This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commisson if you decide to make a purchase through them. There is no addtional cost to you.
Since getting our Winnebago EKKO, we’ve really enjoyed the instant hot water provided by our Truma AquaGo. It’s tankless, and since the water heats up so quickly, we’re actually washing dishes with hot water these days. It’s a luxury we didn’t know we were missing!
Anyway, now that the weather is turning colder, we need to think about keeping our AquaGo from freezing. Truma makes a special accessory to help here: The Electric Antifreeze Kit. When I was researching it, there seemed to be a lot of confusion about what it did and when to use it. Our friends at Truma sent us one to try out, so we decided to make this video to set the record straight and let you know when WE plan to use it.
Hopefully, the video explains most everything you need to know. But there were a couple points I want to call out again, just to be crystal clear.
- The Electric Antifreeze Kit is only available for the Truma AquaGo. It doesn’t work with the Truma Combi, or any other brand RV water heater. To my knowledge, Truma is the only company offering such a device for their tankless heaters. There is no similar option out there to compare it to.
- Although I drained the water heater before the video, you can see that some water was still left in it. This is probably because the RV was not level when I drained it. To be thorough, after draining the AquaGo, Truma recommends leaving the filter cartridge out to ensure all water is drained. The filter can be stored by the control board above the gas line or inside the RV.
- I did this correctly in the video, but just to reiterate – you should use a hand tool (rather than a power tool) when tightening the screws holding the bracket. This will help prevent over-tightening them, which could cause damage to the door.
Since we like winter RVing, and we like hot showers… we’ll use the antifreeze kit as part of our winter travel routine. I anticipate the hardest thing to do will be to force myself to go outside and remove and install the flue plug when it’s cold, but maybe I can convince Stef to do that part (… NOT!). We have a big winter trip coming up, so we’ll see how it does on the road here in the next few weeks.
Do you have the Truma Electric Antifreeze Kit? If so, how do you use it? Sound off in the comments below.
If you are traveling in the winter, is this kit necessary to keep the AquaGo from freezing while driving, even if you don’t have the AquaGo in “eco” mode?
And, is this kit something that an RV dealer can install for us?
You could always drain the AquaGo. Truma approves of that, and it only takes a few minutes. Then, you would not need the electric antifreeze kit.
The kit should keep the AquaGo from freezing down to -4, but you have to have it set to “Antifreeze” and have the yellow flue plug in. If you have the flue plug in, you cannot set the AquaGo to Eco mode, because there is no combustion venting. It won’t fire up.
Yes, a dealer could install the kit if you prefer having someone to do it for you. But I think most RVers could handle the install, as you see in the video. It’s not hard.
With the unit installed in our Ekko, and the control panel set to “Antifreeze” and the power to the AquaGo outside switched on (and propane supply still on), the AquaGo tries to light the burner (and will do indeed do so and run on Eco mode if the flue plug is not in place!). With the flue plug in place, it tries to light–but of course can’t–and it puts up an error message on the screen about flue backpressure. Do I have to have the propane turned off to make it not try to light? Am I correct in keeping the exterior power switch “On” while using the anti-freeze kit? The instructions and FAQs do not address this at all.
I’d suggest calling Truma support to go over exactly how you have things set up.
You shouldn’t have to turn off the power or the propane for the Antifreeze Kit to work (we don’t). I think you’re correct on that part.
Hi – We installed the Truma electric antifreeze kit this past fall in our View to prepare for some winter camping. Yes, the pump runs continually on our kit as well when it is in operation.
We assessed the requirement for this upgrade and decided that it would be worth it for the driving through cold temperatures scenario. For those that do not have a true hot water bypass system, draining the Truma might mean that you would not be able to use the rest of the coach’s cold water plumbing. For those than can completely isolate the hot water system, and choose to do so each time you need to protect the Truma because you can’t run propane, this upgrade really comes down to a convenience choice.
For us, the convenience of not having to drain the Truma while driving in cold temps was the tipping point.
Indeed, it was that ‘not having to drain the Truma’ bit that was the deciding factor for us as well.
This is an interesting device to know about. Thanks for highlighting it.
We are extremely interested in how your winter trip goes. In particular how you use electricity and how long you can, or estimate you could, remain parked without recharging the house batteries. We have an Ekko on order and are still debating whether to get a generator or instead the second battery, and in the latter case whether we would need to add additional batteries. (And I realize you have five batteries.)
Well, I can already tell you that our winter trip will not be limited by battery capacity. We just don’t use as much electricity during the winter, and between driving and solar, our batteries stay pretty full.
We don’t remain parked in one place very well! We just don’t like to sit still that long. I think three days is typically our limit.
Fair enough. But I think usage data for even one or two days in winter temperatures would give some of us a rough idea what we can expect from factory standard rigs. We have in mind spending several days boondocking at ski areas.
Have a good trip!
I have decades of experience as an RVer-Skier and my winter RV camping mantra is: Have Backup Systems. Even if skiing in sunny Colorado relying on solar to charge low batteries is a fools errand. Using the engine’s alternator should be the backup to a generator. Bonus: while your generator is running and charging your batteries, you can also run a portable electric space heater, saving on propane consumption and providing a dry heat that is ideal for drying out wet ski clothing.
Good job explaining the reasons for using the anti-freeze kit. I’ve been scratching my head wondering why anyone would need this kit since it’s so easy to drain if driving in freezing conditions. For me, I don’t think it’s worth the $200 investment for the few times a year a may use it, but again that’s me. Thanks for the informative video.
That’s *exactly* the kind of response I was hoping for!
You got the info to decide if it was worth it for you or not.
(And if I was only going to use it a couple times a year, I’d probably come to the same conclusion.)
James, on the EOAWB FB page someone had posted this after installing
Just a quick note for those planning to install the Truma 12v antifreeze kit on the water heater ($200+) for keeping the hot water heater from freezing while driving down the road with propane tuned off. This little heater requires a nominal 5 amps @ 12v DC. The wiring to the water heater is on the 15 amp fuse in the panel for “HVAC Control’ BUT there is, according to page 9 of the wiring diagram, a 7.5 amp fuse UNDER THE REFRIGERTOR for the water heater itself. This fuse will need to be uprated to a 10 or a 15-amp fuse to handle the additional load of the anti-freeze heater. (The wiring is all 14 ga so it can handle 15 amps total).
You didn’t find a need to do this, any reason ?
Good point for EKKO owners.
The AquaGo is used on a lot more RVs than just the EKKO, and what you’re describing is an EKKO-specific wiring situation.
This was a general video about the AquaGo Electric Antifreeze Kit itself, so I don’t cover installation specific issues. (There’s no way I could know or cover them all.)
As for our RV, I replaced the entire fuse panel under the refrigerator with another one as part of the 20k project. We’re good! 🙂
Thank you Nancy! Excellent post/information for Ekko owners.
Thanks Nancy. I installed the antifreeze kit, but I am not able to locate the 7.5 amp fuse dedicated to the water heater. I see the 15 amp fuse for HVAC Control in the fuse panel, but not the one you refer to for water heater. Any suggestion for finding this fuse? Thanks.
Spot on James. One question…When I put mine into anti-freeze mode the AquaGo recirculation pump runs constantly no matter what the temperature is outside. It doesn’t seem smart in that respect. Have you noticed the same thing? For that reason, I think it is only useful for cold weather driving.
We’re going to be doing some proper testing this coming weekend. I’ll report back after that.
Could it be that there’s air in your lines causing the pump to run?