RV Toilets 101: Complete Guide to Using & Cleaning

One of the things that make RVing a joy is that it’s a lot more comfortable with a lot more amenities than a tent. But RV toilets aren’t the same as the ones we have at home. So let’s look at the complete guide to RV toilets.

RV toilets are dissimilar to regular toilets in that there is no water holding tank, and pressurized water is used to rinse the bowl into the black water holding tank. But due to the delicate nature of holding tanks, special toilet paper must also be used.

But there’s a lot more to know!

In this article, we’ll find out if you can use RID-X in an RV, if you can use Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, and whether you can use Poo-Pourri in an RV. But we’ll also find out if it’s okay to use Costco toilet paper in an RV.

Let’s get started.

RV toilets 101 lg

Can You Use RID-X in an RV?

RID-X can be used in an RV. Use 1 pac for tanks between 20-40 gallons but use 2 pacs for a 50-gallon tank. Then follow with between .5 to 1.25 gallons of water depending on tank size. It takes about two to four hours to start working.

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.

Just like many of us use in our dishwashers or washing machines, these come in convenient pacs.

Just flush it down the toilet with some excess water, and you’re good to go. I would not use this if you’re about to drain your tank though. Chances are, the pac would go right into the sewer along with the black water.

Instead, use it a few days after dumping and then every 10 days before you dump again.

But what if there’s low water pressure in your RV, how do you get it fixed?

In a recent article, I looked at the correct water pressure for an RV, whether a water pressure regulator reduces flow in an RV, and whether RV water regulators ever get clogged.

But I also explained if you’ll need the pump on in your RV when using the fresh water tank.

Can You Use Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner in an RV?

It is not advisable to use Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner in an RV toilet. Toilet bowl cleaners have high concentrations of bleach and other harsh chemicals, which can have an adverse effect on the soft rubber and plastic seals, leading them to wear and tear at a faster rate.

Instead, I love using Unique RV Toilet Bowl Cleaner from Amazon.

It’s great. It cleans the toilet bowl just as easily as using Lysol. Just squirt it around and use a toilet brush.

But the powerful enzymes also hang out in the bowl, and eventually, your tank breaks down waste, odors, and stains as it goes.

Non-toxic, eco-friendly, with no bleach or harsh chemicals. It has a mild scent too and is made in the USA.

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.

Can You Use Poo-Pourri in an RV?

Yes. You can use Poo-Pourri in an RV. However, the product is designed to sit on the surface of the water in a toilet bowl and trap the odors. As RV toilets don’t have water in the bowl naturally, depress the pedal to partially fill the bowl first. But only do this when stationary.

We are accustomed to using sprays and deodorizers after using the restroom.

What’s great about Poo-Pourri is that it’s not so much a case of preventing the odor from spreading into other parts of the RV from the restroom. It does not even allow them to arise in the first place. It’s a “before-you-go” spray.

When you spay it into the toilet bowl, a layer of essential oils coats the surface of the water.

This acts as a barrier and traps the odor below the surface.

Just make sure, as I mentioned above, to partially fill the toilet bowl first so that it is at least half full with water.

3-5 spritzes are adequate to suffuse your toilet with a fresh, citrus-tinged aroma. So, you’ll leave it smelling better than before.

Poo-Pourri has no harsh chemicals and does not contain formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, aerosol, petroleum distillates, ethanol, or benzene. It’s a blend of lemon, essential lemongrass oils, and bergamot. It is made in the U.S.A.

Because of its proactive nature, Poo-Pourri is one of those products you ought to have before you hit the road.

CLICK HERE to check out the options on Amazon.

Can You Use Costco Toiler Paper in an RV?

Most types of toilet paper sold by Costco will not be appropriate for use in an RV. However, their Kirkland Signature Ultra Soft Bath Tissue is septic-safe and will work in an RV.

So why can’t you use just any TP?

RV toilet systems are a bit different from regular toilets. One of their most striking differences is that, unlike the toilet at home where the waste flows into a septic tank, with RVs, it flows into a black tank that has to be emptied at regular intervals.

If soft toilet paper is not used, the black tank can be blocked such that only a fraction of its capacity can be utilized! In fact, it’s not just toilet paper that can clog the toilet, any hard substance, such as feminine hygiene products, would.

So, it’s vital to buy toilet paper that can be used in RVs.

They are designed to easily break down and avoid clogging water systems. You can test toilet paper in water, if it dissolves fast, it’s probably good enough for use in your RV.

Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ultra Soft toilet paper is soft and good for RVs.

In some tests that RVers have conducted by placing different types of toilet paper in water, they observed that soon after they dipped Costco toilet paper into water, it began to break down nicely. And when the water is swirled, only tiny fragments of the paper can be seen.

But as I hinted at earlier, it’s best to use just enough so as not to risk clogging the toilet.

The kind of paper to use is so vital that I explored the theme in a recent article I published. In it, I looked at what kind of toilet paper is safe for RVs, whether Scott makes biodegradable toilet paper, and whether you can use bamboo paper in an RV. But I also revealed whether all RV toilet paper is biodegradable.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How Long Do RV Toilets Last?

On average, RV toilets last approximately 10 years. It’s ideal to clean them thoroughly after each trip and drain the tanks completely.

But there are different types of RV toilets.

Gravity, composting, and portable are the most common. Gravity toilets are the most popular. They have a look and feel of the type used in homes and offices.

RV toilets are different than regular toilets that can last 25 plus years because the former is not as sturdy.

By the way, they are not interchangeable. A traditional toilet is heavier and a tad more complicated to install. It uses a lot more water.

To learn more about RV toilets, check out a recent article I published. In it, I explained whether RV toilet flanges are universal, whether you can replace your RV toilet with a regular toilet, and how to replace your RV toilet. But I also shared info on how much RV toilets cost.

Just click the link to read it on my site.


In the article, we found out if you can use RID-X in an RV and if you can use Lysol toilet bowl cleaner.

Then we looked at whether you can use Poo-Pourri in an RV. But we also found out if it’s okay to use Costco toilet paper in an RV.

Lastly, we wrapped things up by considering how long RV toilets last.

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