How To Unclog An RV Toilet (Holding Tank) Like An Expert!

There’s never a good to time discover that your RV toilet is clogged. But, of course, the worse thing is to find you have this problem when you are miles away from anywhere. 

How To Unclog a Toilet In an RV

If you are a well prepared RVer then you might have all the tools to hand. But even if you don’t, there are still ways to solve the problem without any special equipment. So here are a couple of tried and tested methods that you can fall back on if you need.

The Basics

The most basic tool you can use is just a stick something similar. Poke it around and if you are lucky that might be enough to get things moving again. However the chances are that by the time you have a serious blockage in the toilet, things have gone too far for the simple stick method. 

If so, a plunger or toilet auger might be a better way to get things moving and shift the bulk of waste and tissues. It is usually tissues that cause the blockage. Sometimes, however, these tools just move things around but don’t move it thorough and out of the system. 

Hot water method

Of course we won’t always have the right tools to hand so it’s good to know that there are a few methods you can try that don’t require any special equipment. Sometimes you might be able to tackle the problem with a good flushing of hot water. If you are on the go and don’t have an electric water heater for your RV, then check out this guide. And you may also like our selections on the best RV water pumps on this page.

To do this just fill several pots with boiling water then open the toilet valve and pour the a pot at a time into the toilet. Ideally you should let the water sit overnight. You can also make it work better by driving the van around for a while as this helps the water to mix around better with whatever is causing the problem

The ice cube method

Even although hot water seems to work in some situations, good results can also be achieved with ice. To use this method you need to fill the toilet basin one third full with water then add some ice. You should then fill the toilet basin right up and flush. 

Once you have flushed the ice down the toilet drive around to get it all mixed and working as with the hot water methods. You might have to repeat this a few time to get the best results.

3 Items Every RVer Needs Handy For Their Toilet

If you want to be better prepared you should make sure to have a flexible toilet tank wand in your tool kit. This handy tool will reach right into the pipes. 

There are a couple of good models on the market. The best ones are the kind with a power nozzle which will blast water at high pressure from your faucet into the toilet system and remove the problem. 

It is certainly a worthwhile investment.

Chemicals work in a different way from the water method although flushing with lots of water is still part of the process. The added power of the chemical comes from its ability to breakdown the tissue that is the mostly likely cause of the blockage. 

Make sure to choose a product that is septic safe and always follow the manufacturer’s instruction for the produce you chose. 

Something like Thetford Tissue Digester is ideal as it is septic safe and fully biodegradable. In general it’s a case of pouring the chemical into the tank and filling it half full with water and letting it do its work. Again driving the van around will make it more effective by giving everything a good mix.

Never underestimate the importance of the paper to ensure that your toilet stays free of clogging. Both the quantity and the type of paper are important. 

Try to use less paper and more water whenever you can. Also make sure that the kind of paper you buy is suitable. 

It doesn’t have to any an expensive brand from a specialist outdoors store. Just make sure that what you buy is 1 or 2 ply, septic safe and breaks down easily.

Which Method is best

There is probably no “best” way to do it as it what works will depend on the circumstances. It is more likely to be a matter of trial and error until you find the best solution, however it’s always handy to have the best RV toilet treatment inside your RV for immediate use. But at least you have a few different options, some of which you can do without buying any extra tools or products, but they are nice to have especially when you use your RV as a RV motorhome rental This is particularly useful if the problem develops when you are miles from a town or a hardware store. Of course the best thing would be to try to avoid it happening in the first place so here are a useful few tips to keep in mind.

You may also like: Best RV Toilets

Keep the water flowing

Flushing the toilet regularly keeps the water flowing and means that it less likely to clog. All the methods for unblocking such as using hot water or ice can also be used preventatively.

 Just run these through your system from time to time rather that waiting until it becomes an emergency. Some folk also recommend simply flushing more often and routinely give the toilet a second flush after they have used it. Check our our related post on how to keep RV water fresh. 

Using chemicals regularly

You can also largely prevent the problem with the careful use of suitable chemicals on a regular basis. Doing this means that you are much less like to need to use them to deal with a total blockage situation. Blue Max Drops or Flush King make good additions to the system. And they will not only improve the functioning of the toilet but also keep everything smelling fresh.

Hopefully, if you follow the preventative steps outlined above, you will never need to fall back on any of the emergency unclogging methods – or at least not very often. But it’s good to know that if you or a friend find yourselves in that situation, miles away from, civilization you will know how to tackle it. If you enjoyed this post then check out more handy items for your RV like the best RV battery guide, our top 5 RV generators, and the 5 best RV roof sealants.

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