Jump to content

Antifreeze smell

John Borton

Recommended Posts

I just purchased a 2021 legacy elite. The previous owner had winterized it with antifreeze that included ethanol with that wonderful sweet smell. We purchased the trailer for amongst other things to act as a bedroom for my daughter who is very sensitive to smells and other things while our home is being renovated for the next couple of months.  I dewinterized the Oliver and flushed everything with plenty of fresh water. I then re-winterized it with a non-ethanol, odor free antifreeze.  However, I am still smelling the ethanol  

I plan to flush it again once the weather warms up enough. It is currently snowing in Colorado. We are also thinking of putting some baking soda in warm water to put down all of the drains and into the gray tank. also leaving a little in each of the 3 P-traps for an hour or two.  Wondering if there would be any issues running baking soda warm water  through the fresh water system as well. Would the baking soda screw up any of the valves?

One interesting fact, the smell is much more intense when I run the furnace.  I Assume this is just because I am moving the smell all around the trailer.  

Has anyone else had to address this issue of totally eliminating that sweet smell of ethanol?  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you flushed out the trailer did you also flush the outside shower? I also had some difficulty flushing my trailer out last spring it seemed to take longer than normal to be rid of the anti freeze, associated smell and bubbles in the water. 

I wrote it off to the design of the tanks being relatively flat bottomed and difficult to empty 100%. I finally set it up with the front end high and flushed everything thoroughly a few times in that position and I was happy with the result.

Good Luck.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t think baking soda will do anything for the smell. You are actually supposed to flush the pipes and fixtures every couple of years with a dilute acid (vinegar and water 50/50) to remove calcium deposits. If you fill the tank normally with softened water, obviously this isn’t necessary,

I would do a couple of thorough water flushes and follow up with your scent free AF, or just blow the system out very well with regulated compressed air. When you are done, the p traps can be treated with common grey tank deodorant..


If that “lemony fresh” smell is also bothersome to your daughter, use a few ounces of mineral oil in each one. That won’t deodorize, but it it will act as a physical barrier to grey tank vapors, and it will also lube your dump and vent valves.

John Davies

Spokane WA


  • Thanks 1
  • Like 3

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/26/2022 at 10:56 AM, John Borton said:

FYI the best Oder free AF we found is Splash -75degree at Home Depot.

At $19.99 a gallon I'm sure glad that we don't have sensitive smell.  I use three gallons of this one at $3.99 (Walmart).  Never noticed any smell from it after a normal rinse out.



  • Like 4

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...