How to Unclog a Camper Toilet (Step-by-Step)

How to Unclog a Camper Toilet (Step-by-Step)

Key Takeaways
● Unclogging a camper toilet can be daunting, but with these simple steps, you can do it in no time.
● The first step is to pour a gallon of hot water into the toilet bowl.
● If that doesn’t work, try using a plunger.
● If the plunger doesn’t work, use a wet/dry vacuum.
● If all else fails, you can try snaking RV toilets.

There is nothing more irritating than a clogged toilet, but it feels a hundred times worse when it’s your camper toilet that’s blocked. The smell is stronger, you have fewer tools to hand, and it can feel a lot more overwhelming than a standard clog. So, how do you fix it?

Unclogging a camper toilet is actually very quick and simple, and all you really need to do is fill your black tank with RV-friendly cleaner and let it do its magic. Of course, you can also use a traditional plunger and takes steps to prevent it from happening again.

In this guide, we take you through super simple steps for unclogging your camper toilet and the best tips and tricks for keeping it clean and running smoothly for your trip.

Simple Steps for Unclogging a Camper Toilet

Simple Steps for Unclogging a Camper Toilet

It’s time to get our hands dirty and TACKLE the clog in your camper toilet. In this section, you will find a quick list of what you’re going to need as well as the steps you have to undertake.

Here’s how to unclog an RV toilet, and all you need is a little PATIENCE.

What You Will Need:

  • Holding tank cleaner for your RV
  • Rubber gloves

Step One: Close the Black Tank Valve

Before you start to unclog your camper toilet, you need to make sure that the black tank valve is FIRMLY closed. The last thing you want is for the mess to come spilling out while you’re in the middle of trying to clear it.

Step Two: Put Water in the Tank

Using the water from your camper’s fresh water tank, fill up the black tank until it is about ¾ full. Be PATIENT at this stage and wait for the water to fill up completely before moving on to the next step.

Step Three: Pour in Holding Tank Cleaner

Once the water has reached the required level, you can add in your RV holding tank cleaner. Make sure to FOLLOW the instructions on the back of the bottle and pour in the recommended amount.

Step Four: Let the Cleaner Sit

Now, it’s time to let the cleaner do its job and break down the clog. Leave it for AT LEAST 4-6 hours, or even overnight if you can.

Step Five: Empty the Tank

After the cleaner has had time to work its magic, OPEN the black tank valve and let the water empty out. If the clog has been completely cleared, you should have NO problem emptying the entire tank.

Pro Tip: If there is still some water left, don’t worry; just close the valve and give it a little more time.

Step Six: Rinse the Tank

Once you have emptied the black tank, it’s time to give it a GOOD rinse. This ensures that all of the cleaner has been flushed out and that your camper toilet is ready to use again.

To do this, simply fill the tank with FRESH water and empty it again. Repeat this process a few times until the water coming out is completely clear.

Step Seven: Close the Black Tank Valve

Once you have rinsed the tank, close the black tank valve and give your camper toilet a FINAL flush. You don’t have a clogged RV toilet anymore.

What Other Unclogging Tips are There?

What Other Unclogging Tips are There

if you’re after a few other tips for clearing out a blockage in your RV toilet, this is the place to be. Below, you will find some of our most EFFECTIVE tricks for getting all systems going again.

Use a Plunger

If you have a plunger on hand, it is definitely worth trying this before anything else. Simply place the plunger OVER the hole at the bottom of the bowl and give it a few good pumps. The suction should help to loosen the blockage and get things moving again.

Use a Plumbing Snake

If a plunger doesn’t do the trick, you can always use a plumbing snake. This is a long, thin piece of metal that you insert into the bowl and PUSH through the blockage. It can be a bit of a messy process, but it usually does the job.

This is also known as a FLEXIBLE tank wand, and it works wonders for clogged RV toilets – especially when trying to get through solid waste.

Use Boiling Water

Another option is to try using boiling water. This can help to break down the blockage, making it easier to flush away. Just be careful not to splash yourself and BURN yourself in the process.

Pro Tip: Adding salt to the boiling water can help cut through RV toilet clogs effortlessly if it’s a tough one.

