Last Updated on December 31, 2021 by Douglas
Just like every other toilet. The toilet in the vehicle is also susceptible to clogging and amongst other issues. Experienced drivers know this pretty well. There can be a lot of different factors that lead to the clogging of your Vehicle’s toilet.
Most of the RV toilets get clogged due to the pyramid plug problem. However, you might keep thinking that an RV toilet is just like a normal home toilet. However, this isn’t the same, and you need to treat RV toilets differently as compared to the toilet in your home.
If you have a stuck Vehicle toilet, you can unclog your RV toilet it in more than one ways, and this article will explain a majority of the methods.
While the pyramid plug is a regular problem with RVs, we’ll also cover some other issues that are uncommon as compared to the pyramid plug problem. There will also be certain methods on how you can keep clogs away in future.
How to Unclog RV Toilet
Keep on mind that whenever you are trying to unclog your RV toilet, or any other type of toilet for that matter, you should be careful with what you do with the toilet to unclog it.
The methods we discuss in this article are fairly simple, and you can easily follow them with necessary precaution. However, it’ll be better if you can arrange to have someone else besides you for help in this process.
After unclogging, the matter will go away, letting you continue with your regular tasks.
What Are Pyramid Plugs?
Before we dive deeper into the methods to unclog an RV toilet, let’s read a a few more lines about these plugs.
RV toilets usually get clogged due to the accumulation of toilet roll and other debris on the bottom of back holding tank. This clog can become long, deep and stubborn if ignored for some time.
This clog eventually takes the shape of pyramid to block the end part of tank. That’s why it’s named so.
Now we know that it isn’t tank that is clogged, rather, it is the pyramid shaped accumulation of various things which causes the tank to get clogged. This prevents the tank from getting rid of its waste.
What Materials Are Needed?
To unclog a clogged RV toilet, you should get the right materials to help you in the process. These materials include appropriate gloves, and a vehicle tank cleaner suitable for your RV.
These are all the materials you need in the preferred RV unclogging method. The Vehicle Tank cleaner is pretty easy to use, and no plumber’s snake is needed in the process. Using a plumber’s snake can also prove to be useful, but it isn’t preffered since it is a labor intensive task, and often gets messy.
Different Ways of Unclogging Your RV’s Toilet
While pyramid plugs are the most common reason for your RV’s toilet clogging, it isn’t particularly hard to unclog. However, keep in mind that a cleaner for your vehicle’s tank takes its time to properly work.
If you don’t have any other toilet available, try to do it before going to bed, or try getting availing some other toilet for sometime.
With a Proper Cleaner For The RV Tank
This method is fairly easy to use. Here are different steps that you’ll need to follow.
- Before starting, close the value of your RV’s black tank. This is done to ensure that it won’t go away before it dissolving all the clogging materials properly.
- After closing the value and before pouring the cleaner into the tank add some 6 to 10 liters of water in it. That is if the tank has enough space to hold the water. While you shouldn’t overflow the tank, add as much water as you can without overflowing it, as this will be beneficial.
- Now, open the bottle of cleaner for your tank, and pour in into the toilet. Remember to use the whole bottle at once.
- After pouting in the cleaner, you’ll have to let it sit in the toilet for 12 to 27 hours. Giving the cleaner more time is always better. The tank cleaner works to liquefy all the materials which were causing the tank to clog. So, letting it sit in there for longer is definitely going to help.
- After you’ve waited long enough to allow cleaner do its job, open the valve of the dark tank, and let the water drain properly. You must completely empty the tank in this process.
- Use a rinse in the empty tank to clean it thoroughly. This is usually the flushing process on subject (the toilet). All you need is waiting for twenty minutes for the rinse to do its job.
- After the rinse has completed, you can close the valve of the dark tank once again. You should keep it closed except for when you’re looking to dump the waste. This prevents the issue from arising in the first place.
If you’re using any other type of cleaner for the tank, ensure that it is Perfect safe for septic.
But that’s not it, as there are many other methods to unclog an RV’s toilet. So, here are some of the other popular unclogging methods.
If the toilet of your RV only has a minor problem with draining, you can try using the traditional plunger fix to see if the problem goes away.
This methods is actually very popular in unclogging the RV toilets, as we all use plungers in our house toilets as well.
While a plunger can definitely help, it doesn’t always guarantee the best results. Plunger can only effectively work if the clog is near the top of the RV toilet.
The plunger isn’t hard enough to be able to make a significant effect if the issue is further down in toilet or the dark Tank.
Use a Plumber’s Snake
Plumber’s snake is a flexible thing which you can use to push the Clogged Part away from the RV’s toilet. However, the snake might not work in the case of harsh and thick clogs.
However, keep in mind that this process can get messy really quickly, and you should preferably have a second person to help you out in this process.
After gathering all of the needed materials, you can start the process, and follow these steps for the best results.
- Before starting the cleaning process, you and the other person should wear protective stuff to make sure that both of you remain safe. After this, one of you should also set a container (bucket) below the opening of the dark tank. The tank should also be closed at time point in time.
- Before using the snake on the toilet, you should open the tank and try to drain as much waste as you can.
- You should now use the snake, and insert/push it into the toilet’s pipe as much as you can before reaching the blocked part.
- Once you hit the clog, move the tank back and forth by applying some force, and push the clog into the tank.
- After the clog has fallen into the black water tank, you or the other person can shut the valve.
- Now, connect the hose of the sewer to the tank and the outlet. Now, open dark tank and let the clogging materials fall out.
