Let’s face it, nobody wants to talk about it, but having a toilet (or loo, or lavatory, or biffie) aboard your RV is the absolute height of convenience.
Not having to use campgrounds, truck stops or just public toilets in general, is a pretty great option. Of course, the little detail about having to dump your own black tank sometimes turns people off — but that’s another topic for another article.
As with other areas of your RV, if your RV toilet isn’t well taken care of, it can cause you some problems.
So in an effort to get rid of that smell, let’s take a look at RV toilet chemicals and their benefits.
1. What are RV Toilet Chemicals?
RV toilet chemicals are bacteria or enzyme compositions that are added to an RV black water tank to aid in breaking down waste and tissue. The beak down of waste and tissue allows the black water tank to be emptied more easily and helps to prevent the clumping of materials in the tank, which can sometimes lead to blockage.
An added bonus in this process of breaking down waste and tissue is that RV toilet chemicals also help to eliminate odors in the tank, and ultimately in the RV as a whole.
2. Why do I need RV toilet chemicals?
The toilet in your house uses a large volume of water to flush waste down a long pipe and into your home or municipal septic system. In doing so, it carries the waste far away from the toilet to be deposited. Carrying away the waste also carries away the odors from your bathroom.
In contrast, an RV toilet uses a relatively small amount of water to flush waste down to a black-water tank. In most cases, that RV black water tank is probably only a few feet away from where the waste is deposited, so it is easy for unpleasant odors to make their way back up into the bathroom area.
Additionally, because that RV black water tank is affixed to a moving RV, the contents of it get jostled around, which also adds to the perfect storm that can potentially cause a giant stink.
3. In what form are RV toilet chemicals available?
RV toilet chemicals are available in two basic forms: as a liquid, or in dissolving packets or tablets.
Liquid toilet chemicals are added directly to the black water tank by flushing it down the toilet. There are different types of liquid chemicals, so consult the packaging for specific instructions. In general, you will only need a couple of ounces of liquid RV toilet chemicals for each application.
The dissolving tablets or packets generally contain a powder which then dissolves into the existing water in the black water tank. The result is the same as with the liquid chemicals, but many people find the packets to be more convenient, while also preventing the chance of spills.
Regardless of the form of toilet chemical you use, the best RV toilet chemicals will not stain your toilet, are biodegradable, and are environmentally friendly.
Typical brands of RV toilet chemicals you can look for are Camco TST RV Toilet Treatment, Travel Jon, Porta-Pak, and Aqua-Kem RV toilet chemicals.
4. How should I use RV toilet chemicals?
For our purposes, let’s assume you are starting with a completely empty and clean RV black water tank.
The first thing you want to do before you add any RV toilet chemicals to the black water tank is to add a few gallons of water to the tank so that there’s a good base of water in the tank.
This is very important: Never use your RV toilet without a good base of water in the black water tank. Doing so could result in the clumping of waste in your tank which can lead to false meter readings or, worse, clogs.
Once you have a base of a couple of gallons of water in your black tank, simply press down on the flushing valve for your toilet and dump the liquid chemical down the toilet, or add the RV toilet tablets.
Your RV toilet is now ready to use.
5. Are there other kinds of RV Toilet Chemicals I should be aware of?
I’m glad you asked. There are two other types of RV toilet chemicals that may come in handy.
The first is RV toilet bowl cleaner. RV toilets are generally made of plastic. They also have a rubber ring that seals the bowl when the valve is closed. Because of these materials, it’s important when cleaning an RV toiler to only use chemicals that are specially formulated for RV toilets. That way you won’t stain the toilet, and you can be sure they are safe for plastics and rubber seals.
The other RV toilet chemical that you may find a use for has more to do with cleaning your black water tank.
If you’ve owned an RV for any amount of time, you know that the gauges that tell you how full or empty your tank is at any given time are pretty unreliable. The reason for this is that after several uses, pieces of waste, tissue, or even hairs, get caught on the sensors and send false readings to the gauges.
To help combat this, there are special cleaners that are concentrated to break down materials that could be causing false readings on your tank sensors. These cleaners are called RV level gauge cleaners or RV probe cleaners and can be found at your local RV supply store or online.
So there you have it! A complete look at RV toilet chemicals and how to use them. Be sure to share this article with friends who could stand to learn a thing or two about RV toilet chemicals.
Now, who’s ready to clean that RV toilet?
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