Troubleshooting an RV Toilet

ENJOY THIS FREE VIDEO!
Watch even more great videos when you become an RV Repair Club Member!
  • Choose Annual or Monthly Plan
  • Bonus Video Downloads
  • New Videos Every Week
  • View on Computer or Mobile
Learn More

While there’s not too much that can go wrong when it comes to the pretty simple appliance that is an RV toilet, there are a few things you should know about your toilet in order to properly troubleshoot the rare problem that might arise. Trust us, you don’t want to be unfamiliar with your toilet when you’re somewhere up a mountain in negative temperatures and discover that the bowl won’t hold water…

You’ll typically only have to worry about one key part of the RV toilet, and that’s the seal that separates the basin from the drain and retains water. This little component is liable to become clogged if you flush anything that ought not be flushed, and it’s also prone to cracking when left for long periods without use. In this quick lesson, RV expert Dave Solberg teaches you about some of the things you should be aware of when maintaining an RV toilet, including what to do in the vent of a clog or seal crack.

The dos and don’ts of an RV toilet

From time to time you may encounter an issue with your RV toilet, such as when the seal doesn’t seem to want to close completely, which results in a half-full or empty basin. To help you take care of this problem, Dave introduces the common causes of a malfunctioning toilet, as well as what to flush and not flush, and then he teaches you a simple trick to troubleshoot a faulty seal.

First things first, never flush paper towels down and RV toilet (or any other one, for that matter). Let’s just get that out of the way. Secondly, to avoid serious issues down the road, always take action at the first sign of a clog. Dave teaches you how to use a common household implement to get this job done. Furthermore, as soon as you see evidence of a seal or valve that won’t properly hold or shut, do yourself a favor and apply toilet seal lubricant and conditioner. Or if you’d like to avoid the added cost, some vegetable oil will do in a pinch. This is equally important when winterizing your RV for a roadtrip late in the year or storing it for hibernation.

Oftentimes a faulty seal occurs through no fault of your own. In certain parts of the country you’ll utilize hard water that can cause lime buildup along your drain and pipes. For that issue, there’s CLR. A healthy dose of this magic mixture, and your problem will be quickly solved!

In addition to clearing any blockages and treating lime buildup, you should also be sure to check your toilet and its components for any cracks that can lead to leaks. The attached sprayer is a common culprit, so Dave recommends a couple of solutions if you discover a faulty or leaking sprayer. With his simple tips, you’ll be able to shore up any problems with your RV toilet, and you can guarantee to give it a long lifespan and get your full money’s worth!

rv-become-a-member

Discussion
  • (will not be published)

26 Responses to “Troubleshooting an RV Toilet”
    • Customer Service

      Hi Sherylen. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your toilet issue. Depending on the model and year, your toilet valve will either have a flat “spade” valve that is a piece of flat plastic that slides back and forth into a rubber gasket that is supposed to seal and hold water, or a rounded valve in the newer style. If it doesn’t hold water, it’s time to replace the valve. Find out if it’s a Sealand or Dometic and get the model number. You should be able to get a replacement valve assembly.

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Raymond. We are sorry to hear you are having trouble viewing this video. Please contact our Customer Service Team at 1-855-706-3536; we would be happy to assist you.

      Reply
  1. Catherine

    behind the rv toilet is a leak from the tubing, please help me on how to repair this issue.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Catherine. More than likely it’s a loose waster line going to the supply valve or the valve is cracked as it might have frozen during storage? Depending on the make and model of the toilet, typically you can take off the plastic surround covering the base and the supply valve. It’s held on with a couple of screws, then remove the base to get access to the supply valve and hose. If you’re having trouble, provide the make, model and year of the toilet and we can get a diagram showing the parts.

      Reply
  2. GREGORY

    My toilet seals ok, but lately when I step down to flush, the seal doesn’t slide back in place and I have to raise it manually with my foot. Any suggestions ?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Gregory,

      I would suggest starting with a good cleaning of the rubber seal that the spade slide across. Sanitize it with a 1/4 cup bleach and gallon of water and use a popsicle stick or other disposable flat object to clean the gap all around the seal. It could have calcium or lime buildup. Otherwise you will need to take the plastic cover off the foot mechanism and the lower plastic shroud to gain access to the valve assembly. There you can see if it’s just sticking or the spring has broken or come loose.

