After four and a half months of full-time RV travel, it happened to us.
Toilet paper clogged our pipes.
I didn’t notice the problem until we were rushing out of an RV park early yesterday morning trying to get to a job across town.
I vowed to check YouTube, RV forums, and everything in between as soon as we got back from work.
A clogged toilet is never good, but a clogged toilet on your honeymoon is not exactly the welcoming to marriage we planned on!
Or perhaps now I’m super prepared for marriage 😉
So Many Useless Tools
We pulled back into an RV park around sunset and I began my search for “how to fix a clogged RV toilet.”
Many sources suggested plungers, toilet augers, and septic-safe chemicals.
But I was in a forest in New Hampshire, with no access to any of these tools.
My husband tried using a toilet auger to loosen the clog, but he only seemed to anger the toilet, which released a foul odor.
Things weren’t looking up.
Some people suggested the only way to truly unclog the pipes was to take a hose and “power wash” everything out.
Of course, after that you can’t ever use your hose for drinking water again. And we lost our second hose somewhere on the road (oops) so we couldn’t use this option anyways.
We knew we didn’t want to call a plumber, but we were running out of options.
We had to find a solution.
Then I found an option that sounded too crazy to be useful.
Hot Water Works Wonders
Here’s how the tip goes:
Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Wait until it’s really bubbling. Turn off your water connection and pour the boiling water down the toilet.
Huh? That’s waaay too easy.
I didn’t give much credit to this idea, but the more I searched, the more I came across it.
Just use boiling water.
I had my doubts, but I decided to give it a try when I saw a woman’s comment that said, “Boiling water knocks out anything!!!!”
She used so many exclamation points that I just knew I could trust her.
After all, I could boil water. That’s about all I could try!
So Simple, Yet So Effective
I filled the one pot we had brought along to the brim and brought the water to a rapid boil.
My husband had the pouring duties – I’m not that brave!
After I assured him that boiling water couldn’t melt our toilet (his primary concern), he poured it down and immediately our bathroom filled with steam.
We looked at each other, slightly afraid to look down the toilet drain to see if it worked.
My husband said, “I’m going to boil another pot. I watched a YouTube video and he boiled two pots. He didn’t say if it worked or not, but it doesn’t hurt to try.”
I boiled a second pot and let my husband pour it down the drain again.
We looked down the pipe and saw less toilet paper than before our first pour. It seemed to be working!
We didn’t use our bathroom all evening and went to bed praying that we would wake up to a clear toilet pipe.
And… IT WORKED!
I boiled another pot of water and poured it down the toilet just to be safe.
For the record, we use Angel Soft toilet paper and we own a 1994 Coachman.
In my extensive investigation to see if the boiling water actually works and isn’t just an old wive’s tale, I saw many people use this method on multiple different types of rigs.
Hopefully when you find yourself stuck with a clogged RV toilet, this tip will help you out!
24 thoughts on “How to Unclog Your RV Toilet. It’s Not as Tough As You Think.”
This thread was extremely helpful. We first noticed that the toilet water would bubble before going down, then it clogged and I kept adding water and then the bowl was full. So, I shut the water off and googled and found this thread and got to boiling waterand reading every comment on here. I saw that the waste and paper get trapped under the toilet opening and the clog starts there so long and behold I got a hanger out and began to fish around and tons of crap and paper. We put the little pot of water down and then two more after we picked up some treatment that we should have purchased a while ago.
Thanks for your helpful thread and everyone for their comments.
Well, I have just about given up. I tried the hot/boiling water, no luck. Trickles out ever so slowly – but certainly did not clear clog. Then, I tried using Drano, and added boiling water. Same thing. I tried running a hand snake through it, but it gets to a point where it just curls up and won’t go through. Any other suggestions?? I have some fiberglass rods that I use for cleaning chimneys – was thinking of trying to put that through… I also noted that my black water tank has a place to hook up a hose – never seen that in any of my past trailers. Might that pressurize it from the bottom up and maybe help loosen it? Or, is that just for washing out the bottom of the tank? My unit is an Idle Time, Fifth Wheel, 2007 model.
