Can You Use Household Toilet Paper In An RV? (I Would Not)

“Can You Use Household Toilet Paper In An RV?” In short, I wouldn’t. Regular toilet paper is not designed for RV toilets and can cause clogs in the tanks and mess with your sensors.

RV-safe toilet paper is designed to break down quickly. This means that it won’t get stuck in the blackwater tank whereas regular toilet paper might. It’s worth investing in these types of toilet papers for the long-term health of your RV’s plumbing system.

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“Can You Use Household Toilet Paper In An RV?” (In-Depth)

With septic-safe TP, you’ll reduce the chances of a clogged line (or impaired septic tank sensors) and save yourself from potentially costly repairs down the road.

Coming from experience, the black water sensor on our RV has never worked, meaning we never know how full our tank is until it’s COMPLETELY full (and staring at us from the toilet bowl!)

As we’re the second owners of this unit, I can only presume that the previous owners did not use RV-specific toilet paper and that is why the sensor is blocked.

Is RV Toilet Paper Necessary?

If it’s not already clear, while it’s not “necessary,” I would highly recommend it if you want to avoid potential clogs and issues with your black tank.

At the very least I recommend using septic tank-safe toilet paper.

What Makes RV Toilet Paper Special?

RV-safe toilet paper is designed to break down quickly and more completely than household TP. This helps to prevent clogs and other issues with the plumbing in an RV.

It is also specifically formulated for use in mobile toilets as it contains no dyes, fragrances or parabens that could damage sensitive septic systems.

Where To Buy RV Toilet Paper?

It depends on where you live but lots of places sell RV toilet paper. I’m in Canada so places like Walmart, Canadian Tire and Home Hardware are good places to find it.

I’ve also purchased this brand from Amazon and it makes our bums quite happy (and our septic tank!) Based on reviews, a lot of other people agree with me but there are lots of other RV toilet paper brands to check out.

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How Much Toilet Paper Should I Use?

Now I’m not going to tell you to use only “2 squares” or anything like that because I know that nobody can properly wipe their butt with that. What I will say though is use only what you need and nothing more.

Additionally, it is important to be mindful of not flushing anything other than the necessary materials down your RV toilet, such as sanitary items or kleenex.

How To Test If Your Toilet Paper is RV Safe?

If you must use regular toilet paper (or don’t want to spend the money on RV toilet paper) here is a simple test that you can do to see if your TP is RV-safe.

Fill a glass jar with water and put a few sheets of toilet paper inside then put the lid on and shake vigorously. If the TP starts to dissolve after a few seconds then it is probably okay to use in your RV.

money aka toilet paper in a jar

Is Costco Toilet Paper RV Friendly?

We have never tried it personally but according to others, Costco’s Kirkland toilet paper passes the above test and can be used in your RV without issue.

Also, don’t believe everything you read on the internet because clearly, the author of the article above and I disagree on the main subject of this blog post.

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FYI, the above photo is simply just for the image. It’s way cheaper to buy Costco toilet paper at Costco (what are you thinking Amazon!?)

Should You Keep Water In RV Toilet?

We like to keep a thin layer of water in our toilet at all times (and the lid closed) as it helps to block unpleasant odours from entering the rest of the RV.

You also want to fill the bowl a bit before every use to help wash down the toilet paper.

More RV Toilet Tips

  1. Before heading out on your next adventure, make sure the black tank valve is free of obstructions.
  2. Dump your tanks at an RV dump station after each use to reduce weight and keep your tanks clean.
  3. Use a septic tank treatment every time you empty the black water. They are designed to break down waste and eliminate odours. We like this one by Camco.
  4. Use cleaners specifically meant for your RV so you don’t damage sensitive equipment or the toilet seal.
  5. Avoid flushing ANYTHING BUT TOILET PAPER down the toilet.
  6. Turn off the fan and close the vent before flushing the toilet to avoid sucking the fumes from the black tank into the washroom.
  7. These charcoal air-purifying bags are amazing for eliminating odours and moisture in your RV bathroom.
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In conclusion, we highly recommend using RV-friendly toilet paper but household toilet paper can be used in an RV if it passes “the test.”

Additionally, it is important to avoid clogs by practicing good habits such as filling the toilet bowl with water before use and avoiding overstuffing the tank.

Happy RVing!