7 Best RV Holding Tank Treatment for RVs

RV Holding Tank Treatment

Table of Contents

All RVers know how important it is to keep your black and grey tanks clean and free from blockages. In order to do this you need the best RV holding tank treatment available.

Luckily for you, we’ve researched the market and chosen the best options out there for you to use. Our personal favourite is the HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment it has a massive 64 powerful treatments inside so is really cost effective, and keeps your water systems blockage free.

If you don’t use an RV holding tank treatment, then you will need to order some ASAP because you’re not going to be far away from a blockage. And trust us, you don’t want to have to deal with that.

Here are the best holding tank treatments out there:

RV Holding Tank Treatment Top Picks

Best for Back Ups

Pure Power Holding Tank Treatment

3.5/5

Each sachet will treat a 40 gallon black or grey tank, they are pre measured to 2oz so all you need to do is open and pour.

Best Overall

HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment

4.3/5

Unlike some of the other products in this review Happy Camper Organic RV holding tank treatment works hard to neutralize odor and not just mask them.

Best for Scented Pods

Camco Mega All-in-One Sewer Tank Treatment

3.6/5

Just drop a pod into the toilet and it will get to work dissolving your waste and paper and leave your toilet and tanks smelling fresh.

HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment – Best Overall

Happy Campers is a great RVing company, and it has an awesome RV holding tank treatment that eliminates odor and liquefies solid waste.

Unlike some of the other products in this review Happy Camper Organic RV holding tank treatment works hard to neutralize odor and not just mask them. 

It comes in a powder form with a scoop for you to easily pour down the toilet. The powder is made up of a highly concentrated water-activated mineral blend, that breaks down waste but is kind to the RV black tank. It’s also kind to the environment as it’s fully biodegradable.

Another bonus to this product is that it’s not temperature dependent, so will work in hot and cold climates effectively.

1 scoop will treat a 40 gallon holding tank, there are 64 treatments in the tub.

It is the most expensive on the list but it also does the most treatments, so per use works out to be quite cost effective.

Pure Power Holding Tank Treatment – Best for Back Up

These Pure Powder Blue sachets are a must for every RVer, keep them as a back up so if you unexpectedly run out of your main treatment you’ll always have these handy sachets to use.

Each sachet will treat a 40 gallon black or grey tank, they are pre measured to 2oz so all you need to do is open and pour.

Their enzyme producing bacteria will easily digest waste and paper in your tank and keep your water systems from clogging.

They are also child and pet safe and accepted in all campgrounds.

We always have these sachets on our RV.

Camco Mega All-in-One Sewer Tank Treatment – Best Scented Pods

These are another easy pod system to dissolve the waste in your RVs black tank, unlike the Walex Bio-Active Eco-Friendly Septic Tank Treatment these pods come in four different scents, orange, coastal breeze, and lavender.

They are formaldehyde free and marine approved, and will also be safe for your RV water system.

Each container has 30 pods, and each pod will treat a 40 gallon tank so that’s a massive 30 months worth of treatments. This makes it really cost effective, in fact the Camco Mega pods are the cheapest per treatment in the review.

Just drop a pod into the toilet and it will get to work dissolving your waste and paper and leave your toilet and tanks smelling fresh.

Thetford AquaBio RV Holding Tank Treatment – Best for Easy to Use Liquid

This handy box contains 6 bottles of treatments, which is really convenient and means you don’t have a large open bottle of chemicals laying around your RV. 

The Thetford AquaBio is formaldehyde and bronopal free and campground friendly, it’s also kind to your tanks and whole RV water system.

Each bottle has 8 ounces of formula that will clean a 40 gallon tank, so if you use them once a month that’s 6 months of treatments per pack.

They will easily digest your waste and paper in your septic tanks and eliminate smells, leaving your RV toilet smelling citrus fresh.

Although they are easy to use and handy to have on your RV they are the most expensive per treatment in the review.

