When we bought our first RV we had a walk-through where we learned how everything worked. When we got to the bathroom, the person doing the walk-through said to only use toilet paper designed for RVs. But is true?
Is RV Toilet Paper Necessary?
You don't need to use special toilet paper in your RV. But that's not to say you can grab a roll of toilet paper and use it without having problems with your RV sewer system.
Why RV Toilet Paper is Different
RVs and travel trailers use gravity to empty the black water tank. So anything that hasn't dissolved before dumping can create a clog.An advantage of RV toilet paper is it dissolves fast. The disadvantage is it costs more and isn't always available at local stores.
TIP: When buying toilet paper be sure the label says "RV/Marine" or "Septic System Safe". This means the paper will dissolve faster than regular toilet paper.
Toilet Paper Breakdown Test (TPBT)
If you want to use regular toilet paper, you should test it to see how fast it dissolves.
To do the test you'll need a clear 10-ounce jar with a lid, a couple of sheets of the toilet paper you want to test, and water.
- Fill the jar about half full of water
- Add 2 sheets of the test toilet paper
- Shake the jar hard 2 or 3 times
- Set the jar down and watch it for about a few minutes to see if the toilet paper begins dissolving
Note: The toilet paper will not dissolve until it disappears. What you are looking for is the paper disintegrating. The more it breaks down the better.
WARNING: If the toilet paper doesn't dissolve or only breaks down a little, don't use it.
RV Toilet Paper Options
We tested several toilet papers to see how they stood up. The RV and septic tank toilet papers passed our home test. We then used the results of the RV toilet papers to measure against the home toilet paper brands. And some of the name brands did pass.
- Here are the toilet papers we tested and the results:
- Charmin Ultra Soft passed
- Angel Soft passed
- Scott's Single Ply passed
- Quilted Northern Soft and Strong failed
For more information on testing toilet paper, there are videos on YouTube.
Disposing of Toilet Paper Alternatives
We've talked to people who don't trust putting anything down their toilet. What they do is bag it and put it in the trash. For us, bagging and tossing used toilet paper isn't an option.
RV sewer systems handle biodegradable toilet paper. It's a safe and sane way to use the bathroom. So do yourself a favor and use your RV's toilet as designed. Also, dumping human waste in public garbage cans or dumpsters might be illegal in some areas.
The Toilet Paper We Use
The primary reason we use RV toilet paper is we're confident it won't clog our RV's sewer. The small amount of money saved by buying store brands isn't worth a clogged dump tank.
We've tried many brands and found we like Scott's Rapid Dissolve the best. If you haven't settled on a toilet paper brand, give Scott's a try.
We hope this article helps settle the question about having to use RV toilet paper. It isn't an absolute yes and no answer. It comes down to personal choice.