Why Does My RV Toilet Smell Like Urine and How to Fix It? 

Any time you walk into a bathroom and smell urine in the air, it’s never a good thing. However, when you smell urine around the toilet in your RV, the problem is compounded. Because of how small RVs are, the smell of urine won’t stay restricted to the bathroom for long. Soon, your entire RV will smell like pee, so it’s important to solve the problem early on. 

The main and most obvious reason that your RV toilet smells like urine is that somebody missed their mark, resulting in urine spilling on the lid or side of the toilet. Another reason your RV toilet can also smell like urine if you have a damaged toilet seal or a full black tank causing smells.

While it’s easy to blame a urine-smelling RV toilet on urine splashing outside of the toilet, it’s not always that simple. You can scrub your toilet and the surrounding area for hours and still have a lingering smell of urine. When this happens, there’s a bigger problem afoot and you’ll have to solve it to get rid of the smell. 

5 Reasons Your RV Toilet Smells Like Urine and What to Do

A Filthy Bathroom 

The most obvious explanation for a toilet that smells like pee is that your one of the men in the family has really bad aim. Even a single drop of urine outside of the RV toilet can cause a stink. Urine can also dry on the inside of the bowl if you don’t flush often enough. Either way, the remedy for this issue is the same. 

How to Fix 

For dried urine on the inside or outside of the toilet, the only way to fix the problem is to clean it up. The longer you leave spilled urine alone, the worse the smell will get. To clean your bathroom, use disposable paper towels and a hardy cleaning product like Clorox. A few minutes of scrubbing and spraying the inside and outside of your toilet should do the trick. 

While you’re cleaning the outside and inside of your toilet, it’s also a good idea to treat your black tank. To do this, use a designated Black Tank cleaning liquid or gel and dump it into the tank. Treating your black tank works best after you dump the tank and empty the contents. It will also help reduce the ensuing smell of sewage and urine. 

Urine Has Spilled on Your Carpet or Trash Can 

If someone has bad aim and missed the toilet, there’s a good chance that urine ricocheted off the toilet and onto a nearby object. Hopefully, it’s a solid object like a trash can or the floor, but it can also land on carpets or rugs. 

How to Fix 

Anytime there’s a urine spill on something, you have two options. You can either clean it using the above method, or you can replace the object. In the case of a hard object like a trash can or the floor, cleaning is the best option. However, if urine spills on an absorbable object like a rug, it’s going to be tough to get rid of the smell and you might have to replace it. 

The Flapper is Blocked 

If you have a traditional RV toilet with a flushing pedal, you also have a flapper. The flapper opens and closes when you press the pedal to flush the contents of the toilet. If you look closely, you can see a black seal around the perimeter of the flapper. If this seal gets damaged, it becomes compromised. It’s also possible that some waste or toilet paper is wedged in between the seal and the toilet, resulting in a gap. 

How to Fix 

Whether the seal is broken or there’s a small gap, the result will be the same – the smell of urine and poo in your RV toilet. If the flapper is blocked, you can remove the blockage by flushing or poking at the blockage with something other than your hand. However, if the seal is damaged on the flapper, you’ll have to replace it to fix the problem. 

Bowl Seal is Broken 

Just like toilets in houses, RV toilets have a seal on the bottom that keeps flushing water from escaping the toilet. If this seal becomes damaged, water will leak out of the bottom of the toilet every time you flush. 

How to Fix

Depending on the type of toilet you have, you’ll either have to replace the seal or get a new toilet. 

Clogged Vent Pipe 

Another possibility is that the vent pipe for your bathroom is blocked. The vent pipes job is to take sewer and bathroom smells through your roof and to the outside of the RV. Every time you flush, you will inadvertently release sewer gas. When the vent pipe is blocked, however, the gases will follow the path of least resistance, which is typically out of the toilet. As a result, your bathroom will smell like pee and sewage. 

How to Fix

To fix a blocked sewer pipe, you’ll have to climb on top of your RV. Remove the protective cap on top of the bathroom vent pipe and use a flashlight to peek into the pipe. It’s possible that debris or a bird has fallen into the pipe and is causing a blockage. If you see the blockage, you’ll have to find a way to remove it to get your RV toilet smelling good again. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get the smell of urine out of a camper toilet?

To get the smell of urine out of your camper toilet, you should give it a thorough cleaning and treat the black tank. 

Why does my toilet keep smelling like pee?

The most likely cause of a toilet that smells like pee is because it hasn’t been cleaned in awhile. 

Why does my RV toilet stink?

If your RV toilet still stinks after cleaning it, it’s possible that the black tank is full and needs to be dumped. It’s also possible that your vent pipe is blocked, the toilet flapper is blocked, or the toilet seal is damaged on the bottom of the toilet. 

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