What to flush (in a camper)


What to Flush in a camper

Earlier this year I shared about how poop wipes almost ruined our camping trip, and I promised to follow up with an experiment to discover toilet paper brands that should work better in a camper bathroom. I modeled my experiment after one that Gone with the Wynns did, but I wanted to try different toilet paper brands in hopes of finding the most economical and practical brand to use in our camper. My quest was to find a decent toilet paper (i.e. NOT tissue-paper thin) that still broke down well and would therefore help prevent clogs in our camper sewer system. (Because let’s be honest: If my kids end up wadding up a ton of tissue-paper-thin toilet paper to get the job done, I’m still likely to have a clog issue!)

Camper toilet paper So for this experiment I tried: Great Value’s Ultra Strong, Costco’s Kirkland Ultra Soft (the single roll pictured), Scott’s Rapid Dissolving, Aldi’s Willow 1000, and Angel Soft. For the experiment I tore off three squares of each toilet paper, put them in a Ziploc plastic bowl with water, put the lid on, and gave each container a shake. Then I let them sit for about 15 minutes. Here is what I found:

Aldi Willow 1000 TP

Aldi’s Willow 1000 toilet paper was the thinnest of the toilet papers I sampled. I thought because of how thin it was it would break down the best, but as you can see in the picture, it was still holding together quite well. If I tried picking it up it started to break apart, but it did not break down as well as other brands. Final verdict: It was too thin for comfort and didn’t break down quickly, so I will not use it in the camper.

Angel Soft toilet paper

The Angel Soft toilet paper did not break down quickly in the water either. It was thicker than the Willow and held together more. It only broke apart when I tried picking it up. Final Verdict: It didn’t break down quickly enough, so I will not use it in the camper.

Costco toilet paper

Costco’s Kirkland Ultra Soft toilet paper was probably the nicest of the toilet papers sampled, but it held together the most (even when I tried picking it up, the pieces held together and clumped up) so therefore it would not work well in an RV toilet system. Final Verdict: No.

Scott Rapid Dissolve

The Scott Rapid-Dissolving toilet paper performed the best of those I sampled. It began breaking apart quickly, and it did so without me trying to pick it up. Although it is thinner than Costco’s Kirkland brand toilet paper, it was much nicer than the tissue-paper-thin Aldi WIllow brand. It cost $3.17 for four rolls at Walmart. Final verdict: We would use this in the camper.

Great Value toilet paper

Great Value’s Ultra Strong toilet paper was the surprise performer from my experimentation. It was thicker than the Scott Rapid-Dissolving, yet it broke apart in the water. (I even repeated the test with this brand to make sure the results were consistent.) Although it didn’t disintegrate as quickly as the Scott brand, it was breaking down well in the water. It cost $3.36 for six rolls at Walmart. Final Verdict: We would use this in the camper.

Now of course, companies often change how they manufacture their products, so I may need to revisit this experiment. And I recommend you do your own experimentation before deciding which product to use in your camper. The best types of toilet paper to experiment with are brands labeled “septic safe.” Do you have any recommendations for other brands that work well in your camper bathroom? If so please share over on our Facebook page.

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32 thoughts on “What to flush (in a camper)

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi John! Thanks for reading! Since writing this post we’ve heard from other RVers who have said Scott 1000 is another good option to use in a camper. Happy camping!

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Sarah. Thanks for reading–but don’t panic! 🙂 This experiment with TP brands was just a way to find one brand that broke down the best. From reading various RV forums, it’s my understanding that septic-safe toilet papers are usually fine for RV systems, but some brands/versions do break up better than others. If what you’ve been using hasn’t posed any clog issues, it is probably working fine in your RV system. We had experienced some problems with TP not flushing well through the RV system, so that’s why we were on the hunt for a TP that breaks down really well and fast. Since there are so many TP brands, and companies sometimes change how the TP is produced, it’s helpful to try your own experiment at home to find one you want to use in the camper. And feel free to come share your results here too. Happy camping! 🙂

        1. Kristin Post author

          Hi Matthew–thanks for stopping by and reading! Yes, we are beginning to think the same thing, which is why we now test any TP before using it in the RV. There seems to be a wide variance on how fast various “septic-safe” TPs break down. What do you use in your RV?

