So you buy your first RV. You spend the day getting the tour. You learn how all your RV systems work. Then you go for your first solo trip. Their is a problem people don’t usually want to talk about. People don’t ask about how to use the toilet. Sales people don’t explain it. Experienced RVers hint at it.
Until you learn how to use the toilet you will be cleaning poop chunks off your toilet. You will learn why the toilet contains toil.
I will attempt to talk about it!
The toilet is much like your home version, but it has some differences.
Unless you have a nice bus conversion or high-end class A your throne will probably be made of plastic. It is a wish of mine to get a ceramic/porcelain version.
The toliet also will lack the trap. The trap is a pipe that is u-shaped behind a home toilet. The traps job is to let heavy objects sink to the bottom and not get past the other side. This is how you can get your ring back sometimes if it would get flushed.
In a RV, the toilet is usually (their are always some exceptions) just a hole into a tank. That means it is fully capable of eating your new iPhone and you probably will never see it again.
That also means you will have some potential stank. Here is a quick primer for dealing with RV poop smells – It’s call the geo method.
Much like your home toilet, your RV will have some type of handle. Each toilet manufacture has different ways of installing the handle. Some units have a floor pedal flush. Some have a lever. Some have a pedal and a lever! Mine has the handle on the bowl in the back.
No matter where the lever is located – it won’t matter. They all work the same way. You activate the lever half-way and it will fill the bowl. You pull the lever forward and it will open the bowl and dump the bowls contents into the hole below it.
An RV is designed to be in motion. That means that the toilet has the potential to be spilling water. That is why there is only a tiny bit by default in a RV bowl. That water keeps the rubber in the valve seal nice and rubbery, plus it ads a layer of smell protection from the tank.
So that tiny bit of water is the problem. Your natural instinct is to sit down and drop your deuce, just like at home. While you can do that, I don’t recommend it! Otherwise you will see such great ideas as this one and try to implement them. You will be cleaning poop out of your bowl every time.
Here is the trick. PAY ATTENTION! Pull the lever half-way and fill the bowl with water. Super simple right? Then the water will help keep the bowl clean, just like your home toilet. I have maybe read 1 article about it this before. Their should be a plaque on the wall explaining this concept. You car has airbag instructions – RV’s should have toilet instructions.
If you live in an RV or use one, you will have figured this all out. When you do figure it out you want to celebrate. You want to celebrate because you will have figured out how not to have to clean poop up!
I also want to tell you a little bit about clean up. In the great immortal words of one of my older co-workers:
“I want to tell you the secret to a long lasting marriage: Sit down on the toilet when you pee! “
A porcelain toilet cleans up nice. It is super smooth and doesn’t take much effort to maintain. A RV toilet is made from cheapie plastic. For whatever reason a lot of RV toilets have a recessed lid. This makes it looks smooth and fancy. The problem is when us dudes dribble a little bit. Don’t be embarrassed – you know all guys do it.
Anyway on a normal toilet you just quick wipe it up. On many RV bowls, the bowl has a small lip that the drips can fall onto. When you wipe it ups like normal you have to really scrub that lip up. Otherwise your wife will get very upset that her legs are touching your pee drops.
I also should mention the fan. Most all bathrooms have a fan. It is best to not have the fan on when using the bathroom. The fan will pull the smells up between your legs when you are sitting. You should always turn the fan on when you are done. Even in the winter. It’s a small space.
So in summery:
- Fill the bowl with water
- Clean the edge of the bowl up extra good
- Turn on the fan after you are done pooping
So now you know all you have wanted to know about using and operating the toilet in an RV. Please be kind and turn on the fan if you poop. Even in the winter. We don’t need the smell to leak into the living area.