What happens when you take a closer look into your holding tanks?

In 2003, we ran special underground video cameras into the holding tanks of RVs and boats to study the effects of single-ply toilet paper versus double ply paper on these tanks.

To our surprise, we found out that there is a difference between these type of bum papers and the ease of maintenance on holding tanks.

Everybody knows that single-ply paper breaks up quicker than double-ply because of the thickness of the soft, fragile paper. But nobody knew that single-ply paper floats on top of the liquid in the black holding tank, which speeds up the breakdown process.

Our cameras also showed us that double-ply paper — because of its weight — sinks to the bottom of the tank and gets mired in the sludge at the bottom. This slows down the breakdown process and makes everything a worse mess than it already is.

Do you need to buy RV toilet paper?

No! There are two very good brands of supermarket-available, single-ply toilet papers on the market. Both Scott’s 1000 sheet single ply and Angel Soft single ply are very good options.

What about macerators?

Now let us look at the different types of RVs and their waste systems. Most of the 13 million RVs from coast to coast do not have macerators pumps and should be using single ply paper. These RVs rely on gravity flow and down-pressure to remove waste from the black tanks.

RVs that do have macerators can handle double ply paper better but if the paper is still at the bottom of the tank and cannot break up, it will not come out. Therefore, additional backflushing is needed to get the black holding tank completely clean.

In both cases — single-ply and double-ply use — an annual, professional cleaning by an authorized All Pro Water Flow agent is recommended (full-time RVers may require professional cleanings more often).

The lesson here is that single ply paper is better in both cases; with macerator pumps or without. At least that is what our cameras showed 15 years ago.