Camco TST Ultra-Concentrate Lavender Scent RV Toilet Treatment – Best for Liquid Scented

This Camco liquid holding tank treatment will keep your RV smelling fresh and clean. This solution is super concentrated so it doesn’t take much treatment to dissolve a full tank of waste and toilet paper.

Just add a couple of ounces to clear a 40 gallon holding tank, this bottle will give you 32 uses so will last you for well over a year.

It also smells good, the lavender smell really does encapsulate the bad smells and leaves your RV smelling clean and fresh.

It will also keep you holding tank sensors lubricated to keep them in top condition for longer.

If you’re camping in colder temperatures then this liquid will work better than the capsules that can take a while to dissolve when it gets colder.

This is a great treatment for odor control and to keep things flowing.

However, the bottle can be a bit flimsy, so you want to store it where it can’t tip over and break the bottle or spill.

Bio-Active Holding Tank Treatment Deodorizer and Waste Digester – Best for Unscented Liquid

If you would prefer a liquid treatment then this is a great option, it comes with it’s own measuring cup so you can quickly and easily measure the right amount every time. 

This tank treatment is deodorant and formaldehyde free, and will break down the waste easily with it’s biological environmentally friendly formula. It will also keep valves and sensors lubricated and working perfectly.

It works hard to deodorize the system without the use of fragrance to ‘mask’ the smells.

If you want an environmentally friendly tank treatment that’s easy to use and doesn’t have a strong fragrance then this is your buy.

The 68oz bottle will deliver 17 treatments for a 40 gallon tank so will last you for 17 months.

Walex Bio-Active Eco-Friendly Septic Tank Treatment – Best for Unscented Pods

The Bio-Active tablets by Walex are a really easy way to break down waste and paper in your RV septic tank. All you need to do is throw a pod into the toilet once a month and its enzymes will work at dissolving the waste in your tank.

There are 12 pods in the pack so that’s a year’s supply if used once a month, the packaging is also recyclable.

These are affordable and a really easy to use way to keep your black tank flowing, if you don’t want any hassle then this is the product for you.

The only drawback is that they don’t mask or eliminate the odor, so you might want to invest in some air freshener.

RV Holding tank treatment

What is RV Holding Tank Treatment?

Holding tank treatments for RVs are essential to keep your water systems flowing and smelling fresh. In a nutshell they break down and deodorize the contents of your tanks.

There are a few different types of holding tank treatments out there, they can differ in the ways that they break down solids in the tanks.

Bacterial treatments –  bacterial treatments break down waste and help control the smell. Because it’s well, bacteria, it will lose its effectiveness at high temperatures so if you are camping in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit you’re better off with another type.

Enzyme treatments – enzyme treatments also break down the waste in the tank but don’t do anything for the odor. Because of this, enzyme treatments are usually packed with strong scents that mask the smell.

Chemical treatments – there are also chemical treatments that are just as good at covering odors and breaking down solids.

How do I pick the best RV Holding Tank Treatment – Buying Guide

There are a few different features to look out for when buying a RV holding tank treatment, some of the main things to look out for are:

Long-Lasting Protection

Ideally you want to know that your holding tank is safe from blockages without putting a treatment down the loo after every flush. That would be inconvenient not to mention expensive. 

You want to know that the RV holding tank treatment that you use will keep your black and grey tanks free from blockages for a month at least. Look for products that are recommended to apply once a month for long lasting tank protection.

Package Size

Look at the instructions on the packaging to work out how much you will have to use in a treatment and how long the bottle will last you. From experience, it’s best to buy these in bulk because you only use them once a month. It’s easy to forget to buy more until it’s too late.

Prevent Clogs 

Your waste will start to accumulate in your RV tanks, and because there is no sewer line hooked up it will just sit in the tank until it’s emptied. 

Therefore you need something that will break down the solids so there are no blockages when you do hook up to a sewer.

