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How Much Water Does An RV Toilet Use Per Flush?

closeup of RV toilet at base - feature image for How Much Water Does An RV Toilet Use Per Flush?
How much water does an RV toilet use per flush? Photo: Shutterstock

How Much Water Does An RV Toilet Use Per Flush?

One of the best parts about traveling and camping in an RV is having a functional bathroom everywhere you go. There is never a need to use a public toilet when you travel in an RV. You can use your RV’s private facitilies instead of using the sometimes dodgy restroom at a rest area. When you’re boondocking where there are no public restrooms, you have a convenient toilet right in your RV.

When we are boondocking, each flush of the toilet depletes our freshwater tank. Having water in our freshwater tank is crucial to our ability to boondock. To maintain our freshwater supply, it’s important to answer the question: “How much water does an RV toilet use per flush?” Let’s dive into the world of RV toilets and find the answer to that question.

How does an RV toilet work?

Most RV toilets are gravity-fed toilets that look pretty much like a standard household toilet with a few differences in appearance and operation. An RV toilet doesn’t have a holding tank behind it, and there is no hand-operated lever. Instead, a foot pedal operates the city water or freshwater tank fed flush function. When you step on the foot pedal, it opens up a valve at the bottom of the toilet bowl. Depressing the foot pedal also opens up a water supply valve that allows water to flush the RV toilet.

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Depressing the foot valve just halfway allows the RV toilet bowl to fill without opening the bottom valve, so that after it’s flushed, the toilet can be filled with 1 or 2 inches of water to make an airlock that helps stop offensive black tank odors from entering the RV.

How much water does it take to flush an RV toilet?

Unlike a household toilet, the amount of water used to flush an RV toilet is not premeasured in a holding tank on the back of the toilet. The amount of water used to flush an RV toilet varies according to the length of time the foot pedal is depressed. Usually an RV toilet uses about 16 oz of water to flush liquid waste, and it’s recommended to use up to 1 gallon of water to flush solid waste to avoid solid waste build-up in the black tank (also known as an RV poop pyramid).


Track your RV maintenance

Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance from RV LIFE. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.