Fortunately, RV Toilet Maintenance Is Pretty Easy
RV toilet maintenance is an important part of owning an RV. Nobody wants to replace a toilet that would have lasted longer had it been better-taken care of. Because RV toilets are so different from household toilets, knowing how to take care of one properly is something new RV owners must learn.
Keeping the Toilet Clean
First, let’s discuss the most basic of toilet maintenance: how to keep your RV toilet clean. These tips will ensure your RV toilet stays nice and clean, even when used regularly.
Always Refill the Bowl
When you flush your RV toilet, a small amount of water should refill the bowl afterward. If this doesn’t happen, fill it manually by lifting or pushing back your flush pedal, depending on your particular model. We also recommend adding extra water when you put anything more than liquid waste into the toilet. This helps ensure you aren’t left with skid marks to clean later.
Use the Sprayer
If things don’t want to go down when you flush, or you notice residue after you go, use the sprayer that is attached to many RV toilets. This great tool makes cleaning your RV toilet much easier and doesn’t require any chemicals or cleaning products.
Try Car Wax
This may sound funny, but some people with plastic RV toilets wax the bowl from time to time. This is because plastic toilet bowls tend to “grab” onto things rather than letting them go down onto the black tank. Using a bit of car wax or Rain-X in a plastic RV toilet bowl helps everything wash away smoothly and easily.
Choose a Non-Abrasive Brush and RV-Friendly Cleaner
Even if you fill the bowl, use the sprayer, and apply car wax religiously, you will still need to clean your RV toilet sometimes. For this job, use a non-abrasive brush (especially if you have a plastic toilet) and an RV-friendly bathroom cleaner such as this awesome cleaner that doubles as a black tank treatment.
Caring for the Ball Seal
One of the main differences between an RV toilet and a household toilet is the ball valve seal found in RV toilets. This seal holds water in the toilet and keeps tank smells from entering your living space. For this reason, you will want to take good care of it.
Lubricate the Ball Valve Seal
Perhaps the most important piece of RV toilet maintenance you’ll do is lubricating the ball valve seal. You can do this by spreading petroleum jelly or silicone grease on the seal with a toothbrush or using a product specifically for this purpose which can be dumped into the toilet and left to do its job. Either way, this job should be done every six months or so.
It might be tempting to pour some bleach into the toilet bowl to remove stains. Unfortunately, while this will remove stains, it can also damage the ball valve seal and kill off the good bacteria in your black tank, leading to bad smells. For this reason, you will want to avoid using bleach and instead turn to other cleaners like the one mentioned above.
Replace the Seal as Needed
Even when you take good care of your ball valve seal, it will need to be replaced from time to time. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy job that anyone who is even a bit handy can handle. The video below will help walk you through this process.
Other RV Toilet Maintenance Tips
At this point, you know how to keep your RV toilet clean and how to care for your ball valve seal. However, you should know a couple more things if you want your RV toilet (and, in some cases, your RV floor, and walls) to last for years.
Watch Out for Leaks
Make sure you keep an eye out for leaks around your toilet. Sometimes these happen because the seal between the toilet and the floor is worn. Other times, the water lines leading to the toilet or the sprayer develop leaks. Whatever the case, you will want to fix leaks as soon as you see them. Allowing leaks to continue can lead to severe floor and wall damage.
The good news? Replacing that seal is easy (although you’ll definitely want to wear gloves for it), and most water line leaks can be fixed by tightening connections, meaning this fix is also relatively simple.
Winterize the Toilet Too
Our final tip is also one of the most important. If you are storing your RV for the winter, you must winterize your entire RV each year and include your toilet in this process. You can winterize with RV antifreeze or skip the antifreeze and use an air compressor instead. Ensure you flush all the water out of the toilet water lines, empty the bowl thoroughly, and then either fill the lines with RV antifreeze or blow them out well with the air compressor.
There you have it, our top tips for taking care of your RV toilet. Use these tips and tricks, and your RV toilet will remain as good as the day it was installed for many years, meaning you’ll continue having a place to go wherever you go!
Chelsea Gonzales is a fulltime RVer, blogger, freelance writer, and a roadschooling mama whoe writes about fulltime RVing, roadschooling, camping tips, location features, and general RV topics.