Is It Really Necessary To Use RV Toilet Paper? 12241

Using the restroom is a part of RV life and that means toilet paper is equally important. When you used the restroom, you need toilet paper, but not all of it is treated the same. The stuff that they sell at the supermarket is different than toilet paper designed for use in RVs.

Despite this fact, many people wonder whether or not it is really necessary to use RV toilet paper. The truth is yes. Yes, you do indeed need to use RV toilet paper. If you don’t have RV toilet paper, you shouldn’t flush it down into your RV’s sewage system.

Why You Should Use RV Toilet Paper

The sewage system in your RV is a somewhat delicate thing. It’s not as robust as a sewage system inside a home. This means you need to take care to not treat it as you would treat your home bathroom or toilet. Be very mindful of what goes down the toilet. 

The last thing you want is for your RV’s sewer system to have an issue while camping. Trust us, nobody is going to have much fun camping if the toilet doesn’t work.

What Makes RV Toilet Paper Special?

RV-friendly toilet paper is supposed to disintegrate quickly to avoid clogging up your sewage system or tank. The paper has been specially formulated for RV use and will always be safe to use.

Some types of household toilet paper will disintegrate at similar rates to RV toilet paper, and many people have used non-RV toilet paper in their RVs. However, there is a risk.

RV enthusiasts Russ and Tina DeMaris say they’ve found that most conventional toilet paper is perfectly fine for RV use. They’ve even developed an at-home test for it: fill a jar with water and put a couple of sheets of your favorite brand of toilet paper inside, then put the lid on and shake it. If the TP starts to dissolve after a few seconds of vigorous shaking, it should be fine for RV use. If not, don’t use it!

If all you have is regular household toilet paper and you’ve deemed it safe for RV use, try your best to not use much of it each time you go to the restroom. The more toilet paper you put down the toilet, the more likely you are to experience a problem.

RV Toilet Paper Options

RV toilet paper
Image from Camping World

 

There are plenty of brands out there that sell RV toilet paper. You can buy this type of toilet paper at most camping supplies stores and should be able to get it at any RV dealership or RV store. Camping World sells RV toilet paper in stores. You can visit any of our retail locations.

Another option is to buy RV toilet paper online. This will allow you to have the product shipped to you. Camping World carries the following RV toilet paper brands:

There are a number of wet wipe products out there that are popular right now. Camping World does sell some of these wipes, but in general, it’s not smart to flush them. They do not disintegrate like RV toilet paper.


Looking for some RV toilet paper for your rig? Check out the options for sale at Camping World

Note: This article was updated from its original format to stay up to date.

Is it really necessary to use RV toilet paper?

90 Comments

  1. With RV TOILET PAPER we use more and it does not work as well for the job. It is a hassle it is so thin. At home we use cottonel. Has anyone used that in their RV?

    1. Hi Sandra, generally, it’s not smart to use regular toilet paper in an RV. Go by the brands or types of toilet paper suggested in your RV’s owner’s manual.

      1. It is necessary to use RV toilet paper to prevent clogging discharge valves. It is also necessary to shut the black tank discharge valve and then drain it when full, it needs fluid to flush out the solid waste otherwise you’ll end up with a very clogged up tank.

    2. This is pne of the areas where there is a LOT of conflicting opinions. I ALMOST switched to RV paper. I discovered that my RV tenant was afraid to use too much water so she was not making sure the paper got thoroughly wet and had cleared the ‘throat’ of the toilet. i.e. actually got into the holding tank. If we were ‘boondocking’ the use of water is restricted but not when you are in full hookup. ANY toilet paper that is barely we then allowed to dry will form a ‘hockey puck’.

      When in full hookup you still want the black tank valve CLOSED. This way ALL ‘solids’ will start dissolving. The chemicals you add only work with the valve closed. If you leave tthe valve open you are treating the park septic system or sewer. I invested in two clear elbows so I can observe the effluent (junk coming out). My goal is to have only tea colored liquid being dumped because all the solids have dissolved.

      Many people use ‘septic safe’ toilet paper. The RV black water tank is essentially a small septic tank.

        1. Scotts has septic safe toilet paper in the supermarket that is exactly the same and twice the amount as the Scott RV paper. Its all marketing.

    3. I love Cottonelle. I throw it in a small covered lined trash can right next to the toilet and throw it away like any other trash. I couldn’t give it up.

    4. We use Cottonelle now and have always used household TP in our RV and never had a problem. The key is prepping the tank with water and chemical. Works great!