      Thanks
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  3. Jeanette

    I have a Thetford toilet with the hand valve lever to rinse and flush. Don’t know model number/name as it is worn off. It is leaking from the back of the toilet -above where the water line enters the toilet. There is a black type valve with holes around it that is very loose in there. Can’t find a similar model when go to the Thetford website. Do you know what that upper valve is and how can I remove it (or can I can I remove it without removing the whole toilet).

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Jeanette,

      You should be able to get at the valve without taking the toilet out of the rig. To provide more specific troubleshooting information we need the model year of your rig so we can narrow down the toilet, most likely an Aqua Magic II, lll, or lV? Typically you can take off the plastic around the foot pedal and then the plastic shroud around the base of the toilet and get at most of the components although it might be a tight fit at the wall. Try tightening the screws if the loose part is the valve cover. Otherwise take a photo of the valve and we should be able to find replacement parts. Once you get the shroud off, look for a data tag that might have a model number?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  4. Dick Neff

    Got a 2016 Enterga Aspire front toilet will not fill with water. Flush, sounds correct cycling, but no water. Can not find a valve. Can anyone help. Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Dick,

      To provide more specific information on the location of your water valve
      for the toilet, we need the make, model, and year of your toilet.
      The valve is typically located directly at the end of the push lever
      hidden inside the plastic shroud or base. Usually it’s a broken
      plunger so you would need to remove the base and access the valve.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      http://go.rvrepairclub.com/C9875

      Reply
  5. MICHELLE

    Is there a way to replace the rubber seal that holds water in the bowl? It came off when being cleaned, the toilet is only a year old. Plus that’s what helps keep the smell out. Need to fix asap if we can. Look forward to your response.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Michelle,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your toilet seal, we need the make and model of the toilet. However both the Dometic and Thetford versions offer a replacement gasket for the flapper or ball type toilet.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  6. Joel Williamson

    Thetford Commode lets water in and ball valve seals well to hold water. Ball valve wil not open to flush. Any suggestions? Thanks for your asistance.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Joel,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your Thetford toilet issue, we need the model and year of the “commode”! If it’s a newer side pedal model, pushing the pedal down about half way opens the water valve and pushing it further pulls the plastic valve and opens the drain. There is a valve that opens the water and a separate spring housing and shaft that opens the flush ball or valve which I believe is broken on your unit?

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C12078

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Shirley,

      Do you get good water flow to other faucets and the shower? If yes, and you do not have a water leak, just air, you need to bleed the system out. The unit was probably winterized using air to blow out all the lines, so there would be quite a bit of air to move and just stepping down on the plunger slightly would not bleed it properly. It is also faster to do this hooked up to city water as the pressure moves water much faster.

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C12157

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Aluce,

      My guess is there is a crack in the floor seal or toilet itself which
      could have been caused by the water lines freezing? You will need to
      remove the toilet and inspect all the water lines as well as the water
      valve. The parts are inexpensive so it might be wise just to replace
      both while you have the toilet off?

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  7. blrittman

    I noticed that the valve assy, behind the tolet is leaking, is there something I need to do other than replacement of the tolet

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      Typically you can take the valve assembly apart and replace a seal or the valve without replacing the entire toilet? Usually what causes this is water left in the valve assembly during the winter and it freezes and cracks something in the valve. Find the make, model, and year of the toilet and give McBride’s Service and Parts a call and they can get the part you need. http://www.getrvparts.com

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Dorothy,

      Does you handle or pedal go down at all? It depends on what make and model you toilet is, but there is usually an armature or lever connected to the pedal or handle that goes to the valve and it may have come off. Sometimes it can be put back on but a lot of the time a piece of plastic has broken and needs replaced. You have have to remove the toilet to gain access to the valve parts and inspect what may be broken. If the pedal or handle won’t go down, check to see if there is anything logged in between the valve and gasket. Using a coat hanger, you can scrape around the gasket and try to free it. Just be careful not to tear the gasket. If you can get me the make and model, I can look into how it is assembled and help you more. The data tag is usually on the back of the toilet.

      Thanks,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  8. Andre Chatel

    Water leaking at back of a 2009 jayco featherlite 23-B travel trailer toilet. How can i find and fix the leakage??

    Reply

Tags: Free Videos