It’s Potty Time: Taking Care of Your RV Toilet and Sanitation System

RV Family Travel Atlas

It’s Potty Time: Taking Care of Your RV Toilet and Sanitation System

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It’s Potty Time: Taking Care of Your RV Toilet and Sanitation System

Your RV toilet is different than the toilet in your house–and it needs to be treated and maintained differently.  We all want to avoid nasty smells and inconvenient clogs, but not all of us have the knowledge to flush with a clean conscious.  So we decided to call our friends at Thetford and ask them to break it all down for us in a bonus episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast. When it comes to number #2, Thetford has been #1 for over 50 years!

We met Paula Pacholke-Dumont at the Florida RV Supershow last winter. She is the manager of Chemical Product Development at Thetford, and she knows RV toilets and black and grey tanks inside and out. For this special episode of RV Family Travel Atlas Paula agreed to come on the show and give us a version of her seminar, “Potty Time: How To Take Care of your RV Toilet and Sanitation Systems” which she has presented at rallies across the country. In this interview Paula will tell you everything you need to know to keep your systems sparkling and and running smoothly.

You can also check out a list of the tank sanitation products we use and love. 

How the RV Toilet is Different Than Your Toilet at Home

Your RV bathroom may provide all of the comforts of home–but, generally speaking, it needs more care and maintenance. Why? Because your RV bathroom has lots of plastic fixtures, moving seals and slides, limited holding capacity of waste, and that waste can stay in the RV.  Paula will tell us which products to use to keep those seals healthy and keep those tanks from clogging and smelling up the inside of your rig.

The Great RV Toilet Tissue Debate

There’s a lot of bad information floating around on the internet about RV toilets and toilet paper. There are lots of folks out there who insist that RV specific toilet paper is just a waste of money. They insist that standard TP will work just fine. Paula breaks down why this is bad information that could lead to stubborn clogs. She also talks one vs. two ply and how to avoid the dreaded “tissue pyramid” that is often caused by kids using way too much toilet paper!!! Then she recommends cleaning and flushing the tanks before traveling or storing your rig, not storing the rig with waste in the tanks, and using lots of water and a cellulase-based tissue digesting product.

Fresh Water Tanks and Grey Water Tanks

Paula also teaches us how to take care of fresh water tanks and grey water tanks. She walks us through how to clean and sanitize your fresh water tank and which food service safe products to use to keep bacteria out of your tank. Paula also confirms what we have suspected for years, that grey tanks can smell just as bad as black tanks. Thankfully, with the correct products and procedures we can avoid nasty smells coming from any of our tanks!

Holding Tank Deodorants and Sensor Issues

Thetford’s Aqua-Kem is the #1 holding tank deodorant of all time for good reason. It works! We have been using Aqua-Kem for 8 years and we have never had the dread black tank stink. Paula talks about the history of Thetford and the Aqua-Kem product. But most importantly, how to use it to keep odors contained!

Many RV owners complain about their black tank sensors and how they pretty much never work for any sustained length of time. They are basically the first thing to malfunction in many new RV’s. To help with this issue Thetford has released a new product called Tank Blaster which will keep your black tank sensors clean so you know when its time to clean the tanks.

Taking care of your RV’s toilet and sanitation system may sound complicated–but its really not. Anyone can do it. Plus, keeping your toilet and holding tanks clean is much easier than dealing clogs and bad odors. If you put a little time in to take care of your tanks, your tanks will take care of you. Do you want to spend more time enjoying the joys and pleasures of RV life? Then the first step towards maximizing the fun is doing a little bit of maintenance along the way.

We wish you many years of clean holding tanks and hope that your RV toilet is always sparking! We also hope to see you at the campground!

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