        2. Kate

          I didn’t research but I thought septic is not the same thing as an RV. so I’m glad I’m seeing all this info.

          1. Kristin Post author

            Hi Kate–thanks for stopping by! It’s great learning what TPs have worked for others because we didn’t realize there were so many RV-friendly options. Doing your own paper dissolve test is a good way to decide what you are comfortable using in your camper. Happy camping!

  1. Kristen

    Thank you for this article!! We were using Angel Soft by recommendation & we constantly had clogs. We switched to Great Value & love it! I would have never tried Walmart brand paper before reading & I am very happy with the quality and less clogs!

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Kristen 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and sharing–I’m so glad the post has been helpful! Happy camping!

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Jennifer! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! And thanks for leaving feedback on another TP–that’s great info! 🙂 Happy camping!

  2. Fran

    We did our own experiment and Aqua Soft by THETFORD was the best for both dissolving and softness. Cost is $.00416 per sheet at our RV dealer. If you live in the Pittsburgh or Cleveland areas Giant Eagle store brand septic safe dissolved almost as well as the Aqua soft and cost only.00167 per sheet!

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Fran! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! And thanks for sharing the tip about other good RV TP options. Happy camping! 🙂

  3. Trudy Van Wyk

    I recently picked up Charmin Essentials by mistake. It seemed much thinner than the Charmin we had used. My thought, try the test in water to see how it did compared to the tissue which is sold for campers. The Charmin dissolved much faster than the rv tissue. May have to try it. It seems soft enough for the bottom too!

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Trudy! That’s one version I have never tried, so thanks for sharing! It’s great to know that there are so many brands (and price points) that can work in an RV. Happy camping! 🙂

  4. Val

    Thanks so much for great info. We are not in the habit of flushing TP so maybe we will try some of your experiments.
    Thanks Val.

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Joe–thanks for stopping by! Other than the Scott Rapid Dissolving TP, we have not purchased any other RV-specific brands, so we’re not sure what the other products are like. But if anyone else has, hopefully they will weigh in with their thoughts here. Happy camping!

  5. Terie Dohrman

    When we lived in our sticks and bricks we had a septic system, and a septic tank guy told us Kirkland brand was one of the worst TPs you could use because it doesn’t break down and clogs your system. Charmin was his recommendation because it breaks down very quickly. So when we got our RV, I tested Charmin against the leading “RV” toilet papers. Charmin won, hands down.

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Ramona! Thanks so much for stopping by! And thanks for sharing your tip on another TP brand to use. Happy camping!

  6. Susan

    Get a covered garbage can and never put paper in the pooper. Never have a problem again. Take the liner bag out to the garbage daily with all the nasties tied up neatly inside. Had 3 motorhomea and swear by this system.

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Susan! Thanks for reading and sharing your tip! It’s always great to hear tips from other RVers. 🙂 Happy camping!

  7. Lorraine

    Thank you for the tips!! 🙂 I agree with another commenter about Charmin. We use the Charmin Basic in the yellow package. It was recommended by my parents who RVed for years and seems to work great!

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Lorraine–thanks for stopping by and reading! And thanks for weighing in about the Charmin Basic–great info! Happy camping! 🙂

  8. Kimberly Haugen

    When I was in Russia, the septic system there cannot handle toilet paper. You would have to put it in a bin. That got me thinking about using a cat litter “Litter Genie” to place the paper in it. If it holds in the used litter smell, it should do the same for used paper. Not only that, but I personally like my wet wipes. This would solve the issue and still allow me to use them. Anyone every tried that?

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hi Kimberly–thanks so much for stopping by and reading! That’s an interesting idea–I haven’t heard of anyone else using the Litter Genie in an RV, but the concept should work well. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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