FTC Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this article. For more information, visit our Advertising Disclosure Page.

Let Good Sam Extended Service Plan Pay Your RV Repair Bill

Put Car Antifreeze in Fresh Water Holding Tank

by Carleton
(Columbus, OHIO)

How do I, or is it possible even possible, clean automobile antifreeze from an RV fresh water holding tank - so that it is safe to provide potable water!?

ANSWER: Greetings Carleton thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Obviously you cannot use the water out of this holding tank because the Antifreeze that is used in cars is highly toxic and should never be used to winterize an RV.

The fresh water system on your RV needs to be cleaned out. My suggestion to you is if you know who manufactured the antifreeze is to contact the manufacturer and see what suggestions they have for you to get rid of the antifreeze in your fresh water system.

You may also want to contact the National Poison Control Center to see if they have any suggestions for you.

Leave your RV repair bills to us—Good Sam Extended Service Plan

This is one of the times where I really do not have any suggestions on how to properly clean this up, because of the potential serious health effects this could have if it is not properly done.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Now protect all of your Vehicles and your family while on the road: Join Good Sam Emergency Road Service Today and save!

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Camping World

Don't Forget To Visit The Everything About RVing Stores.  If It Has To Do With RVing And The Outdoors The EARV Stores Have What You Are Looking For!

RV Accessories - Sporting Goods - RVing and Travel Books and How To Videos - Kindle Accessories and Books - The RVers Gift Shop - The RVer Mall - Buy or Sell An RV - The NASCAR Collectibles Store

Comments for Put Car Antifreeze in Fresh Water Holding Tank

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Cleaning Water Tank with ethylene glycol
by: Anonymous

Regarding the question about ethylene glycol in the drinking water tank: Ethylene glycol is extremely toxic in concentrated forms but it can be both diluted and evaporated away. It also degrades over time with the amount dropping by half every 48 days in the presence of oxygen. So time, evaporation and water are your friend.

One problem is the stuff is environmentally highly toxic so you want to collect as much as you absolutely can and dispose of it properly as the toxic waste it is. Drain the tank completely. Flush with a small amount of water water and collect the water. Allow the tank to dry completely. If you leave the tank to dry with the antifreeze undiluted you are risking a fire because the fumes are flammable.

I would then recommend flushing the tank out with copious amounts of water and then allowing it to dry completely three times with the tank open to the air. This should remove all but trace residue by a combination of dilution and evaporation, including that which may bound to the plastic. Even so, you may have minute amounts left in the water. I would make sure any water used for cleaning dishes is filtered through activated charcoal and use a separate source of drinking water for a full season.

There is no evidence of any toxicity if it is accidentally ingested in minute barely trace amounts but I suspect it can't be good for you. Hence adding in a time factor as an extra safety margin. By using a combination of dilution, and evaporation and time you should be fine.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask An RV Question.

Affordable Tire & Wheel Protection - No deductible! Auto & RV coverage! $59.99 per year!

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Emergency medical & travel assistance for less than 22 cents a day. Good Sam TravelAssist. Learn More!

Good Sam Travel Assist

RV Parts and Accessories

Good Sam Club

Good Sam ESP

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Good Sam Travel Assist

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Click Here