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
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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.
- Best OverallRid-X RV Toilet TreatmentSummarySummaryRid-X comes with specifically designed enzymes and natural bacteria and is formulated to break apart toilet paper, grease, and other waste.ProsProsIt’s mixed with a citrus scent for a pleasant smell. Plus, it only requires a small amount to take effect, saving you money on several bottles.ConsConsOne of the side effects of this treatment is its sour smell. It may even linger after the bottle is closed. You also may need to use a bit more than the instructions recommend for it to work more efficiently.
- Best ValueCamco Ultra-Concentrate Orange Scent RV Toilet TreatmentSummarySummaryAll it takes is just three ounces of this solution to clean septic tanks capable of holding up to 40 gallons.ProsProsThe liquid uses a powerful blend of citrus to mask and cover up any unpleasant smells. Plus, Camco made the chemical environmentally safe with a formaldehyde-free formula.ConsConsYou will want to store this somewhere it will not tip over. The packaging material is on the flimsy side and can easily break or bend, causing a leak. You may also run out quickly if you have multiple people in the RV.
- Honorable MentionUnique RV Digest-IT Holding Tank TreatmentSummarySummaryThis treatment mix begins working immediately and is capable of grinding down the solid waste, tissue paper, and other unwanted messes in the tank.ProsProsThe compound helps to maintain wastewater systems while preventing clogs, reducing odor, and cleaning gauges and sensors. Plus, it is non-toxic, eco-friendly, and comes with an enhanced enzyme bacteria formula.ConsConsIt will require more time to work in extremely hot weather. This means it may take longer for the solution to work in general. Plus, its odor control may not be the best as smells can still linger.
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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, North Carolina, 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 Orange 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 2019
Best Overall: Rid-X RV Toilet Treatment
Rid-X will ensure no one is able to smell any lingering odors wafting around the RV toilet. With specifically designed enzymes and natural bacteria, this compound is formulated to break apart toilet paper, grease, and other waste inside the toilet and tank that would clog the pipes. It’s even rated to work on marine vehicles, so you can bring it anywhere.
It is simple to apply directly to the toilet and takes only a few seconds. Plus, it only requires a small amount to take effect, so you don’t have to stock up on several bottles. All you have to do is add a bit of water after the product is dropped in to ensure it works properly. One of the major benefits of Rid-X is the included citrus scent that hangs around after the compound mixes inside the toilet.
One of the side effects of this treatment is the smell of the compound. It is a sour odor that can be a bit overpowering to some and can linger in smaller RVs. You may even get a smell after the bottle is closed. You may also need to use a bit more than the instructions recommend for it to work more efficiently.
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 Orange 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 citrus 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 citrus-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.
Honorable Mention: Unique RV Digest-IT Holding Tank Treatment
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.
- 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 Rid-X RV Toilet Treatment.
Or save a bit of cash and get another strong blend of cleaner with the Camco Ultra-Concentrate Orange Scent RV Toilet Treatment.