Sunday, March 26, 2023


Not every RVer uses their RV’s toilet the same way… Wait, what?!

“I’m sorry. What did you say?” I thought at first that I’d misunderstood the statement. Up until then, I thought there was only one way to use the RV toilet. I quickly found out that I was mistaken! Turns out, there are two distinct groups of RVers when it comes to using the RV toilet. (At least two groups I’ve discovered. Who knows? There may be more!)

No solids in the RV toilet tank

Some RVers, both long-term and newbies alike, prefer to not put any solids into their RV toilet. No solid waste. No paper. Here’s what these “no solids in the tank” folks said:

  • Odor. “No solids into the black tank mean no odors out.”
  • Chemicals. “No chemicals are needed if you keep solids out of your black tank.”
  • Less dumping. “You won’t need to empty your black tank as often.”
  • No sensor issues. “My RV’s black tank sensor has never malfunctioned. I’m convinced that’s because we’ve never put solids down the toilet.”
  • What about TP? “We put any damp toilet paper into a small, plastic trash bag, then twist it closed. There is no odor because we regularly take out the bathroom trash.”

The other camp

Folks who say, “Use your RV toilet as it was intended,” are on the opposing side of the “no solids” group. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Odor. “There is no odor if you use the right tank treatment.”
  • Convenience. “Who wants to traipse to the campground restrooms in the middle of the night?”
  • Tank dumping. “You’ll still dump the black tank before you go to the next campsite or before you head for home. It’s no big deal.”
  • Sensor issues. “We put solids down our RV toilet and haven’t had sensor problems. Just use lots of water when you flush. Lots. Of. Water. In addition, you can always use a holding tank sprayer.”

So, there you have it. How do you answer the question? What is the “right” way to use the RV toilet? Please respond in the comments below.


Can RVers buy in bulk? While in an RV? Really?



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21 days ago

I have gone a completely different route (pun intended) and use a normal household toilet. I have a large conversion motorhome. I don’t usually boondock, but I still can if needed thanks to my backup of a camping toilet (Campa Potti). The kind with a cartridge waste holder which can be removed and emptied into a toilet or at an RV park. On the road I use toilets wherever I can find one (rest stops, fast food places, truck stops, large stores) and the Campa Potti as a last resort. Of course, I drain the water tank on the flush toilet before leaving an RV park so there won’t be any sloshing around. All this has eliminated the need for a black water tank. I do have a very small gray water and fresh water tank, however. Since I don’t usually boondock, the small tanks have never been a problem. I also live alone so no wife or girlfriend who might not go along with my umm … lifestyle. That’s not likely to change (yeah, I know, famous last words) but that’s a bridge I’ll cross if it does.

Bob p
23 days ago

This story is as bad as the female astronaut stationed in Houston that thought her boyfriend stationed in Cape Canaveral was cheating on her and drove straight through only stopping for gas using disposable diapers so she wouldn’t have to use the rest areas and waste time. I’ll bet she was a welcome site when she arrived. Phew! There are some weird people out running around loose in society. Lol

27 days ago

we USE it fully. We paid good money for our unit and no need to stop at a dirty public station. We prefer to put our NORMAL TP in it. We never had a problem in 30 years.

27 days ago

That’s just the tip of the ice berg. I have talked to folks that won’t put solids in toilet, don’t use the shower, won’t cook inside, and won’t use the AC. Literally have turned it into a $40k tent. Moronic, but to each their own I guess.

27 days ago
Reply to  Major

I’m thinking it’s for the ‘resale value.’ Okay, but what about the ‘sale’ value, that is, YOUR use, your comfort, your enjoyment? You’re saving that for someone else? Reminds me of folks who used to cover their furniture with clear plastic, which was darned uncomfortable and cold.

I guess to some people it’s all about the money.

Last edited 27 days ago by chris
Bob p
23 days ago
Reply to  chris

Any more when you sell it or trade it in you’re not going to get what you saved for someone else back out of it. Maybe in a private sale you might see an extra $400-$500 but then you have to ask yourself was it worth it not to use your own facilities. IMO no I’ll use what I paid for, in the GS club I was in we had one couple with a 2 yr old Pace Arrow motorhome that they had never used the bathroom, to each his own. Every time they needed to use the bathroom they walked to the restroom no matter how far away. Myself after sleeping all night I need to use the bathroom and I don’t feel like walking 200 yds to the bathrooms. Lol

1 month ago

I use disposable liners for the solids and paper….liquid only in tank…at least for right now, especially in the winter with no water in lines…my friends don’t get it, but it works for me…easy…

1 month ago

Been living in our MH fulltime since 2004. Never had a problem. I have tried chemicals for odor but baking soda works just as well. When my husband was alive had to dump it about every 2 weeks. I didn’t put TP in it but he did. Now that he is gone I still do not put TP in it so can stretch it 3, sometimes 4 weeks before dumping. (I have been parked for 9 years when he could no longer travel).

