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Things to Consider with RV Bathrooms

My husband and I recently started living in an RV full-time a few months ago and we love it. It has had its challenges which I touch on in our blog post Full Time RV Living Must-Haves for Beginners. Only a few weeks into the full-time stationery RVing lifestyle I started to think we had made a mistake; but thankfully we figured a few things out so that thought was only short-lived.




Once I changed a few small things in the way I do my shower/face/hair routines and got used to a couple little quirks, I felt a lot better. and adjusted very quickly. Here is a list of some bathroom things to think about when living in an RV full-time:


Toilet Paper

Remember, it's an RV, not a house, condo or apartment. So the toilet system is not the same. As such, you will need a different type toilet paper that is RV friendly for flushing. I have heard some folks keep a bucket specifically for toilet paper which they dispose of at the end of each day. This was not something I was personally willing to do, so I had to do some digging to find other alternatives if the full time RV lifestyle was going to fit with my own needs. Fortunately I found some RV toilet paper at Canadian Tire which dissolves faster and is RV toilet tank friendly. It is a little bit more expensive than regular toilet paper, but I find that it lasts a lot longer than regular toilet paper somehow too. I am so glad we have it.


Toilet

When flushing the toilet the contents go into a holding tank and stay there until the tank is almost full. Once the toilet tank (or black tank) is almost full a black lever is pulled from outside the RV that drains the contents of the tank into the sewage drain. Once the tank is empty four to five gallons of water and some toilet tank treatment solution need to be flushed down the toilet to add water to the bottom of the black tank. If water is not put into the tank once it's emptied solid unpleasantness will start to build up inside the tank which will not only be horribly embarrassing, but also very expensive.


Each time the toilet is used the lever on the side of the toilet needs to be pushed on just slightly so it can to add some water to the toilet bowl. Two cups of water in the toilet bowl acts as a barrier between the air in the bathroom and the tank below which prevents the smell from coming up into the bathroom from the black tank.


It is a big difference from living in a condo or apartment, but I adapted very quickly to these things and hardly notice it at all anymore. Also, I am extremely lucky because my husband takes care of the technical stuff with the tanks so I don't even have to think about it for the most part.


Cold Shower Solutions

When we bought our RV we were told that our shower head would provide very little pressure and we should buy a new one right away. I wanted to give ours a try before spending extra money if I didn’t need to. I am glad I did because our shower head pressure is just fine, and it even has a little shut-off button to turn the water off while showering which preserves hot water.



This was a bit of a learning curve at first because I had to learn to shut off the water a bunch of times while showering so the hot water could last the entire shower. If you want to shower for more than seven to ten minutes at a time, make sure your shower head has a little button on it to save hot water. If you like longer showers and your shower head does not have the water stopper on it, I suggest you get a shower head that does. It has been a game changer for me, but I needed to get used to it at first. If you aren't worried about energy consumption another option is a tankless water heater. I haven't personally tried one so I can't comment to their effectiveness, but I am perfectly fine with the shower head that came with the RV.


Heater Vents

Neither of our two bathrooms have heater vents and both are connected outside walls. Showering was a little stressful at first in the winter during cold snaps! We adjusted to this by putting a little space heater in the bathroom for five minutes before showering and that seemed to work. However, I am sure there are RVs that come with bathroom heaters vents in them.


RV Bathroom Space and Safety

Make sure the space in the RV bathroom is functional to do all your face/shower/hair routines. I hurt myself when I was first getting the hang of it. The shower doors are very close to the area I stand to

do my hair and I was constantly banging my elbows on the shower door. Eventually I learned just to keep them open until I was finished my routines. A slight adjustment in my routine solved the problem; however, this could be a deal-breaker for some people. Do not let one small bathroom change your opinions on RVing though because there are so many different layouts and styles of RVs and I'm sure there are plenty with big enough bathrooms. We have two full bathrooms which we wanted so it is all worth it for me!


Some small adjustments in my routine made all the difference and I hardly notice the difference now at all.



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