You might be wondering what do penetrating oils have to do with my usual topics – hiking, camping, and overall living your life a bit closer to nature.
Well, besides inspiring you to get out into the wild, I consider it my goal to help you prepare for those adventures, and ensure your RV camper and all your equipment stay in top shape, too.
That’s why I always recommend bringing a can of the best penetrating oils with you on your camping trips.
Here’s what the market has to offer!
- Best Penetrating Oils On The Market: My Top 6 Recommendations
- 1. Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil – The Oil That Creeps
- 2. Liquid Wrench L103 Penetrating Oil – When A Wrench Doesn’t Cut It
- 3. WD-40 Multi-Use Product with SMART STRAW – A Toolkit In A Can
- 4. Castle Thrust Penetrating Oil – Ion Activated Formula
- 5. CRC Knock'er Loose Penetrating Solvent – The Ozone-Friendly Option
- 6. Blaster - 16-PB-12PK - Penetrating Catalyst – Higher Flashpoint For Higher Temperatures
- Types, Additives, And Everything Else You Need To Know About The Best Penetrating Oils
- How To Pick The Best Penetrating Oils: Buying Guide
- Best Penetrating Oils On The Market: Final Verdict
Best Penetrating Oils On The Market: My Top 6 Recommendations
I have chosen 6 of the best penetrating oils on the market for your RV and other camping equipment, so let’s check them out!
1. Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil – The Oil That Creeps
Why the name? Because this penetrating oil is capable of creeping into openings that are as small as a millionth of an inch!
Kano Penetrating Oil, an aerosol version of Kroil (another product by the same manufacturer), will dissolve anything in a matter of minutes – from the gum that your kids might have stuck somewhere inside the RV to dried grease and oil.
Furthermore, it’s capable of not only removing carbon deposits and rust but keeping corrosion at bay for good, too. It acts as an active cleaning agent and corrosion inhibitor.
Most importantly, it does so without damaging the metal surface you’re treating.
2. Liquid Wrench L103 Penetrating Oil – When A Wrench Doesn’t Cut It
When things get stuck, use this fast-acting, multi-use penetrating oil to move them along. By cutting through grease and dissolving rust, it does act as a liquid wrench.
What indeed makes it one of the best penetrating oils for the overall care of your home on wheels is the fact that it’s also safe to use on painted surfaces, PVC, and plastic, and you know a lot of other penetrating oils on the market can’t say the same.
Plus, all those hard to reach places won’t be nearly as unreachable as before, thanks to the precise spray straw!
3. WD-40 Multi-Use Product with SMART STRAW – A Toolkit In A Can
If you’ve ever used penetrating oil before, chances are it was WD-40. The brand has been around for decades, and it has pretty much served as a synonym for penetrating oils for generations now.
The multi-use formula suitable for most surfaces means you get five functions packed into one can – it’s capable of penetrating surfaces, lubricating, removing contaminants, protecting from rust, and displacing moisture.
Combine that with a two-way straw, that allows you to use it in the form of a spray, or as a stream, and you have everything you’ll need to keep your RV in top shape.
4. Castle Thrust Penetrating Oil – Ion Activated Formula
The manufacturers of Castle Thrust have come up with a unique, ion activated formula, which, simply put, means the penetrating oil won’t burn off, making it the perfect choice for high-temperature environments and applications (engines, for example).
Furthermore, the formula has an enhanced affinity for all things metal, making getting into the smallest of crevices a piece of cake for this penetrating oil.
Another feature worth highlighting here is the fact that the Castle Thrust Penetrating Oil foams upon application, so it won’t just run off the metal surface.
5. CRC Knock'er Loose Penetrating Solvent – The Ozone-Friendly Option
Since I dedicated my life to exploring nature and all its beauty, I thought it would be a shame to pass on an opportunity to mention ozone-friendly penetrating oil in my round-up. That’s where CRC comes to play.
It will creep into all the seams, cracks, and threads you need it to, and quickly set free any stuck parts with its industrial strength formula, all without making an unnecessary mess. And thanks to the 360-degree valve, you can pretty much use it upside down, and it will still work!
Speaking of eco-friendly camping equipment, check out different generator fuels you should try!
6. Blaster - 16-PB-12PK - Penetrating Catalyst – Higher Flashpoint For Higher Temperatures
What makes it stand out is a much higher flash point than what’s considered „standard.“ That said, know that this is one of the best penetrating oils to use in extremely high temperatures, reaching flashpoint at 152 degrees Fahrenheit.
Besides its standard ability to loosen any stuck parts, Blaster also plays a role of a non-evaporating lubricant – the film remains on the parts long after the initial application, meaning it will keep them rust-free for quite some time.
I recommend you use it on your RV’s suspension and exhaust system, as well as the breaks. Safety first, right?
Types, Additives, And Everything Else You Need To Know About The Best Penetrating Oils
Functions Of Penetrating Oil: Ways To Use It In And Around Your RV
Because of their low viscosity, and the ability to enter all the crevices, threads, and the pores of metal surfaces, the primary role of the best penetrating oils is to loosen up any corroded, frozen, or seized fasteners.
If you ever need to replace your RV shower head, make sure you have a can of penetrating oil laying around.
There are a few more roles the best penetrating oils can play, the so-called secondary functions:
Lubrication – The first thing you should know is that penetrating oils can provide lubrication, although it’s only short-term. If the door hinges and the windows on your RV are starting to squeak, penetrating oils will help keep them quiet.
