One of the best parts of your new RV is your very own bathroom. These toilets are not the same as the one in your house, so special precautions need to be taken to ensure everything runs smoothly. One particularly important aspect is the type of toilet paper you us. Which types and brands of toilet paper are best for an RV toilet?
RV-safe toilet paper that dissolves quickly is always best for use on an RV toilet, but some regular toilet paper works as well. Toilet paper brands you can try include:
- Camper’s Choice
- Firebelly Outfitters
- Freedom Living
- Seventh Generation
- Costco’s Kirkland
Are a lot of those toilet paper brands familiar to you? More than likely, yes. There are also a few RV-specific brands thrown in there as well. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the differences between conventional toilet paper and that made for RV use. We’ll also cover the importance of choosing the right type of toilet paper so you don’t clog your RV toilet!
Let’s get started.
What Is RV Toilet Paper and How Is It Different Than Regular Toilet Paper?
Conventional Toilet Paper
Depending on the brand, conventional toilet paper has differing qualities. It may be more or less water-absorbent, for example, or resist your fingers tearing holes through the paper. The toilet paper will have varying degrees of softness or roughness, weight, size, and comfort.
Another key difference between one regular toilet paper brand and another is how many plies the toilet paper has. The fewer plies, the more you run into issues like finger-tearing and lack of water absorbency. Single-ply toilet paper is usually made with low-grade paper. You can tell your toilet paper is low-grade if it has small paper chunks made of unpulped and unbleached paper throughout. It’s also typically quite rough.
Two-ply toilet paper is the standard and referred to as mid-grade toilet paper. The second ply adds to the strength of the paper, and two-ply toilet paper has a much softer feel than single-ply.
Once you get into three plies or more, this is referred to as premium toilet paper. The qualities of premium toilet paper are perfuming (such as with aloe), patterning, coloring, embossing (like rippled or quilted patterns), and sometimes the inclusion of wax or lotion. This toilet paper is the most expensive given that it’s so high-quality.
RV Toilet Paper
Like conventional toilet paper, RV toilet paper is available in single-ply to four-ply rolls. It’s also designed to be soft and gentle so you can use your RV bathroom comfortably.
The main difference between regular and RV toilet paper is its ability to dissolve. Since it breaks down quickly, it keeps your RV’s tanks running smoothly.
The second quality of RV-safe toilet paper is that it often biodegrades. In other words, when bacteria, fungi, and/or microorganisms are present, the toilet paper breaks down and reintegrates with the earth. Your toilet paper doesn’t stick around for dozens, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of years on this earth. You can feel good about using RV toilet paper because it’s better for our planet.
Why Should You Use RV Toilet Paper?
It’s important to remember your RV’s plumbing system does not work the same as your home’s sewer system, which is why special toilet paper is needed.
If you’re like most people, you have a toilet paper brand preference between you and your family. Yet some brands of toilet paper are appropriate to bring onboard an RV and others, not so much.
To reiterate, you need toilet paper that dissolves quickly. To understand why that is, let’s take a closer look at how an RV toilet works compared to your commode back home.
We’ll begin with your at-home toilet, which includes the toilet itself, a flush handle (or flusher), a flapper, float, fill valve, rim jets, and siphon jets. The flusher is external but everything else is internal.
When you’re finished doing your thing and you hold the flusher, the flapper moves. A flapper is a small plastic component that’s attached to the flusher via a chain. When the flapper is closed, water can’t travel to the toilet bowl. By opening the flapper, the water reaches the bowl.
Rim jets around the toilet bowl activate, as does the siphon jet in the main hole of the toilet. The motion of these jets swirls the water around, sucking down whatever was in the bowl. The float, a small device at the back of the toilet, tips back so the fill valve can suck up the water. Then the flapper resumes its position so more water can’t get in. The fill valve will send water back in and the process can resume all over again the next time you flush.
Okay, so that’s your conventional toilet, but what about your RV toilet? This toilet will use water from your freshwater tank when you press a pedal. Yes, most RV toilets have a pedal instead of a flusher. These toilets do include a flapper, which lets the freshwater enter.
As the water rushes to the toilet bowl, the force of it brings with it the toilet waste. This waste goes to the blackwater tank. You can use RV toilet chemicals to treat potty odors, which can sometimes linger even after flushing.
The more advanced RV blackwater tanks have sensors that indicate how full the tank is. If you’re using dissolvable RV toilet paper, then the paper will disintegrate between its time in the freshwater and blackwater tanks.
Conventional toilet paper that doesn’t dissolve as easily will remain in the blackwater tank. The paper can block the sensors, indicating to you that it’s time to dump the tanks when it’s really not. This is a huge waste of your time, as no one wants to be in their blackwater tank more often than they absolutely have to.
What’s worse is that your blackwater tank can get backed up if the toilet paper can’t dissolve. We’re sure we don’t need to tell you this, but of all the tanks in your RV, this is the one you least want to leak or overflow. Blackwater tanks hold bathroom waste, after all.
