Why Does My RV Smell Like Urine? RV Cleaning Tips

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It is essential to take action if there is a foul smell emanating from corners of your RV permeating the rest of your recreational vehicle (RV), especially the annoying smell of urine.

Although you may believe that you have been keeping up with the maintenance of your toilet since you flush it frequently and may even have used specialized cleaners in both the bowl and the tank, the smell of urine may still be present.

The good news is that I can show you a way to get rid of this smell in a hurry and without much difficulty by following the steps that I will provide in this article.

Why Does My RV Smell Like Urine?

Why Does My RV Smell Like Urine? RV Cleaning Tips

Before I jump into what exactly would be the cause of the smell, it is important to state here the likely cause of why your RV will smell urine because there is a wide range of potential explanations for why the toilet in your RV or the RV itself smells like urine.

To begin with, this problem could be caused by a great number of different things, such as using the wrong toilet or having a black water tank that is not properly ventilated.

If you have children or pets traveling with you in your RV, you should check the floor and the area around the toilet for signs of peeing. It’s possible that someone simply overlooked them while they were using the restroom, in which case nothing was damaged.

In the event that this is not the case, it is possible that your toilet has experienced some form of operational issue. Check the valve that is located at the bottom of the bowl of your toilet.

It is possible that noxious scents are being released into the air from your black water tank if this is either clogged or absent. If the valve is not damaged, the problem may lie with the seal. If the seal were to dry up, the bowl might begin to leak and/or let off an offensive stench. The seal is responsible for keeping all of the water contained within the bowl.

You must also determine whether the smell is coming from the interior or the exterior of the building. If the smell is present inside, it is possible that it is caused by one of the explanations listed above.

If you notice the smell more strongly when you are outside, it may be coming from your black water tank. Check the cap on your tank; if it isn’t secured securely, it may be letting out pee odors since it isn’t sealed properly. Check the RV sewer hose you have as well. There is a possibility that your hose smells like urine if it hasn’t been properly cleaned or stored away.

Let’s have a look at some possible solutions now that we may have determined the reason why the toilet in your RV smells like urine.

Guide on How To Get Rid of Urine Smell From RV

The basic thing is that If your RV toilet smells like urine, the best explanation is that someone had an accident in your bathroom.

Even though this is gross, it means that nothing is broken and you just need to clean. You can use any kind of cleaner or disinfectant in the bathroom of your RV. Just make sure to clean the floor well and the area around the toilet.

Nevertheless, you can try refilling the water so that everything continues to run smoothly. This is so because even if you regularly remove the waste from your black water tank, you still need to ensure that it has a sufficient amount of water in it.

To prevent the water in the tank from drying out, any waste that is flushed down the toilet needs to be combined with some kind of liquid first. In the event that only the dry solid material is left, it will begin to emit a smell and may possibly cause damage to the holding tank.

When you are refilling the water in your tank, a good rule of thumb is to add enough water such that the bottom is entirely covered by the new water. Depending on the size of your tank, this may be as much as seven or eight bowls full of water in a standard toilet.

Furthermore, including a measure of water with every dose of flush and black water tank chemicals may do the trick since a dried-out tank may also be the cause of the smell which can be avoided by adding water to the bowl of the toilet after each time it is flushed.

This will guarantee that there is always adequate liquid in the holding tank to assist in the control of any unpleasant scents that may be present.

It will be necessary for you to periodically add specialist chemicals to the holding tank by flushing a portion of them down the toilet. This non-toxic liquid is good for the environment and helps control smell while also breaking down waste and toilet paper.

There should be instructions included, although they vary depending on the chemical you select. Don’t forget that before putting any chemicals into your RV, you should always consult the owner’s manual first.

Additionally, you should ensure to reduce the risk of clogs and clean them as It should be a top priority to prevent a clog from occurring in the first place. Toilet paper is a typical item that contributes to clogs in black water tanks.

As some people still have the need to use them after passing a pee, and since RV tanks were not built for conventional toilet paper. When you use this, you run the risk of creating blockages, which are a surefire method to have a foul smell coming from your holding tank. Instead, opt for biodegradable, RV-grade toilet paper.

When a clog does occur, it is typically easy to see what caused it. If you make an effort to empty the reservoir, but nothing comes out, there is probably something blocking the drain.

At that point, you have the option of hiring a professional to clear the clog for you; however, it may be less expensive and take less time for you to handle it yourself, despite the fact that it won’t be as nice.

But then, if you have cleaned and emptied your waste holding tank, but there is still an offensive urine smell present, it is possible that your toilet or its flapper needs to be scrubbed thoroughly. If this is the case, try replacing either the toilet or its flapper. Both should be meticulously cleaned, as there is a possibility that some unpleasant residue will be left behind.

If your RV’s flapper is unclean, it can not close properly, letting the stench from the waste tank spread throughout the entire vehicle. If you take a rag and soak it in some warm water, you can use it to wipe around and under the flapper to make sure nothing has become trapped. If the flapper still won’t close, it’s possible that you’ll need to get in touch with an RV maintenance expert.

Finally, I feel it is important to state here that even though it’s an unpleasant chore, keeping your holding tank clean is one of the most important factors in maintaining an odor-free waste management system.

You can hire someone to do it for you, or you can do it yourself, but the tank will need to be properly cleaned, especially on its edges, where the stuff that has attached to it may be located.

After that, you can clean using a product that has a pleasant aroma. If you are diligent about keeping up with the upkeep of your black water tank, you should only have to clean it a few times each year at the most.

Now, if you have tried everything and the smell is still present, there may be a more significant problem with either your toilet or your black water tank. If these start to leak or get damaged in any way, you will require the assistance of a trained professional to complete the necessary repairs.


In the end, in attempting to go over this urine smell thing, air fresheners are only able to cover up the smell; they do not remove the source of the problem; therefore, using them is only a temporary solution.

You are going to need to use certain strategies which I have provided that will assist you in getting rid of the smell so that you can get to the bottom of the problem as I have described the most important tips and strategies for getting rid of the unpleasant urine smell  as generated by day-to-day activities in your RV.

I hope you find this information helpful in checking and correcting the urine smell in your RV.

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