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Do you flush the TP or trash it?


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When we got our first RV we did use the RV stuff. After a while I began to wonder what was special about it and discovered that the only thing special about it was that they package septic safe TP as RV TP. At that point we changed to buying only septic safe TP. Today the vast majority of major brands of TP are labeled as septic safe if you look closely  The key is to be generous with the water when you flush. 

Edited by Kirk W
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If the idea of putting TP in the trash offends you stay out of Mexico. We put TP in the trash basket both in the RV and at home to prevent septic tank problems.

This old school science project should be enlightening: The great toilet paper debate is solved! I suppose a couple brands might  cause a clog if you dump more often than 20 minute intervals.

The  bottom line (pardon the pun) is use any TP brand you wish in the RV, just as long as you also use adequate flushing water to keep all solids covered in the tank.

Edited by Ray,IN
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We flushed for years. When I bought my van I started putting the paper, carefully folded so any mess stayed inside the paper, in a gallon zip top bag to make my black tank fill up slower. Zip top kept paper from smelling then, when full, simply went in the trash. For those who object to used toilet paper in the trash, where do you think all those disposable diapers go?

Linda Sand

Edited by sandsys
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17 minutes ago, sandsys said:

 For those who object to used toilet paper in the trash, where do you think all those disposable diapers go?

Linda Sand

It's not that it's trash , in one form or another . It's the 'fragrance' and what that carries that might want to be avoided . ;)

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I used to always flush it but for about 2years I have been trashing it for a couple of reasons and I think it has improved decomp in my tank. I flushed mostly about 17-18 years.  Have not had an odor issue, So far it works for me.

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For the people that are concerned about the TP in the trash smell, they must have never tried it. TP does not smell in the trash any more than garbage in your RV trash can. Besides, if the trash does smell that bad, then it's time to take it out to the dumpster.

For 8 years of FT, we have continued to use the TP in the trash method and this has allowed us to leave both waste valves open when we have FHU's. This has saved me the chore of regular tank dumping and countless hours saved not dumping, 2 x week x 10 min x 52 weeks/year  x 8 years = 138 hours not spent dumping

My experience with TP being flushed is mostly with home septic systems. For our home septic tank, which went by the TP in the trash method, we never had the tank pumped out in 20+ years living in our house, even though I had it inspected every couple of years and would only find liquid inside. For my rental houses, when I checked the septic tank every couple of years, I would find a thick raft of floating TP which would then need to be pumped out or else risk plugging up the drain field. TP is just another solid in a waste/septic tank that needs to be dissolved using water. Even city sewer treatment plants must remove all the dissolved solids before the water can be discharged into a water shed. TP just adds to the sewer plants filtration work and the treatment expense. By putting TP in the trash, you are saving the planet's clean water resource for other uses.

As posted below, either method does work! This should not be about defending your method, just be open that other methods also work and why some people chose them.

Edited by gjhunter01
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We use Scott 1000 and flush.  I also add a scoop of RV Digest-it to both tanks after each dump.  Every second or third move (and the first after a prolonged stay) I dump the tanks before moving and add 5 gallons of water, a cup of borax (dissolved in the water so start with hot water) and a half cup of dawn.  Some folks have reported suds coming up with detergent.  I have 52 gallon tanks.  If yours are smaller you may want to use less detergent.  Finally, I keep the bathroom ceiling vent open (it is under a cover).  We have no problems with function or smell.  When I dump I don't see any solids flowing out of the tank (clear section of pipe). 

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36 minutes ago, Jinx & Wayne said:

Every second or third move (and the first after a prolonged stay) I dump the tanks before moving and add 5 gallons of water, a cup of borax (dissolved in the water so start with hot water) and a half cup of dawn.  Some folks have reported suds coming up with detergent.  I have 52 gallon tanks.  If yours are smaller you may want to use less detergent. 

If you use trisodium phosphate & water, you don't need the other stuff and it doesn't suds at all. That was recommended by an RV waste system design engineer in a seminar I attended about 20 years ago and it has served us well ever since. 

                   81rfBxx5e-L._AC_UL100_SR100,100_.jpg

Edited by Kirk W
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2 hours ago, Jinx & Wayne said:

We use Scott 1000 and flush.  I also add a scoop of RV Digest-it to both tanks after each dump.  Every second or third move (and the first after a prolonged stay) I dump the tanks before moving and add 5 gallons of water, a cup of borax (dissolved in the water so start with hot water) and a half cup of dawn. 

To this discussion, I'll add my own "recipe" which is to put  ~2/3 cup of borax and ~2/3 cup of washing soda into the tank after each flush.  Washing soda is a low suds equivalent to the dawn that is often recommended.  I also use a cup of Pinesol for odor control. 

We try to use Scotts, but during the "shortages" in the Spring we did use what was available.  I have a clear section in my drain system so I can observe the flow.  Use of other tissue created more "clumps" than we get when using Scotts, but it never became a problem.  When we're stationary as we have been for ~6 months we dump and flush about every ~6 days with a 50 gallon tank.

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24 minutes ago, remoandiris said:

2x a week?  Wow!  10 min per?  Wow again.  

I had to wonder about that , too . 

I figure more like a minute per dump , as it get s done on the way to or form something else . 

But , maybe he just likes to take his break from the riggers of full timing while dumping ? ;) 

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