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Is Toilet Paper Safe to Put in Your RV Black Tank?

Is Toilet Paper Safe to Put in Your RV Black Tank?

Did you know about 70% of the world’s population doesn’t use toilet paper?

Obviously, that statistic isn’t relevant to life in America. We Americans use more than 50 sheets of toilet paper every day!

But is the conventional toilet paper you use in your sticks-and-bricks house the best toilet paper for RV travel?

Let’s take a closer look.

Is It Safe to Put Toilet Paper in Your RV Toilet?

Yes, it’s safe to put toilet paper in your RV toilet. However, you want to use toilet paper made for RVs. You can use conventional toilet paper in your RV. But it’s a risk.

Regular toilet paper you might use at a sticks-and-bricks house is not fast-dissolving like toilet paper made for RV and marine vehicles.

Why does this matter? Keep reading to find out!

Pro Tip: Want to give your black tank a quick clean? Before you pour in products, read up on Is It Safe to Put Bleach in Your RV Black Tank?

What Can Happen When Toilet Paper Is in Your Black Tank?

When you flush an RV toilet, everything goes into the black tank. Whether it’s liquid waste, solid waste, or toilet paper, it’s all going to the same place. The black tank usually gets full over a couple of days, depending on how large your tank is.

When toilet paper is in your black tank, it can get stuck to the sides and bottom, which can cause clogging problems.

However, you reduce this risk by using RV-specific toilet paper and not conventional toilet paper.

Man holding two rolls of toilet paper like glasses.
RV toilet paper is fast dissolving which helps stop black tank clogs.

Can You Use Conventional TP in Your RV?

If you use conventional toilet paper that you might use at a house, you’re increasing the risk for clogging problems. It’s not fast-dissolving, so it can sit for longer periods.

If it continues to accumulate in the black tank without dissolving, you’re going to have problems emptying your tank. And you certainly don’t want that.

If the toilet paper does leave the black tank, you can also run into clogging in the sewer hose. The toilet paper can slow down the movement of the waste through the hose. 

Another problem with using conventional toilet paper in your RV is that you may have to use harmful chemicals to clean out the black tank. If it does get clogged, the only solution may be to use chemicals that aren’t the safest for you or your RV black tank. Avoid this by using RV-safe toilet paper.

Pulling off the last bit of toilet paper.
Keep your clog risk low by using RV specific toilet paper.

What Is Special About RV-Specific Toilet Paper?

RV-specific toilet paper is fast-dissolving paper, which is essential to maintain proper black tank function.

The paper dissolves quickly once you flush it into the black tank, so when it’s time to release the valve and empty the tank, the paper is mostly dissolved and easily flows out with the other waste.

Pro Tip: Emptying your black tank is crucial while RVing. Here’s how to avoid an RV Poop Pyramid.

Which TP Is Best for Your RV Black Tank?

Look for RV-specific toilet paper. Most of the time, the packaging will say “Boat + RV” or “Made for RVs and Boats” because marine vehicles need fast-dissolving toilet tissue, also.

There are many different brands, from Scott to Firebelly Outfitters to Thetford to Camco. There are also more eco-friendly biodegradable options like Nature’s Call or 7th Generation for environmentally-conscious RVers. 

Sometimes travelers run into problems finding a store that carries RV toilet paper when boondocking or camping somewhere off the beaten path. Should you have no other option but conventional toilet paper, it’s best to throw it in the trash rather than flush it down the toilet.

Try to stock up if you know you’ll be many miles from an RV supply store for a while.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

Keep your risk low by using RV-safe toilet paper. You don’t want to be packing up on a travel day, go out to empty your tanks, and discover the black tank is clogged.

Save yourself time by using only RV-safe toilet paper that’s fast-dissolving. Don’t flush anything else down the toilet that won’t rapidly dissolve in the liquid waste and water in the black tank.

So, when’s the last time you stocked up on RV-safe toilet paper?

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  1. Ken says:

    Been using septic safe TO for years and never a problem. RV specific is harder to find and more expensive than most household TP. Just be sure it’s rated septic safe and use use a good tank treatment like Happy Camper or some others out there. We use only 2ply.

  2. David deVidal says:

    @Ken, We agree – been using septic-safe for years with no problem.