LAST UPDATED: September 18, 2019
Best RV Holding Tank Treatments: Prevent a Stinky Catastrophe
Travel odor- and clog-free in your motorhome with these high-quality RV holding tank treatment products
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON September 18, 2019
You have a lot of things to worry about while traveling in an RV, and a clean septic tank is one of them. Properly managing the system should be a priority and never a hassle. That’s why having the best RV tank treatment is a necessary item for any trip. It ensures the septic tank efficiently breaks down toilet paper and waste while also making it smell fresh. Here are the top-rated RV holding tank treatments for your next journey.
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Benefits of RV Holding Tank Treatment
- Mask odors. Riding around with a horrid smell coming from the bathroom is not a fun way to spend a trip. Holding tank deodorizers can cover up and get rid of bad smells so you don’t have to leave the windows open.
- Prevent major clogs. Over time, the septic tank will fill up with unmentionables. Since there is no sewer line for the waste to travel through, the chemicals dissolve most of what is inside the tank. The best RV waste digester will clean out the largest and toughest blockages.
- Save money. Dealing with a clogged and oversaturated camper holding tank can lead to a large bill. Using a high-quality compound treatment will ensure you aren’t left cleaning up more than you bargained for.
- Clean the system. RV holding tank treatments are designed with special enzymes that clean the system as well. Many even clean level gauges, so the system can tell how full the tank is and alert you of any issues.
Types of RV Holding Tank Treatment
Tablets work by dissolving in the toilet water to form tiny particles that run through to the septic tank. These particles flow to and through blocked areas to dissolve or disintegrate waste and any remaining toilet paper over a period of time. Typically, they have to be used on a monthly basis.
The liquid form of RV waste tank cleaner pours into the toilet and flows down into the septic tank. It works faster because it’s able to move more easily through waste and compounds inside the holding tank. However, its basic function is the same as a tablet form; it dissolves and breaks down waste and toilet paper over time.
Founded in Greensboro, N.C., Camco has been around for more than 50 years. The company develops products for ATVs, boats, RVs, and plumbing needs. Any RV owner most likely has a Camco product on board and should consider the Camco Ultra-Concentrate Lavender Scent RV Toilet Treatment for their septic tank.
The company began in the early 1960s and created the first slide-action valve for RV holding tanks in 1963. Thetford designs products for motorhomes and travel trailers, especially ones focused on the toilet and septic tank. One of its top septic treatment products is the Thetford Aqua-KEM Original-Holding Tank Treatment.
RV Holding Tank Treatment Pricing
- $10-$20: With RV holding tank treatments, you will mainly pay for the size and type of the container. Within this price range, you’ll find anything around 24 ounces and smaller.
- $20 and up: This price range will typically contain larger bottles and containers that offer more solution for more applications. Consider buying the treatment in bulk to make sure you’ve got extra just in case you run out when you need it most on the road.
You shouldn’t have to worry about adding the treatment solution every day or week. The best RV holding tank compound will make sure the black water tank or the grey water tank is free of blockages and odors for at least a month. It’s recommended to apply the solution once every month to make sure the tank is properly cared for.
While it will not take an entire bottle to treat a holding tank, having multiple bottles or tablets on hand can save time and money in the long run. Since you should apply the treatment every month, knowing you have a few bottles on hand means you don’t have to worry about running out or forgetting to order more.
Holding tank chemicals work to remove debris, break down waste, and dissolve toilet paper. The ingredients making up the composition may vary from product to product, yet all will increase the output of the treatment. Some even include detergents for added smells. However, they are not a permanent solution to clearing out the holding tank. Eventually, you will have to completely remove everything inside the tank.
- Ease of Use: Applying RV septic tank treatment can be a quick or slow process. You can simply pour or drop in the compound within a few seconds or take your time and apply it throughout the day.
- Compatibility: Before you add a tablet or liquid to the tank, it’s important to note if the brand is compatible with your specific holding tank. Many are rated to handle tanks up to a certain size, so if you have a large space but a compound that works on smaller tanks, you may need more solution.
Best RV Holding Tank Treatment Reviews & Recommendations 2020
It doesn’t take much of this ultra-concentrated treatment to get a deep clean and dissolve waste, grease, and toilet paper trapped in the tank. By adding just three ounces of Camco’s Ultra-Concentrate Lavender Scent RV Toilet Treatment, the solution is able to clean tanks capable of holding up to 40 gallons.
