How Does an RV Toilet Work Exactly?


Photo Credit: Instagram User @stephendentonphoto

Are you planning an awesome family trip in a cozy RV rental? Before hitting the road in style, you’ve probably got some questions about your RV! An important question you’ve likely asked yourself is: how does an RV toilet work? 

No need to feel shy about asking this question! Toilets are what sets RVs apart from general camping, and are convenient for family traveling—no stopping! However, without the appropriate information, your RV toilet may be rendered useless. After all, there will come a time when you’ll need to utilize your RV’s restroom, and knowing how it works matters. 

You should feel totally at home before embarking on your RV adventure. To help, we’ve put together this beginner’s guide on how to use an RV toilet and other important facts to remember.

How Does an RV Toilet Work: A Newcomer’s Guide to RV Camping


How to First Use and Flush an RV Toilet

First, let’s cover how to prepare an RV toilet for use. 

Your first step is to make sure you have a source of water for your RV! Your RV’s water source can either be through your RV’s freshwater tank or through a campsite water hook-up.

After that, you’re (almost) ready to use your RV’s toilet! Next, you need to make sure the bowl is at least half full of water. 

How do I fill the toilet bowl with water?

There should be a pedal at the bottom of your toilet that you can press with your foot. Hold this down until the bowl is about halfway full. This is the same way you flush the toilet! 

Once you take care of your business, just press the pedal down and wait until the bowl is empty before releasing the pedal. 

Will I Need Special Toilet Paper For My RV?


Yes! You might be surprised that you can’t bring along the same toilet paper brand from home. However, it does make a difference when you use toilet paper specifically made for an RV. 


Using the easily dissolvable RV toilet paper helps ensure your RV toilet works as it should throughout your trip, especially when dumping RV waste

So, when packing your RV camping essentials, don’t forget to get some RV toilet paper! Typically, you can get this at RV campground stores, camping stores in general, and even some Wal-Marts! 

In addition to using the right toilet paper, there are other things you should avoid flushing to keep your toilet working right. 

What Shouldn’t I Flush in RV Toilets?

Typically, the only thing you should be flushing in an RV toilet is toilet paper made for an RV. Nevertheless, there are some things you should remember never to flush. 

For example, much like your toilet at home, you shouldn’t flush things like facial tissues, paper towels, or feminine napkins or tampons in your RV toilet. These items can cause your RV toilet and tank drain to clog. 

Additionally, you shouldn’t dispose of food in your RV toilet, such as grease or oil, as this can cause damage to your RV rental. 

If your RV toilet does end up clogged, don’t unclog it with caustic chemicals! This can also damage your RV toilet’s mechanism.

Use an RV-specific holding tank treatment to break down solid materials, liquefy waste, and control the odor.    

A safer way to deal with backup in your RV toilet if it occurs is to fill the bowl with hot water and let it sit in the bowl. After a little while, the water should help your blockage dissolve. 

Curious about taking your first RV camping trip?

With Cruise America, you can have a cozy and unforgettable RV camping adventure in the perfect RV rental!