The good news is that a lot of conventional toilet paper won’t lead to such blockages. We’ll recommend some brands in the next section.
If you have concerns about how dissolvable your conventional toilet paper is, try filling up a jar all the way with water. Then put your toilet paper in, close the jar, and give it a vigorous shake. If the toilet paper hasn’t started to dissolve, then it’s not suitable for use on your RV toilet.
9 Brands of RV-Safe Toilet Paper to Try
If you’d rather not waste toilet paper by shaking it around in a jar, that’s okay. You can always buy any of these 9 brands, as they’re all RV-friendly toilet paper.
First on our list is Camper’s Choice, which is an RV-specific toilet paper brand. Their paper products are safe for marine use as well. Each roll is two-ply and dissolves fast. You can get up to 396 sheets per roll and two rolls to a pack.
The creators of the Aqua-Soft line of RV toilet papers, Thetford is a second brand to shop if you want toilet paper made for RV use. Aqua-Soft is two-ply toilet paper that’s 396 sheets to a roll with four rolls in a pack. It too is usable for boating and other marine activities.
Thetford’s RV/Marine Toilet Tissue is another good one to add to your cart. This is single-ply toilet paper that’s designed for speedy dissolving. It’s also biodegradable, which is important. You get four rolls per pack and each roll has 350 sheets.
Made in the USA, Firebelly Outfitters RV toilet paper is biodegradable and safe for RVs and boasts. It is unscented and 100% free of dyes and parabens. It is specifically made for your RV so it will reduce clogs in your RV’s black tank.
Here’s another RV toilet paper brand: Valterra. Their marine and RV toilet paper is two-ply with four rolls to a pack and 400 sheets a roll. Valterra says their toilet paper is tested to break down quickly so it doesn’t clog up your RV tanks.
An Amazon’s Choice product, Freedom Living toilet paper is designed for portable toilets like marine and RV potties. Like most of the other products we’ve covered, theirs is two-ply toilet paper. You can get four rolls to a pack and 500 sheets per each roll. Freedom Living’s toilet paper biodegrades and breaks down in a matter of minutes.
One of the better-known RV toilet paper products is Camco. This stuff is one-ply, but you can shop four rolls at a time with 280 sheets. Safe for septic tanks on RVs and marine vehicles, Camco’s toilet paper biodegrades and won’t clog.
You see Scott toilet paper all the time on grocery store shelves, but probably not their Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper. Intended for boats and RVs as it says on the packaging, this single-ply toilet paper comes in a 12-pack so you can stock up.
The sheets are made for softness and will break down in your RV toilet. Scott even received certification through the Forest Stewardship Council or FSC for using “responsible sources” to produce this toilet paper.
Please leave the rest of your Scott toilet paper products at home though!
If you’re a Seventh Generation user, most of the brand’s toilet paper also happens to be safe for use on your RV toilet. You can buy a lot of paper at once too, packs of 12. Each roll has 240 sheets so you won’t run out. Even better is that this two-ply toilet paper is made of completely recycled paper that’s fragrance-free.
Many people love Costco’s TP brand, Kirkland. You’ll be happy to know that it is indeed safe to use in your RV. How great is that!
RV Toilet Maintenance Tips
Besides using suitable toilet paper, here’s what else you can do to keep your RV toilet in tip-top shape for all your future trips.
Clean out the Toilet Bowl
If your RV toilet didn’t come with a sprayer, then you might want to think about upgrading your potty sooner than later. In the meantime, you can use water from a bottle or container and dump it down the toilet when you’re done using it. This ensures that everything goes down and that your toilet bowl is clean.
Use a Deodorizer
Bathroom odors tend to linger more in RV toilets, as we mentioned. This can be unappealing if the odor travels throughout the rest of your vehicle. That’s why we recommend using a deodorizer like this one from Firebelly Outfitters on Amazon.
You simply drop the deodorizing packet into your RV septic system and it begins breaking down bad toilet smells. This product also doubles as a cleaner, separating leftover RV toilet paper that didn’t fully dissolve.
Check Your Holding Tank Sensors
Even if it’s not a pretty job, you want to inspect the interior of your holding tanks every now and again, cleaning the sensors so they work optimally. Remove loose toilet paper that might have gotten stuck on there too.
Use an RV Tank Wand
If you’re unfortunate to get a clog an RV tank wand is a great tool to help unclog your tank. For more ways of how to clear a blockage or clog and how to use a tank wand, click here.
It’s best if you buy RV-safe toilet paper brands like Camco, Thetford, Freedom Living, or Camper’s Choice. These products dissolve quickly, and many are biodegradable as well. A surprising amount of regular toilet paper brands are also appropriate for RV toilet paper use. They include Scott, Seventh Generation, Cottonelle, and Angel Soft.
Do make sure you purchase the above-recommended toilet paper products from these brands and not just any toilet paper the brand sells. Otherwise, you might find out the hard way that the toilet paper is not RV-safe!
Related Reading: The Proper Way to Flush and Clean RV Tanks