As a benefit to both your nose and anyone else inside of the RV, the liquid uses a powerful blend of herbs to mask and cover up any unpleasant smells. As another bonus, Camco made the chemical environmentally safe with a non-formaldehyde formula. Plus, due to its compact size, it is easy to store away out of sight.
You will want to store this in a spot where it will not tip over. The packaging material is on the flimsy side and can easily break or bend, causing a leak. Plus, while the herb-infused chemical may be strong when mixing with the toilet water, the lingering odor is not very powerful. You may also run out quickly if you have multiple people in the RV.
RV camping is one of the best ways to spend quality time with loved ones and enjoy the outdoors. But if you don't have the best RV holding tank treatment, your camping experience may be stressful. The Campa-Chem Holding Tank Treatment delivers the most powerful odor control and is loved by many RVers. It is designed to work in any weather, breaks down solid materials, and liquefies waste.
This three-in-one formula contains a waste liquefier, a detergent, and a deodorant. The waste liquefier breaks down waste, the deodorant eliminates odors, and the detergent cleans the tank. The deodorant ensures the tank walls and drain lines stay clean and in tip-top shape. The RV holding tank treatment is 100 percent biodegradable.
Campa-Chem will quickly get rid of waste in your boat or RV. It works around the clock to ensure your RV smells fresh at all times. However, it contains methyl alcohol and formaldehyde. You must dispose of the bottles properly, or the contents may harm the environment. And when it's very hot, you’ll have to use more of it.
This treatment mix is capable of grinding down the toughest of waste, toilet paper, and other unwanted messes in the tank. The liquid solution begins working immediately after being poured into the bowl. Another benefit to you and your RV is that the compound helps to maintain wastewater systems while acting as an odor eliminator, preventing clogs, and cleaning level gauges and sensors.
One of the most useful features is that it is nontoxic, eco-friendly, and comes with an enhanced enzyme bacteria formula. There are no traces of formaldehyde in the blend, making it safer for you, the septic system, and the environment. Its versatility also makes it great for cleaning both RV black tanks and gray tanks.
It will require more time to work in extremely hot weather. To function properly, the tank temperature levels need to be at or under 85-degrees Fahrenheit. This may also mean it will take longer for the solution to work in general. Plus, it may not completely cover up or remove foul odors.
If you want something easy to use and efficient in breaking down waste and paper, these Walex drop-ins might be perfect for you. These little bags are designed to clear the tank and prevent odors in the long term. They are widely used in commercial applications and are ideal for RVs and boats.
The application is as simple as it gets. All you need to do is to drop a bag into the holding tank and wait for it to dissolve the waste. One bag is powerful enough to control odors for up to seven days, filling the RV with a fresh fragrance. The drop-ins are formaldehyde-free and biodegradable. They don't stain tanks and sensors and are suitable for all climates and conditions.
Some buyers don't like the scent of the drop-ins, though. They find it too strong, especially when used in humid weather. Also, the product sometimes takes time to work. You might need to leave it overnight and use a lot of hot water to get rid of all the waste.
Happy Campers is a company that offers an efficient RV holding tank treatment to ensure an enjoyable time for campers. This particular product comes in the form of powder and is biodegradable. The highly concentrated monohydrate blend of minerals and micro-nutrients resolve even the most stubborn waste and stains. It also prevents clogs and odors, keeping the holding tank at the optimum condition.
We like the fact that this product works in both hot and cold temperatures and doesn't have a strong chemical smell. It's rather neutral and safe for the tank. You only have to add a scoop or two of powder to the tank, and you'll see the results within a few hours. The powder will unclog the tank, dissolve waste, and leave your RV smelling good.
Although you'll get a can of powder for 64 treatments, this option is still pricier than some others on our list. If you need an inexpensive alternative, you might want to opt for drop-ins that come at budget-friendly prices. Also, the powder might leave a residue when not dissolved in water. Make sure to follow the provided instructions thoroughly to prevent this from happening.
Those who are tired of cleaning RV holding tanks every week or so may want to take a look at these drop-ins. The little bags are designed to clean and maintain the tank for a year, and you only need to use one per month. It's a pretty simple way to keep your RV fresh and clean, and it won't even cost you a fortune.
