Can You Use A Plunger On An RV Toilet?

It's an inevitable event. You didn't want it to happen—but it did. More specifically, the toilet in the RV is clogged! Can you use a plunger on an RV toilet to unclog it? If that's what you're trying to figure out, let's take a look at what others have to say! 

Unclogging your toilet with a plunger is one way to go about it. Though, using a plunger comes with its limits. If the problem is within the tank, you might be using a plunger with no effect. Regardless, if it's an option you want to try, you can: 

  1. Add water in the bowl if there isn't any.
  2. Put the plunger over the hole. Make sure to cover it completely.
  3. Then, pump it up and down about 15-20 times. 
  4. To check the drainage, flush the toilet. 

Now that we've gone over the possibility of using a plunger to unclog an RV toilet, there are some cases where it might be of no use. Meaning, you'd be wasting your time trying to fix a problem that lies deeper! Additionally, you might want to know how to clear a clogged RV toilet. There are still more details to discuss. If you'd like to learn more, keep reading ahead. 

Inside of RV with washroom toilet sink shower cabinet. Can You Use A Plunger On An RV Toilet

Plunging the RV Toilet

When the toilet is clogged, the traditional method that comes to mind is plunging. In these cases, we're quick to look for the plunger and begin pumping the blockage out. As we've mentioned, this will only work in some cases. 

To be more specific, it's a viable method if the clog is near the top. So, you might want to keep in mind what might have caused the clog in the first place. If the problem lies further, like in the black water tank, you'd be wasting energy on a fix that doesn't work. 

However, since we can't be precise all the time, trying to fix the problem by using a plunger can be your first step. 

clean white toilet seat for an RV

Try It Out A Few Times

To reiterate the steps above, if you want to use a plunger on the toilet, you can:

  1. Add water to the bowl.
  2. Cover the hole with the plunger completely.
  3. Pump up and down vigorously about 15-20 times. 
  4. Flush the toilet to check the drainage.

If the toilet is still clogged, you shouldn't give up after the first try. Try it again for 2-3 more times. After numerous attempts, you will have to use another method to unclog the toilet. It usually means that the problem lies within the tank rather than the toilet. So, let's go over alternative ways to fix our problem. 

How Do You Clear a Clogged RV Toilet?

If a plunger can't save the day, what are some tools or products that can help us get closer to flushing again? As some suggest, you will need to use a black tank cleaner. Black tank cleaners are usually chemical-based products meant to break down any blockages.

Click here to see this black tank cleaner on Amazon.

They're easy to use. The black tank cleaner above only requires you to drop the packet in the toilet. Fill the holding tank with water. Then, wait 12-24 hours to see results. It's one of the least hands-on methods you can use to fix a clogged toilet. 

Home Remedies

If you can't get access to a black tank cleaner, you can try your hand with some home remedies. One of the simple methods is using boiling water. Boil a gallon of hot water and pour it down the toilet. This way, the solids that are giving you a tough time can break down. 

After an hour or more, check to see if you can drain the tank. If you can't, you can keep pouring boiling water to continue helping the solids break down. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This method will come with mixed results. It helps break down some of the content that's causing the clog. To do this method, you'll need to pour an entire box of baking soda into your black tank. Then, follow it up with half a gallon of vinegar. 

If your options are running thin, this can be your last hope. Still, it's not a 100% chance it will work. So, we'll have to look at other ways. 

Tank Wands

If you want to avoid using chemicals and home remedies, a tank wand might interest you. It's a tool that will help you reach spots that you can't clean typically. 

Click here to see this tank wand on Amazon.

We'll have to follow the manufacturer's directions. To use a tank wand, you'll have to:

  1. First, wear gloves. 
  2. Locate a water hose that is not for drinking usage. 
  3. Connect the Swivel Stik to an extension hose.
  4. Then, empty the black tank in your RV.
  5. Leave the tank drain valve open.
  6. Go to the toilet and insert the Swivel Stik into the holding tank. 
  7. Open the hose faucet to full flow. 
  8. Keep the toilet valve depressed. If you don't, you might damage the toilet valve.
  9. Shut the valve and remove the Swivel Stik once you finish cleaning.
  10. Shut the gate valve once you've drained all the water properly.

If you'd like a live demonstration, here's a YouTube video to help:

Why Does My RV Toilet Bubble When I Flush?

In some cases, you'll flush the toilet only to see it bubble before it goes down. As some suggest, the reason behind this is because the toilet drain or the black water tank is blocked. Others can confirm this is the case. Some forum users claim that they see bubbles when the tank is close to being full.

Otherwise, you will have to clean whatever obstructions are present. So, you would have to check your black water tank first. Drain it in a black water drainage facility. Then, check if it continues to bubble. 

If it's not the black water tank, it could be a clogged drainpipe. To fix this problem, you can use some of the methods mentioned above. Meaning, you can use a cleaning wand, a black water tank cleaner, etc.   

How Do You Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Clogged Toilet?

Close Up Of Toilet Paper Holder In Small Restroom Area

When it's toilet paper causing the blockage, we'll have to look at ways to clear the mess up. The first thing you can try is the boiling water method. So, let's go over how you can do it. First, start by boiling a gallon of water. 

Let it cool for a bit before pouring it down the toilet. Then, pour it down the drain and wait an hour or so. Check the toilet to see if the toilet paper is dissolved at this point. If it hasn't, you can keep trying by pouring more boiling water. Repeat the process until the toilet paper is no longer obstructing the area. 

What Toilet Paper Breaks Down the Fastest?

Since toilet paper is an item that commonly causes the toilet to clog, we'll have to look for something that can break down quickly. Otherwise, it would be impossible to avoid it. Some suggest that plumbing in an RV is more fragile. 

The typical toilet paper we use at home tends to be thick and doesn't break down as easily. For this reason, we need to look for RV-specific toilet paper. If you must use a brand that you have at home, you can perform a test to see if it's fine for RV usage. 

Fill a tall glass with water. Then, take two pieces of the toilet paper you will use and put them in the glass of water. Cover the top and shake. After 3-5 minutes, you can observe if it's safe for use in an RV by whether it has dissolved. 

Otherwise, go for RV-safe toilet paper. They're made to dissolve after 3-5 minutes. 

Click here to see this RV-safe toilet paper on Amazon.

What Happens if I Overfill My RV Waste Tank?

When it comes to plumbing in your RV, you want to pay close attention to how things are going. In some cases, you might forget to drain your black water tank. If you leave it to the last minute, you risk overfilling it. 

As a result, three situations can occur. In the first situation, the waste will travel its way up to your roof. So, you'll have a mess to clean up on top of the RV. 

In the second, your toilet will overflow and make a mess in your bathroom. Lastly, in the worst case, your black water tank will burst. Fixing a burst tank will give you a run for your money. 

If you'd like more of what could happen, check out our post here.

modern motorhome bathroom with wood accents. Can You Use A Plunger On An RV Toilet

Final Takeaway

No matter what we do, sometimes, we'll have to deal with a clogging issue. Finding out what you have to do to fix the problem should be your priority. Otherwise, we're setting ourselves up for more expensive problems down the line. We hope you found the information above helpful! 

Before you go, do you have other RV concerns? Are you wondering if an RV's tires should be balanced and rotated? You can find out more by checking out our post here.

Is your RV's grey water tank emitting a stinky smell? There are some steps you can take to remove the odor. If you'd like to learn more, check out our post here. Until next time!

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