnesota....I drain waterheater n fresh tank...all lines...put 12 gallons back in for the winter....But I test what I drain n reuse to make sure its still rated min -35. Im a firm believer that my system is better off full of antifreeze....than taking a chance on condensation freezing n cracking a drained dry line or pump n filter
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:24 PM   #19
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Goes to 30 below here in Minnesota....I drain waterheater n fresh tank...all lines...put 12 gallons back in for the winter....But I test what I drain n reuse to make sure its still rated min -35. Im a firm believer that my system is better off full of antifreeze....than taking a chance on condensation freezing n cracking a drained dry line or pump n filter
12 gallons??
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:22 PM   #20
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The OP posted what amounts to a two-part question.

Part 1: RV antifreeze in the fresh tank? General consensus, NO! I agree. A properly drained (and supported) fresh tank, with the drain valve left open, won't suffer freeze damage. Any small amount of ice that forms will have no "purchase" on the tank walls to crack anything. Why contaminate it with foul tasting antifreeze.

Part 2: Could you re-use the stuff you collect? Answer, assuming it's not diluted with fresh water from the fresh tank, YES. But how?
Well, if you have plumbing lines full of RV antifreeze, you could blow it out with air and collect it at the faucets and low point drains. Then you could store it for the summer and use it next winter in your greywater traps and tank, and/or your black tank and toilet bowl. This eliminates any risk of contaminating the freshwater system with antifreeze that may be tainted during handling.
Again, assuming you don't dilute it much with water in the lines.

My question is why go to all that effort to reclaim and reuse a product that costs $3.00/gallon new? The best place for used RV antifreeze is down the drain at home (municipal sanitary swwer)...or perhaps "over the bank" if you live in a rural area. It's essentially non-toxic. Other than the dyes in the antifreeze, it leaves little or no trace. The alcohols may be harsh on vegetation (e.g. lawns), thus the "over the bank" comment. In my case, "over the bank" prevents the antifreeze from entering my septic system and undermining the bacterial breakdown of solid waste due to the antibacterial nature of most alcohols.

Can you? Yes. Should you? It depends on how much value you place on your time.
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