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I grew up in a household that was a bit squeamish about the body’s biological functions. I had to adjust this rather cloistered worldview when my many nephews started to arrive on the scene. Millennials and Gen-Z kids had an important pillar of their early reading life: Everyone Poops. Tarō Gomi’s magnum opus from 1977 didn’t really make waves in North America until the early years of the twenty-first century, but it sure had an impact when it did. I hardly know a kid under 18 who hasn’t read the book or had it read to them, and they’re better off for it. New parents, take note.
On this assignment for The Drive, I’m taking a page from Tarō Gomi and my nephews. Pooping gets weirdly complicated when you have to deal with chemical toilets, water treatments, black tanks, dump stations, and all the related rigamarole surrounding an RV’s plumbing system. A key component to keeping your RV’s toilet operating at peak performance is using the correct toilet paper. It seems like a simple thing, but choosing the right toilet tissue can make all the difference. Here’s what I found for the best RV toilet paper.
Scott Rapid Dissolving Toilet Paper for RVs and Boats
- Quick dissolving champion
- Inexpensive when you buy in bulk online
- Available nearly everywhere
- Low sheet count on small rolls
Firebelly Outfitters RV Toilet Tissue
- High sheet counts on large rolls
- Rated for RVs and septic systems
- Two-ply construction can be a little sticky and slow to dissolve
Aqua-Soft RV Toilet Tissue
- Good value with 396 per roll sheet count
- Comfort level comparable to household tissue
- More expensive than some other brands
- Best Overall: Scott Rapid Dissolving Toilet Paper for RVs and Boats
- Best Value: Firebelly Outfitters RV Toilet Paper
- Honorable Mention: Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue
- Best Alternative Material: Caboo Tree Free Toilet Paper
- Most Luxurious: Grentay RV Toilet Paper
Lucky for you, the intrepid RV adventurer, this review will also offer quite a bit of first-hand knowledge as my wife and I have been living on the road in our 18-foot hard-sided pop-up travel trailer on and off for the last six months. It’s equipped with a built-in Thetford brand chemical (or, “cassette”) toilet that we actually try to avoid using too often. But it’s seen enough action this year that my own experiences will inform much of this review guide. There are three criteria that will frame my thinking about RV toilet paper: ply, comfort, and most importantly, dissolvability.
When you read a product or gear review at The Drive, keep in mind that we work to be as up front as we can about how we select and evaluate the brands that we do. We often draw from user reviews found at online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, as well as expert opinions. Definitely check out The Drive’s review methodology for more details and be sure to reach out with questions or feedback.
Best RV Toilet Paper Reviews & Recommendations
If you’re looking for the best toilet paper solution for your RV, you should be concentrating on dissolvability. It’s the best way to keep your mobile plumbing happy, and your vacation on track. For this reason, Scott Rapid Dissolving Toilet Paper is the champ, especially since it’s more robust than you might think. If you’re looking for top value combined with that little extra level of comfort, Firebelly Outfitters RV Toilet Paper might be the ticket, and Aqua-Soft’s specifically RV-formulated tissue rounds out our top three.
Choosing Toilet Paper Based on Your Type of RV Toilet
Let’s back up a moment and take a look at the most common kinds of RV or boat toilets. Depending on which one you have, it may help guide your toilet paper choices.
Cassette RV Toilet
These toilets are compact but fully functional flushing toilets that you commonly find in smaller travel trailers, RVs, vans, and pop-up campers. Thetford and Dometic are popular brands. Instead of a dedicated black water tank, these toilets come with a smaller, removable “cassette” that acts as the waste holding tank. This is paired with a freshwater tank that is the source of the flushing water, supplied by a 12-volt pump with the push of a lever. Both the flushing water and the holding tank are usually treated with a chemical that keeps smells at bay and encourages the breakdown of waste and toilet paper. When it’s time to empty the cassette, you simply remove it through a door on the outside of your RV or detach it from the bowl, and bring it to a dump station.
