How to Put Antifreeze in Your Camper

How to Put Antifreeze in Your Camper

As the winter season approaches, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to protect your camper from the freezing temperatures. One of the most important tasks is properly winterizing your camper, including the use of antifreeze. Antifreeze helps prevent water in your camper’s plumbing system from freezing and causing costly damage. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to put antifreeze in your camper, along with answers to some frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Gather the Required Materials
Before you begin, ensure that you have all the necessary materials at hand. You will need non-toxic RV antifreeze (typically pink or green), a water heater bypass kit (if applicable), a water pump converter kit, a funnel, a utility knife, and a small bucket.

Step 2: Drain the Water System
Start by emptying and draining all the water tanks, including the fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water tank. Ensure that all the faucets, showerheads, and toilets are open to allow the water to fully drain.

Step 3: Bypass the Water Heater
If your camper has a water heater, you will need to bypass it before adding antifreeze. Locate the water heater bypass valves, typically found near the water heater. Turn the valves to bypass mode, allowing the antifreeze to bypass the water heater during the winterization process.

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Step 4: Connect the Water Pump Converter Kit
Attach the water pump converter kit to the camper’s water intake. This kit allows you to draw antifreeze directly from the bottle, rather than using the fresh water tank. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly connect the kit to your camper.

Step 5: Add Antifreeze
Using a funnel, pour the recommended amount of antifreeze into the container provided with the water pump converter kit. Turn on the water pump, and it will draw the antifreeze into the plumbing system. Starting from the closest faucet, open the hot and cold water valves until the antifreeze flows out. Repeat this process for each faucet, showerhead, and toilet until all are running with antifreeze.

Step 6: Flush the Toilet
Flush the toilet until antifreeze fills the bowl and flows into the waste tank. This ensures that antifreeze is present in the entire plumbing system, including the toilet valves and seals.

Step 7: Monitor Antifreeze Levels
Check the antifreeze levels in the fresh water tank periodically throughout the winter. If the levels drop, add more antifreeze to maintain the protection against freezing temperatures.


1. Is it necessary to use RV-specific antifreeze?
Yes, it is crucial to use RV-specific antifreeze, as it is non-toxic and safe for potable water systems. Regular automotive antifreeze is toxic and should not be used in your camper’s plumbing system.

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2. Can I reuse antifreeze from the previous winter?
It is not recommended to reuse antifreeze from the previous winter. Over time, antifreeze loses its effectiveness and may not provide adequate protection against freezing temperatures.

3. How much antifreeze should I use?
The amount of antifreeze required depends on the size of your camper’s plumbing system. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended amount, but generally, 2-3 gallons should be sufficient for most campers.

4. Should I drain the antifreeze before using my camper in the spring?
Yes, before using your camper in the spring, it is necessary to flush out the antifreeze from the plumbing system. Run fresh water through all the faucets, showerheads, and toilets until the water runs clear.

5. Can I dilute antifreeze with water?
No, it is important to use undiluted antifreeze. Diluting antifreeze with water reduces its effectiveness and may lead to freezing or damage to your camper’s plumbing system.

6. Can I use antifreeze in my freshwater tank?
No, antifreeze should never be added to the fresh water tank. It is designed to be used directly in the plumbing system and should not come into contact with potable water.

7. Can I use antifreeze in my camper’s water heater?
No, antifreeze should not be used in the water heater. Bypassing the water heater during the winterization process ensures that antifreeze does not flow into it. Only water should be present in the water heater during winter storage.

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By following these steps and properly winterizing your camper with antifreeze, you can ensure that your plumbing system remains protected from freezing temperatures. Remember to always consult your camper’s owner’s manual and follow manufacturer instructions for specific winterization procedures.