RV Toilet Paper (Necessary or Not?)

rv toilet paper

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What is RV toilet paper?

RV toilet paper is specifically designed for RV use. It is made to break down and fall apart quickly in order to prevent clogs in your black tank. On top of that, it is thoroughly tested to ensure that it is safe for RV plumbing. RV toilet paper is also often eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Do you really need to use RV toilet paper?

RV toilet paper dissolves faster and more completely than regular household toilet paper. Once it is flushed, it breaks down rapidly. Basically, it disintegrates into the liquid in your black tank so that it can easily flow through your sewer hose when you empty your tanks. No clumping, no clogging, it just falls apart.

Frankly, you are better off just using the RV toilet paper. We all know, the last thing you want to deal with is a clogged black tank. Not only will you need to figure out how to unclog the tank but you won’t be able to use your bathroom!

OK, I know there are RVers out there who swear by using septic safe toilet tissue and have never had any problems.  On the other hand, I have heard plenty of horror stories about poop and toilet paper pyramids completely clogging the black tank.  So, can you use septic safe toilet paper in an RV?  Well, maybe you could get away with it.  But, you have to ask yourself, is it even worth it?

Whatever you choose, never use a regular household toilet paper! Seriously, just don’t.

If you really must use a non RV, septic safe toilet paper in your RV, make sure to test it before use. In fact, you might want to test it every year or so because sometimes manufacturers change their formulas.

How do I test toilet paper to see if it is RV safe?

It’s actually pretty simple. Here’s what to do. Gather your testing supplies.

You’ll need:

  • Water.
  • Several large clear jars or containers. One for each type of paper you are testing.
  • Toilet paper to test.
  • Optional – RV toilet paper to use as a control sample.

Now you’re ready to get started. First, add 1 cup of water to a container. Next, tear off 3 squares of toilet paper. Drop them into the container. Then, cover the container with a lid (or your hand) and shake it back and forth gently for three seconds and set it down. Repeat this process for each brand you are testing.

Check back in 30 to 60 minutes. Take a close look at how much the toilet paper has broken down. Is it still clumpy? Or has it basically disintegrated into the water? You can use the RV specific toilet paper as a control sample to compare your results to.

You definitely want to be sure that whatever type you choose really falls apart quickly in the liquid!

What to consider when choosing RV toilet tissue?

Of course, there is more to RV toilet paper than how well it breaks down in your black tank. I mean, you actually have to use it too, right?

There are two main factors to consider.

First, as I mentioned above, you’ll want to use a toilet paper that is made for RV plumbing so that you never have to deal with a clogged black tank. It should break down very quickly and essentially dissolve into teeny tiny pieces in your tank.

Second, it should be comfortable to use. So, it should be soft, strong and absorbent. No one wants toilet paper that is scratchy or simply too thin to be effective.

Beyond that, it is a good idea to choose a brand that is widely available, both online and in local sticks and bricks stores. After all, you want it to be easy to pick up a few rolls when you need to. (And, well, if there is another “great TP shortage” maybe you’ll even be able to find some.) Of course, you’ll want to compare prices too.

And yes, there is RV toilet paper that will both protect your RV plumbing and keep your backside happy.

What is the best RV toilet paper?

We’ve tried many types over the years. While they all seem to break down well in the black tank, in terms of comfort, they have ranged from great (soft and absorbent) to just about useless (thin and scratchy).

Pro tip: Prices vary widely from store to store so make sure to shop around.

Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper – Made for RVs and Boats

Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper, Bath Tissue for RV & Boats , 4ct packs X 12= 48 rolls
  • Specially made for use in RVs, boats, buses and similar applications
  • Breaks down four times faster than the leading bath tissue brand
  • Soft, absorbent sheets are gentle on skin
  • Sewer-safe and septic-safe unscented bath tissue
  • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified from responsible sources

Our top pick (and what we use) is Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper for RVs and Boats. It is soft, strong, textured and absorbent. In short, it does what it is supposed to do and doesn’t fall apart until it hits the black tank. It feels a lot like a good regular household toilet paper. Without a doubt, Scott’s Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper is the best RV toilet paper we have tried by far. Plus, it is generally available both online and at local stores like Walmart, RV dealers, and so on.

This has been our go-to RV toilet paper since we started RVing full time. 9 years. No clogs. Enough said.

Other well regarded RV specific brands include: Thetford Aqua-Soft and Camco 2-Ply RV & Marine Toilet Tissue.

Tips & Tricks to Keep Your RV Black Tank Working Smoothly

  • Add enough water every time you flush. The extra liquid will help break everything down so that you never have to deal with a clogged black tank.
  • Use black tank treatment pods like Walex Porta-Pak Drop-Ins. They help to eliminate odors and dissolve solids and toilet paper. The pods are easy to use. Simply drop one in your black tank and add a little bit of water.
  • Make sure that your black tank is at least 3/4 full before you dump.
  • A clear sewer extender attachment for the RV end of your sewer hose is a great upgrade for your sewer kit. It lets you see exactly what is going on when you empty and flush your tanks.
  • Never leave your black tank valve open. It should only be opened when you empty or flush your black tank. For a step by step guide to setting up your RV sewer hose and emptying your black tank check out our RV Campsite Setup Guide.
  • Always empty your black tank first and grey tank second. The grey water water will rinse any leftover black tank waste from your sewer hose.
  • If you have a black tank flushing system, use it! If you don’t have one, consider picking up an add-on black tank flush like the Camco Rhino Blaster Sewer Tank Rinser.

That’s it for now. I hope this helps you keep your RV toilet and plumbing system clog free and working well. Have fun out there!

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