Remember, you shouldn’t use them as a permanent replacement for industrial lubricants – even the best penetrating oils on the market won’t be able to provide the fatigue rate you need.
Cleaning Agent – The best penetrating oils are also excellent at removing all kinds of contaminants, such as rust, engine oil, road tar, and adhesives by dissolving them. If your camper is in need of proper cleaning, instead of spending money on RV washing products, give penetrating oils a try.
Once they mobilize the residue, all you need is a piece of cloth to finish the job.
Corrosion Resistance – Of course, you can also use the best penetrating oils to stop corrosion, or to prevent it entirely? Thanks to the water dispersing features that most penetrating oils have, they’re able to avoid oxidation and keep your RV rust-free. Add penetrating oil on all the critical spots, to be on the safe side in case of unexpected rain showers.
Always have a can of penetrating oil at hand to protect your tent stakes from rusting, too.
Common Additives In Penetrating Oils
Even the best penetrating oils need some additives to boost their effectiveness. If you were wondering what these additives are, and what role they play, here’s a quick sum up of their properties:
1. Micro Dispersants
The first among these common additives in best penetrating oils are the micro dispersants. Simply put, what they do is offer lubrication.
Namely, once the solvent (or any other type of carrier, for that matter) evaporates, micro dispersants will kick in and provide the lubrication needed.
That's the additive you'll need when all the hinges in your RV suddenly start making annoying noises!
2. Corrosion Inhibitors
That one pretty much speaks for itself, doesn’t it? What these fluid additives do is either control the rate at which corrosion occurs, or eliminate it entirely.
The majority of them adsorbs to the desired surface because of the existing electrostatic forces between the surface you’re treating and the molecules. Alternatively, it reacts with the exterior and establishes a passivation layer.
And since rust is the number one enemy of your home on wheels, it’s good to have these around.
3. Extra Pressure (EP) Additives
If you need something that will lubricate metal surfaces, and improve their wear resistance, look for the best penetrating oils with EP additives.
In high-stress environments, the chemically active agents present in this type of additives, such as chlorinated compounds, phosphorous, or sulfur, react with metals to form a thin film or coating
By eliminating the contact of metal to metal, this film prevents sticking, surface adhesion, and seizure.
When it comes to high-load applications (in cases where most other lubricants will fail), EP additives are the way to go.
Types Of Penetrating Oils
After going through my round-up of the best penetrating oils on the market, you probably have questions about different types of penetrating oils, too.
So, to clear things up for you, here are the basic types of penetrating oils - explained:
1. Synthetic And Semi-Synthetic Oils
As the name suggests, synthetic and semi-synthetic oils contain synthetic compounds such as polyglycol, silicone, esters, diesters, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and various combinations of synthetic fluids and water.
If you opt for synthetic fluids, know that they do have high fire resistance, but they’re quite expensive, too.
2. Emulsion And Water-Soluble Fluids
If you think that the surface you want to treat might get damaged by other types of penetrating oils, this one is the way to go. Why?
Because, first off, they feature high dilution or very low concentration, plus they include HWCFs, which is short for high water content fluids.
When you mix them with water, these soluble oil fluids will create emulsions, and since you use them in their diluted form only, the concentration level never goes above 10 percent.
3. Straight Oils
The last type of penetrating oils I’d like to talk about are the straight oils, commonly used in an undiluted form for machining operations.
Straight penetrating oils are comprised of either base mineral or petroleum oils. More often than not, they also contain a polar lubricant, be it esters, fats, vegetable oils, or the extreme pressure additives mentioned earlier.
Discover more: Camping with a Generator: How Much Gas Does a Generator Use?
How To Pick The Best Penetrating Oils: Buying Guide
There’s one more thing you should know, besides the functions, additives, and types of penetrating oils – and that’s how to pick the best penetrating oils on the market.
So, let’s get to it!
Know What You’re Looking For
It should go without saying that you need to know what you’re looking for before you even start browsing the market.
Some oils are better at keeping your camper rust-free and clean, while others are better at loosening mechanical parts, so it’s important to know what you’re looking to achieve.
Furthermore, if you pick the wrong penetrating oil, it could easily damage the material you’re applying it on, so that’s something to be careful about, too.
Simply put, it’s the lowest temperature point that will cause the penetrating oil to produce enough fumes to create an ignitable airborne mixture near the oil’s surface. Keep in mind that the majority of the best penetrating oils has a low flash point.
So, if you need something to free up a seized RV engine, pay attention to this criterion.
Also known as use temperature, operating temperature is nothing more than a fancy name for a range of temperatures in which the penetrating oil can deliver the desired effect.
Keep in mind that the previously mentioned flash point can determine the operating temperature.
This is the factor that determines the maximum possible voltage field that the fluid will be able to withstand before an electrical breakdown happens.
Whether or not you’ll need the best penetrating oils with higher dielectric strength depends on where you plan on using the oil.
If you plan on messing around with the wiring connectors in your RV, you should have a dielectric penetrating oil at hand.
Best Penetrating Oils On The Market: Final Verdict
So, which one of the six best penetrating oils is indeed the best one?
My father has used WD-40 Multi-Use Product with SMART STRAW for as long as I remember, and although I did give other penetrating oils a chance, and they all performed exceptionally well, I’m sticking with my dad’s choice – it’s a toolkit in a can, after all, and that’s precisely what you’ll need when you’re out on the road in your RV.
What do you think? Which one of these will be your go-to choice for keeping your RV in perfect condition? Leave the comments below!