What is an RV toilet and how does an RV toilet work?

A toilet is a central part of everyone’s life. And no one thinks one day without using a bathroom. Many people love traveling. And for a long trip, a toilet is also the central part. Some people love traveling in a car or van or a big type of vehicle. And for a long journey, they use a portable toilet. These are mainly known as RV toilets. Many people don’t have any idea about this type of washroom. This article contains guidance about the RV toilet. I think it will help you further if you love long trips in a car or van.

What is the RV toilet?

The complete form of RV is “Recreational Vehicle.” so the toilet with this van is also unique. So the permanent toilet you find in this amusement van is mainly known as an RV toilet. It has a portable black water tank attached underneath. This toilet is also found in camper vans, Class B motorhomes, etc. Most of the time, campers come with a large size built-out black water tank, which is used to hold the toilet’s waste.

How does this RV toilet work?

The structure of this toilet is just like a regular toilet in a home or restaurant. A standard toilet system uses water force to clear the human waste from the toilet bowl and take this trash into the sewer system of a septic tank with the help of a drainage pipe. But the working process of the RV toilet is a little bit different than usual.rv toilet maintenance

The amusement van toilet also uses gravity. The standard toilet uses water to clean the bowl and fills the bottom of the toilet, but the water pressure is negligible. The lead of this type of toilet is that it uses less water to rinse the bowl and store water to use in the freshwater tank. The human waste is stored in the black water holding tank through the pipe. This tank keeps all the trash until you empty it with the help of a flexible hose into a dump station receptacle.

In modern RVs, you find a foot pedal or handle to open the flushing door system from the toilet bowl to the drainage pipe. Some vehicles also offer an electrical flushing system. The mainstream entertainment van toilet has been made with plastic for a long time. But now you find different toilets on other kinds of amusement vans. These toilets are built-in or self-contained portable versions of porcelain, steel, or other material.

Working process of the trailer water tank:

There are three tanks in the RV’s toilet, and the quantity of water storage is also different; it attaches underneath the couch. The freshwater tank is extensive, and it stores more than 60-gallon water. Other black and gray tanks are stored for around 30-40 gallons.trailer with water tank

Freshwater Tank operation: this tank is mainly used to carry fresh water that you can drink and employ its other purposes. This tank also varies in size, and you can also use this water to clean your RV toilet bowl. When you park the vehicle, you can connect a drinking water safe hose with an adopter on your RV that avoids the freshwater tank. And you also use this water, another built-in device in your car which requires water to run.

Greywater Tank: you notice a gray color in the vehicle. This tank stores the dirty water from the shower and sink. This tank is designed only for keeping liquids, so be careful what goes into it. The pipe is also 1 ½ in diameter, so if any solid thing is stuck into the line, it can easily clog. If you don’t want this mess, don’t throw any solid something in the pipe.

Blackwater Tank operation: this tank is only used for your toilet part. The drainage pipe is 3 inches thick and can easily handle human waste and tissue paper. You also find specially designed toilet paper for this RV toilet in the supermarket. Because regular toilet paper won’t fully dissolve with water, it easily creates clogs in the toilet.

Working process of the Sewer house:

The RV sewer system is sanitary, and you need only one hose. But some you also need o to extend the house, then you find adapters that keep a seal between one hose to another two hoses and prevent any leakage. Most of the hoses are blue, so it is also known as a blue hose. This house looks slinky on the inside with a flexible plastic tube; this is 10-20 feet long and three or four inches wide. You can find different colors and heavy-duty ones with thicker plastic in the market now. Also, you don’t need the heavy-duty one if you primarily use the toilet. You can get work with a normal one quickly. rv sewer pipe fittings

A black PVC installation is used to connect the hose under the camper. Two valves work as a gate to open and close the gray and black water tanks. And you also find the label to differentiate both of these gates. At the end of the black PVC, you find tabs sticking out of the opening. And here you attach our sewer house. There is also a three to four-inch hole at the other end of the sewer hose, and you can either place your hose a few inches down there or get a fitting that fits into the top of the release pipe underground. But always ensure the sewer hose won’t be disconnected.

Now talking about dumping the waste, remember that you need to empty your black tank first, then gray water flushes out into your drainage hose to prevent any build-up. But you failed to empty your tank properly or park your vehicle where your sewer hose is inclined, and you need the pump to suck out the remaining wastage. A macerator pump will help you, and you need to connect this with your sewer pipe to create a vacuum. Then they grind up all the solids in the tank and push it where it needs to be dumped.

Using Toilet Chemicals:

You need to use two types of chemicals to maintain this toilet. The first is a blue chemical, which eliminates the odor solid from the washroom. This chemical breaks down the agent in them. One of the elements of this chemical is formaldehyde. This can ruin your septic tank and kill the good bacteria in the drainage pipe. So don’t dump this chemical into your toilet. Another one is biological treatment. This is a very eco-friendly way to keep your washroom bad smell free. This uses bacteria and other natural enzymes to melt down the materials in your black tank. So the good bacteria keep in the pipe, and you also save the environment.

How to maintain your RV toilet?

If you want a clog-free toilet, you need to maintain this continuously. And for this, you need to follow some easy rules, like:

RV toilets have rubber seals that prevent seepage in your wet washroom. This rubber can dry out and become rigid. You need to take care of them and spray the seals with a rubber conditioner to return their old softness. There are many brands of rubber conditioner you find in the market. If you fail to keep it soft, you need to replace the total seal someday. For this, you need to know the model number of the rubber seal and find it on the market.

You need to check the connection of the pipe at least once a year. Just go to your utility section and look after the sewer pipe connection. The manufacturers use tough and strong adhesives to keep the pipe sealed and joined to each other. But it broke after some years, that’s why you need to look after this. Try to replace the glue before it breaks down. Otherwise, it makes a big mess.

You also need to check the flushing system of the toilet. This is also a great way to maintain your sewer system because they all are interconnected. You can use a sensor that cleans the flush tank, so you don’t need to worry about this. You can find this kind of tool online and in the market.

Extra tips for maintaining the RV toilet:

  • These tips will help keep your toilet clog-free and your full washroom bad-smell-free. This is:
  • Don’t use excessive toilet paper in this toilet; try to use the RV’s particular type of toilet paper.
  • Try to keep the toilet bowl clean every day. This toilet is forcefully cleaner, so you need to look at this side.
  • Use a biological bad smell cleaner suitable for your drainage system and ecology.
  • Never leave your tank when its black tank valve is open.
  • Don’t throw any hard things in this toilet and the gray tank pipe.

What can you put in an RV toilet?

AllowedMust avoid
  • Liquid Human Waste
  • Solid Human Waste
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Diapers
  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper towel
  • Animal poops


In the end, this toilet is an advantageous invention in modern science. It is just a dream come true type of invention for those who love to travel in an amusement vehicle and road trip. How many people love to install this type of toilet in their houses? It uses less water which helps them save some money on utility bills and saves the environment. I told you about every working process of this toilet so that you don’t find any difficulties using and maintaining it.

Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.

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