Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-02-2010, 04:42 PM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,196
Default RV anti-freeze, is ethanol the same as ethylene glycol?

Just curious as I've seen both listed as ingredients in different brands of
RV A-F.
Sorry, tried googling but couldn't find a definitive answer.
__________________

__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
TV - 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited
RV - 2016 Winnebago Sunstar 26HE (Ford F53, Triton V10 3 valve, 6 speed transmission) - SOLD (sort of)
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Arkansas' Ozarks
Posts: 154
Default Re: RV anti-freeze, is ethanol the same as ethylene glycol?

No. Ethanol is a light distilate used as fuel (and drink?) that is hard on hoses and gaskets and such. Ethylene glycol has stuff in it to make it more a lubricant (for the water pump) as well as an anti-freezer. And, the newer vehicles don't use it in the radiator either as they have plastic core radiators that take something else. See owners manual?
__________________

__________________
VernM
GMC Conversion Van and WellsCargo traiiler

http://classbforum.com/images/1994%20GMC.jpg
VernM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 10:47 PM   #3
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 69
Default Re: RV anti-freeze, is ethanol the same as ethylene glycol?

Mike's correct. There are 3 common alcohols used for various things. Methanol (aka wood alcohol) is the lightest, most volatile and is toxic (causes blindness if drunk and was the principal concern of moonshiners or at least those that bought their stuff)). It's the alcohol generally used in gasoline mixes. Ethanol is the good stuff we drink and has a number of commercial uses including gasoline and windshield washer fluid. IPA, isopropyl alcohol, is not quite as volatile and is also used in windshield washer fluid, where it doesn't evaporate off the windscreen as fast the other two alcohols. It's also commonly available as "rubbing alcohol" and in disinfectants.
All 3 of the above are way too volatile to be used as or in an engine coolant. They'd "boil over". They're also quite flammable.
Ethylene glycol is a different beast all together. It's far more viscous, far less flammable and has a much higher boiling point. It isn't used in windshield washer fluids 'cuz it would just smear across your windshield, but it's ideal as an engine coolant/antifreeze when combined with a variety of anticorrosion additives.
So, if it is a methanol, ethanol or IPA based antifreeze, it's for the windshield washer. If it's a glycol based fluid, it's for the engine (and, if it's formulated without the toxic additives, it's labelled as plumbing antifreeze for use in winterizing the water systems in your RV)
LesM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,196
Default Re: RV anti-freeze, is ethanol the same as ethylene glycol?

I'm asking because I bought 2 gallons of RV antifreeze at Walmart, and noticed it contains
ethanol. Is it usable in my Roadtrek's plumbing without doing damage to the plumbing
or humanity ? Or should I return it and get the ethylene glycol stuff from somewhere?
Any suggestions as to where, or a brand name to look for? I'm, in no rush. Is there a
brand which contains propylene glycol which might be even better than ethylene glycol?

(btw, I think you meant Vern's correct, not Mike's correct, in your opening statement above.
thanks for the info and replies )
__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
TV - 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited
RV - 2016 Winnebago Sunstar 26HE (Ford F53, Triton V10 3 valve, 6 speed transmission) - SOLD (sort of)
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2010, 02:55 AM   #5
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 69
Default Re: RV anti-freeze, is ethanol the same as ethylene glycol?

Hi, Mike. I did a little more research. The glycol typically used in RV/plumbing antifreeze is propylene glycol, not ethylene glycol, because it's a lot less toxic (reports say it can be labelled as "non-toxic"). Ethylene glycol is toxic. Ethanol appears to be the other main ingredient in pretty much all formulations. I assume the ethanol is there primarily to lower the viscosity so that it's more easily pumped throughout the RV water system, and because it would help help dissolve residual water amounts a lot easier/faster, and can be flushed out a lot easier in the spring. I checked the labels on a couple of different brands from Walmart and Cdn Tire (Polar brand) that I've used and they both say "contains ethanol". Neither references the specific glycol involved but it would have to be propylene glycol to have a "non-toxic label. I'd go ahead and use the stuff you have, assuming it's labelled as non-toxic for plumbing systems. It''s almost certainly a mix of ethanol and a non-toxic glycol such as propylene glycol. I think there are 2 common colours in use by the various brands - pink or blue. Neither appears to be better or worse than the other but the pink stuff seems more common. I've never had any problems with gaskets/water pump diaphragm, etc. Just don't put it in your engine cooling system. Hope that clarifies.

Les
LesM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,196
Default Re: RV anti-freeze, is ethanol the same as ethylene glycol?

I did some more research too, and sort of came up with your conclusion as well, that they
all appear to contain ethanol, and that ethylene glycol is toxic, and propylene glycol isn't.
So if I get the pink stuff, and the container says "non-toxic" it's probably propylene glycol based,
and is safe to use, and theoretically drink, although I don't treat my fresh tank with it, just my
waste tanks and toilet/sink traps and valves.
Thanks for the further investigation.
Sometimes the simple stuff gets away from me.
__________________

__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
TV - 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited
RV - 2016 Winnebago Sunstar 26HE (Ford F53, Triton V10 3 valve, 6 speed transmission) - SOLD (sort of)
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.