All You Need To Know About Your RV’s Black Tank

Last Updated on July 5, 2023

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black tank on rv

When you have an RV with a toilet, knowing how to keep it in clean is important. However, this is a topic that a lot of people avoid, and we are going to discuss some of the details on how to maintain and keep your RV black tank clean.

The RV black tank holds the wastewater from the toilet. You won’t have to rely on rancid pit toilets when you are out on your RV trip.

What Is The Black Tank?

There are two types of wastewater tanks in most RVs:

1. Gray water tank – This collects water that goes down your RV’s shower and sink drain.

2. Black tank – It captures the wastewater from your RV’s toilet.

The black tank enables you to use the onboard facilities of your RV without having to worry about it being connected to a sewer. The good thing about the black tank is that it collects both solid and liquid waste materials.

RV black tank also collects the water that is used for flushing the toilet, as well as toilet paper. Basically, everything that you put down on your RV toilet.


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Rules of Thumb When Dealing with your Black Tank

• Note that using a two-ply tissue paper will likely clog your black tank. It is advisable to always use single-ply tissue paper. You do not want your black tank clogging as this could make your stay in the RV really uncomfortable. If you want to use your favorite brand of toilet paper, as a general rule you can test the paper in a cup of water and if it dissolves by the next day, you can most likely safely use it in your RV Toilet.

I personally put most paper into a small garbage bin. It helps to avoid clogs and saves space in your blackwater tank. I understand that this is not comfortable for many people.  

• Flush regularly with water in the toilet bowl as this will ensure the entire system is clean and everything flows smoothly.

• Ensure that your tank is properly sanitized with approved chemicals every time you dump its contents. Such chemicals are easily available in stores everywhere.

• Have a regular cleanup exercise for your black tank. Many RVs come with a flush system, which you can use while dumping. You can use a garden hose to flush the entire system and get rid of build-ups.

How to Clean an RV Black Tank?

When it comes to the cleaning process, you have to be extremely cautious and make sure everything is done right.

Check out the steps below:

  1. Drain the tank before you start cleaning your RV black tank, you first need to drain it completely. You need to remove everything that the black tank has so that you can better know how to clean it. To do this properly, try to dump the tank when it is two-thirds full, and after dumping it, go ahead and dump the gray tank. 
  2. Remove the Waste Buildup. The next step after draining your RV black tank is to remove the waste buildup. That means removing all the waste, toilet paper, and other waste materials to prevent them from sticking to the tank walls. If you don’t remove the waste buildup, it may cause damage in the long term. Some of the things you can use to flush out all the waste materials in your black tank include a macerator, tank rinser, and flush valve.
  3. Add Water. Once you’ve drained the black tank and removed the waste buildup, the next step is to add water. The bottom of the tank needs to be covered by water before treating it. Water will help you get rid of all the waste components and buildups in your black tank. 
  4. Add Treatment. After completing all the above three steps, the last thing you need to do to your RV black tank is to add treatment. Adding treatment to your tank helps to prevent clogs and odor since it breaks down waste. You can consider adding liquid treatments, DIY treatments, or drop-in treatments.


Keeping your RV black tank clean is essential, so you need to adhere to all the crucial tips to ensure the black tank is kept in good condition.

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