What’s the Difference Between RV Toilet Paper & Regular TP?

difference rv toilet paper lg

If you’re new to RV life, you’ve likely seen something labeled RV toilet paper at RV supply stores. But what’s the difference between RV toilet paper and regular TP?

Here’s what I learned:

The main difference between RV toilet paper and regular toilet paper is that RV toilet paper is thinner, dissolves more easily, and is biodegradable. This helps ensure that the RV black water sensors and tank do not get clogged.

Regular toilet paper might stick to the sensors in the black water tank. That could cause a clog as I mentioned. But it could also just give you a false “full level” on your tank read-out.

Having said that, some RV’ers insist that regular TP can be used in an RV if they dissolve easily.

In the article, we’ll explore some interesting facts around the difference between RV TP and regular TP. We’ll check out:

  • What kind of toilet paper can be used in an RV?
  • Can you use regular Scott toilet paper in an RV?
  • Do you really need RV toilet paper?
  • Is Charmin toilet paper RV safe?
  • Why is RV toilet paper so expensive?

Let’s get into it.

What kind of toilet paper can be used in an RV?

The kind of toilet paper that can be used in an RV is labeled RV toilet paper or safe for septic systems. These types of toilet tissue break down easily and are biodegradable. 

As I mentioned above, this will help you avoid clogs in your black water tank and sensor errors that detect how full the tank is.

RV toilet paper is specially formulated so that it breaks down easily and is biodegradable.

The black tank has to be emptied regularly (by you), unlike a city sewer system like most of us have at home. The specially formulated RV toilet paper is thinner and does not build up in your black tank. It has a rapid dissolving rate that’s up to 4 times faster than the rate for regular toilet paper.

Because it’s formulated differently, you won’t ever need any extra chemicals at any time to your black tank. So, you end up saving money.

But it’s admittedly not as soft and nice as regular toilet paper.

Can you use regular Scott toilet paper in an RV?

It is not advisable to use regular Scott toilet paper in an RV. However, Scott does make a rapid dissolving toilet paper that is acceptable for RV use. 

Click Here to check it out on Amazon.

It’s specifically made for RVs, boats, and similar applications. At first glance, it looks like regular toilet paper, but it’s different.

But it is that same Scott quality and a little better than the average RV toilet paper.

Scott rapid dissolving toilet paper is softer, so it’s gentler on the skin and is more absorbent. It breaks down 4 times faster than the leading tissue brand, and it is sewer and septic safe.

It’s got over 2,000 ratings on Amazon, and most of them are 5-stars. You’re assured of clog-free RVing. And it’s made in the U.S.A.

Click Here to check it out on Amazon.

Do you really need RV toilet paper?

RVs do require RV toilet paper. It is thinner, breaks down easily, and is biodegradable. While it is more expensive, it saves money in the long run by ensuring that the plumbing and black water tank avoid clogs and sensor errors.

In a nutshell, RV toilet paper disintegrates quickly.

Having said that, some RVers do not use specially formulated RV toilet paper. But why risk having issues with your RV’s sewage system. It’s not fun. Trust me. A problem with a light fixture is not really a big deal.

But who needs a problem with an RV’s sewage system?

But some RV owners you see on forums do use regular TP. They just don’t flush it after using it (kinda gross!) They usually have a separate trash can where they deposit regular toilet paper they use!!

Then they regularly empty that to avoid strong odors. But you can save yourself that kind of unnecessary stress by simply buying RV-safe TP.

A few extra dollars to buy peace of mind is a great deal (if you ask me).

All RVs have both black water and gray water tanks. But, what’s the difference between gray and black water?

Luckily, I explained that in a recent article.

I get into whether it’s okay if you put bleach in your black water tank. I also revealed how long a 30 to 40-gallon black water tank would last. And I explained how to get rid of the water in your black tank.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is Charmin toilet paper RV safe?

Charmin Ultra Soft and Charmin Essentials Strong are safe for RV use as they are septic safe and biodegradable. However, Charmin Ultra Strong is unsafe for RV use as it does not dissolve fast enough. 

CLICK HERE to see them on Amazon.

Charmin ultra-soft, as the name implies, is very soft. As such, it disintegrates easily. Charmin essentials dissolve with ease, too. But Charmin Ultra Strong is not soft, and it doesn’t disintegrate easily.

So, it is not RV safe.

Charmin Ultra Soft is one of the softest toilet papers in the market. It’s two times more absorbent than other TPs. So, you won’t need a lot each time you need to take care of business.

A small piece goes a long way. It is okayed as safe for sewers, and septic tanks and plumbers approve of its quality. But it is a tad pricey.

The reality is that it’s worth it.

Charmin Essentials is also soft but not as soft as Ultra Soft. As I said earlier, don’t use Ultra Strong in your RV. Even though both have “strong” in their name, Essentials is the way to go.

It’s guaranteed by Charmin to dissolve quickly. They guarantee that it won’t clog up your black tank. They back this up with a money-back guarantee.

CLICK HERE to see them on Amazon.

Why is RV toilet paper so expensive?

RV toilet paper is expensive because many more people buy regular toilet paper than they do RV toilet paper. As a result, manufacturers make far less RV toilet paper than they do regular toilet paper. So they charge more to offset the increased costs associated with a low-demand product.

Again, RV toilet paper is specifically designed for RVs, boats, and septic systems to dissolve faster and be biodegradable. So, there’s no risk of the black water tank becoming clogged or its sensors triggering wrong readings.

On average, black and gray water tanks must be emptied after 3-5 days unless you’re connected at a campground. This is because of the small size of the tanks. Emptying them is not a pleasant task.

But that’s just one of the cons of RVing.

In a recent article of mine, I share 25 pros and cons of living in an RV full-time. Is living in an RV cheaper than a home? What about the maintenance costs? How can you earn an income on the road? These are some of the questions I answered.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Back to TP… So, the last thing you need is for the tank to be clogged. You’d be charged a lot of money to get it unclogged. It stands to reason that RV toilet paper is more expensive than regular TPs because it offers you peace of mind.

Can I Use Regular Toilet Paper in My RV?


In the article, we checked out what kind of toilet paper can be used in an RV. We found out if it’s okay to use regular Scott toilet paper in an RV.

We also addressed a fundamental question: Do you really need RV toilet paper?

Then, we found out if Charmin toilet paper is RV safe. We called it a wrap by considering why RV toilet paper is so expensive.

Photo which requires attribution:

Scott Toilet Paper by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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