Can You Plunge an RV Toilet?

5 min read

The toilet in your RV isn’t very different from the one in your home. Therefore, when it gets clogged, you can use a plunger to clear the obstruction. Unclogging an RV toilet using a plunger is one of the quickest and easiest methods. You don’t need any special skills or tools other than the plunger, of course. The process is fairly simple.

All you have to do is place the plunger in the toilet hole. Add some water if there isn’t any, and plunge for about ten to twenty times. Flush the toilet, and it should be unclogged. However, using a plunge on an RV toilet does have its limits. This method may not apply in all situations.

Keep on reading to find out if a plunger is the best solution for your clogged RV toilet.

An Overview of Plunging an RV Toilet

Everyone has a funny RV story. One of the most common is your toilet blocking while you are still on the road. A blocked RV toilet can be a source of headache for many RV adventurers. And the first thing that comes to mind when you notice a clogged toilet is the good old-fashioned plunger. Despite being a quick and easy solution, plunging an RV toilet may not always work. It is important to know when to use this method so that you can avoid wasting your energy and effort.

Plunging an RV toilet is recommended if the clog is located closer to the top. If the obstruction is further down the toilet, for instance, in the black water tank, you should look for another solution since plunging won’t work. Before grabbing your plunger and yanking it mercilessly on your clogged RV toilet, it pays off if you can first unearth the cause of the blockage.

Understandably, you may not have the time to perform a full diagnosis when on the road. So, it doesn’t hurt if you can give the plunge a try.

How to Unclog an RV Toilet Using a Plunger

If the blockage is at the top, or you want to see if the plunge method can work, you must know how to do it correctly. Unclogging an RV toilet is a relatively straightforward method. For this method to work, you will need the help of a plunger and follow these steps;

  1. Ensure that there is water in the bowl.
  2. Place your plunger in the toilet hole and cover it completely.
  3. Vigorously pump the plunger for about ten or twenty times.
  4. Flush the toilet and see if it has been unclogged. In case it hasn’t, you can always repeat the above two or three times.

It is important to know that this method won’t always work, more so if the clog is further in the toilet. Therefore, do not spend the entire day plunging your RV toilet, hoping that it will unclog. If this method doesn’t work, that should indicate that the problem lies further down the RV toilet.

What If the Plunge Method Doesn’t Work?

For an obstruction that is deeper in the toilet, plunging may not unclog your RV toilet. In this case, you will have to explore other options. Other than plunging, plenty of other methods can help unclog an RV toilet. We will list all of them for you, from the least complicated options to the most advanced ones.

But before we do so, if you have trouble with a clogged RV toilet and the plunge method has disappointed you. A black tank cleaner can be of significant help. These are chemically synthesized products that break down blockages in an RV toilet. They are easy to use and are quite efficient at breaking down obstructions in your toilet no matter where they are located. A black tank cleaner will get rid of the clog in your toilet within a day, and you should be able to resume normal operation.

Are There Home Remedies I Can Use to Unclog RV Toilet?

Not all RV lovers drive around with black tank cleaners. Clogging of RV toilets often occurs when you least expect it. So, in case plunging the RV toilet fails to offer any solutions, and you don’t have a black tank cleaner, what else can I use to fix a clogged toilet? There are several solutions out there that can offer relief from this ordeal.

They include:

1. Hot Water

When you notice your RV toilet is clogged, the second thing you need to try is pouring hot water down the toilet. Hot water is known to break down solids that may be blocking the toilet. Therefore, if you can’t access a black tank cleaner, boil some water and pour it down the toilet. Give it some time and check if the toilet has been unclogged. If that doesn’t work, move to the next solution.

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Not just at home but in your RV as well, baking soda and vinegar do have many applications. Did you know that you can use both to unclog a blocked RV toilet? A mixture of these two ingredients will break down solid waste blocking your toilet. Mix and pour them into your toilet and wait for the mixture to do its job. Depending on the blockage, baking soda and vinegar may or may not work. Fortunately, there is another solution.

3. Toilet Snake

When buying essentials for your RV, many people remember to buy plungers. A tool that is often ignored is a toilet snake. A toilet snake is more effective at unclogging toilets than a plunger since it accesses the hardest-to-reach spots in your toilet. A toilet snake is a worthy investment for any RV owner. During your escapades, you can be assured that the toilet won’t block once or twice. This is something that will happen from time to time. With a toilet snake around, you will never have to endure the effects of a blocked RV toilet. At the same time, there won’t be a need to use chemicals or home remedies that may take a while to unblock the toilet.

Toilet snakes are available in stores near you. One can also buy them online from your eCommerce store of choice, such as Amazon. Because it’s not a very common tool, not many people are familiar with how to use it.

This tool comprises of a flexible coil that is pushed further down the toilet. The goal is to go deeper until you find the obstruction and infiltrate it so there can be openings that will unclog the toilet. Unlike plungers that rely on force, toilet snakes require patience. You have to gently twist it until it reaches the clogged area.

4. Pressure Hose

At times, you may be dealing with a very stubborn clog. In such cases, a pressure hose can be quite beneficial. Draining water at a higher pressure will push the clog down the toilet system, thus allowing waste to flow smoothly. This method requires hooking up a hose to a water source.

Because you will be placing it in a toilet, use a hose that isn’t for cooking or cleaning purposes. Once the blockage is cleared, you can then use another tool known as a tank wand to clean the hard-to-reach areas of your toilet.

Can Toilet Paper Clog My RV Toilet?

Toilet paper is the leading cause of blockages in many RV toilets. The toilet in your RV may look like that in your home. However, it isn’t as strong. Some experts claim that RV plumbing is fragile and shouldn’t be done frequently. It is, therefore, important that you stick to RV-only toilet paper. This breaks down faster and easier. It also doesn’t cause blocking or clogging. As you shop for essentials, don’t forget about RV toilet paper.

If you have been using ordinary toilet paper and it has blocked your toilet paper, then there are a couple of ways you can clear it up. Boiling water can break down tissue paper. You can also use the black tank cleaner. It has chemical properties that are strong enough to break down toilet paper. Vinegar and baking soda mixture can also help you with that.

How to Prevent Your RV Toilet from Getting Clogged

Using the above information, you can now unclog a blocked toilet easily. A plunger can help certain situations, but it’s not always the solution. We have also talked a great deal about other methods you can use to unblock an RV toilet. This issue can also be prevented from happening in the future by using the following tips.

  1. Ensure that the black water tank valve is closed. This mixes the solids and liquids, thus allowing various materials to break down easily. This will, in turn, prevent clogging.
  2. Flush the toilet using a lot of water. Failure to use enough water can lead to clogging of the toilet.
  3. Switch to RV-specific toilet paper.
  4. Engage in regular RV toilet maintenance and cleaning.

Victoria Miller

I'm the founder of NTT. I live in Miami, Florida, and enjoy learning everything there is to know about tiny spaces.