Okay, you may be thinking…
“this is going to be a crappy, stinking blog”. We just hope you continue reading and visit our newest video as we research the dirty part of owning an RV. It is a topic that needs to be discussed and thought about when contemplating purchasing an RV.
Listening to videos about campers or visiting RV sales showrooms, you hear terms like, “black water”, “gray water”, “dump tanks” and may see toilet paper designed for RV use. Seriously, do you really need to buy a specialty toilet paper like this one sold on Amazon? There are youtube videos with people testing toilet paper to see which dissolves best. They are usually long, boring videos, so we decided to talk with people that own campers and ask their opinion.
You may hear your camping friends talk about “toilet bombs”, but they are not Camper Crazy toilet terrorists, they are just sanitation sensitive. For us future RV owners, these may not be familiar terms. However, if we watched that movie “RV”, we probably all remember the dumping scene. Thus the question, “to poop or not to poop”.
If you remember our blog and videos featuring BJ & Shanna’s family, they started out their trip with strict orders to their kids not to poop in the RV. They had to use the comfort station at the RV parks. They didn’t want to deal with all that cleanup work. By the end of their trip, they were all using the throne for their dirty work.
When talking to other campers, some have decided it is not worth all the hard work and strictly use the RV park facilities they camp in. However, that is a bit difficult if you eat a lot of high fiber foods or if it is bad weather and you have to run to the park facilities.
But, why is this important? Well, for one thing we spend a lot of time using the toilet! There are studies that have been conducted that show people spend from 1.5 – 3 hours on the toilet each week. So, if you are living full-time in an RV, in one year, you may spend almost one full week on the toilet. So, we figure, not only should the bathroom area be the right size, but the toilet should be comfortable and we better know how to keep that toilet cleaned out properly.
So, what is black water and gray water? Below your beautiful RV are holding tanks that hold the non-pretty elements of your RV. Underneath will be your “black tank” that holds the waste from your toilet. You will also have a “gray tank” that holds the waste water from your shower and sinks. If your holding tanks are not properly cleaned, they will generate a smell that will make you think that skunks have taken your RV hostage.
All of the RVs we have looked at have a foot flush on the toilet. You step on it and it dispenses water into the bowl and opens the valve in the bowl to dump the toilet waste into your black tank. Following are tips that we will try to utilize, if we figure out what type RV to purchase:
Tip #1 – Make sure you have some water in the bottom of the toilet bowl before you use it.
Tip #2 – Some recommend that if you have your fan on while using the toilet, shut-off the fan when you flush. That process will eliminate the fan from pulling up the stinky odors from the black tank when the valve opens. Others say that if you clean out your tank properly and often, this is unnecessary.
Tip #3 – Make sure your toilet bowl is empty of all water once you start traveling, otherwise you will have to clean up a sloshy mess, especially if the driver of your RV drives like my husband.
Tip #4 – You can use your shower sprayer with hot water to spray out the toilet bowl before you dump the tank and the steam will also help breakup any solids that may be starting to harden.
Tip #5 – Dump your black tank and THEN dump your gray tank to flush out the hose.
Tip #6 – Make your own toilet bombs. You can find instructions online to get the recipe and the campers we interviewed used slightly different recipes but all happy with the results. One of the campers we interviewed simply uses a few scoops of Borax and large squirts of Dawn dish-washing liquid and flushes it down into the black tank.
Tip 7 – You may want to try Poo Pourri…
Some recommend after you dump and clean your tank to add water to the tank to help solids from sticking to the sides and bottom of the tank. Other campers say this is unnecessary if you dump often and clean properly and use toilet bombs. After you dump your tank, you should always clean it out manually or with a Saniflush if your RV comes equipped with it.
There is no way we will only use campsite comfort station facilities to do our business. So, our goal is to make sure we know all the correct procedures in emptying the tanks, keeping them clean and using the proper chemicals that will keep the tanks in good shape and eliminate stinky odors.
If any of our readers have other suggestions that have worked for them, please leave a comment to help educate us and others that are Camper Crazy Confused also! And if you are camper crazy confused, leave a question and we will try and find an answer.
As always we recommend you watch our video on this sensitive subject matter. Simply login to YouTube and search for Camper Crazy Buzz. Don’t forget to subscribe and like!
MOST IMPORTANT TIP:
If your RV does not have a lock on the bathroom door, you may want to install a seat belt on your toilet. You never know when you will fall off the pot and fly out the door(s)! Learn more & get the BUZZ in our videos and remember, “safety first”!