Glad it worked for you Karen!
I took a three week RV trip thru New England. Just me and my kiddos (ages 6, 7, 8). My husband couldn’t go because he had to work. I had a terrible clog and found your tip. I boiled one large pot of water, poured it in the toilet, and Viola! It worked! Thanks for the helpful hint!
best tip ever had real bad clog treid many rv toilet chemicals no go, boiled water 3 small pots let it sit over night seemed to make a bit of a difference. next day boiled two small pots and the clog was gone thanks
We had a bad plug up in our 2005 Jayco fifth wheel with angled pipe, we tried the boiing water method and letting it sit overnight, still plugged in the morning when I got home from work we decided to try boiling water one more time but needed to clean liquids out first I suggested shop vac instead of cup and pail before we knew it sucked the clog out also gross but it worked.
We have a camper connected to septic and the toilet keeps clogging. Stick has worked best to unclog it so far. (Size of stick matters.) Going to try the hot water method first with hot water brewed in coffee pot, then with boiled water. If it works, I won’t have to mess with disposing the stick each time. (Hole in garbage bag or dogs bringing it back for fetch.) Thanks for the tip!
My wife asked me if I dumped the black water I said yes. She told me our toilet was plugged, I told her I noticed it before I dumped and thought that would take care of it. We tried plunger and more water. No help, used an old snake. No help. Looked on line found your info. While I had my wife boil some water I also saw the comets on using a stick or small pole. I have a pair of driveway markers I use for golf. I grabbed one took it out to our Coleman 23 foot travel trailer and poked up and down while holding toilet lever open for about one minute and it broke up the clog, and it all drained away and the toilet opening looked like new. Thank you for your ideas. We still dumped in the hot water after. You saved us a lot of time and money.
Tigger, Hope you get your toilet fixed soon!
I’m almost in tears. We are brand new full time RVers learning by trial and error while living on a meager budget.
Our toilet has been clogged for a week. We have tried almost everything….even dumping a bag of ice and going for a drive. We have Googled over and over and come up with nothing.
My water is boiling right now. I’m very very hopeful! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this!
as sweet as you seem I wouldn’t think you’d ever have troubles with septic or go poop for that matter
That’s a neat idea Mayda, maybe would help clean the black tank as well…
Electric dishwasher soap?
Thanks for sharing your tip Chris!
Here is a tip to prevent blockage of a toilet: Keep your black water valve closed while hooked up and dump only when tank is almost full, never use your toilet with the valve open, because the solids heap up underneath the toilet and eventually block it.
Hi Cheryl, glad everything worked out for you!
Thank you,thank you for this tip!!! Hubby away and toilet plugged late night. Starting googling and found this. Worked great!! Thanks again and again!!!!
This is a really good tip! I will keep that in mind!
Glad you finally got your toilet unplugged. It seems boiling is the simplest, cheapest way to get it cleared up. Your stick method sounds good, too.
Recently had this happen to me for the first time. Tried filling bowl with water then opening flush valve, pressure right?, no luck, just slowly drained through.
Tried the hot water method, but I didn’t boil because like the hubbie in article I was worried about warping/melting ole Lou, & I didn’t have someone brilliant & brave like Alyssa to assure me.
Hot water moved things a bit but not enough. Also caused lovely bubbly burbles to splat upwards.
In the end used a sturdy not too pokey branch with valve open pushing down & stiring around whoooosh clear as day. A crappy day mind you.
Next time I’ll try the boiling method!
Thanks Vic for the tip.
I use dishwasher soap (the cheap kind), before I head out. Just squeeze some into the tank when you add the blue stuff. It seems to lubricate everything. I found this solution when I had a clog at the exit for the black water. I think the combination of hot water and soap would work really well.
Thanks for the tip Charlie!
We have had the “cone of crap” problem in the past and the quickest easy way to get things going is to take the awning rod and poke it in to the toilet then stir and poke up and down with it. Then add lots of water and all is well. You will need to disinfect the rod later…
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