    5. We use Scott’s brand RV toilet paper, sold at Walmart. It’s a much better toilet paper than the other brands.

    6. I found Scott toilet paper has a quick dissolving rv tp that is close in quality to cottenelle. I buy it by the case on amazon

    7. Yes, we used Cottonelle, and it did create a minor blockage at the drain. it was easily cleared, but it likely would have gotten worse. We use Single ply Scott 1000, and it’s worked fine.

    8. No, but we have used Angel Soft with no problem. Our sewer treatment guy told us to use it in our home because it dissolves easily.

    9. According to consumer report on toilet paper discentagrating, Kirkland from costco comes in third place. “RV” brands are really expensive to do the same thing

    10. You know, I was using regular TP (not RV type) and I have a bagged garbage can in the shower – we don’t use the shower, so put anywhere near toilet), and I put #1 used tp TP in the garbage. We take it out every morning. #2 I was flushing, but that wasn’t often. (maybe once a day..) we mostly use the Bathhouse for that! But we didn’t have any trouble. But like I said, it wasn’t much put in the drain. If you dont like the idea of putting in a trash bag and dumping it, I would suggest using Camper TP. If it’s not working enough, then use the wipes and put those in the trash!
      We also are not Full timers (wish we were), so we aren’t living in and only go camping (4-7 days) about 3-4 times a year.

    11. Not only does RV toilet paper dissolve very quickly, but because it does, then it is unlikely for it to get snared on the sensors that monitor the fullness of the tank. Using the wrong paper may result in a false “full” reading. However, if this ever does happen, you can usually determine the level of the effluent by shining a flashlight into the toilet while while flush pedal is depressed. Also, we really don’t want to overload campground septic systems with paper products that are slow to liquidy.

      1. We do use RV tp. But we have had the sensor get “stuck” in the full position. Our remedy was to dump the black water after our campground stay. Refill with clean water, leaving the water to slosh around on the trip home. Once home, dump water in the field beside the barn (we are farmers ). I, for one, was very surprised at the amount of “stuff” that was in the once clean water.

        They also make a long nozzled water jet that you stick down the opened toilet. It’s used to flush the walls of the tank too. But again, we had the best luck with just refilling with clean water, and letting the ride home do the rest.

        1. We have a fellow camper that does something similar. After dumping the black water, he dumps the leftover ice and water from his cooler to slosh around on the drive home. The ice acts as a cleaner, scrubbing debris off tank walls. When he gets home, he dumps it into his septic tank.

    12. Absolutely NOT..! I’ve been using Northern tissue for 17 years in 3 different class A motor homes and have never had a problem. Like others I keep the black water closed until about 1/2 to 3/4 full then empty it. This way it never dries out in the holding tank and always enough liquid to empty completely.
      Once empty I put approximately 5 gal of water with chemicals in the empty tank and I’m ready to go. I also always flush the tank once empty to be sure it is clean prior to adding water and chemicals to the black water tank.

    13. We use Scotts toilet paper that says septic tank safe you can buy this at any super market. We been using this for the last four years and never had a problem.

    14. Sandra, after years of using Scot’s single ply in the RV (and at home in our septic system), we’ve had no problems and found it works well.

  2. If you must use “wipes” (post-toilet tissue cleaning), have a small waste bin lined w/plastic bag to throw used wipe into, then out with trash. Wipes will clog your black tank, just as it will increase the cost of pumping out your home septic system as the wipes must be removed for trash pickup. Pumpers will not pump! Wipes are bad news for city waste plants too and clog the sewer system. Learned the expensive hard way.

  3. I’m a fan of Scott’s Septic Safe paper and Scott’s Septic Safe moist wipes.
    I am full-timing in my Mallard M33 and have not had any issues with both of these products. I leave my valve closed and dump it once a week.
    Like other on here I have a clear elbow to view the waste to ensure proper dump flow and to ensure my chemicals are breaking everything down properly.

    I am skeptical of anything that does not display or advertise as septic safe.

    1. Have you placed a septic safe wipe in water to see if they disolve? A product may say flushable or septic safe but be cautious about putting them in your black tank if they do not dissolve!

    2. Same here. Scotts single ply is easy to find and breaks down completely in the tank. Only solids I see when flushing are not white. 🙂 Your fingers also do not bleed through when doing the deed like RV paper did.

  4. I took a couple of sheets of our RV toilet paper and 1 ply Scott’s put them both is a jar and the Scott’s dissolved far more quickly than the RV. We have been camping for 15 + years and have never had a problem with Scott’s.

  5. We put an air tight waste basket by the toilet and put all our used toilet paper in it as we do our duty. This way, we can use good quality TP without paying extra for RV TP. The TP then goes out with regular garbage. It is not as gross as it sounds! In any event, my black water tank is easy to dump because it contains very little TP. Just something I learned in 25 years as an RVer.

