Why Camper Toilet Smells like Sewer – Fix Like a Pro

You’re in HomeAway travel across, everything going fine until you feel camper toilet smells like sewer. What to do then, and why is your precious RV smelling?

Everything you get from here today. From why to how! and some RV tips to prevent future odor.

So keep reading and get your camper clean in just a few minutes.

What is a camper toilet, and How does it work

A camper or RV toilet is similar to a regular toilet but has little difference in its installation and functions.

A traditional toilet joined with either a septic tank or sewage tunnel, an RV toilet has its own tank for holding the organic matter.

There are four types of toilets that can fit into your RV.

1. Traditional one required water and a holding tank to carry the waste.

2. Composting one-It does not require water but needs some composting materials like peat moss, fiber coir, etc., to maintain the process.

3. Portable one-It needs water, the holding tank is detached from the toilet, and it is portable, needs only a small space to settle down.

4. Cassette toilet can rotate and fix with a black water tank.

RV toilet consists of three main parts: A plastic bucket to collect wastes, a detachable toilet seat with a lid for comfort, and a ventilation tube.

The ventilation tube is crucial and attached to the Outdoor Toilet. The ventilation tube is responsible for excluding the sewer odor from the RV.

If. the ventilation tube has an issue, then the unpleasant odor lingering in your space. 

Therefore, it is important to install the ventilation tube correctly so that the wind will help blow the smell away from your compartment.

Why does my Camper Toilet Smell Like Sewer/ Rotten Eggs?

Your camper toilet can smell for several reasons, and sometimes it depends on the type of the camper toilet.

NO1. Cause- If you have Composting toilet

Composting toilet is smelly because of the process. The newly installed composting toilet is smelly because the process has started.

But a regular composting camper toilet smelled while the breakdown process either stopped or the composting material was not sufficient to continue the process.

No2. Cause Your RV smelling due to the poor Ventilation System

As you know, how important the ventilation system is for the camper toilet is, right?

It eliminates poop and other bad odors from the site. Your RV must smell like sewage if there is a fault with the ventilation system.

NO3. Possible Cause for a Camper toilet smell Due to the Blockage

The toilet can become clogged by either toilet paper or air that has become lodged drainage.

NO4. RV Becomes more smelly due to the Gray Tank being Full.

Another possible reason for camper toilets creating foul odors is the black tank. The black tank carries waste matter, and it needs to be empty from time to time.

However, excessive use may cause it to load quickly and, once full, produce the gas.

NO5. Cause- Defect Flange

You are traveling here and there, sometimes smooth or on the rocky hills. 

The toilet base is sometimes loose, or its seal is broken when the flange is old or if the road is too uneven. For this, the stench is not prevented from coming from waste materials. From there, the odor spreads all over the place.

NO6. Possible Reason for Sewer like smell from Camper toilet Due to Clogged Vent Pipe

A clogged vent is the most possible reason for smelling any toilet. And it is an indication that your vent pipe gets blockage for some reason, and you need to check immediately.

How do you stop your RV from smelling like sewage?

There are several ways to keep your RV from smelling inside.

1. If your RV is new, it is time for a proper cleaning from inside to outside.

2. If the RV has aged, it is now time to perform proper maintenance, such as thoroughly inspecting all plumbing systems, the toilet, and so on.

3. Inspect and clean the vent system

4. Use a toilet deodorizer. (natural)

5. Examine the tank, toilet, and sewage line for any damage. If you detect one, the unit may have to repair instantly, or you may get an expert to evaluate it and see if it can be rectified.

Can I put bleach in my camper toilet?

This is the most frequently asked question by almost everyone who plans to use an RV. Bleach, in my opinion, should be avoided when cleaning a camper toilet.

Because bleach has strong properties and may damage the rubber seal in the inner part, bleach can again prevent bacterial growth that continues the composting process.

But some people say to Yes bleach treatment for the toilet. Then you must follow some criteria to put bleach into the camper toilet.

1. The right bleach is most important. As I mentioned, bleach has a strong character to damage seals, so choose chorine bleach-the liquid and light form.

2. Again, whatever you buy, the ratio must maintain a ratio called 1:10. One quart of bleach for every thirty gallons of water is a good rule of thumb.

3. For extra caution, you should use a separate container for bleach and water.

4. Never use scented bleach, which can damage your septic system.

5. Just use sparingly bleach when cleaning your camper toilet or holding tanks. 

At the end of the day, it is up to you whether or not you want to put bleach in your camper toilet. Just make sure to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.

Read more– Bleach in the toilet: How it reacts!

Why should you clean your camper toilet regularly?

Camper toilets are not like your home or other regular ones. They require more maintenance and cleaning than a regular toilet for better performance, sanitization, and odor-free.

If you don’t clean your camper toilet regularly, it can become extremely dirty and smelly. 

Additionally, a dirty camper toilet can be thriving for bacteria and other contaminants.

So, you should clean the surfaces of your camper toilet at least once a week. Use disposable toilet paper, dispose of it daily. 

If gray water in the holding tank is dirty or smelly, you will need to pump out and replace it with fresh water. 

You can keep your camper toilet clean and odorless by following a few simple steps.

Tips for keeping your RV clean while on the road -RV toilet hacks

1. Cleaning the exterior will prevent dirt from building up over time.

2. You can use a brush, soap, and water to scrub the surface of the camper toilet.

3. When you’re on the road, it’s also important to make sure things remain trim.

4. Use a shower liner to line your floor and add another layer of protection on top of the mat.

5. Keep a small sieve in the sink so you can trap small particles before they get washed down the drain. 

6. Stock a pack of wet wipes by the toilet to give it a quick clean-up after use.

7. Keep a small air freshener near the toilet to help with any smells that may occur.

8. Frequently check the ventilation system.

9. Keep a pack of Clorox wipes by the sink and toilet to quickly disinfect any surfaces that may have gotten sludgy.

Wrap Up On Smelly Camper Toilet 

When it comes to traveling, packing your RV is easy. You just need some supplies, and you’re good to go.

However, while on the road, keep your RV maintained. You must take the necessary steps to remain clean and tidy for when you get back – no one wants to come home to a dirty camper!


Q1.How often should you clean your camper toilet?

You should clean your camper toilet at least once a week. If it overuses, then clean after 3 to days alter.
If you use disposable toilet paper, you should dump it daily. 
Also, if the holding tank water gets dirty or smelly, you will pump it out and cover it with fresh water. 
The frequency of cleaning your camper toilet will depend on how often you use it and how much maintenance it requires.

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