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  • Meagan Butler

How To Use an RV Commode

How my dad feels about a stinky RV.

Note: This post is about poop. If that grosses you out: stop reading. If you think poop stories are funny, then keep reading. While it may have been a stinkingly goo d time for others on our trip, it was not for those inside the RV.

RV potties. Who knew there is a fine science to using one? Veteran RVers will laugh, because what I am about to say is a no-brainer for those who travel in a house on wheels, but to a new RVer, or a “Rent and RV for a Vacation” RVer, this may be news to them. *Names have been changed to protect the guilty party*

A few years back, I embarked on my first RV adventure. My dad decided he wanted to take an epic trip, and he flew 11 family members up to Anchorage, Alaska for a 2 week RV trek around the Kenai Peninsula. Being mostly city folks (Phoenix) and a couple of transplant Coloradans, things outside of a tent in the desert one weekend a year were pretty much unheard of. Rouging it was almost just as unheard of, and using a J-John was considered the nastiest thing. EVER. . . like wait until we can get to a toilet with running water, and be super uncomfortable before we ever will use a Port-o-potty kind of people.  So, we land in Anchorage, and take a taxi to our RVs. It was super late at night, so the fine folks at ABC Motorhome and Car Rentals left our RVs out for us so we could get some sleep, and then in the morning, we could pay and get set up for our trip. I honestly don’t think any of us even brushed our teeth that night, since we didn’t even know if there was water on board, or how the whole process worked. Each family got an RV. I shared mine with my sister and her little girl, and our two (now-ex) husbands.

When we woke up, we started to make ourselves comfortable, and made some rules for the road. Knowing who we were on the road with, rule number one was NO POOPING In The RV. Trust me, this is a good rule. We knew we would be stopping often, and everywhere and every RV park that we stopped at has facilities, so unless we had an emergency, pooping in the RV was a no-no. We didn’t know how to use the sewer system yet (that is another post), so it was decided the rule would stand. 45 minutes down the road, one of the men jumped up and said, I have to go to the bathroom with a shit-eating grin on his face (pun-intended). The rest of us–mind you were are actually driving the RV at this point, said, “how can you stand and go to the bathroom in an moving vehicle?” The shit-eating grin returned, and he said “No worries.”

Next thing we know, we hear laughing. Then the door swings open and a horrendous odor filled the RV. Said man couldn’t stand up he was laughing so hard. We are laughing too, and beg him to open the vent above the commode, and turn the fan on. Most RVs have little fans on the vents. One is supposed to open the vent, and turn the fan on before using the restroom. Something else that is supposed to be done before using the bathroom in an RV? Fill the bowl with water, first. This can be done by putting a foot on the pedal-flusher, and pushing half way down to not completely open the drainage pipe, and letting the water fill in slowly to fill the bowl. As you might guess, this process of the water was not done, and a giant turd was stuck to the side of the toilet. Now, not only did it smell bad, but, we couldn’t get the damn thing down the pipe, and I for one was not going to stick anything into the bowl to shove it down. Have you ever heard the words “Who ever smelt it, delt it?” That childish phrase was immediately employed, and the offender had to deal with the nugget on the side of the bowl.

Sadly, for about 2 hours, we were literally a toilet on wheels. The whole RV reeked of sewage. Another note? If the toilet stopper can’t close (because in our case it was blocked open with brown brick) whatever is now in the black tank (the sewage tank) is forever coming back to re-visit over and over again until the tank can be fully sealed.  So, let the lesson be learned that one should fill the bowl with water before using the potty. Also, out of kindness for others, pinching a loaf while bouncing down a bumpy Alaskan highway is also not the best idea ever. It’s like sitting in a J-John, trying to do business, and someone is outside rocking the port-o-let back and forth. Not a pleasant experience by any means, and stirring the poo while driving isn’t either. Pew-ee.

If all else fails, stick your head out of the window for some fresh air.


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