Toilet Paper Revisited: One Ply or Two Ply in Your RV?
Which type of toilet paper is the best in your RV? One-ply or two-ply? RV or camper type? We discuss the in’s and out’s of toilet paper and which is the best choice.
What do you use in your RV’s bathroom, one- or two-ply toilet paper? Is it the $8-a-roll stuff you get from Camping World? Quilted? Scented? With lotion? Which is best for your RV’s toilet and waste system? It’s a popular topic and one we’ve tackled before. But let’s talk about it again.
We’ve cleaned literally thousands of black holding tanks. We’ve seen just about everything you can imagine. And if there’s one thing we know, it’s what comes out of tanks.
The jar test
You’ve seen the videos on YouTube. Little jars filled full of water and different types and brands of toilet paper. Sometimes they shake the heck out of them. Other times, they just sit there. All are intended to show how toilet paper breaks down in water.
The problem with the shake tests is that no RV will ever experience the amount of shaking and turbulence a hand-shaken jar does. Well, maybe if it’s tumbling over a high cliff! But these tests are worthless for that very reason — it’s not a realistic representation of what happens in your holding tank.
And the tests where the jar just sits there? Well, there is some turbulence that happens in your black tank: Water flushing down the toilet and into the tank, the black tank sprayer you use to rinse your tank, and even just the jostling around from driving down the road.
So what do all of these jar tests mean? Nothing.
It’s a holding tank, not a septic system
We’ll say it again: Your RV’s holding tanks are not a septic system. They simply hold what goes into them until you empty your tanks.
But what about those tank additives? The enzymes, biological agents, and chemicals intended to break down what is in your black holding tank do exactly what is intended. But by doing that, they create a tank full of thick, sticky mess. It’s what is making your tank sensors misread, keeping your tanks from draining quickly and completely, and eventually causing smells and odors.
What’s the solution?
Believe it or not, it does not matter what type of toilet paper you use in your RV. One-ply, two-ply, quilted, or scented. RV-type or not. Use what you want, just make sure to follow a simple rule: Use plenty of water.
- When you use the toilet (we’re talking #2 here), flush down another bowl-full of water.
- Add enough fresh water to your holding tanks so that you are emptying them when they are 90% to 100% full. A full tank empties better than one that is a third or half full.
- When you are done emptying your holding tanks, add three to five gallons of fresh water to them to give them a “fighting chance” (also called “priming the system”).
- Turn on your black tank’s sprayer or rinse system when emptying the tank. The extra turbulence and water will help the emptying process.
- As you are traveling down the road with your RV, keep three to five gallons of fresh, clean water in your holding tanks. It will help keep things lubricated in your tanks.
It does not matter what type of toilet paper you use. Simply making sure you use enough water during use of your toilet too keep the ratio of water-to-waste high.
Jim Tome, Owner
Hi, I'm Jim Tome and, along with my wife, Debbie, the owners of Kleen Tank LLC, the national leader in RV holding tank cleaning service. We've been RVers like you since 2004 and have traveled all over the U.S. in our Airstream travel trailer. We started the business about twelve years ago and have cleaned tens of thousands holding tanks in thousands of RVs. From tiny weekend travel trailers to monstrous fifth wheels to luxurious motorhomes, I've seen just about every situation there is with RV holding tanks and waste systems. I hope you enjoy our articles; I try to post at least one per week and we've got a great library of them to cover just about every problem. Enjoy!
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