How to Avoid the Dreaded RV Poop Pyramid

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The dreaded poop pyramid can be a nightmare for RV owners. If you’re not careful, using the bathroom in your camper could make it a reality.

Luckily, taking a few precautions makes it possible to safely and effectively use the restroom in your rig. However, you must first arm yourself and others with some information.

Today, we’ll help you avoid having an RV poop pyramid ruin your adventures. Let’s take a look at what you need to do!

What Is the RV Poop Pyramid?

An RV poop pyramid is common in campers, especially for newbies. It is when the solid waste and toilet paper accumulate in the RV’s black tank. This eventually leads to a blockage in the plumbing system, which prevents the individual from dumping their waste tank.

If a blockage isn’t enough, you could experience severe odors. Trust us, the last thing you want is to cruise around in a smelly rig. You’ll be looking for a solution and want to take steps towards avoiding it in the future.

How Does an RV Poop Pyramid Form?

Poop pyramids form in an RV because of a lack of water in the black tank. Typically, this occurs because the user has left the drain valve open when connected to a sewer connection. It’s an easy mistake to make, as users don’t want to risk filling up their black tank.

With the waste valve open, liquids can drain from the tank. Unfortunately, solids need a generous amount of fluids to force them out. With no liquids, the toilet paper and solid waste will gather into a pile at the bottom of the tank. They’ll remain there until there’s enough water in the tank to force them out.

Unfortunately, the waste can harden if left to sit for too long. This can eventually clog the drain and prevent water from exiting the tank. In extreme cases, calling a professional may be best.

How to Avoid the Dreaded RV Poop Pyramid

You want to do all you can to avoid the dreaded RV poop pyramid. The best way to do that is to take a proactive approach. Here are some tips for preventing this from happening in your camper.

Use Plenty of Water

One of the most important things you can do to avoid an RV poop pyramid is to use plenty of water. Doing so can speed up the breaking down of solids and help push them out when dumping your tanks. You don’t have to be wasteful, but consider refilling your black tank with three to five gallons after dumping your tanks.

Many RVers will hold the foot flush lever an extra second or two every time they flush. Generally, this is all it takes to ensure you have plenty of water in your black tank.

If you experience issues, fill your black tank with several gallons of water before going for a drive. The sloshing around can help the solids break down.

Pro Tip: In an RV, you’re limited to storage space. However, these RV Bathroom Storage Ideas will help make life on the road easier!

Flush Tank Regularly

Another critical thing to do is to flush your tank regularly. Doing so can help prevent solids from sitting in your tank and hardening. Ideally, you would flush your tank every time after each trip.

However, you may be able to put it off if you have another trip planned in the next week or so. Full-time RVers often only flush their black tank once or twice a month.

Many modern RVs have built-in flush systems that make cleaning the tank easy. It uses a spray nozzle inside the tank to break down gunk and prevent it from sticking to the sides.

However, not all vehicles come with these. If yours doesn’t, you can buy attachments to stick down the toilet or attach to the drain valve.

Fill the tank between half and three-quarters full, then open the valve to drain the contents into a sewer connection. Repeat this process until no discoloration or solids are in the water. Since this is an essential maintenance task, take your time and do it right.

Use RV-Friendly Toilet Paper

Another mistake that many people make is not using the correct toilet paper. There’s a good chance you can find RV toilet paper at your favorite big-box retailer in the camping section. Unfortunately, it’s much more expensive. However, there’s a chance you’re already using RV-friendly toilet paper.

Those with a septic tank understand the importance of using quick-dissolving toilet paper. If you’re using this in your house, it’s typically safe for your RV’s plumbing system and will help prevent a poop pyramid.

If you’re worried about whether your toilet paper will cause issues in your RV, there’s a simple test you can do.

Grab a glass jar or plastic food container with a lid to do this test. Fill it with water and drop a few squares of toilet paper into the container. Put the top on and give it a few shakes. You’ll see it dissolve almost instantly if it’s safe to use. Unfortunately, you’ll need to start shopping for a new brand if it doesn’t.

Keep in Mind: Do You Need RV Toilet Paper? Is it a hoax or shrewd reality? Hoax or Shrewd Reality? Let’s find out!

Keep Your Tanks Closed

As mentioned, poop pyramids typically result from an individual leaving their black tank valve open. Keep your black tank closed until it is nearly full or at the end of your trip. This helps ensure you have plenty of water to dump your tanks without any issues.

You want to prevent solid waste and toilet paper from accumulating in the bottom. Solids will not break down if no water or other liquids are in the tank.

As gross as it sounds, you want a proper mixture of solids and liquids to avoid clogs and blockages. In general, as long as you don’t overfill your tank, you can’t have too much water in your tank.

Use Tank Treatments

Tank treatments are another effective way to fend off the formation of an RV poop pyramid. You can find these in liquids, tablets, and drop-in forms. They contain special chemicals that help condition the inside of your tank. Additionally,  many also have special enzymes that help with breaking down solids.

Some popular options come from Camco, Walex, and Happy Camper. They’re all great products and get great reviews. However, to get the best results, you’ll want to be consistent with them. Don’t wait until you have a problem to start using them. Make using these products a part of your routine maintenance schedule.

Camco TST MAX Camper / RV Toilet Treatment Drop-INs - Control Unwanted Odors & Break Down Waste and Tissue - Safe Septic Tank Treatment - Orange Scent, 30-Pack (41183)
  • TOILET DEODORIZER WITH REACTIVE ODOR-ELIMINATING TECHNOLOGY: Experience a powerful RV odor eliminator that stops RV...
  • SUPERIOR FORMULATION, UNMATCHED PERFORMANCE: Get exceptional results with TST MAX RV tank treatments. The advanced...
Walex BIOOCEANBG Bio-Pak Ocean Mist
  • Bio-Pak's natural digestive enzymes eliminate the need for special RV toilet paper!
  • Removes odors and breaks down waste and paper
Happy Campers RV Toilet Treatment 18 - Extra Strength Odor Eliminator for Black and Gray Holding Tanks
  • Powerful Odor Control: Say goodbye to unpleasant odors with our powerful formula that neutralizes and eliminates foul...
  • Effective Waste Digestion: Happy Campers breaks down waste and toilet paper quickly and efficiently, preventing clogs...

How Do You Get Rid of an RV Poop Pyramid?

Dealing with an RV poop pyramid can be a challenging and unpleasant experience. The first step is to add a generous amount of water to your tank.

You’ll want to let the water sit in your tank to break down or dislodge the pyramid. Taking your RV for a short drive to allow the pyramid to move around in the water doesn’t hurt.

With the water in your tank, it’s also an excellent time to add a tank treatment. As mentioned, these typically contain special chemicals to dissolve waste and speed up decomposition. However, they’re going to need time to work their magic. Let the treatment sit in your tank overnight before dumping your tank.

Don’t Let the RV Poop Pyramid Ruin Your Trip

An RV poop pyramid can be frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world. If you experience one in your rig, don’t let it ruin your trip. Follow our tips for getting rid of it, and then take the necessary steps to ensure it never happens again.

If you’re not having any luck, call in a professional. They’ll likely have special tools to unclog your tank and clean the inside of it.

Have you ever experienced the dreaded RV Poop pyramid?

Last update on 2024-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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