Tuesday, September 28, 2021


What kind of TP in your RV?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Here’s the typical blurb used by RV toilet paper pushers:

“Enjoy luxurious 2-ply comfort in an RV toilet paper that dissolves rapidly to help prevent clogs. Soft, snowy white XYZ Brand is highly absorbent and 100% biodegradable. Two-ply, yet it breaks up fast to make emptying your holding tank easier.”

Just what the doctor ordered for your RV holding tank, right? Until you get down to the bottom line price: Roughly $2.00 a roll for that soft, luxurious feel that won’t clog your tank.

It’s a question that many new RVers ask: Do I really need to use “RV” toilet paper? Perhaps those that have first tried “non RV paper” are tossing and turning on their beds, visions of seven-headed wild beast-like clogs churning under their bed.

tp test
‘Shaken, not stirred.’ R&T De Maris photo

Without meaning to create a stink, the simple answer is: Save your money. The greatest cause of clogged black water holding tanks doesn’t have to do with what kind of TP used, it’s how you use it. Here’s a simple test that many have employed over the years to verify holding tank suitability.

Take a jar, fill it with water. Put a couple of sheets of your favorite brand inside. Toss the lid on the jar, and do the James Bond Toilet Paper Martini Test: Shake it, don’t stir. After a a few seconds of rigorous agitation stop and examine the results. If the toilet paper has begun to disintegrate, it’s good enough for your RV holding tank.

The real trick to keeping your holding tank “clog free” is to make sure you flush with plenty of water, and don’t dump your tank until it is at least 3/4 full. Using too little water, or dumping “too soon” will not allow for a good flush out of the tank, running the risk of building up solids.

#nrv #rvt739 #rvt980


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 months ago

We use a technique common in Europe, though it grosses out many US RV’ers. We use any TP we feel like, but we don’t put it down the toilet. It gets folded neatly and put into a trashbag-lined lidded can under the sink. Once the can is full, it goes out with the garbage. We just tell our guests that nothing goes into the toilet that they haven’t eaten or drunk.

Paul S Goldberg
9 months ago

We have used most any septic safe TP for the 8 years we have had our current coach. I do look at the tank gauge from time to time, but the plan is to empty the black tank every Saturday. If sitting in our home site using the stinky slinky I flush for 5 or 10 minutes after dumping. If using my macerator pump while on the road I close the grey tank on Friday and then after pumping out the black on Saturday I leave the valve open and open the grey valve to flow grey into the black. Close the grey valve and pump out the black again. Rinse and repeat. Done. Have not had a problem – yet!

Phil & Peggy
9 months ago

We’ve been full-timing for 19 years in the same Class C, using AngelSoft TP the whole time and never had any issues. Available at Walmart. Don’t need anything special. 19 years of testing!

9 months ago

We purchased our Travel trailer a year ago and have been using Costco Kirkland brand toilet paper which states on the bag, ok for holding tanks. No issues, but I do wait until the black water tank is 3/4ths full and I flush the rank 3 times.

9 months ago

I almost always use my “Johnny Chock” and fill the black tank nearly to the brim, just before dumping it. Been doing fine keeping the tank clean.

David C
9 months ago

We’ve been using Costco toilet paper everyday for the past 3 years with absolutely no problems. Dump tank when full, use plenty of water.

9 months ago

The test above is the best way to check that what you are using is ok, but if it is marked “septic tank safe” it will probably work well.

9 months ago

I hope no one ever gets a “clogged up black tank” that has to be the worst thing that can happen, especially the part when YOU have to fix it cause it’s really really full! The only issue most if not all RV owners have are those in tank sensors that have their own mind about accuracy! My brand new, never used straight from the factory’s black tank read 3/4 full when I first checked it. Ok something is wrong, hook up the drain & sure enough, only the water I had put into it along with my happy camper treatment came out. Yup the dumb in tank gauge still read 3/4, even after back flushing! As far as toilet paper goes that’s a great article to test your TP & see if it starts to break up!

Dick & Sandy from near Buffalo, NY now in Florida
9 months ago

We custom ordered our 40 ft DP. Among other things it has a bath and a half. It is furnished with SEALAND VACUFLUSH marine style toilets. When flushing, the vacuum system forces what is in the toilet bowl through a 1 inch diameter hole with great force and instantly macerates any matter. This system does three things. (1) It essentially turns everything to a liquid, (2) it uses very little water and (3) it allows us to use standard 2 ply toilet paper.

This toilet system is not made for all RV applications as it has more components than a standard gravity toilet system. It requires more plumbing components, a vacuum tank and a vacuum pump system with various internal components. That means more weight and space needed than a standard gravity system. But it is what we wanted and works for us. Most people we know who have a standard gravity toilet system also use standard 2 ply toilet paper. Follow your toilets instructions and you can use standard 2 ply toilet paper.

9 months ago

I buy Dometic 2ply RV/Marine toilet paper by the case…100 rolls at 77 cents a roll. Each case last 2+ years…..just load the coach for each trip with a dozen rolls.

9 months ago

We have always used the same toilet paper and wipes in the RV as we do at home, Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club) or Kirkland’s Best (Costco). It’s been that way for the past 17 years we have owned the RV and never even come close to having a clog or problem with the black tank. Can’t say that for the grey tank. 2 years ago we were stationary for 6 months then left our Workamping location to return home. On our last overnight stop I went to dump tanks and NOTHING came out of the grey tank except for dribbles Turns out after disassembling the valves there were lots of greasy globs pulled out of the elbow just before the valve. Obviously with all of the driving there must have been lots of this stuff clinging to the sides of the tanks and the sloshing broke it loose. Plus the grey tank line is only 1 1/2 inch versus the black which is 3 inch. Would not have had a problem if they had installed a 3 inch line and valve in the grey tank. I now have a tank flush installed in the grey tank.

Lee Ensminger
9 months ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

That’s just one more reason I love our 2004 Travel Supreme DP…the black AND gray dump plumbing is large diameter. Plenty of flow when flushing with gray! On the other hand, our Koala TT has large black, small gray outlets. Probably saved them 13¢.

9 months ago

After many trips to Mexico where you can’t flush TP anywhere, we stopped flushing it in the rig. It goes in the waste can and gets dumped in the trash. I just added a bidet unit for the upcoming trip to Florida.

9 months ago
Reply to  Bill

This. Get a nice small covered trash can and a supply of liners for the bathroom. The tank can tolerate the occasional wad of paper (like let a guest use it normally), otherwise, try to keep the paper out of the tank.

Follow us!