Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Toilet Paper DOES Matter When RVing

Yes, I am really going to go there.

Yes, I am aware that poop is NOT a subject people like to discuss, but if I can help save you the problems we had in the beginning of becoming a 'full-timer,' this post is worth it!

Many RV's toilets are nothing more than an inside outhouse! They do not hold water and become smelly quickly. WAIT!!! All RV toilets can become smelly quickly or worse if NOT taken care of properly. Ours is porcelain and utilizes water in the bowl, still...

So, we did our due diligence when we purchased our 5th wheel, but face it, no one says to the dealer, 'can I see inside the black water tank and check the plumbing?' EWWWW, gross!!

Our 5th wheel has a tank gauge and we live where our tank is hooked up to a sewer, but don't let that fool you. These things get hooked up, however, they do NOT and tell you NOT to dump into the sewer daily. 

Much like an outhouse (fast past this if poop makes you squeemish), RV's have a holding tank called a 'black water tank,' that holds waste. Due to this disposal, solid wastes have a tendency to pyramid and trust me, you DO NOT want this to happen.

A week and a half into living full-time and hubby notices the tank is not emptying beyond 2/3 full, so he heads over to You Tube and learns about pyramiding.

Off to our local Walmart where he buys a high pressured black tank wand and a clear sewer connector. This wand uses water and goes into the toilet to spray and break up the solids.

While hubby is doing this, I got the equally gross job of standing outside by the clear connector to see if the said pyramid would break up. It did! It was gross, but it emptied the tank. I know because I was stationed there to let hubby know when the water ran clear!

What we learned also is that regular toilet paper does not break down as easily and can contribute to the cause of pyramiding. This paper is not cheap or readily available anywhere, but since purchasing it the issues we had have stopped.  Then again, it may be because hubby wands out the tank once a month.

RV toilet paper can run from $3.50 to $8+ per pack of 4 rolls. Even on Ebay they are running high. My recommendation would be to try a product like Seventh Generation recycled toilet paper for about $12 per 12 pack and see if that works.

If not, you did remember to purchase that wand, didn't you?

You are going to want to keep on hand two other products that will help keep your tank healthy and your toilet from smelling:
1- RV tank cleaner, it is usually a liquid you pour down the toilet that is an enzyme that helps break down the waste and has something in it to keep the smells down.**I do NOT recommend using the 'drop in packets,' 
2- Those Lysol stick ups you press on your toilet to help keep the smell down.

Just a warning, do not flush the toilet with a fan on in the bathroom unless you have the lid down!



Sherry said...

We RV quite a lot.....I have wand duty! LOL. Hubby is in charge of the rest of it.

We also use the Tide laundry detergent "pods" between trips. It helps with the smell and keeping the tank water more fresh.

I congratulate you on going full-time. I do not think that I could do it.......I have too many sewing things that I want access to.

Have fun with your camping.

Quiltingranny said...

I miss quilting big time Sherry and crocheting is busy work but not the same. I am going to try to make a hand stitched quilt (yes, I am crazy).
In our situation, we did not have a choice. I am looking to maybe put up an enclosed vinyl room during the summer to do some quilting. But depends on the heat!

Sherry said...

I don't think you are crazy with the hand stitching. Even though I do a lot of piecing and quilting by machine, hand piecing and hand quilting are my first loves.

I have crocheted for much longer than I have quilted and it can be much more portable so I also have that to fall back on.

What we have done during our travels is to pull the picnic table close to the trailer (and the electrical outlet) so that I can sew under the awning and out of the direct sun.

I am sure that things will even out for you once you get the hang of things. . . I had never camped before meeting my husband 10 years ago and I am still trying to get the hang of things.

Good luck.

Quiltingranny said...

Sherry...I took up crochet because as you stated, much more portable. My husband still works full-time so we are stationary full-timers right now and why I wanted the enclosed room, so I can leave my quilting stuff outside and it won't walk away. We live on private property down a dirt road.

I keep telling hubby, now we have this, we need a smaller one to travel in..oh boy do the eye's roll!! LOl!

Thanks so much for stopping by!