Tissue Issues

Betty and Dan
Still Smiling!

See that picture? That’s the only picture you’ll be seeing in this blog post. After you read this post, you’ll know why there’s no pictures, and believe me, you’ll thank me.

You know how sometimes people get depressed because they consume too much social media, and it seems that everyone else has a fantastic life. Everything is always so wonderful for everybody else. Well, good news. This post isn’t like that. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be pretty doggone happy with how your day is going.

I write this post to be real. And more so, because it may help somebody else. Plus, it’s kind of a therapy to get it all out. If you have any insight or helpful tips, please put them in the comments below. We can all help each other.

This post deals with our travel trailer toilet and all that it involves.

I’d like to say first off, we do not put any solids in our toilet. I hope you get what that means. We believe it avoids a lot of potential issues, and with the events about to be described in this post, our beliefs held true. What I am saying is things could have been a lot worse. For me and for you, the reader. So, while things will get yucky, they won’t get THAT yucky. Okay, let’s go. (ha ha)

In addition to our “no solids” committment, we almost always camp with full hook ups. We like that. No, we love that. However, in Pentwater, if we want to be by our family, we have to camp at Charles Mears State Park which has only the electrical hook up. So, our week in Pentwater, we rely on our potable water, our holding tanks, and the twice a week pump out service. We shower at the shower house, and we wash the dishes at the dish washing station.

In our camper, we have always used “Angel Soft” toilet paper, and in the year and a half of having our camper, we’ve had no issues. We’ve camped almost 80 nights, including 10 nights last year in Pentwater. However, this year, on the 12th day of our trip, we noticed toilet paper down in the drain of our toilet. We could see it. On the 13th day, the toilet paper was up to the top. Yikes!

Now, I did put toilet chemicals in the tank, but honestly, I kind of forgot to do that until about 8 days into the trip. Also, when I flushed, I did so very quickly, conserving water because of not having the full hook ups. I am thinking these two things – no toilet chemicals at first and not much water – contributed to the build up of the tissue. That’s my guess.

So, on the 13th day, we decided we had to remove the toilet paper in the drain. I put on gloves. First, I got our tongs and began removing paper. The tongs didn’t work very well. What was I thinking? But hey, this is my first time getting toilet paper out of the toilet.

So, then we went to our green bean spoon. This is a longer handle slotted spoon. This worked pretty well. We filled a number of big red plastic cups. But then, it would only reach so far, and there was still toilet paper in there.

I knelt on the floor, remember I did have gloves on, and reached in as far as I could, pulling out handfuls of toilet paper. I actually put my arm down the toilet drain as far as I could and pulled out as much toilet paper as I could reach. It was still clogged. We needed more action steps to our plan, but first, I needed a shower.

We researched online “RV toilets clogged with toilet paper”. We found advice to pour “almost boiling” water down the toilet drain, careful to pour in the middle of the drain, not touching the toilet. We did this – twice. The advice did say to allow 24 hours for it to work which is a long time to wait, given the situation.

We then went to the Walmart in Ludington where we bought 1) RV toilet paper 2) more RV toilet chemicals 3) a toilet snake and 4) a new green bean spoon and tongs.

Back at the camper, we used the toilet snake. We knew the RV toilet’s drain was curvy, but we thought the snake would be long enough to clean it out. We learned we were wrong. Still clogged. So then, we poured half of our toilet chemicals in the drain and had no choice but to wait until the next day. Fortunately, our site was very close to the restrooms.

The next day was pump out day. After being serviced, we looked down into the toilet again. The toilet paper looked to be dissolving, and the water level appeared to be lower. But it was not gone yet. Throughout the day and evening, we kept looking down the toilet drain together with our phone’s flashlight trying to determine if out situation was improving. Talk about a romantic evening!

Since that was our last pump out before leaving in two days, I put the rest of the toilet chemicals in the tank. The next morning, all was good. We couldn’t see water or toilet paper. Yahooey! So, in the end, everything came out just fine.

In the future, when we are in Pentwater, we will be sure to use the toilet chemicals right away. We will also likely use RV toilet paper. We will likely limit our stay there to 8 days, the time when family is also there. God willing, we plan to stay in Michigan more than 8 days each summer, but it’ll be in full hook up parks.

Now, aren’t you glad there weren’t pictures?

22 comments

  1. We always use TP that is specifically made for RVs. We’ve also researched the very smelly issue and know that water is good. More water than you think. While your body needs lots of water to “keep things moving.” So does your RV. Use those chemicals and lots of water to keep you RV “moving.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An adventure to remember for sure! Many years ago our family had a pop-up camper and while we didn’t have “facilities” we did have some adventures in it! Glad everything “worked out” okay!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a funny story. I mean Erma Bombeck funny!

    The way things started, I expected some tragedy had occurred—a rabid wolverine ransacked your campsite or something. But the whole story was just about some ‘paperwork’ you and your husband had to do. I’m glad you were finally able to ‘go with the flow.’
    Thanks for the laugh!😂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope the memories the post brought back were good memories, too. The screen door repair held up just fine during our 15 night trip. With the Michigan cooler weather, we kept the screen door open a lot. So, I think it was a good test. Thanks for reading, and have a good day!

      Like

  4. I laughed until the tears rolled down my face! Talk about going with the flow, or lack thereof! Glad everything worked out. Back when we had our house and septic system we got in the habit of throwing the TP in a garbage can with a sealed lid. We just carried that practice over to the RV when we went full time. Thus, we’ve never had to worry about a TP attack. Also, after we dump we always put about 5 or 6 gallons of water in the tank. Helps to keep “things” from building up on the bottom of the tank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you had a good laugh! It’s nice you’ve never had a TP attack – and thus, never had to put your arm down the toilet drain! Yes, we are now very committed to using lots of water! Stay safe, and have a wonderful day!

      Like

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