RVs are improving every year and modern RVs truly are becoming very similar to our homes without wheels. However, you can’t quite capture every convenience found in a home in your RV and one of those conveniences is the toilet. An RV toilet operated very differently than your home toilet. I was recently reminded that not everyone is aware of this.
We had some friends meet up with us at a campground while we were traveling which led to an awkward and mildly embarrassing moment. One of our friends asked if he could use the restroom, to which we replied right inside to the left. After a long enough time for us to start wondering if he was going to be alright, our friend finally came out “face flushed” and said, “I can’t figure out how to flush the toilet.”
Needless to say we now offer a pre-emptive, “just step on the pedal on the floor to flush the toilet.” For those who have an even more inconspicuously placed flushing mechanism mounted higher on the wall, you may want to give your friends a “heads up” as well.
Water, just like power, is a precious commodity in an RV. This combined with the fact that your RV’s toilet is on wheels, in order to avoid what could be some pretty traumatic sloshing and spilling, RVs utilize gravity along with a small amount of water to clear waste.
This makes clearing the toilet just little more complex than a simple flush, but not too much more. Depending on the toilet, there is a small switch or pedal that is located at or near the base of the toilet (sometimes higher on the wall). To flush, simply press the pedal to begin the first rinse. You will find hose attached to or near the toilet as well. This can be used to wash any remaining solids down (keep pedal depressed to use). Don’t be afraid to use a little extra water to rinse everything down. Once finished, step off the pedal and the trap door shuts out the waste and the odor. Happy Campers makes a great odor-eliminating product for your holding tank, you can check it out here: http://happycampersworld.com/
One other thing that you might want your non-RV friends to be aware of before using the toilet in your RV is that the roof vent fan won’t do what they think it will. If the roof vent fan is on when someone flushes the toilet in an RV it will pull the fumes right into the bathroom.
Nobody wants to discuss poop on their outing, but one uneducated trip to the potty could make your RV trip a LOT less pleasant for a while.