Do RV Toilets Have Wax Rings? Here Are The Facts

Do RV Toilets Have Wax Rings

We understand why you love your RV; it’s fun! You get to spend tons of time outdoors, exploring new areas, experience camping on steroids. It is all great stuff that we want you to enjoy as much as possible. Because if you’re an RV owner, we appreciate the fact that you want to get out there and use it all the time. Now, part of owning an RV is making sure the plumbing is in good working order. All the way down to the ring that creates a seal around the bottom of your toilet. Because who wants that kind of mess in their recreational vehicle?

Do RV Toilets Have Wax Rings? Yes, technically an RV can use a wax ring to create the toilet seal. Toilets in practically all settings will have a wax ring that creates the seal. The question is whether an RV needs to use the same kind of wax ring in order to create a seal. However, based on our experience, we believe that there is a better option, and it is a rubber ring seal.

A rubber ring seal is going to be the way to go when it comes to an RV. Here’s why a rubber ring seal is going to maintain its integrity much longer than a typical wax seal. An RV toilet will experience what a wax ring of a typical toilet will not: heat. Heat is the main factor behind why a rubber ring is going to be better. Sure, some places don’t have air conditioning, which will drive up the temperature. But it won’t quite cause the temps to climb quite like an RV that has no choice but to sit in the hot sun.

Rubber vs. Wax

Having a rubber ring seal (which you can find specifically for RV’s) is going to create an excellent seal that will last until it begins to leak or certain “aromas” begin to arise when they shouldn’t. A typical wax ring on a normal toilet can last up to 30 years, which is good news for RV owners because a rubber ring can also last for plenty of years too. The best way to determine if it’s time to replace the ring is from leaks or smells. Because that is exactly what the seal is for.

An even better note to make is that replacing a rubber toilet seal for an RV is a rather inexpensive task to accomplish. And after watching a quick video of how to perform the replacement, you will come to the realization that the job is pretty easy to handle as well. Just loosen and remove a couple toilet bolts, lift off the toilet, pull the old ring off and put the new one on. The ring should even stay in place while you’re slowly lowering your toilet back into place for reinstallation.

Being that a rubber ring is so inexpensive to replace, it is an excellent idea to keep around a few replacements. Nothing could be worse than being out on the road, away from civilization, and the toilet begins to leak or smell. Without a handy replacement nearby, you could end up with an annoying headache that could have been easily avoided by keeping around a few spares. So, next time you’re out shopping for RV supplies, grab a few toilet rings just in case!

Why Rubber is the Better Option

Some people reading this article may ask, why don’t you just tighten the RV toilet bolts if your wax ring starts to leak? I’m glad you asked because this is a great question. The heat will cause the wax to become softer, creating an environment where the seal would need to be tightened. But after you tighten the bolts the first time to stop the leak, the same problem will arise again. Tightening over and over will eventually render the wax ring useless, thus causing you to have to go buy another.

The effects of heat on wax are different than the effects that it has on rubber. Sure, rubber can soften with the heat. But it won’t melt like a wax ring will. Another part of the dilemma with using wax is that once heat has done a number on a wax toilet ring, the replacement is going to get messy.

Remember, it’s wax. Think of a candle that’s been lit for some time, the wax turns to a liquid and then rehardens once the heat stops. You can have a similar effect with a wax ring and it can end up being a messier replacement.

Using rubber can eliminate the mess and create a much easier toilet seal replacement by simply popping out the old ring and putting the new one in. Below we have outlined the steps to replacing your old toilet seal ring to make life easier.

How to Safely and Easily Replace your RV Toilet Ring

Follow these quick and easy steps to replace your RV’s toilet ring and get yourself back on the road:

  • Turn off your water pump and be sure to disconnect any exterior water lines: Before removing your toilet to replace the ring, having the pump off and lines disconnected is essential. Again, we are doing our best to avoid unnecessary messes!
  • Turn off the toilet’s water supply and flush excess water: Just like a normal toilet in your home or elsewhere, your RV toilet is going to have a valve on the back that you can tighten to shut off. You may need a wrench to accomplish this, but we’re quite certain you already keep tools in your RV. Right? You will want to flush the toilet to get out any excess water that may be present, but also use a disposable rag to wipe the bowl dry and prevent any drips in places that you do not want them.
  • Remove the waste water holding tank: This one is not completely necessary, but it is a good idea to help make the job easier. If you drop a tool down the toilet, guess where you have to fish it out from?
  • Remove your toilet bolts, lift the toilet and set it aside: Most RV toilets are going to have two bolts like a normal toilet, but some larger RV toilet will have three. Just be sure to remove them and put them in a safe place before you continue the task. Lift up your toilet from its resting place and set it aside.
  • Remove the old seal and clean out your flange: As we’ve mentioned, the old seal could be rubber or wax. Hopefully, it’s rubber; these are usually easier to remove. If, for some reason, the ring is tough to remove, carefully use a flathead screwdriver to ease out the old seal. Carefully and thoroughly clean out the flange where the seal rests. This will create the best possible seal for your new ring.
  • Install the new RV toilet seal and reinstall the toilet: You will be placing the new seal into the flange where you removed the old one, but using plumber’s sealant is also a great idea. It will create an even better seal and will help to keep the new ring from coming out when you reinstall the toilet. Be sure that the toilet bolts end up back in their proper holes and slowly lower your toilet back into place, then tighten the bolts until they are snug.
  • Connect the lines, pump, and finish up: You can now safely reconnect the water lines and pump. Once they are safely reconnected, you can turn your water supply back on and flush the toilet to ensure you’ve created a proper seal.

With these steps in place, you are going to have an easy time replacing your RV toilet seal. Just know the difference between rubber and wax. You will see from the facts that picking a rubber seal and replacing it properly is going to prevent any potential headaches so you can get back out on the road doing exactly what you love most.

How To Install RV Toilet >> Check out the video below:

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Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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