Last Updated on 05/07/2024 by Glynn Willard

Do You Have To Use RV Toilet Paper?


The short answer based on our experience, NO, but we’ve found that TP should not go into your RV’s septic system at all.

Read on to learn why…

How did we draw this conclusion?

Our RV use sent us boondocking all over the west for two years and we could not risk clogging our septic tank.

It’s simple, regardless of whether you use RV-specific toilet paper or not, when one removes the predominant variable that elevates the probability of clogging, then one minimizes the potential for problems.

I adhere to the adage, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Not every RV owner will agree with me on this topic. But if we all agreed all the time, the world would be really boring!

That’s what makes the RV community so cool. We all have some great ideas to bring to the table!

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What Type Of Toilet Paper In RV Tank?

RV toilet paper?
When we first got started full-time, we used up the rest of the “RV-friendly toilet paper” left over from the previous owner of our travel trailer.

We were new RV owners and at least knew that RV septic systems had different requirements.

So why not just stick with the best RV toilet paper?

It didn’t take us long to realize it should be re-branded as low-quality tissue paper.

Seriously, your finger breaking through the single ply paper during a wipe is not cool!

Yeah, you know it’s happened to you.

It was then that we decided we needed a better solution. And that was to not place any kind of “spent” toilet paper into the black holding tank.

From my initial analysis, placing toilet paper in the black tank elevated the potential for problems.

Especially if there’s not enough water in the black water tank.

At the time, we lived in the rig and didn’t need problems that could be prevented. I prefer remaining a happy camper.

But if you do prefer to flush your RV toilet paper, what is considered RV-safe toilet paper?

If the kind of toilet paper you’re looking at is labeled as safe for your RV’s plumbing system, it will work fine.

If it’s labeled “boat” it will also work.

If you make sure to keep enough fresh water in the black tank (in addition to your own waste).

You can pick it up along your RV adventures at any Walmart, Camping World, or RV dealership.

Why Not Just Use Regular Toilet Paper In RV?

RV toilet paper.
Bottom line, please don’t place regular TP in your black water tank.

Even if it’s septic-safe toilet paper.

Clearing a clogged line or black tank valve can be a real challenge and end up costing you a lot in repairs.

On more than one occasion, we’ve come across someone at a dump station clogging up the line trying to blast water through their cleanout or RV sewer hose, unsuccessfully.

And of course, I always inquire about the problem.

The answer was always the same, “so and so put regular toilet paper in the black tank.”

Please don’t be that person.

It’s also very likely you’ll end up rendering your tank sensors unusable.

Why Not Just Use RV-Specific Toilet Paper?

It’s certainly less probable that a clog will occur, but the potential is still there if there’s not lots of water in the black tank.

But, and that’s a big but, the use of camping toilet paper could be viewed as bathroom torture.

As I mentioned earlier, it only took a few rolls to realize RV toilet paper was not for us.

Perhaps one could tolerate it for a short duration, but not for long time use.

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Best Toilet Paper For RV Use

Again, is RV Toilet Paper necessary? No.

Skip down to see our solution. Ultimately, we believe your favorite toilet paper you use at home is the best choice.

Even Angel Soft or Charmin Ultra Soft for those of you who like to squeeze! It’s your personal preference.

But it can’t be flushed into the black tank.

Since we bought most of our supplies at Walmart (large accommodating parking lots), we just purchased the Great Value ultra-strong bath tissue.

It’s surprisingly good quality for being a store brand and well-priced.

What If Your RV Has A Cassette Toilet?

The same thing applies to a cassette toilet, but it’s amplified.

If you choose to flush TP, it has to be RV-safe toilet paper.

Even with RV paper, if you use too much toilet paper, you may still have problems.

Your best option is to go with our solution listed next.


What’s Our Solution For Using Regular Toilet Paper in RV?

Regular TP in an RV?
Initially, we thought using a small trash can with a flip lid would smell bad. The last thing we want is a stinky bathroom!

Turns out, it never smelled bad. And we enjoyed the luxury of soft, strong toilet paper!

This is the exact trash can we used. Yes, it’s an affiliate link, which makes it easier for you to see what I’m talking about.

It would take more than two weeks before it needed emptying.

This was the perfect solution for a comfortable bathroom experience by continuing our use of strong soft toilet paper.

What If Someone Accidentally Puts Regular Toilet Paper In The Black Tank

It happens. And as long as it’s not habitual, it’s not a problem if you let it “simmer.”

There’s an easy solution when in doubt, add a few additional gallons of water to the tank. OK, maybe not that much.

Just use plenty of water and a few days before dumping the black holding tanks, add about 1 cup of borax to the mix.

It will elevate the pH and soften the contents. That measurement is haphazard. In other words, just dump some of the box down the toilet.

Also, right before dumping, add additional water to the black tank to increase the output pressure.

I would have Rose inside flushing the toilet right before I opened the black valve (and during).

That should help minimize the risk if someone accidentally places regular toilet paper in the black tank.

Your RV’s sewage system will be fine if you follow the above steps.

Wrapping Up RV Toilet Paper

We found the annoyance of using RV-specific toilet paper to heavily outweigh the need to dispose of a trash bag of dirty TP.

It never smelled and vastly improved our “bathroom experience!”

It’s easier to find locations to dispose of your trash than it is to find dump stations without a line of users.

Bottom line:

Find a small trash can to put next to the toilet. Make your bathroom experience comfortable rather than a topic of conversation.

You won’t regret the decision.
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