- Now, fund a suitable place to empty the bucket and hose.
Use Hot Water
Boiling water can work just like a tank cleaner, and can help in breaking down the clogging materials to unclog the RV’s toilet.
RV toilets usually clog when they lack moisture in their tank. You can provide the tank this moisture by pouring boiling water in the clogged area. This way, you’ll be providing those materials with enough moisture to break. Boiling water can aggressively liquefy the clogged waste, and that why it is a popular RV toilet unclogging technique.
The whole process only includes boiling a certain quantity of water, and pouring it onto the clogged area in an attempt to unclog it. After this, you should also empty the it and let the water sit in the tank for some time.
While the boiling water can be put in Tank as well, it helps to have it make path from the entire toilet and tank system.
If the clog is still there after letting the water sit for some time, you should retry with more boiling water, and wait for more hours. Keep trying again and again unless you get rid of the clog. Larger clogs can take more time to unclog.
Use Some Ice
Ice cube method works in the same way as the boiling water method. Experienced RVers keep switching between the boiling water and this technique depending on the severity of the clog that they’re dealing with.
In this method, you should fill up the toilet one third by using water, and fill it with ice cubes. You can then try empty it. Keep the toilet filled with ice while driving your vehicle. Add some more ice if needed, and keep flushing unless you succeed.
Take The RV to a Dealership
If no methods are giving you the desired result, you can try take your vehicle to a dealer. They will use a specific tool to force the blocked part out of the toilet system.
Tank wands use much pressure to break up the clogged materials to a certain extent, and passes them through the pipes easily. However, be prepared to pay anywhere between $100 to $200 for this process.
How to Detect a Problem in Your RV’s Toilet?
While major issues attract you by causing major problems, there are also subtle signs of growing problems which indicate potential RV toilet issues. You should learn to understand these signs as well to keep the toilet of your RV working properly.
Most of the issues with RV toilets can be detected in their early stages, allowing you to correct them before its too late.
Here are some signs that can indicate an issue with your RV’s toilet.
- If your toilet, dark tank and/ or hose is making a strong smell, this might indicate a problem with your toilet.
- Clogs are often invisible until they block the toilet completely. So, look out for any distinct odors that might indicate a toilet clog and improper draining.
- The valve of your dark tank not opening easily, or not draining at all can be an obvious sign of a clogged RV toilet.
- Not seeing anything happening after draining the tank is also sign of a clog.
- If tank doesn’t drain properly, or at all after opening its valve, it can be a sign of a clogged tank.
Follow These Tips to Prevent Future RV Toilet Backups
While it is nice to detect a developing clog early enough, it is even nicer to prevent the clog from developing.
Here are some of the best RVing tips that you can make your routine. These will definitely help to prevent RV toilet clogs in the future.
Keep Valve of The Tank Closed
We have mentioned this before as well, but this topic is important, so, we’ll discuss it in detail here. This method can help prevent pyramid clogs in the future.
The main reason why you should close the valve is because the waster materials and toilet paper gets a chance to mix up with the water and make a slosh. The water will decompose the solid materials, and thus, will help in preventing the clogging process.
This way, when you open the tank’s valve to dump it, it will not create a clog as the and solid will have mixed up in the water by then.
However, keeping black tank valve of the dark tank open in everyday use will push all the debris buildup into the sewer out from the tank. But in this case, the water can leave the tank faster, leaving the solid waste behind. When the solids don’t have enough water to help the draining process, they will easily keep sitting at the bottom of the tank. And this is how a clog starts forming.
Water always helps move the solid waste in the sewer and out of the tank. That is why not using enough water to flush the sewer will eventually cause clogs in the toilet.
That’s why it is recommended that you flush toilet two times after using it. More water means more opportunity for the solid waste to get dissolved into the water, and move out of the drain easily.
So, keep in mind that more water means less clogging.
Buy The Right Toilet Paper
Clogs can also happen if you don’t use the right type of toilet paper in the toilet. Since septic systems are used in RV’s, toilet paper must be septic safe if you want to use it.
When buying, look for or “septic safe” label on the toilet paper box. Expensive and thick toilet paper won’t work in the septic system of your RV, and will cause clogs. So, use thin enough toilet paper to prevent clogs. However, if you utilize toilet paper, you shouldn’t flush them. Instead, throw them in a garbage can, and not in the toilet.
You Can Use Proper Cleaners For RV Toilets
There are many different brands and types of proper chemical cleaners in the market which you can use them in your bathroom and kitchen at the same time. They work both for RVs and houses.
Again, the cleaner you buy to use in the RV toilet must be septic safe. Many types of chemical cleaners can work for your RV toilet, and can clean it perfectly.
When you buy a cleaner, read its instructions, and use as recommended.
Do Regular Maintenance of Your RV’s Toilet
Regular toilet maintenance is a thing that will help you avoid dirty RV toilet clogs. So, you should regularly perform maintenance of toilet and dark tank.
In addition to a set maintenance schedule, this should also include certain toilet cleaning tasks every month, or change it depending on how and when you utilize your vehicle and its toilet.
If you frequently use your RV, you’ll need to perform maintenance tasks more often. The dark tank in particular will need to be cleaned and maintained regularly in particular. This way, you’ll be regularly cleaning the tank and preventing any clogs from happening even if they were slowly developing.
Many RVers use a proper cleaner for the tank, especially when winterizing their RV. This makes sure that everything is open, clean, and it working perfectly. This is how you can prevent any RV clogs from developing.