Why does my RV bathroom smell like pee?

In today’s article, we will answer the following question: Why does my RV bathroom smell like pee? We will discuss the reasons for bad smells in the RV bathroom and how to get rid of them once and for all.

Why does my RV bathroom smell like pee?

There are several causes why your RV bathroom smells like pee:

  • You haven’t cleaned it thoroughly in a while;
  • The toilet is clogged;
  • The smell may be coming from the bathroom carpet, trashcan or shower curtains;
  • The toilet is clogged;
  • The sewer tank or the seals are damaged/leaking. 

The latest cause is the most difficult to deal with. If you have scrubbed your RV bathroom but the pee smell persists, carefully check the sewer tank for any leaks and check the drain seal under the toilet. You can take your RV to an authorized mechanic or dealership to help you with this part. 

If however, the sewer tank is not the real problem, one of the oldest tricks in the book to reduce odours is to keep the grey water tank closed for a few days before the tank is emptied so that the water turns grey and the sewage can be flushed out after the tank is emptied. 

You can also remove fresh water pipes by flushing them down the toilet and flushing the pipe while the sewage is still connected to the sewer. After flushing, make sure all the tanks are closed and then add new chemicals to the toilet.

How to get rid of bad smells in your RV bathroom once and for all

Luckily, there is a way to get rid of the smell of pee in the toilet! And the good news is, it’s easy to fix and doesn’t require overpriced chemicals to remove urine odour. Besides, you probably have everything you need on hand. 

The ingredients you will need: lemon juice (do not use lemon on wooden floors), baking soda, white vinegar, empty sprayer bottle.

  1. Mix baking soda and lemon juice to make a thick paste. 
  2. With a damp cloth, spread this paste around the base of the toilet. 
  3. Apply the mixture to the entire surface of the toilet including the toilet seat and below. 
  4. Leave to act for about fifteen minutes. 
  5. Put the vinegar in an empty spray bottle. 
  6. Sprinkle white vinegar wherever you have applied baking soda. The white vinegar will react with the baking soda/lemon mixture and it will sparkle! 
  7. When it has finished fizzing, wipe down all around the toilet with a clean, damp cloth. 
  8. For hard-to-reach areas, such as the area where the toilet seat is attached, use a toothbrush and white vinegar to keep the toilet clean. Hopefully, once you clean this place well, you won’t have to clean it every time.

And there you have it, no more bad smell of pee in the RV bathroom! Your toilet is totally clean and smells like lemon! 

To avoid bad smells, regularly empty the sewage tank of your RV

When the sewage tank is 3/4 full, the tank must be emptied. You want to wait until the tank is this full, because the fuller the tank is, the easier and faster the flow of wastewater through the hoses will be when it is emptied. 

The longer the wastewater remains in the tank, the longer it takes to remove chemicals from toilet paper and waste products. To empty the tank, the drain hose is connected to both the campsite and the sewage system. The grey water tank must be closed.

 The sewage tank opens and can flow through the pipe into the sewer system. The grey water tank is closed when it is empty. The same process is repeated for the grey water tank.

Cleaning and maintenance of wastewater RV tanks

Chemical baths are necessary to break down the sewage and prevent the formation of unpleasant odours in the camping tub. When products such as Aqua-Kem or  Enviro-Chem are poured into the toilet along with fresh water, this helps the camping bowl maintain odour control and helps break down waste and toilet paper from the tank, making it easier to empty the tank when it is full.

For the tank to function properly, there should be nothing in the tank except toilet paper and debris, as chemicals cannot disintegrate and other objects can clog the system. Even toilet paper should be safe for septic tanks. One way to avoid leaks or cracks in caravan bathroom pipes is to ensure those harsh bathroom cleaners are not used. Only Motorhome Safe cleaners are suitable to ensure the life of the pipes.

How to keep bad smells from an RV 

If you want to know how to eliminate bad odours from a motorhome, you have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to explain the main tricks and techniques to remove the bad smell caused by everyday life in a small space. You may not notice bad odours, because you are familiar with them.

Do not see it as an attack on your principles, all “traditional houses” have their own smells and in some cases very particular. When your RV is new or has undergone a thorough cleaning process, it has a distinctive and highly recognizable scent.

The problem is that over time, odours degrade and give way to bacteria that change the perception of the vehicle. Without realizing it, each activity inside the vehicle compartment provides a strong bacterial load that mixes together to create a cocktail of unpleasant odours.

Air fresheners can be a temporary solution since they only mask the bad smell but do not eliminate the focus of it. To get to the root of the odours you need to resort to some techniques that will help you remove the problem.

Although it sounds strange, it is much better to “prevent, rather than cure.” It may seem obvious but the first thing you should do is adopt a series of basic measures so that your vehicle is not impregnated with bad odours.

Do not smoke inside the vehicle. It is essential, the smoke and traces of nicotine create a magnet on the surfaces so that substances that cause bad odours are added in the future. The materials with which the motorhomes are made, use coatings so that cleanings can be done and reduce the impact.

Being cautious in storing food or other products that can be split on the compartments is the main objective when traveling.No one wants to clean up the mess of an oil bottle that fell to the ground when travelling on a bumpy and bad road condition. -We believe we went through that !!!

A good recommendation is to immediately clean any area that has been stained, no matter how small. Having a bottle of cleaner and another of grease remover is part of the “essentials” … So it is better to include them in your shopping list.

These simple tips can save you a lot of work. Once the smell has remained, it will require many hands to eradicate them.

What are your tips for keeping the RV smell free? Please feel free to share your tips, comments or questions about the content!

FAQ on Why does my RV bathroom smell like pee?

How to clean the clean water tank of an RV?

To clean the clean water tank of an RV, follow this guideline: to each litre of water, you must add 2 drops of 5% chlorine. If you do, your water will be much more drinkable and clean, eliminating the risk of acquiring different diseases. 

Where to dump the sewage?

The sewage is poured directly into an aseptic tank or cassette. The tanks or cassettes that collect the sewage have a rotating tube through which they are discharged into the corresponding drain, and which must be connected to an aseptic pit or the sewer.

Can you put bleach in an RV black water tank?

Yes, it is allowed to put bleach in an RV black water tank. You can make a mixture of one-quarter cup of bleach with one gallon of water and clean the waste tank. 


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