I say whatever works and makes a person comfortable is fine. Just don’t criticize me because I don’t do it your way. As they say, ‘different strokes for different folks’!

I have met many who refuse to use their RV toilets, those who do not do #2 in it, and those who even refuse to shower in their RV. Their reasoning is if they use the shower it lowers the resale value!

1 month ago
Reply to  rvgrandma

I do not understand how TP makes you dump more often.. unless you’re tossing a dozen rolls in there.

1 month ago

The very reason we got an RV with a bathroom (and we use it!) is the same reason we like having our own bed. Consistently using public bathrooms is the reason we only volunteer at parks that offer full hookups.

Don’t get me wrong. We use public bathrooms when we have to. Guess everyone does. But it is not our first choice. As we age, we also find accessibility to be more important.

The times we have had E/W only hookups, I have watched for the cleaners in the morning, and make sure I scoot over to the showers as soon as they leave! Otherwise, it’s a crap shoot (sorry!) as to what conditions we might find, particularly if it is on a busy weekend.

Gary Bate
1 month ago

If you don’t drive your rv anywhere you can use your toilet and shower at home and you’ll never have to dump your tanks or buy fuel and you’ll save a ton of money on repairs and maintenance !!!

1 month ago

I personally know people who “flat out refuse” to use the bathroom, under ANY circumstance, in their RV’s – it’s use the facilities wherever they may be, period. They even give me static about me using mine. If anyone chooses NOT to use their RV bathroom, that’s your choice! My RV has a bathroom and I use it, with no problems!! I lost count of how many facilities I’ve been in where the bathrooms are…well, just turn around and head back to camper. To each their own I guess.

1 month ago

I think this is the funniest discussion in the RV world. My thoughts: you do you! 😃

1 month ago

I’d guess, with some evidence ,that the no solids rule is DW initiated. It’s there for a reason. Maintain it and use it correctly.

1 month ago

We use both of our RV toilets like they are intended to be used…#1 & #2..and we are full timers going in 4 years now with no sensor problems or dumping issues, and no smells ever.

1 month ago

We use the van toilet just as we use the ones at home. Having a proper bathroom that was always clean was a major reason for buying an RV.

1 month ago

Wholey Carp! Again? The one RVing subject that garners more discussion and comments than any other item or function in an RV or RVer’s life.

1 month ago

My wife was the first to say, ” I use the toilet because I can”. That is why we bought the 5th wheel. We haven’t had many problems at all.

1 month ago

I assumed you meant those that sit down or stood up! Such as wife or me, but years ago when entertaining newly arrived Vietnamese immigrants, that squat over urinals,
they stood on the toilet seat and squatted, like the rest of the Asians do.

1 month ago

I treat my RV just as I would my house, because it is my home. I don’t use any special tp, Charmin is my go-to. Haven’t had any problems with my sensors, but I also don’t rely on them. I do use Unique every time I dump the tank; no odors, although to be fair, my sinuses are jacked up and my sniffer ain’t what it should be. 😆 Don’t have vent pipes, but that is no biggie either.

Shop Rat 00
1 month ago

Soooo, why didn’t you tell people where those people that don’t put solids down into the “Black Lagoon” do put solids? Are they like bears and **** in the woods for others to have to avoid?

1 month ago
Reply to  Shop Rat 00

One could assume that those folks stay in campgrounds that have public facilities, whether Forest Service outhouses, or “resort” shower/toilet houses. Not really a mystery.

1 month ago

We have a Composting toilet. It’s not ideal for everyone though!

1 month ago

We’re newbies to the RV life. One of the reasons we bought a travel trailer was to have our own bathroom. Tenting and taking “O’dark thirty” hikes to the restroom or lugging quarters for a three-minute shower didn’t work for us. We use our facilities the same way we do at home. We test TP by putting a few pieces in a jar, shaking it up, and letting it dissolve. If it disintegrates quickly, we’re good to go. (No pun intended) We’ve found our regular Kirkland brand works just as well as the expensive RV brands. We do use tank treatments to avoid odors and buildups. Hooking up the hoses and dumping the black and gray water tanks, using the tank flush etc. hasn’t been a problem. Some of the comments have mentioned the use of bidets which I find very interesting.

1 month ago
Reply to  Rock

Good to hear. That’s what I bought mine for, to use. There’s no way I want to go sit on a cold toilet seat in a cold bathroom, hundreds of feet from my warm, comfortable RV. I find Scott single-ply works just great.

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