Toilet Treatment for an RV

by Hazel Morgan

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to RV toilet cleaning. Buildup is difficult to clean once it gets established. Using the correct chemicals and techniques goes a long way to making this aspect of RVing simple.


Buildup in RV holding tanks is undesirable. The acid generated can damage toilet parts and cause an unpleasant latrine odor. Buildup can cover indicator sensors for tank levels, and clogs can stick to the sides and bottom.


Prevention is the real solution. Adding a measure of enzyme-filled toilet chemicals to the tank after blank tanks are dumped helps material to be "digested" for easy dumping, and reduces or masks the odor.


Suitable toilet chemicals won't harm septic systems after dumping. Not every chemical is suitable--for example, formaldehyde is harmful. You can buy septic-suitable chemicals from any camping supply store. Brands include Aqua Kem, Enviro-Chem and TST.

Toilet Cleaning

Choose septic-safe cleaners for the toilet bowl itself. They are quite expensive--around $10 (2009) for a 24oz container of RV-Trine. However, they are safe for RV tanks, septic tanks and won't react badly to tank treatment chemical.

Tank Cleaning

If buildup has occurred, manual cleaning becomes necessary. Try several dumps and flushes first. If not, a wand attachment fits to a water hose and is lowered down the toilet to "aim" water at particularly stubborn clumps.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

Photo Credits

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