Your RV is your second home while you are on a road trip. RV provides you with many facilities while you are away from your actual home. Therefore you should also take care of your second home. If you become negligible, then many things will get worse and ultimately you will suffer. That is why it is important that you take proper care of your RV and especially the toilet and related cleaning.

There can be many reasons why your RV toilet will smell or smell like urine specifically. You have to properly inspect it to know the cause. It could be many things like a clogged pipe, a clogged black tank, etc. If you have a pet or children with you then you also have to check the floor or area around the toilet to know the actual reason.

What are the reasons why RV Toilet Smells Like Urine?

There are a number of factors involved in this case. You cannot say specifically that something is causing a bad smell or a urine smell in your RV toilet. Therefore you have to look and investigate properly to find the actual reason. After that, you can do remedies to get rid of the smell. Some of the basic reasons for urine like smelling RV toilets are given below.

1. Toilet Needs Cleaning

Though it is a very obvious reason, sometimes there is no big issue and only cleaning solves the matter. Therefore you should first clean your toilet properly if you are experiencing a urine-like smell in your RV toilet. There are many types of chemical cleaners available in the market that are specifically designed for RVs. You can try any one of those to do a proper cleaning. In the cleaning process, you will find many items that have not been cleaned for a long time. There is a chance that the smell may be coming out of the trash can, the curtains, or the toilet floor. Therefore in this detailed cleaning process, all the items will get washed and will become clean. Hopefully, the issue of smell will also be resolved.

2. Toilet is Clogged

A clogged toilet is also one of the main reasons why your RV toilet will smell bad or smell like urine. A clogged RV toilet is different from a clogged ordinary toilet. In the case of an RV toilet, your waste goes into the black tank where it remains for days or even weeks. Therefore there is a great chance of bad smells. A clogged toilet means that the waste is not going down into the black tank rather it is stuck somewhere in the pipes. This is causing urine-like smells to come out of the toilet and the whole environment of your RV is also affected.

3. Black Tank is Clogged/ Needs Cleaning

Another reason for a smelly RV toilet is that your black tank is clogged or needs cleaning. If you throw items in the toilet bowl which do not belong to your toilet then the chance of clogging increases. If you throw items like wipes, toilet paper, hair, etc in your RV toilet, it creates a clog. A clogged black tank means that solids are stuck inside the tank and they do not come out at the time of dumping. This creates bad smells and urine-like smells in the tank which also come inside your RV through your toilet bowl. There is also a chance that there is build-up inside the black tank walls. This build-up of solid waste also creates foul smells. Therefore you need to do deep cleaning of the black tank. There are many tools available that you can use to do the deep cleaning of the black tank. There are also many chemical cleaners used for this purpose. You can also try some homemade remedies to get rid of the bad smells and the build-up inside your black tank.

4. Leakage in the Sewer Tank or Drain Seal

Sometimes seals of the drain or inside the sewer tank break. The drain seal is placed under the toilet. If it is broken or damaged, the leakage of water and waste going down from the toilet will keep on producing bad smells. A sewer tank has seals to stop the bad-smelling sewer gases going up to the bowl. If your sewer tank seal is broken or damaged, it will not be able to stop the sewer gases. The gases will escape out of your toilet bowl inside your RV and your RV will smell like urine and whatnot!! Therefore whenever you feel urine-like smells coming out of your RV toilet, check the seals. They can easily break due to prolonged use.

5. Vent Pipe is Blocked

There is a vent pipe at the roof of your RV that is attached to the grey tank and black tank. This vent pipe is used to vent out the bad sewer gases out of your RV. If this vent pipe is blocked due to some reason, the gases do not vent out and cause a smell inside your RV. It is suggested that you climb up on the roof of your RV and check the vent pipe for any blockages. There may be some tree branches or bird’s nests that will be blocking your RV’s vent pipe. Clear out everything and check after some time if the smell diminishes or not.


A smelly RV is disgusting and irritating when you are on a trip. It not only ruins the internal environment of your RV but it also ruins your mood. Therefore try to get rid of the smell as soon as possible to save your road trip and your mood.

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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