• RV Life and Living

How do I Unclog my RV or Trailer Trailer Toilet?

Living in your RV or Travel Trailer is on the rise. More and more of us are hitting the roads and living in our RVs or Travel Trailers on a full-time basis. With this new lifestyle comes a new list of items that we need to repair or maintain regularly. Gone are the days of washing your deck and house. Now are the days of washing and polishing your RV or Travel Trailer.



While RVs and Travel Trailers have become more dependable and comfortable in recent years, there are some key components that we need to address on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis. Your toilet and your black water tank are at the top of the list. These two components work together to allow you to use the bathroom in your RV or Travel Trailer, just like you would in your house.


So let us take a closer look at the components and how we can maintain them. Also, we’ll go over what you should do if your RV black Tank (RV Septic Tank) becomes clogged and what to do if you have a clogged RV Trailer Toilet.



Step 1: Review the Condition of Your RV Black Tank and your RV Toilet.

  1. Check to be sure you have no visible leaks under your RV Black Tank or Piping from the tank to the Sewer Hose Connection.

  2. It would be best if you operate your RV Sewer Tank with the valve closed. This method allows water and solids to build within the tank and slosh around while the solid, including RV Toilet Tissue.

  3. Check to be sure there is no visible black water leakage around your toilet. Just like in your house, this leaking under the toilet will damage the subfloor under your toilet, resulting in costly repairs.

  4. Check your RV Sewer Hose condition from the RV Sewer Valve Connection to the Campground’s Waste-Water Connection. Be sure there are no leaks in your hose as this could be an environmental issue, one that is easily solved.

  5. Check to see that when you flush your toilet that there are no restrictions or a slow flush. If the color seems slow or a gurgle, then there is a likely build up in the RV Black Tank (RV Septic Tank). Typically, this build-up is called pyramiding or pyramid build up. It results from the solids landing directly under your RV Toilet and not having enough water to carry the solids out of the RV Septic Tank. This issue is more likely to happen if you operate your RV Black Tank with the Septic valve open at all times.



Now we have determined that our RV Septic Tank (RV Black Tank), What do we do.

  1. The first step is to see if you can perform a black tank flush. For this, you will close the RV Sewer Valve and add water to the RV Black Tank. I will start by filling the tank for five or so minutes (this time does depend on how full your tank is when it clogged). Then, you will open the sewer valve to perform the black tank flush. You need to listen to the sound the waste-water makes when you open the valve. You will hear the rush of water, solids, including the RV Toilet Tissue. If the black water goes out in a good rush, repeat this process several times, increasing the tank’s water.

  2. Your RV Toilet Flushing Problems are almost always a direct result of the Black Water RV Holding Tank. These RV Toilet Flushing Problems can be slow draining to no draining. You will probably also hear the tell-tail gurgle telling you there is a problem. Again, this problem can usually be solved by an RV Black Tank Flush.

  3. While you are flushing the RV Septic Tank, I will usually take a separate garden hose and spray it directly into the toilet bowl, with the foot pedal depressed to spray below the toilet in the RV Black Tank. This treatment will remove the pyramid build-up under the toilet. This pyramid build-up is one of the major causes of RV Toilet Flushing problems.

  4. If the clogged is not removed with the flushing, then there are a couple of hacks to try to fix your RV Toilet Flushing Problems. First, try pouring boiling water into the RV Black Tank. Obviously, this is possible if you have room in the RV Septic Tank. If you do, the hot water will help to dissolve the solids that have formed the blockage.

  5. Another alternative is to add two bags of ice into the tank. Then it would be best if you drove the trailer around, so the ice sloshes throughout the tank loosening the blockage. The upside to this method is the ice will melt, so nothing left in the tank to cause an issue later.

  6. Now, if your Black Tank is plugged and will not drain and you can’t loosen the plug, then you can try to use a plumber’s snake. This method is always messy, and you can’t see where you’re trying to unplug from the clogged RV Trailer toilet side, so it is a shot in the dark.

  7. Suppose it’s imperative that you have to fix the problem. In that case, the messiest alternative is to insert the snake through the RV Sewer Valve. For this, you will need gloves, goggles, large pale to put under the valve assembly, lots of rags, soap, and water for clean up. This method will undoubtedly fix the clogged RV Trailer Toilet, but you will get messy. You unhook the RV Sewer Hose and remove it. Next, open the valve and lets the black water trickle out until it is slow. Send the snake into the tank an pull out when the water starts to flow quickly. Close the valve and hook the sewer hose back up. Finally, go back to step 1-3.

  8. The better choice for the plugged RV Septic Tank is using an RV Black Tank Cleaner chemical designed for that purpose. Unique RV Digest is my choice. You will need to be sure there is water in the tank. Throw the RV Black Tank Cleaner chemicals in and wait. Usually, the RV Toilet Flushing Problems will be solved after 12 to 24 hours, so it is not a fast alternative, but it is the cleanest if you have the time.



Now, you’ve opened the clog, and the water is flowing out of your RV Septic Tank. What should you do to maintain this level of operation? What can I do to help this Clogged RV Trailer Toilet and RV Black Tank from happening in the future?

  1. This first step to a long-term solution is to operate your RV Black Tank with the sewer valve closed, allowing your tank to fill. You will then need to empty your RV Holding Tank on a weekly basis or at ¾ full. This level applies to long term campers. If you are weekending, you need to drain and flush the tank after leaving your campsite. This Dump and Flush is quickly done at the RV Campground as they almost always have a dumping station for your use.

  2. Now that you are dumping your RV Holding Tank once per week, you should add an RV Black Tank Cleaner chemical to control odor and help your RV Septic Tank digest the solids RV Toilet Tissue.

  3. Once a month, use an outside spray hose to spray the RV Black Tank through the toilet. This process will make sure that the solids will not form a pyramid and create future RV Toilet flushing problems.

  4. PLEASE, PLEASE use RV Toilet Tissue. Usually, as long as it is a single-ply and septic system safe, you should be good. Typically, the 2-ply ultra-soft products will not be an excellent fit for your RV Toilet Tissue Paper. Remember, NO HANDY WIPES.



We have now given you specific steps to unclog RV Toilet. The simplest solution to unclog RV Toilet is to no let it happen in the first place. You will notice early on if you have a clogged RV Trailer Toilet by paying attention to your trailer. By finding the problem early, you can unclog RV Toilet quickly with an RV Black Tank Flush.



Most importantly, operate your Black RV Holding Tank with the sewer valve closed and dump your tank every week or at the ¾ level. Additionally, add an RV Black Tank Cleaner with every flush. This step will control odors and help the solids to digest.


Now you can hit the highways and not worry about a clogged RV Trailer Toilet. We are RV Life and Living, and we want you to have a fantastic RV or Travel Trailer trip. We try to give you the tricks and hacks to make sure this happens. We have more information on our website at www.rvlifeandliving.com. Here you can view product information and educational articles to solve typical RV and Travel Trailer issues, like the one listed above.

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