Bid Farewell to Antifreeze Taste and Odor in Your RV Water System


As the winter season gives way to spring and warmer temperatures, RV owners eagerly prepare to hit the road once again. However, there’s one task that often lingers from winterization – the unmistakable taste and smell of antifreeze in your RV’s water system. If you’re ready to remove that unwanted aftertaste and odor from your RV’s water, this guide will walk you through the steps to ensure fresh, clean water for your next adventure.

Everything you Need to Know about RV Antifreeze | I Heart RVing

Understanding the Antifreeze Issue

Antifreeze is a crucial component of winterizing your RV to prevent water lines from freezing during the colder months. While it’s an essential step to protect your RV’s plumbing system, it can leave behind a distinct taste and odor when not properly flushed out. This is a common concern for RV owners as they prepare to de-winterize their vehicles.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin the de-winterization process, make sure you have the following supplies on hand:

  • Freshwater hose
  • A couple of gallons of fresh, potable water
  • A water filter (optional but recommended)
  • A water pressure regulator
  • A water dechlorinator or filter (optional)
  • A water sanitizer (optional)
  • A large container for collecting and disposing of antifreeze
  • A wrench or pliers

Step 2: Drain the Antifreeze

To start, connect your freshwater hose to a potable water source. Attach the other end of the hose to your RV’s freshwater inlet, making sure it’s tightly secured. Next, open all the faucets inside your RV, including the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower, as well as any outdoor faucets or attachments. Turn on the water source, and allow the antifreeze to flush out of the system. This may take several minutes.

Step 3: Replace Water Filters (If Applicable)

If your RV has water filters installed, this is an excellent time to replace them. Over time, filters can trap the antifreeze and develop a foul taste. Replacing them ensures fresh, clean water.

Step 4: Sanitize the Freshwater Tank

Once you’ve successfully flushed the antifreeze from your plumbing lines, it’s time to sanitize your RV’s freshwater tank. This step helps eliminate any residual antifreeze and ensures the tank is free from contaminants.

  • Mix a solution of water and an RV-specific water sanitizer or a chlorine bleach solution. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct mixture.
  • Pour the solution into the freshwater tank through the freshwater fill port.
  • Fill the tank to its capacity with fresh, potable water.
  • Turn on each faucet and run the water until you can smell the sanitizer in the water. This ensures that the solution has reached all parts of your plumbing system.
  • Let the solution sit in the tank and lines for a minimum of four hours or overnight for the best results.

Step 5: Flush the Freshwater System

After sanitizing your freshwater tank, it’s time to flush the system:

  • Drain the tank by opening the freshwater drain valve.
  • Refill the tank with fresh, potable water.
  • Run each faucet, both inside and outside, until you no longer smell the sanitizer. This ensures the system is thoroughly flushed.

Step 6: Test the Water Quality

Before you hit the road, it’s a good idea to test the water quality. Taste the water, and if you detect any lingering odor or unusual taste, consider using a water filter or dechlorinator to improve the quality.


Removing the taste and smell of antifreeze from your RV’s water system is an essential step in preparing your vehicle for spring and summer adventures. By following these steps and taking your time to ensure a thorough flush, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh, clean water throughout your journeys. Remember to prioritize safety by using the appropriate tools and equipment, and consider using a water filter to further enhance your water quality for a more enjoyable RVing experience. Safe travels!

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