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Camping has changed in recent years. Now those who love the great outdoors can camp in tents, cars, SUVs, vans, and RVs. There is one reason to choose an RV over all other modes of camping, however, and that revolves around having a flushing toilet. 

That can prove to have its own risks, however. If you’ve ever seen the movie Christmas Vacation, the unforgettable scene with cousin Eddie should be enough to give you a visual. RV toilets can easily mess up, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are four tips to keep your RV toilet working in perfect condition.

How RV bathrooms work

Before we dive into all the dirty details, let’s take a moment to learn how RV toilets work, since it’s not exactly like going at home. 

When you have a toilet on your RV, all that waste has to go somewhere. And in this case, it swirls its way into a holding tank under the RV. If you’ve never owned an RV before, and wonder how you get rid of this, yes, you’ll have to dump your dumps.

While the urge to start flushing out your holding tank at every available opportunity might seem like a good idea, you might want to hold off. According to RVshare,

“Even when you’re at a campground with a convenient dump station or sewer connection, it’s a good idea to go ahead and use the holding tank as intended, waiting until it fills a bit before you flush it. Otherwise, liquid waste can run out first, causing the, uh, solids to clog up the line.”

This can cause more problems than it’s worth, so it’s a good idea to find out from the RV manufacturer how often you need to dump your holding tank. You don’t want to cause a clog because you hate the thought of hauling all that around, after all.

Should you use toilet paper in your RV bathroom?

That’s right. Turns out putting toilet paper down the drain is bad, at least according to Camp Addict. It takes up room in the tank, especially if you use a brand that doesn’t break down easily. 

So what exactly do you do with the toilet paper if you’re not flushing it? You throw it away. This might mean that you’ll have to hit small restaurants with trash cans out front to dump your waste more often, but at least you won’t be mopping a mess off your RV floor.

If the thought of not flushing your toilet paper leaves you a little weak at the knees, then there is toilet paper specifically designed for RVs, according to RVshare. It might not be as plush as you’d like, but it dissolves better.

Don’t waste water when flushing the toilet

Just like the waste tank, the water tank isn’t that big. That’s why Do It Yourself RV recommends adding just a small amount of water to help things go down, but not too much. The RV site also recommends quick flushes, as in, don’t hold the pedal to the metal. Tap and release.

When it comes to RV bathrooms, chemicals are your friends

With the green movement picking up pace, many people want to go all natural. That’s fine for most situations, but might not be a good idea in your RV. Not if you like your environment to smell poo free, anyway.

According to RVshare, there are plenty of chemical solutions available for your use. These chemicals do all sorts of helpful things, like break down feces and toilet paper, keep your home away from smelling like a sewage tank, and make dumping your waste tank less of a hassle.

Even better is the fact that these chemicals are widely available at either a camping store or a Walmart. And since Walmart tend to be expanding almost everywhere, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be able to find some if your toilet is beginning to smell like something out of a horror movie.


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