RV Toilet Seal Leak

February 12, 2014  |  Airstream Blog

We had an issue recently where the ball on the toilet wouldn’t completely close without pushing upward on the pedal. Even then, sometimes there would be a tiny leak.

Those of you with RV’s know how important the water barrier in the toilet is. Without a water barrier things can get pretty stinky.

I did some googling on the topic and found that people use silicon grease or even vaseline to lube up the underside of the seal, so the ball can glide into place.

Prior to this past weekend, I’ve only cleaned the visible parts to the toilet. Before we got the toilet with the sprayer, Brian once took a hose to the pipe between the toilet and the tank (which made me totally nervous, I had visions of our waste back-splashing all over the bathroom) but I personally never cleaned anything past the seal.

So Saturday after we dumped, I gloved up, cleaned the underside of the seal and applied some grease. Even though it was kind of gross, it was also somewhat enlightening (I’ll spare the details) and best of all, it solved our problem.

So, am I late to the ballgame on this? Should I be regularly cleaning under the seal and/or down the pipe or just as needed? Does anyone have any methods to make the job easier?

Dinner Last Night:
Dan cooked us a yummy salmon dinner with pasta salad and string beans.


2014 Cost of Camping:
0 nights paid camping
41 nights free camping
41 days this year
Total spent on camping this year: $0
Daily average cost of camping: $0


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  1. Yup, regularly cleaning and greasing that seal is key. Also you will often get calcium deposits on the seal from hard water, especially in the SW. These deposits act like rocks that prevent the seal from sealing (if that makes sense). Every now and then I’ll pour white vinegar into the toilet and leave it for a while before I flush. That will get rid of all the deposits.


  2. So funny that I am reading this today because John is presently deep into the toilet changing the whole ball unit for a new one. He has changed the seal and we do the vinegar thing regularly. But the ball never worked well from the beginning, so he ordered a new one, and we are hoping this continues to seal longer. Fingers crossed as I am writing!!

    I am making your spaghetti sauce tonight (doesn’t exactly work with the above topic). Can’t wait!!

  3. Just wondering if you guys have ever thought about getting a composting toilet?

    • You’re the second person to ask us that. We got this toilet less than a year ago. Maybe if this one takes a dump (no pun intended) we’d look into it. Do you have one?? What’s the process for cleaning it out?

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