Cold Weather How-to: Can You Use an RV Toilet in Winter?

Winter time is still RV time. When the weather turns cooler it doesn’t mean you cannot use your RV for winter traveling. Even if you have winterized it, your RV can still be used for those treasured winter activities you like to do.

Can You Use an RV Toilet in Winter? Yes, you can. Some options are buying a 4 season RV toilet, or you can modify an existing one to make it winter usable. You can also use individual tank heaters to make sure the liquids do not freeze in your pipes or your tanks. The choice is yours.

Using your RV’s toilet in the winter is not as hard as you think. To find out how to do it, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to have good year round use of your RV and its facilities.

How to use an RV Toilet in Winter

There are several ways you can use your RV toilet in the winter. One way is that you do not use any water. Water has a low freezing threshold and can freeze up as soon as the temperatures reach 32 degrees F.


The trick here is to replace the water in your black water tank with RV antifreeze. You fill the black water tank with 3 to 4 gallons of the antifreeze, then use the antifreeze to flush after every use.

Make sure the tank is completely free of any water before you do this. Another trick you can use is to insulate all exposed water lines,pipes and connections. A good heated water hose is the best way to go with this option.

If a heated water hose is too expensive for you, then you can go with regular pipe insulation and heat tape. Also, when your exposed connections, you need to cover and insulate them thoroughly.

Then if you have any wet bays, a space heater can solve a lot of cold weather issues for you.

Using RV Toilet While Winterized

You may have changed your mind about using your RV during the winter. Unfortunately you already winterized it and removed all traces of water. This is not as bad as you may think. You can still use your winterized RV toilet.


You can use the idea mentioned above and use RV antifreeze to flush your toilets. You may think this is an expensive alternative but you do not have to use a lot of antifreeze at one time.

Just step on the flusher pedal and see what does not drop into the black water tank. Then just use a little antifreeze to flush what did not empty into the holding tank.

Another option is to use a more inexpensive liquid that does not freeze. Some people have had success with window washer fluid. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the same results and have complained that the window washer fluid damages the rubber seals in the dump valves.

You can experiment and see which non-freezing liquid is best for yo and your RV.

RV Toilet Valve Freezing

The danger that comes with your RV toilet valve freezing is that water expands as it freezes. This means if there is any water left in your RV’s water system, it can freeze, expand and crack. This not only includes the water lines but your toilet valve as well.

When your toilet valve freezes it is a good idea to thaw it out and replace it. You may not see all the damage that was done by the frozen water. Here are some steps to take to replace a damaged toilet valve

Unplug all your water and sewer hook ups and make sure the black water tank is empty before starting

Remove the plastic toilet base cover. It only has one screw so it is not that difficult or time consuming to do

Located the water valve and unscrew it from its position. It only has two screws so it will not be that hard to do.The screws are probably damaged so get rid of them

Make sure to clean the water filter on the incoming water supply line. A clogged water line can restrict water flow and cause some damage also.

Attach the new water valve using new screws

Once you are done, turn the water system on and check for any leaks

RV Toilet in Cold Weather Tips

Using your RV in the winter is one way to get the most out of the money you spent purchasing your RV. Not all of the following tips will apply directly to your RV toilet but they help it run more effectively and avoids freezing the water lines:

  • Seal all gaps in your RV windows- even put plastic over them to make sure the cold air does not get inside to your toilet and bathroom area
  • Add RV skirting- your water lines and tanks are below your RV. Blocking the cold air from getting to them helps protect your water and toilet systems
  • Use different heating devices- your internal heaters may not be big enough to handle sub-zero temperatures. Add in a pellet stove, space heaters or some other top quality heaters to make sure pipes and you stay nice and warm
  • Do winter maintenance- clear snow away from the roof of your RV, add RV antifreeze to your holding tanks. Just not to your fresh water tank. Empty your holding tanks more often to avoid freezing issues
  • Insulate your hoses- or use a heated water hose to protect your pipes and waterlines from freezing. These plug directly into your RV’s 110 outlets making them easy to use.

Some Final Comments

When winter comes it doesn’t mean the end of your RV fun and traveling experiences. You can still add to your memories by making sure your RV is ready for winter action.

All you have to do is make sure you follow the above tips. These tips will help you enjoy your RV even when it gets cold outside. The only thing you have to do is take the right steps to keep your RV toilet, water lines and holding tanks from freezing over.

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