Testing for RV-Safe Toilet Paper

TheRVgeeks Plumbing, Quick Tips, Water & Sewer 7 Comments

When we started full-timing over 9 years ago, we had never even been in an RV before, and didn’t know much about them. When we heard that RVs required special “RV-safe” toilet paper, we didn’t know exactly what that meant, but we assumed it must be listed on the package for some important reason. On our very first trip to stock up on RV supplies, we made sure to buy a few packs of this magical stuff.

It turns out that buying bathroom tissue manufactured and/or packaged specifically for use in an RV won’t do much more than increase costs, and limit your choices to very few products, none of which you might be happy with.

At the time, we’d been using Costco’s Kirkland brand toilet paper for years. We love Costco, and generally find that anything they sell to be both high quality and competitively priced. Without going into the gory details about what makes toilet paper good or bad, suffice it to say that many of us have a favorite brand. We like Kirkland, and wanted to know if we could safely use it in our rig, instead of the expensive, low-quality “RV-safe” stuff from the camping aisle.

The only consideration you need to worry about is whether or not your bathroom tissue will break down in your black tank. If not, too much of it could… gum up the works.

Here’s a simple test to find out if the brand you prefer using in your stick house can also be used in your RV. This test works with any type or brand, both single-ply and 2-ply, regardless of whether the packaging specifies “RV-safe” or not.

We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.

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Comments 7

  1. Pingback: RV Tank Maintenance • FMCAdventure

  2. Thanks for your reply. We have a large toilet and tank. It’s a 40ft fifth wheel. The clog happened in the pipe leading to the tank. I don’t think the tp ever reached the tank. I do agree that it was probably caused by using too much but we haven’t had any issues with the Scott’s and we use the same amount.

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      Ah! Us folks with the black tank directly beneath our toilet can sometimes forget that they aren’t all that way. So you don’t have a “toilet-paper-breaking-down-in-the-tank” issue, but rather a “narrow-path-between-the-toilet-and-the-black-tank” situation. Got it. If the Scott is working, perfect! If it happens again using the Scott, you might just need to use a little bit more water when flushing. We’ve heard that a long run between toilet and tank can be an issue. Thanks for the update, Jeremy.

  3. I used the Kirkland Brand TP and my toilet was clogged in two days. I have found Scotts Rv TP to work without problems and it is not paper thin.

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      Hi Jeremy! The purpose of “RV-safe” toilet paper is actually about tank dumping, not toilet-clogging. Paper that breaks down and falls apart from the motions and vibration inside the black tank while driving, along with the action of the toilet chemical, is what matters. As long as it falls apart under those conditions, it doesn’t matter how thick it is. It will simply fall apart and wash easily out of the sewer outlet during dumping.

      You mentioned that your toilet was clogged, which leads us to think that this is a volume issue, as in using a large enough quantity of toilet paper to clog the bowl. If you have a very small toilet, it might not take as much to cause a clog when flushing the toilet. Our large bowl holds a lot of water and can flush down a pretty large wad of paper easily. We’ve been using Kirkland paper for over decade, and have never once has a clog (either in the bowl or when dumping). And we’ve been recommending it for years and this is the very first time anyone has mentioned a clog of any kind.

      But again, clogging the toilet is not an issue of “RV safe” since even RV safe toilet paper will not break down in the bowl. All of that happens once it’s already inside the black tank. If you WERE getting a clogged sewer outlet when dumping, it would take more than two days to find out, unless you dump ever couple of days? If you have a small RV, with a small black tank, that is certainly possible. Maybe you could provide a little more detail if you’d like and we could help figure out what might be happening.

      Of course if the Scott paper is working for you, and you like it, awesome! We like Kirkland paper so much that we’d miss it if we had to give it up. LOL

  4. Thanks guys! I thought I’ve watched all of your videos, but then I stumbled on this one. I have been guilty of buying the RV safe TP for 9 years now. No more thanks to your simple test!!
    Keep up the good work.

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