    1. I agree with the concept “If it hasn’t gone into your mouth don’t put it in the toilet!” That’s the concept for boat heads and is used a lot in Europe and Mexico where sewage systems aren’t as robust as in Canada or USA. We keep a plastic bagged waste basket near the RV toilet, fold the to paper over on itself and dispose of bag daily in garbage. No need to worry about blockage from to or wipes and you don’t have to struggle with that thin, expensive RV to.

  6. We put a bidet in our camper. Bought off Amazon – it just attaches with the seat hardware. Plumbing was a little challenging (tapping into PEX line). We use way less toilet paper. We have them on our toilets at home too. The water isn’t heated so I can be a little startling when the water is especially cold.

  7. We don’t use RV specific toilet paper. That stuff is just too thin and akin to wiping with your bare hand. Yup. We DO use the cheaper two ply stuff (that we’d never use at home!) and have never had a problem. We have a ‘receptacle’ next to the loo for non-messy paper, and this goes a long way toward keeping us out of the dreaded “pyramid” issue.

  8. I’ve been using Charmin in my RV for almost 30 years and have never had a problem. Not a single plug up. And that’s with a wife and 4 kids. The RV stuff is worthless in terms of performance and not worth the price.

    1. I concur. We’ve used Charmin Ultrasoft for at least 5 years without a problem. We also use Walex Bio Pak toilet chemicals. I believe the enzymes supposedly used help in the disintegration of the toilet paper. It’s not broke so I don’t plan to fix it!

      1. We did the water jar test many years ago with Charmin Ultrasoft, and Thetford RV/Marine. With just a couple of shakes, the Charmin dissolved into a milky cloud. The Thetford paper practically refused to break up, even after much more vigorous shaking, letting it rest for a half hour, and shaking again.
        Needless to say we have been using Charmin Ultrasoft ever since, with no issues ever. I do recommend the jar of water test before choosing “any” TP for your RV (even RV types), and do rinse your black tank out with fresh water as part of your regular maintenance routines.

        I think we all understand why Campingworld wants you to use RV TP (because they sell it of course), but the truth is that there are “Septic Safe” TP choices that are just as good (and in some cases better) than RV TP. Sorry CampingWorld.

  9. I love my Cottonelle and I couldn’t possibly give it up. That’s why I throw it in a small lined covered trash can next to the toilet, and throw it out like any other trash.

  10. My wife is a fan of “wipes”. We do use them but never flush them. Instead we keep a roll of doggy poo back in the bathroom. Used wipes are place in a doggie bag , sealed and put in the bathroom trash can for disposal later.

  11. We are full time sense 1997. Boondock a lot and have owned three RVs in this time frame. We use angel soft and have never had a problem. If the tp passes the resolve test use it. RV tp is bunk from the dealers.

  12. Having owned a Roto Rooter business for many years I have seen almost everything and can say that most TP will breakdown fairly well. DO NOT use Charmin! It does not breakdown. We use Kirkland (Costco) and have had no problems with our septic system or RV. We also use Odorlor chemical and it does a great job of breaking down waste and containing odors.

  13. You can use Toilet paper for septic systems. this is biodegradable and breaks down easily. We buy Angel Toilet Paper and it says Septic Safe. Can get great deals in grocery stores for this. ALWAYS LOOK FOR SEPTIC SAFE TOILET PAPER.
    Did you also know that to clean your tank to take one capful of Calgon and one cup of powdered detergent and flush that down you tank after clearing the black tank. The Calgon is a water softener and the detergent helps clean. Since doing this our tanks don’t fill as fast because it is being flushed clean.

  14. Install toilet that is compatable with bidet,some plumbing work is required ,amount of t.p. generated will be nill, your backside will approve.

  15. We use Costco toilet paper and never put it down the toilet! Have a small lidded garbage can. Never had a problem in well over 20 years. Majority of our long time RV friends do the same

  16. if you would practice the disposal of TP like they do in South America or on some small sailing boats by placing it in the small garbage can next to the toilet you would not have a problem –

  17. We use the best regular toilet paper money can buy and have for years. Here’s our trick. We NEVER flush it. We use doggy poop picker upper bags and put the “used” paper in the bag and then that bag goes into a plastic supermarket bag and then that goes into our regular plastic garbage bag. The plastic keeps things a bit sanitary .

  18. My husband and I have been using Great Value Ultra Strong (septic safe) toilet paper for almost a year without any issues…knock on wood… I realize we are taking a chance but I performed that jar water shaking test and it breaks up pretty quickly.

