Can you use Costco toilet paper in an RV?

In this article, we will answer the following question” Can you use Costco toilet paper in an RV? We will discuss what can happen if you use the wrong kind of toilet paper and what are the best products for the motorhome sewage system. 

Can you use Costco toilet paper in an RV?

Yes, you can safely use Costco toilet paper in an RV. This toilet paper brand is on our approved list for some simple, but obvious, reasons:

  • The paper breaks easily thus will not clog the RV toilet;
  • It has a high sheet count and soft, white texture;
  • Due to its individual packaging, it is protected against dust and high humidity;
  • It will easily decompose. 

The toilet on RVs does not work the same as the one at home. It is similar, yes, but in the WC of these “house vehicles,” the waste does not go down the drain but remains in a receptacle called a sewage tank, which has a hermetic lock that, in most of them, has a manual system.

Why do we need special toilet paper for RVs?

The simple reason why you need special toilet paper for RVs is that, as mentioned above, they work differently!

An RV has three water tanks – a freshwater tank, a black water tank (for toilet sewage) and a grey water tank (for excess water from the shower and sinks). The toilet works the same way that a toilet in a home works – with the exception that the motorhome uses much less water than a home toilet. 

When using the bathroom in an RV, you will notice that there is no water in the toilet when you sit down. This saves extra water from filling your black water tank. If you are just going to the bathroom for urine, urinate and then rinse, which sends the freshwater into the bowl to rinse the urine into the black water tank. 

If you are using the toilet for solid waste, step on the foot pedal that adds water to the toilet bowl before sitting on the toilet, as this will help in flushing the solid waste down when you are done, keeping the cleaner from toilets.

How does one empty the sewage tank?

When the black water tank gets 3/4 full, the tank should be emptied. You want to wait until the tank is full because the more complete the tank, the easier and faster the wastewater will flow through the hoses when it is being emptied. 

Also, the longer the sewage sits in your tank, the longer the toilet chemicals have to tear down the toilet paper and waste materials. To empty the tank, the drain hose is attached both to the motorhome and in the sewer facility, it is emptied into. 

The grey water tank must be closed. The black water tank opens and allows it to flow through the tube into the sewer. The tank closes when it is empty. The same process is repeated with the grey water tank.

What can happen if I use the wrong products in an RV toilet?

Chemical RV toilets are essential for the decomposition of sewage and for the prevention of odours in a motorhome bathroom. Pouring products like Aqua-Kem, Enviro-Chem, and TST along with fresh water into the toilet helps the motorhome toilet maintain odour control and helps break down waste and toilet paper in the tank, so it is easier to empty the black water tank when it is full. 

To keep the tank working properly, nothing should be introduced into the tank except toilet paper and waste products, as chemicals cannot decompose and other objects can cause the system to clog. 

Even toilet paper should be the kind that is safe for septic tanks. One way to avoid leaking pipes or breaking the pipes in the motorhome bathroom is to make sure that harsh bathroom cleaners are not used. Only motorhome insurance cleaning solutions are adequate to guarantee the life of your pipes.

The different types of toilet paper and what to use in an RV

Contrary to what you might think, not all toilet paper is created equal.

Yes, there are different thicknesses and some are nicer than others. However, keep in mind that not all toilet paper will have the same impact on the proper functioning of your RV’ septic system. So there are other important factors to consider.

This is because they will not all break down at the same rate and some toilet paper (usually the thicker ones) can cause serious problems.

Moreover, you should not necessarily trust the statement “Safe for septic tanks”. You should test the toilet paper you use yourself to see if it dissolves easily in water.

Ideally, the toilet paper should come off a bit by the time you flush the toilet. If so, the bacteria will have a much easier time breaking it down once in the septic tank.

Here are some types of toilet paper that “normally” should be safe for the septic system and should be favoured:

Obviously, we are looking for toilet paper that easily degrades in the septic tank. “Biodegradable” toilet paper will break down faster. This is mainly because it comes apart easily once in the water. The enzymes will attack the cellulose and the bacteria will love it!

The name can be scary at first reading. But, no: it’s not toilet paper that someone has used. Recycled toilet paper normally requires fewer chemicals in its design than regular toilet paper. The fibres in recycled paper are smaller and break down more easily in water. This is also a good toilet paper option for your septic tank.

  • Toilet paper that is “safe for septic tanks”

As I mentioned above, the phrase “Safe for Septic Tanks” should not be trusted. But, it’s normally better than nothing! However, you should perform the following test to find out if it is indeed safe for the septic tank.

The bottom line

The good news is that Costco toilet paper can be used in an RV. The bad news is that now all toilet paper is made the same, thus you are taking a risk every time you are trying a new brand.

Our final advice would be to use toilet paper specially made for RV toilets – it may cost more, but it will surely save you of future costs in cleaning and maintaining your motorhome sewage system. 

If you have any comments, tips or questions about the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can you use Costco toilet paper in an RV?

What toilet paper for a caravan toilet?

For chemical caravan toilets, it is best to rapidly use biodegradable toilet paper. Thetford Aqua Soft has been specially developed for this type of toilet, so it dissolves faster. We recommend that you use special toilet paper as there is a very high risk that normal toilet paper will clog the toilet. In addition, it makes emptying the toilet easier.

How to clean chemical toilets?

To clean the waste tank of your toilet, it is best to use the cassette tank cleaner and to clean the exterior of the toilet, we recommend that you use the bathroom cleaner. These products are specially designed for this type of toilet. If you use normal household products, the risk is far too high that rubbers and plastics will be affected.

How to maintain chemical toilets?

If you maintain your toilet properly, it will last longer. This is why it is important that you use the right cleaning products. The maintenance of rubbers is also very important. For this, it is better to use silicone spray. With this, you lubricate, maintain and protect the closures.


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