How to Unclog an RV Toilet – (7 Easy Methods That Actually Work)

Among all the RV chores, unclogging your RV toilet is certainly the most challenging one. You know what a nightmare it can be! Well, since you are reading this, I assume you are already facing …

RV washroom
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RV washroom

Among all the RV chores, unclogging your RV toilet is certainly the most challenging one. You know what a nightmare it can be! Well, since you are reading this, I assume you are already facing the RV Toilet clog problem. Don’t worry! we have ways for you to unclog your RV toilet easily.

RV waste tank & venting layout

RV Toilet System Diagram

Generally, an RV toilet system includes a unit of the toilet seat and a flusher mounted on the floor. The unit is connected to a black water tank underneath, which stores wastewater. From the black tank, a pipe leads out to the site’s sewer.

Reasons Why Your RV Toilet Might Be Clogging

One of the few reasons why RV toilets get clogged is because the toilet paper doesn’t break down properly. Especially in extreme cold or hot weather, where waste solidifies more frequently. The problem is worse during hot weather since it evaporates liquids in your black tank underneath your rig with little to no insulation.

Besides, one of the most frequently made mistakes is keeping the black tank valve open believing that it will prevent blocks or clogs. It will only allow the liquids to leave the tank while the solids remain.

Signs You Have an RV Toilet Clog

  1. There is a strong or distinct smell coming from the toilet, black water tank, or hose.
  2. Your black water tank valve is hard to open. Even when you manage to open it, it doesn’t seem to drain.
  3. When you are draining your tank, you don’t hear or see anything happening.

Recognising an RV Toilet clog earlier will ensure that there is not much damage caused and doesn’t ruin your trip altogether.

What Are the Best Ways to Unclog Your RV Toilet Vent?

 RV toilet using a plunger

Method 1: Use A Toilet Plunger

Tools and equipment required

  • Gloves and mask
  • Toilet Plunger

Step 1: Firstly, make sure the toilet is full of water.

Step 2: Then, place the plunger over the hole. Make sure that it covers the hole completely. After the plunger is completely covering the hole, pump it up and down 15-20 times.

Step 3: Then, flush the toilet to ensure proper drainage.

If it still hasn’t been unclogged, repeat it another 2-3 times. If not, try another method.

RV toilet using a toilet snake

Method 2: Use A Toilet Snake

Tools and equipment required

  • Gloves and mask
  • Toilet Snake

If the plunger isn’t fitting well, then use a slim toilet snake (auger). It is perfect for extra narrow RV toilets. This flexible coil of wire is useful for breaking down obstructions in toilet drains.

All you will have to do is to push the snake down the toilet until it hits the clog. Once it hits the clog, push and twist it to smash the clog into smaller pieces. This may take up to 15-20 mins, and it will ensure that the obstruction passes through the black water tank.

Pour Boiling Water into The Toilet to Dissolve the Clog

Method 3: Pour Boiling Water into The Toilet to Dissolve the Clog

Tools and equipment required

  • Gloves and mask
  • A kettle

If you don’t have any tools or chemicals to unclog your toilet, then use boiling water.

Step 1: Turn off your water connection.

Step 2: Then, bring a boiling pot of water and pour it down the toilet. Repeat it 2-3 times if necessary to ensure the solid matter breaks down.

Step 3: Allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight. Later, flush the toilet.

Method 4: Use Ice Cubes

Tools and equipment required

  • Gloves and mask
  • A bag of ice cubes

Another easy way to break up the blockage as you drive is to put ice cubes into the toilet.

Step 1: Bring many ice cubes and put them into the toilet.

Step 2: Make sure you are driving around so that the ice cubes are breaking down the hard waste.

Step 3: After 30 mins to 1 hour, return to the designated dumpsite and connect your tank. By now the hard ice cubes would have broken down the solid waste. As a result, you will be able to drain the tank and clean it up.

Moreover, the ice cubes ensure that the water in the tank increases for drainage.

Method 5: Use Soapy Detergents or Vaseline

Tools and equipment required

  • Gloves and mask
  • Dish Soap
  • Vaseline

Step 1: To begin, fill your black tank with a full bottle of dish soap. It will facilitate the breakdown of the solid matter in the tank and make it easier to drain it.

Step 2: Add Vaseline to the tank. It will prevent the waste from sticking to the side and allow it to drain more easily. (optional)

Step 3: Then, evacuate your tank.

Step 4: Once your black water tank valve is clear, and you’ve evacuated the tank, you can add some more dish soap and Vaseline to make it smell better. (additional)

Method 6: Use Septic Safe Unclogging Chemicals

Tools and equipment required

  • Gloves and mask
  • Septic Safe Unclogging Chemicals

There are many chemical products specifically formulated to unclog toilet paper and other waste products. In order to unclog your RV toilet with chemicals, you need to fill the toilet midway with water. Then, follow the instructions on the directions page or on the bottle.

It is usually recommended that you pour a certain amount of the product into the toilet and leave it there for a few minutes. After a while, flush the toilet. This will ensure that the chemicals sit, settle in the tank, and do their job.

[Recommended Products – Unique RV Digest-It Black Holding Tank Treatment – Concentrated Liquid Toilet Treatment – Eliminates Odours, Breaks Down Waste (16 Treatments, 32 oz.) – 413-az Unique RV Digest-It Black Tank Treatment – Concentrated Drop-in Pod Toilet Treatment – Eliminates Odours, Breaks Down Waste – Sweet Tangerine Scent (20 Treatments) – 41G-6]

Method 7: Empty the Black Water Tank

Step 1: First, drive your RV to a dump station. Next, connect a sewer hose to the hole at the dump station.

Step 2: Remove the cap from the black water tank outside the RV.

Step 3: Then, connect the black water tank to the other end of the sewage hose using a clear connector.

RV dumping hose

Step 4: Afterward, open the valve connection next to the black water tank. By doing this, you will be able to hear liquid and solid waste passing through the hose and see when it is empty.

Step 5: Close the valve when you stop seeing and hearing anything run through the hose,

Step 6: Then, remove the connector slowly to avoid any leakages.

Step 7: Finally, replace the cap on the black water tank and tighten it.

Step 8: After which, you will have to drain your black water tank. While doing so, ensure that all your valves are open, and the sewer line is connected to the tank and sewer.

A tank may have two valves. And if you have opened all your valves and your tank still doesn’t drain, then there is a clog in your toilet system.

illustration pyramid plug

Step 9: Empty your tank to figure out where the clog is. Examine the toilet bowl and the pipe. If you can see a clog (build-up of toilet paper or waste called a pyramid plug) in the toilet pipe, then the clog is in the toilet.

In addition, you can have your RV inspected at a dealership to get a tank wand that can spray out the clog. Their high-pressure tank wands break up materials enough to allow them to pass through.

Ways To Prevent Toilet Clog in The Future

  1. Keep your Black Water Tank Valve Closed ALWAYS.
  2. Use more water when flushing. The more water you use, the easier it is for the materials to move and break down.
  3. Use septic-safe toilet paper. The toilet paper needs to be thin enough to break down quickly with water. A better alternative to disposable toilet paper is recycled toilet paper, which is often septic-safe and much more sustainable.
  4. Perform regular RV toilet and black water tank maintenance

Please follow the above-mentioned ways to prevent clogging in the future. The last thing you want is for anything to interfere with your trip. We hope your RV toilet clog has been cleared by following the above-mentioned methods, so you could get back to enjoying your camping trip.

Happy camping!

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