Caring for RV Toilets When Parked
One of the biggest advantages to owning and traveling in an RV is having access to a toilet at all hours of the day and night. While the tent campers are scrambling in the dark to find shoes and a flashlight in order to walk up to the camp restroom, you can simply take a few steps into your RV bathroom and be back in bed within seconds. Certainly, more than a few campers have been sold on owning an RV simply for the presence of a toilet alone.
Of course, if you are going to enjoy the luxury of having a toilet nearby, you need to give it proper care while you are parked and enjoying a camping trip. RV toilets don’t require a lot of care to keep in good working order, but there are a few important steps that need to be taken to ensure the short and long-term health of your toilet and tanks.
Using RV-Safe Products
The toilet in your RV is not the same as the toilet in your house, and it should not be treated the same. You need to use products that are specifically designed for use in RV’s to make sure that your toilet and tanks keep working properly. Specifically, using toilet paper that is designed for use in an RV is important. This type of toilet paper breaks down easier than ‘normal’ toilet paper, making it easier to flush from the tanks and helping to prevent clogs.
Don’t Flush Anything Else
Nothing other than the ‘essentials’ (waste and toilet paper) should go down the toilet in your RV. If you get in a habit of flushing other items, you are only inviting trouble and asking for problems when the time comes to drain the black tank. Resist the temptation and dispose of all other items in the trash so that you don’t cause issues within your tank that become bigger problems later on.
Keep the Black Tank Closed
If you are going to be parked at the campsite for a considerable time, you might leave the grey water tank slightly open so that it can drain as it is used. While this can be an acceptable practice is some situations, you should not do this with your black tank. The weight of the accumulated waste helps to force everything out of the tank when it comes time to drain, so you want to keep the black tank closed while the RV is in use – until you are ready to dump it.
Dump When Tanks Are Mostly Full
Allow the black tank to fill most of the way before going ahead with dumping. Trying to dump a partially full tank can become problematic, especially if there is more solid waste than liquid. When this happens, the solid waste will tend to accumulate in the bottom of the tank and is less likely to be flushed out successfully on the first try. You will then have to do further flushing procedures to get the tank properly emptied – probably not how you want to spend your vacation.
Use Tank Cleaning Products
There are plenty of chemicals on the market to assist in controlling the odors within your black tank and you should use these on a regular basis. Not only can they help to manage smells, but also to maintain the working order of all the parts within your tank. However, some of these products can be harmful to the environment, and even the sewer that your tank is flushed into, so make sure to purchase chemicals that are environmentally safe. Each of these products will have slightly different methods for their usage, so be sure to always follow all directions provided.
One of the best things about the toilet inside your RV is that it can be mostly maintenance free for the majority of the time that you are parked and enjoying a relaxing camping trip. As long as you follow some of the basic rules of using an RV toilet, and empty your tank when it is mostly full, you should be able to avoid major problems trip after trip. As you gain more and more experience using your RV, the process of caring for your toilet and tank will become easier and easier, and you will be able to complete all of the necessary steps in a short amount of time. With the maintenance complete, you can get back to relaxing in your RV, and remembering how nice it is never to have to walk to the restroom!