The freezing point of gasoline is a topic that arises during the dark and frigid winter months. Do you have nightmares about waking up in the morning to find your gasoline tank spitting out gas cubes?
This is a question that comes up at least once a winter on our blog, the freezing point of gasoline is something that lives more in the imagination than reality. The lack of sunlight during the winter has been known to let the mind wander to strange places – and worrying about a frozen block of gasoline is one of them.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to know the freezing point of gasoline, we’ve got the answers covered for you below.
What Is the Freezing Point of Gasoline?
According to the Illinois Department of Physics, gasoline freezes between -40 and -50 degrees Celsius ( -40 to -58 Fahrenheit). Other sources say that most gasoline will freeze at approximately -73C (-100F). Whatever the exact number is, most of us will never have to worry about our environment getting that cold.
It’s important to know that gasoline is actually a mixture. A mixture is two or more different substances that are physically combined. However, each substance can be separated back into its original substances.
For an easy example of a mixture, just think of a bowl with different candies (Skittles, M&Ms, Hershey Kisses). Each piece of candy can be mixed together, but they can all be removed separately from the bowl.
Since the mixture of gasoline will vary widely from batch to batch, it is important to note that each different blend of gasoline will have a different freezing temperature based on its compounds. Without getting too scientific, gasoline is a refined product of petroleum consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons, additives, and blending agents. Each “batch” of gasoline has a unique chemical makeup.
What If I Live In An Arctic Climate: Will My Gasoline Freeze?
If you happen to find yourself in Antarctica, Siberia, or another location where you may turn into a human ice block outside… we feel sorry for you (but not because your gasoline will freeze).
In places like Antarctica where temperatures can drop below -90C (130F) during the winter, and in Siberia where the average winter low temperature is -40C (-40F) gasoline will contain a special additive to prevent it from freezing.
If you do live in an especially cold climate, you should keep your gas tank as full as possible (or all the way full) if storing your vehicle for an extended period of time. Empty space in your gas tank can allow condensation to build and mix with the gas in your tank.
While your gasoline likely won’t freeze in your tank, there are other more common issues that your vehicle can experience in cold weather. Let’s take a closer look.
How Freezing Weather Can Affect Your RV
While it’s unlikely that your gasoline freezes, frigid weather can affect your RV in other more nefarious ways. We’ll look at just a few.
One of the more costly issues that RV owners encounter during freezing temperatures is ruptured plumbing lines. RV plumbing lines that aren’t properly winterized will expand, freeze and rupture – leaving you with a costly maintenance bill.
The colder the outside temperature, the quicker your RV plumbing will freeze. During a hard freeze, damage to RV plumbing lines is common – particularly in older RVs. RV owners who fail to properly drain and winterize their plumbing system can expect to find damaged water lines when exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures.
To protect your RV plumbing system from freeze damage you will need to properly winterize the plumbing system by either
- Using compressed air
- Using an anti-freeze
- Or a combination of both
If you are interested in learning more about how to winterize your RV, Mark Polk from RV Education 101 offers a great step-by-step online course on the topic that is perfect for any beginner.
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Freezing Living Area
Anyone who has gone camping in their RV during the winter knows that it can be C-O-L-D inside your RV. New RVers usually don’t realize that RVs are not insulated like residential homes. Unless you have a great heating system and are okay with burning a ton of fuel to heat your RV, you need to find alternative ways to keep your RV warm.
A few ways to keep help keep your RV warm during the winter months are:
Insulation: Installing insulation will help protect your RV and help create a much more hospitable environment during the winter months. It is particularly important to pay attention to installing insulation around the base of your RV which can help prevent whipping winter wind from freezing your plumbing systems.
One of the more affordable and wildly popular in-RV insulation products is Reflectix. Reflectix is a 7-layer insulation foil that helps keep your RV cooler during the summer months and warmer during the long, cold winter months.
Seal Your RV Windows and Doors: Before winter rolls around, you should always examine the sealing and caulking on your windows and doors to make sure they are airtight. Remember to inspect and replace damaged weather stripping around your exterior RV doors to prevent cold air or moisture from breaching into the vehicle.
Insulated Curtains or Window Coverings: One way to keep warm during the winter is to fit your RV with thick, insulated curtains or drapes. RVInspiration offers some excellent tips on how to DIY- insulate your windows during winter without blocking too much natural light.
RV Battery Drainage
Another problem you need to be aware of with freezing temperatures is the effect it can have on your RV battery. While cold weather alone won’t kill a fully charged battery, extreme cold can zap the energy from an RV battery that is already weak.
The key is to keep your RV battery fully charged during bouts of cold weather. A fully charged battery has a much better chance to start and can tolerate extreme temperatures up to -57C or -70F.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about the gasoline in your car freezing. The bad news? You won’t be able to have an awesome gasoline-ball fight with your friends.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other issues you can run into if you live in an area with freezing temperatures.
New and beginning RVers often learn the hard way. Once your plumbing bursts one time, you’ll never let it happen again. Please don’t get down on yourself if you make a mistake. Just like a residential home, RVs have issues and it takes both time and experience to know how to properly maintain your vehicle.
We hope you learned a fun little piece of trivia today. If you ever find yourself on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the question is: What Is the Freezing Point of Gasoline? – YOU my friend, will know the answer. If not – you can always phone this friend.
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