Does my RV’s toilet have a trap in it?

While RV toilets are similar to the toilet in your home in many ways, they aren’t that similar when it comes to the flow of water.

Your home toilet has a trap of water that creates a barrier, stopping dangerous and foul sewer gasses from seeping into your home. An RV toilet won’t have a trap, but keeping a small amount of water in the bowl provides a similar sealing feature like your home toilet’s trap.

RV toilets are different in other ways too. Your toilet at home has a water tank on top that holds 1.6 to 3.5 gallons of water. Some might even have a “dual-use” feature where less water is dispensed into the bowl for urine and more for poop. RV toilets don’t have a top tank and use the water from your RV’s park supply or through the pressurized system your water pump pulls from your freshwater holding tank.

Some higher-end RVs have a macerating toilet. These use high-pressure water to macerate or dissolve waste and toilet paper, empty a more liquid waste down into your black holding tank. These types of toilets also tend to have sensors that will prevent toilet use if they sense that the black water tank is full or very near to maximum capacity. Most have an override button for this feature, however.

Jim & Debbie Tome, Owners

Hi, we're Jim and Debbie Tome and we're the owners of Kleen Tank LLC, the nationally-recognized and largest professional network of RV tank cleaning service provider.

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, we've seen just about every situation there is with RV holding tanks and waste systems.

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