  19. My wife and I full-time. I have done the shake test and the TP that I find most dissolvable is Angel Soft. We have had no issues with it.

  20. We have used the single ply Scott’s TP, using as little of it as possible. I also use a clear elbow so I can see what’s flowing out. I use chemicals religiously – and according to some folks, more than I need but the outflow is liquid and I also fill up the black tank about half full when I dump and add chemicals so that they get a chance to slosh around in the tank till I arrive at the next dump station.

  21. We are all being hoodwinked by the RV toilet paper manufacturers.
    As long as you use lots of water, flush your black tank regularly, you should have no problems.
    One more thing, the “chemical” for your tanks RV parts places sell is a waste of time. As long as you use lots of water, flush your tanks regularly, you can do without the “blue chemical” & go back to regular toilet paper. Once a month I close all valves, drop a Tide laundry pod in each tank, fill & drain tanks, works great.

  22. In my experience – regular TP is just fine! I’ve had 2 motor homes, 2 trailers, and 3 truck campers over the last 35 years, and have used regular toilet paper all that time. Never once have I had a problem or even come close. I use the standard multi-pack from Costco both at home and in the RV. I’m not sure why people have problems – maybe my wife and I use less TP than others, or we wait to make sure the tank is at least half full before dumping (so we get a good flush). Maybe it’s because I am typically in sites that do not have sewer and that means I have to drive to the park’s dump (the sloshing while driving to the dump breaks up any globs of paper that might be present). I also use my RV tank cleanout whenever I can, and have modified my system so that I can divert my outside shower water into the RV cleanout inlet (allows me to pump into my cleanout even when not connected to city water). In any event, I have been seeing people talk about the importance of RV toilet paper for years, and I don’t believe them – and my experience, regular TP is just fine as long as you are sensible. Sorry for disagreeing with some of the above comments – but after 35 years of RV’ing I know I am not just dodging a bullet. As another person said – RV paper falls apart while using it, and it’s expensive (especially relative to Costco’s Kirkland brand). I plan to keep using that and let this debate go on for another 35 years… Maybe, rather than spend the extra money on RV TP, people should just think more about how to ensure your tank can be flushed better.

  23. Absolutely fiction! Although not all brands of toilet paper are safe for use in an RV the majority of brands are. The water jar test is the best method to test your favorite brand. Keep in mind that your sewage system and holding tanks are designed to be filled at least 2/3 before attempting to dump in order to properly flush the tanks. During this time if you are using holding tank chemicals that contain enzymes designed to break down waste most solids will be liquefied and that includes toilet paper. The only toilet paper you should see coming out of the tank is that which was recently used before dumping. NEVER flush wipes or other items down your toilet and never leave the valves open constantly for either the grey or black tanks when hooked up to a sewer hook-up. Doing so will cause issues with build-up of solids in the tanks that can lead to costly repairs.

  24. We have used regular TP all our RV life (30+ years holidaying and living full time). But that being said we have also made a point of using Septo or some other form or septic tank enzimes. We have even boon docked (3 months on the desert circuit) using regular TP but as has been said use less, which you do when it doesn’t dissolve while your using it! When we dump our black water tank is like tea so yes everything is emulsified.

  25. The “dissolve test” noted above is the best way to determine if your TP is safe to use in your RV. If it holds together after vigorous shaking, don’t use it! Period. Many companies offer “septic safe” TP. Even if it says “septic safe”, test it.

  26. We use Sam’s Club Members Mark Bath Tissue, Septic Safe in our 5th wheel. Breaks down easily. We have 2 stools in our rig with 2 black tanks. We’ve never had a problem.

  27. Wee have been on the road seven years. We use Scott’s TP. We did the test suggested and have never had a problem. But Scott’s is the only one we found that worked.

  28. DUH Some TP tend to stick to the Black Tank and may not turn loose when flushing the tank. Depending on how much the system is used and where the TP has adhered to the tank your chance of paper build can(the key word is CAN or MAY) cause clogging. RV TP will dissolve and with proper flushing your Toidy should work good for many years.

    Ya use the old sears catalog and pays the price

  29. I’m in my RV at least 6 months out of the year, I have used septic safe toilet paper and never had a problem. I leave my black water valve closed and only dump when at least 2/3 full (or right before I store it)

  30. We only use RV TP and chemical to closed black tank. But…. because we we trying to save water we still had “pancake” build up in the tank plugging the toilet. Use plenty of water ; no problems now.