The bags are meant to get rid of waste, residues, and stains and keep the septic system functioning properly. They contain active bacteria cultures to decompose waste effectively and reduce the chance of it building up in the system again. On top of that, the formula is environmentally safe, free of chemical additives, and safe for the septic system. It not only cleans, but also eliminates odors and leaves a fresh scent that lingers for a while.
However, keep in mind that you might not see all the results immediately. It takes time for this product to work, so you'll have to be patient. Although the odors and waste will disappear quickly, other benefits won't be that visible at first. The little bags are designed for long-term use and will show results over several months of use.
This RV holding tank treatment is one of the easiest to use. Rid-X offers a package with three pouches you only need to drop into the tank. Once applied, the pouches dissolve in the water and get rid of the waste and odors almost immediately. With regular application, the Rid-X bags work to preserve and protect the system in the long term.
These Rid-X pouches are strong and efficient yet safe for the tank, pipes, hoses, and more. They contain natural bacteria and advanced enzymes that break down the paper, oils, grease, and other contaminants and residues. The natural formula also smells good and keeps the air fresh in the RV.
You won't get a lot of Rid-X pouches in the box, though, which makes the package a little pricey. The three included bags should be enough for three months, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, when dealing with heavy-duty waste and strong odors, you'll have to shorten the time between applications. You might even need to get an extra package to flush the septic system thoroughly.
If you prefer using a liquid to get rid of waste in the RV's holding tank, we recommend this particular waste digester and odor eliminator. It's a powerful product with an environmentally safe formula that combines biological enzymes and bacteria to ensure the ultimate efficiency.
All in all, the product is ideal for keeping the RV holding tank and its components at optimum performance. It's formaldehyde-free, non-toxic, and comes at a reasonable price. A little of the liquid goes a long way, so you don't have to use excessive amounts of this product to clean the tank. With a little of this product, you can keep your vehicle fresh at all times.
The downside to the product is that it might be more challenging to use than drop-ins. The liquid might spill during the application, and there's no measuring lid or cup to help with determining the right dosage. The bottle also takes more space than little bags, so consider how much free storage space you have in your RV.
Walex offers a package of drop-ins that are incredibly easy to use. With these little bags, you don't have to worry about proper dosage. All you need to do is to drop the bag into the tank and let it dissolve in the water. The formula breaks down waste and paper, gets rid of bad scents, and prevents clogging.
We also like the fact that the product is safe for the tank. The formula is free from chemicals and doesn't leave stains. You can apply the Walex waste digester and deodorizer whenever necessary, and keep the tank in your RV functioning properly.
The only thing to keep in mind is that this is an inexpensive option and might not work as well as some other high-end products on the list. Although the Walex drop-ins prove to be quite useful, they can't always get rid of heavy and stubborn residues. Therefore, we recommend that you consider what you need for a personal application before the purchase.
- Make sure to clean or dump out the septic tank to get rid of the dissolved contents. This will ensure it continues to function properly.
- Consult your RV’s owner manual before purchasing any RV holding tank treatment. It will help let you know which types are usable in the septic and how to properly clean it out if there are any issues.
- Avoid cleaning the toilet bowl or tank with chemical toilet products. They are designed to kill the good bacteria that help unclog the septic tank and keep it odor-free.
Q: Will an RV treatment product completely clean out the tank?
A: No. Even the most powerful septic tank treatments are not capable of cleaning the entire tank. You will have to either get a professional to clean out the tank or dump it out yourself.
Q: Can I use any type of RV toilet paper with the septic tank treatment?
A: You should stick with toilet paper products that are rated specifically for motorhomes. These will generally be thinner tissues with a lower ply count. They are designed to prevent clogs and buildups in RVs.
Q: How often should I dump out the septic tank?
A: We recommend you dump out and clean the septic tank every four to five days. However, this also depends on the number of people visiting or living in the RV. The more people using the facilities, the more often you will have to empty the system.
For one of the best RV holding tank treatments capable of dissolving tough waste, consider the Camco Ultra-Concentrate Lavender Scent RV Toilet Treatment.
Or save a bit of cash and get another strong blend of cleaner with the Campa-Chem RV Holding Tank Treatment.