How do you put antifreeze in a static caravan central heating?

In today’s blog post, we will discuss: How do you put antifreeze in a static caravan central heating? We will also explain the role of antifreeze and whether you can use it for your static caravan’s central heating. 

How do you put antifreeze in a static caravan central heating?

It is possible to put antifreeze in the central heating of a static caravan, but the heaters must be working or they must be perfectly purged before using this type of product, especially when the central heating has not been working for a few weeks or even months. 

It is recommended in certain cases to favour a glycol-based antifreeze for a static caravan central heating and to proceed with a mixture composed of 20 to 30% which can make it possible to preserve the heating circuit.

On the market there are specific antifreeze fluids for static caravan heating systems, but, according to most specialists, RV antifreeze is also worth considering. The liquid is toxic if swallowed, so it is important to check that the heating pipes are isolated from the rest of the plumbing system, so as not to contaminate normal tap water!

If in doubt and depending on the installation, it is best to seek professional advice.

Here’s how you put antifreeze in a static caravan central heating

  • The introduction of the antifreeze liquid into the heating system of a static caravan is carried out through one of the radiators.
  • Manufacturers include recommended proportions for mixing the coolant on the product packaging. A mixture of three parts coolant to seven parts water may be considered appropriate, but this is only an approximation. It is best to follow the instructions on the container.
  • The most practical way to introduce the antifreeze-water mixture into the central heating of a static caravan is through one of the radiators. It is recommended to lower the boiler pressure to zero, add the water with antifreeze until the capacity is full, then tighten the radiator cap well and start the heating system. 
  • In the end, such as when the radiators are finished draining, the pressure must be checked to be 1 bar.

Is antifreeze the best way to ensure the operation of the static caravan central heating?

The cold of winter can be very harsh, especially in certain regions. And among the negative consequences that sometimes go unnoticed, is the possibility that the water in the heating pipes freezes in the sections of pipes that are located outside. If this happens, the entire heating system of the static caravan is blocked.

Antifreeze liquid should be used especially in the heating of static caravans that spend long periods uninhabited.

There are different ways to prevent freezing in these pipes. The most basic method is to install a covering of insulating material. These layers (made of synthetic materials such as polyurethane foam) reduce the heat losses of the heating liquid in the external sections of the pipes and, therefore, improve the overall performance of the system.

But in many cases, these insulating covers are not enough. For single-family static caravans located in very cold regions (mountain areas) and in particular, if they spend more or less long periods (several days, at least) uninhabited, the use of antifreeze fluids should be used.

Antifreeze fluid is a chemical compound that mixes with water to lower its solidification point. That is, although water freezes at 0ºC, mixed with antifreeze it must be subjected to lower temperatures to reach the solid-state. In addition to heating systems in houses, another typical use of antifreeze fluids is in cars.

How to protect the static caravan central heating from freezing temperatures

For the rest of the year, adding antifreeze to your static caravan probably doesn’t rank very high on your priority list, but it should be done before winter hits as leaving your caravan unprotected is asking for trouble when they start to drop below freezing temperatures. 

Just as we use antifreeze for our cars in winter, consider protecting your central heating system in a similar way with specialized antifreeze to prevent freeze-related problems. Winter temperatures are unpredictable, so precautions must be taken to protect vulnerable central heating systems such as those in holiday static caravans, or the part of the system that affects the least used rooms in the house such as guest rooms, conservatories, lofts and garages, against damage that may cause frozen pipes. 

If you live or work in an area that is exposed to extreme temperatures in winter, it is imperative to protect your central heating system from damage caused by water freezing in the pipes.

One recommendation would be to keep the heat on continuously even at night or if you are not going to be in the static caravan. This can cost you a lot of unnecessary heating in winter. 

A cheaper way to protect your central heating system against freezing and weather conditions that would favour the appearance of the snow is to add a product like X500 Inhibited Antifreeze to your static caravan central heating. 

It has all the benefits of a normal inhibitor: minimizing corrosion, scale build-up and boiler noise, with the added benefit of variable frost protection. The temperature range at which the system can protect ranges from -6oC to -50oC depending on your needs. You just have to modify the dose, and the guidelines to follow for a correct dosage are available on the page corresponding to the product.

How do I stop my static caravan pipes from freezing?

Besides taking care of your static caravan central heating, you must think of the pipes and the entire water system. To stop your static caravan pipes from freezing in winter, use one or more of the following methods:

  1. Insulate the static caravan tank and pipes: Before heading into the coldest winter, you can insulate the tank and pipes with Reflectix insulation. Reflectix insulation comes in 25 ‘x 2’ rolls, shiny, reflective and reflective, in plastic bags. The idea is that this thin material can act as a type of insulation in tight spaces where you can’t put thick fibreglass insulation.
  1.  Install a heating plate in the caravan water tank: One of the most comfortable options is the installation of a heating plate in the grey water tank. This heating plate is self-adhesive and is placed directly on the bottom of the tank. It has a thermostat that activates the resistance when the temperature is below three degrees.

Remember that before installing the plate you have to thoroughly clean the area where it will be attached. To connect it, you just have to look for a mass or negative and a direct positive to the battery so that its operation is constant, even if you remove the contact. It can also be fitted with a disconnect switch.

  1. Install a heating probe in the caravan water tank: This probe has a thermostat that automatically activates it when the temperature drops below five degrees. This probe is more complicated to install since it has to be inserted into the tank. The probe is then connected directly to the battery with a fuse. Then you forget, as it activates automatically based on the temperature.
  1. Leave the caravan water tank open: If you are somewhere where you can empty, it is a good idea to leave the grey tap open and collect them with a bucket or an external tank. In this way, it does not accumulate and you keep your static caravan pipes from freezing.
  1. Slightly tilt the caravan to protect the pipes from freezing. When you leave your static caravan at the campsite for winter, it is recommended that you leave it tilted so that the water from the drains goes to the waste tank, so that it does not stagnate in the pipes.

The bottom line

For more details on how to prep your static caravan for winter temperatures check out articles on how to insulate the underside of a static caravan and how to stop your static caravan pipes from freezing. 

And if you have any questions or comments on the content, please feel free to get in contact!

FAQ on How do you put antifreeze in a static caravan central heating?

How are pipes protected from the cold?

Here are some tips to protect the pipes from the cold:

  1. Wrap the pipes in heating tapes or paper. 
  2. Insulate all water pipes to prevent cold air from entering. 
  3. Insulate and heat drain pipes. 
  4. Let the water run for moments. 

Why is it important to protect water pipes from freezing?

It is important to protect water pipes from freezing because, in cold winter areas, icy pipes can cause a sudden emergency. The frozen water expands and cracks the pipes which, when thawed, lose water through the cracks.

What causes water to burst pipes in winter?

The most common cause why pipes burst in winter is if a pipe full of water is cooled so much that the water freezes, its volume will increase, which will cause pressure on the inside of the metal pipes that, if sufficient, will eventually break the pipe.

Can you live in a static caravan in winter?

It is possible to live in a static caravan in winter, but you must insulate your vehicle well and make all the necessary preparations.  

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