  31. I didn’t want to give up my big fluffy paper, so I just throw it away in a small lidded lined trash can in the bathroom and throw it away like any other trash. Just like you should do with any wet wipes you use.

  32. I know this will gross a lot of people out, butcwe don’t put any paper down the toilet. We use whatever tp we want and keep a waste basket next to the toilet (this system works effectively in many countries around the world). It doesn’t stink or smell and we never have any issues with black tank sensors or draining.

  33. When at full hookups Buy a tank cleaning product called tank tornado ,easy to attach to back and gray tanks .When hooked to a garden hose it blast inside the tanks directly it removes all matter,and Cleans the tank level equipment takes 15 mins use it at the end of every trip

  34. Been motorhoming for going on 40 years, on our 5th unit. Last 12 years staying out up to 3 months at a time. Never had a problem using the cheapest brand TP you are comfortable with. Recently been using Sam’s members mark for past 5 years. Be sure to use a good chemical and necessary water with black valve closed until nearly full.

  35. Today I went to the Big Lots Chain Store. I picked up a Big Lots Premium Softness Bath tissue (TP)
    ( unscented). It has 12 double rolls for $4.95, and is listed as Septic Safe , on the package. So we’re going to give these a try this Camping Season. We’ll see how they work & report back.

  36. “RV” toilet paper is absolutely unnecessary. This is a cash cow for the RV industry. Full time here since 2014. We have used Angel Soft as it’s degrade rate is better than most expensive RV paper. Also recommended is Costco Kirkland brand or Sams Memebers Mark. Regardless of paper, more importantly, is keeping your tanks flushed and cleaned regularly. Keep black tank closed and dump when at least 3/4!full. Use plenty of water when flushing. Don’t ever leave black tank gate valve open until ready to flush.

    1. You are right on Jeff..!! I agree with you 100% as I’ve been RVing for 21 years and never had a problem using Northern 3 ply tissue….forget that other 1 or 2 ply junk.
      Follow Jeff’s comments and you will never have a problem.

  37. The “dissolve test” noted above is the best way to determine if your TP is safe to use in your RV. If it holds together after vigorous shaking, don’t use it! Period.

  38. My husband uses the campground bathroom for bm’s whenever he can. I use our RV toilet and use the inexpensive Equate flushable wipes and dispose of them in a little lined covered trash can. Use them at home too. We leave our black tank valve closed and used organic Happy Camper s Odor Free Holding Tank Treatment and it works great. It is the holding tank treatment that is recommended the most by RV enthusiasts who have tried many different type of treatments. We have the clear platic ends to our black tank flush hose so we can see when the water is clear. We use the black tank flush valve on the outside of our RV and our black tank is always clean. We refill the black tank with about 8 gallons of water and put in Happy Camper to clean up the tank as we travel and get the enzymes started again. We use more during hot weather too. Do not breathe in the Happy Campers and clean your hands of any powder asap too. We use Happy Camper in our gray water tanks as well to keep away odors. We have a septic system at our home since 1980 and know to be careful what toilet tissue we use and we never flush anything but toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. We never use bleach or fabric softener in our washing machine.

  39. Even with RV tp we seem to have problems. It is probably because we really do not know what we are doing for the most part AND when we finally figure it out we forget what we learned the next time we take Matilda out. Aahhhhh! My only suggestion is: buy long latex gloves for those learning curves. They make them in really nice colors nowadays and yes, do make them long! 🙂 Elbow length is better I know. My hubby just stands by and watches….well, he gags occasionally too! 🙂 RV tp a must yes, but for some of us so are long latex gloves! 🙂 Happy RVing!

  40. We have been RVing for 25 years and have never had any waste tank problems. We use a rapid dissolving toilet paper and plenty of water in the black tank. We have never used any chemicals other than cleaning detergent in the black tank. It is not a septic tank, it is a large capacity, convenient chamber pot used to temporarily store human waste. We use a transparent elbow to monitor the discharge when we empty the tanks and flush with water until it runs clear. We then add a couple gallons of water and some detergent to clean the empty tank as we travel.

  41. Well. we have been full time on the road for about 10 years. Originally, we watched rv videos of ‘The RV Doctor’ who basically said if your toilet paper disintegrates when you put it in a jar of water, it is safe to use in your rv. We have done that and have used Scott (septic safe) paper for years and have never had a problem.

  42. Members mark ultra premium bath tissue is labeled septic safe. We have been using it for quite a while in our septic system served home. Also, the stuff is actually very good at its job, comfortable and clean. So, I decided the water and shake test was in order. Stuff dissolved readily. This will be going in the RV.

Leave a Reply to SteveO Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.