Use Ice Cubes

If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn blockage, you can try using the ice cube method. Simply pour a few down the bowl and wait for them to MELT. This can help to break up the blockage and get things moving again.

Use the Easy Method and Go to a Dealership

Of course, the EASIEST way to unclog your camper toilet is to simply take it to a dealership. They will have all of the necessary equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

However, this is NOT always an option, which is why it’s good to know a few DIY methods for unclogging your camper toilet. Plus, using the dealership will set you back at least $100.

How to Prevent Your RV Toilet from Getting Clogged

How to Prevent Your RV Toilet from Getting Clogged

What’s even more IMPORTANT than knowing how to unclog your toilet is preventing it from getting that way in the first place.

If you want to keep your RV toilet functioning properly at all times, make sure you take a moment to go through this list and learn how you can PREVENT it from happening.

Keep the Black Water Tank Valve Closed

The number one rule of RV ownership is to KEEP THE BLACK WATER TANK VALVE CLOSED until you are ready to empty it.

If you open the valve and then close it again before the tank is full, all of the contents will come rushing back out and possibly clog the toilet. So, make sure you open the valve and then let it empty completely before closing it again.

Use More Water When You Flush

If you use more water when you flush, it will help to prevent the toilet from getting clogged in the first place. We recommend using at least a QUART of water each time you flush.

Use the Right Toilet Paper

Another important thing to remember is the TYPE of toilet paper you use. If you are using a brand that is not made for RVs, it will be more likely to clog the toilet.

So, make sure you are using RV-specific toilet paper that is designed to break down quickly and easily.

Use Drop-In Toilet Cleaners

Lastly, we recommend using drop-in toilet cleaners on a REGULAR basis. These are designed to help keep your RV toilet clean and free of build-up.

Just drop one in the bowl BEFORE you go to bed and let it do its thing overnight. In the morning, you can flush it away and enjoy a clean and fresh-smelling RV toilet.

Maintain Your RV Toilet Regularly

The best way to prevent your camper toilet from getting clogged is to simply take GOOD care of it. This means cleaning it on a regular basis and making sure all of the parts are in working order.

How to Empty the Black Valve Water Tank

How to Empty the Black Valve Water Tank

The BLACK water tank is the one that stores all of the waste from your toilet. So, when it’s time to empty it, you need to be extra careful.

If you are not careful, you could spill the contents and make a MESS. Here are a few tips for emptying your black water tank:

Park on Level Ground

First things first, you need to make sure you are PARKED on level ground. If you are not, the contents of the tank could come rushing out when you open the valve.

Put on Gloves

Before you do anything else, make sure you put on a pair of gloves. This will PROTECT your hands from getting dirty and potentially coming into contact with germs.

Find the Right Spot

You also need to make sure you are parked in the RIGHT spot. Look for a dump station or sewage treatment plant, and make sure you are positioned close enough to the hookup.

Open the Valve

Once you are in the right spot and have your gloves on, you can go ahead and open the valve. We recommend starting with a SMALL opening and then increasing the size of the opening as the contents begin to flow out.

Let it Empty

Let the tank empty COMPLETELY before closing the valve again. Once it’s empty, you can close the valve and be on your way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Drano in My RV Toilet?

We do not recommend using Drano or any other type of chemical drain cleaner in your RV toilet. These can damage the seals and components of the toilet, and they are not necessary if you are properly maintaining your RV toilet.

What Will Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Camper Toilet?

If you need to dissolve toilet paper in a camper toilet, we recommend using a product like RV Digest-It. This is a safe and effective way to dissolve toilet paper and other organic waste in your RV toilet.

Does White Vinegar Work in a Camper Toilet?

White vinegar can be used to dissolve toilet paper and other organic waste in your camper toilet. Simply pour a cup of vinegar and baking soda into the bowl and let it sit for a few hours before flushing it away.

To Conclude

To Conclude

If you follow these simple tips, you can easily unclog your camper toilet and PREVENT future clogs from happening.

Just remember to use the right toilet paper, drop in a cleaner regularly, and maintain your RV toilet on a regular basis. If you do NEED to empty the black water tank, be sure to do it carefully and in the right spot.

We hope that this guide has been helpful to you and that it has relieved some of the pressure that comes with adventuring on the road.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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