Having an RV means that you are now free to explore nature and you can roam around anywhere, anytime. An RV gives you the freedom to stop whenever you want and then again start the journey when you feel comfortable. It is a very exciting and fun way to explore nature with your family and friends. You feel great while you are outdoors but still, feel the comfort of your home through your RV.

However, your trip can have a very bad impact if something is not right in your RV’s toilet. Especially it becomes very frustrating if your RV toilet stinks or smells bad. This smell ruins the whole environment of your RV.

What are the reasons of a Stinking RV Toilet

An RV toilet has a lever to flush away all the waste. This lever needs to be pressed down to flush away all the waste. When you press the lever, the waste flushes down the toilet and is stored in the holding tank. Your RV toilet has a holding tank to store all the waste before it gets dumped. 

This means that all the waste is in your RV’s holding tank for many days or even weeks. The holding tank develops lots of bad smells in this period. There can be many reasons why your RV’s toilet smells when flushed. Some of the reasons are given below.

1. Clogging of Toilet 

People think that the RV toilet works the same as ordinary toilets. They will flush away the waste and it will go straight down the pipe and into the black tank, however, this is not the case. An RV toilet is a lot different as compared to an ordinary toilet. That is why you should be more careful while flushing down things in your RV toilet. 

Many things like flushable wipes and toilet paper etc can cause clogging. If the toilet is clogged, this means that the waste is not reaching the black tank rather it is stuck somewhere in the pipe. In this situation, whenever you flush the toilet, sewer gases come out of your toilet bowl and into your bathroom creating a smell.

2. Cleaning Required for Toilet

If you empty your black tank more often and try to dump it as soon as possible, still there can be very bad smells. The reason is that your black tank does not only need emptying; it also needs cleaning after some time. Think of the waste stuck in the pipes and black tank if they are not cleaned properly. 

Sometimes it does not clog the toilet but it creates bad smells. There are many methods to clean your RV tank and toilet. You can use toilet cleaning brushes to properly clean the toilet so that nothing gets stuck in the way and goes straight into the tank. Similarly, chemical cleaners are available to clean the black tank from any build-up or waste.

3. Leakage of Black Tank or Toilet

If your toilet or black tank is leaking, first you need to find out the source that is causing the leakage. Try to check the bolts if they need tightening or if anything needs replacement. Also check the flapper seal of your toilet, if it is properly placed and not broken. If the smell is coming under your RV, this means you have to check the sewer pipes or the black tank. There may be some leakage in the sewer pipe or the black tank itself. The leakage can affect the functioning of the toilet and tank due to which the flushing process disturbs and can create smells around your RV.

4. Blockage of Vent Pipe

There are usually two vent pipes on the roof of your RV. One of these vents is attached to the black and grey tanks. This vent is used for the escape of sewer gases from the RV. If this vent is blocked, then the gases will not vent out and will travel back into your toilet creating bad smells all around the RV. Bird nests or tree debris are the most basic reasons for the blockage of this vent.

Does your RV Toilet Smell When Flushed? Stop the Stink in 3 Steps!

To eliminate the bad smell coming from your RV toilet, we can suggest a few simple steps.

1. Unclog the Tank or Toilet

You can unclog your tank or toilet by various methods. You can use a spray wand to open the clog. This wand is used to push the water down to clear anything that is causing the clog. Similarly, it can also be used from inside the tank flush valve to push water up through the tank into the toilet.

2. Flushing of Black Tank

Nearly every RV has an option to flush the contents of the black tank. This means that you can fill the black tank first and then drain it completely to flush away all the contents inside it. Keep on filling and flushing the tank until all the contents get cleared from the inside of the tank. In this way, the debris and build-up will also clear out.

3. Clearing the Vent Pipe

You have to go to the roof of your RV to check if something is blocking the RV vent pipe that is attached to the sewer pipe of your black tank. There could be bird nests, tree debris, or any other thing that can be a cause of this blockage. Clear it out to let the gases vent out properly from the pipe.


You shouldn’t let bad smells ruin your vacation. You can prevent and remove bad smells inside your RV with the help of this article. Have fun camping! 

Sarah Michelle is a passionate writer and digital strategist interested in the evolving landscape of online content and user experience. Having closely followed the developments in digital marketing and search algorithms, Sarah brings a unique blend of insights into the marketing world and is committed to helping both creators and consumers navigate the digital realm with confidence.

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