These toilets are really designed for limited use. Deployed full time, most will last up to four days for two people before needing to be emptied. Some smaller, more portable versions only last for a handful of uses. This means two things: you have to be cognizant of your water use and doubly vigilant about how well your toilet paper dissolves. Clumps of undissolved tissue make flushing difficult and can lead to problems emptying the cassette, so use one-ply only for these systems
Black Water RV Toilet
Similar in construction to the cassette toilet, the black water toilet system instead has a dedicated and permanent holding tank mounted to the underside of your RV. The principle is the exact same — chemicals treat the water, and a freshwater tank supplies the flushing power. The benefits are a larger waste tank that needs to be emptied less often, and usually a more extensively sealed system that prevents smells from entering your living space. You will need to drive or drag your RV directly to a dump station so you can empty the tank, however. The larger tank means you have more options for your RV toilet tissue shopping, since two-ply tissues will have more time and space to fully dissolve in the larger tank.
Black Water RV Toilet with Macerator
This is the Cadillac of RV toilets, and you usually find them installed only on larger 5th-wheels or campers. Identical to the average black water toilet in most ways, it differs in one key area. It comes installed with a “macerator” — a 12-volt powered device in the tank that “chews up” waste and toilet paper to make sure everything is fully dissolved and can be emptied as easily as possible when the black water tank reaches capacity. Your ply choices really expand with this device, as it can usually handle thicker toilet paper, and some even advertise that they will deal with run-of-the-mill household tissue. But I wouldn’t risk it.
Things to Consider Before Buying RV Toilet Paper
As we’ve discussed, rapid dissolvability is what makes RV toilet paper RV toilet paper. It should be your primary concern when choosing a bathroom tissue brand, especially if you have a single-use or limited-use cassette toilet. Save yourself plumbing headaches by sticking with lower ply.
Related to dissolvability, ply count is key to maintaining the health of your RV toilet. But there’s a middle ground here. While four- or five-ply tissue might be overkill, most two-ply RV toilet tissues will disintegrate at a comparable rate to one-ply versions if you’re judicious with how you use it. That may be a worthwhile trade-off, especially when you take into account our third consideration.
Look, you may as well be comfortable when you’re doing your business on vacation, right? No need to suffer needlessly. While this is the last of our important RV toilet considerations, it shouldn’t be ignored. Experiment with different brands and see where their comfort and absorbency levels rate, and balance that with your desire not to have to unclog your RVs toilet.
RV Toilet Paper Pricing
Most RV toilet paper is priced at a comparable level to regular household versions. Amazon often rates its value by cost per 100 sheets. The one-ply Scott comes in the lowest in our comparison at $0.31 per 100 sheets, whereas the Caboo bamboo rolls ring up at $3 per 100 sheets. Firebelly is a solid value at $0.62 per 100 sheets for two-ply.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: Are all RV toilet papers biodegradable?
A: No, Some are not, and it pays to check the specs of any RV toilet tissue you buy for this important feature. Biodegradable toilet tissue is easier on RV dump stations at campgrounds and usually dissolves much quicker in your RV toilet itself. All of the products in this review are biodegradable.
Q: Can I use chlorine-based cleaners or treatments with RV toilet paper?
A: Technically, yes. You can use regular household cleaners with your RV toilet. However, most RV toilet manufacturers recommend against using too much chlorine-based cleaner in your holding tank as it can kill off “beneficial” bacteria in the black water tank that help with keeping smells down. We recommend using a citrus-based cleaner, and RV-specific citrus-based holding tank conditioners.
Q: How quickly does RV toilet paper dissolve?
A: RV toilet paper should start dissolving the moment it contacts the water, regardless of ply. Of course, thinner one-ply paper should dissolve more quickly than, for example, Grentay’s 4-ply. But within a few minutes, given enough water, all RV toilet paper should be entirely disintegrated within your holding tank.
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