RV holding tank treatments digest and break down the waste to keep your water system flowing.

Masking Odors

RVs are small spaces, this seems to intensify bed smells and can make even the shortest trips unbearable. Holding tank deodorizers will cover up and mask these bad smells so you can enjoy your RV again.

Save Money 

Prevention is always cheaper than the cure, and you do not want to be dealing with a clogged holding tank. It’s not pretty.

Regularly using a high quality holding tank treatment will prevent blockages so you don’t need to get your wallet out – or your hands dirty.

Clean the System

Not only will a good holding tank treatment prevent clogs and smells but it will keep the black tank clean. 

Best RV Holding tank treatment

Types of RV Holding Tank Treatment

There are two types of holding tank treatment – tablet and liquid. I’ll run throught the differences below.

Tablet

Tablet holding tank treatments dissolve in the loo water, they dissolve into small particles that can move through the system and into your black tank. When they are in the tank they get to work dissolving and breaking up the waste and toilet paper. Tablets are usually used once a month to keep the system flowing.

Liquid

Liquid can be poured down the toilet where it can easily flow into the RV waste tank, because it’s already in liquid form these holding tank treatments tend to work faster. When it reaches the tank it breaks down and dissolves the waste preventing blockages. 

Liquid treatments are also less dependent on the temperature to work, so if you are camping in extreme temperatures then a liquid will work best.

Ease of Use

Using RV septic tank treatments is usually a pretty straightforward process, just put it in the toilet! You can however use the whole treatment in one go or stagger it out over the day. If you have a blockage then it’s probably best to stagger the application over a longer time to avoid any backflow.

Compatibility

Before you use the holding tank treatment check that it is compatible with your RVs septic tank. This is specifically the size of your holding tank, most treatments are for 40 gallon black tanks so make sure that you know the size of your tanks so you can adjust the amount of treatment accordingly. You may need to double the amount of treatment used if your tank is twice the size of the recommended tank on the product.

Best RV Holding Treatment Brands

Like everything some brands are better than others, when it come to keeping your RV septic tank fresh and clean then there are two stand out brands.

Camco

If you’ve got or rented an RV then you’ve probably heard of Camco, it’s one of the most trusted RV brands out there. When it comes to holding tank treatments it’s no different.

Thetford

Thetford is another great RVing brand and RV septic tanks are one of their specialities. They created the first slide action valve for RV tanks back in 1963 so they know a thing or two about keeping your tanks flowing.

Best RV Holding tank treatments

RV Holding Tank Treatment FAQ’s

Still have unanswered questions? Hopefully you’ll find the answers here.

What’s the difference between grey and black tanks?

Grey tanks hold the wastewater from your sink and shower, black tanks hold the wastewater and materials from your toilet.

How do I empty my tanks?

To empty your tanks you’ll need an RV sewer hose, and a sewer connection point. Connect your hose to the dumping station and empty the black tank first, then the grey tank to help wash down all the materials.

What are some tank maintenance tips?

Always use an RV holding tank treatment at least once a month, to prevent blockages and keep your system smelling fresh (well as fresh as it can do).

You can also use RV toilet paper that will break up easier than normal paper, thus preventing clogs.

Always empty the black tank first, then the grey to flush down the debris.

Close the black and grey tank valves when camping, you want the tanks to be close to full when you dump them, so gravity can do it’s magic.
Only put toilet paper down the toilet, other trash and femminie products will block up the system in no time and you’ll have to get your hands dirty.

How often should you dump and empty your black water tank?

The answer to this will vary as it depends on how often you go to the loo, and how many people are using it.

The easiest way to tell is with an RV tank sensor, installing one of these will easily alert you when your tanks are full and need emptying. Otherwise you will have to intimately know your tanks and get a sense (or smell) for when they need emptying.

It’s always recommended to empty your tanks after every camping trip, so the wastewater isn’t festering over long periods.

RV Holding Tank Treatment Recap

HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment – Best Overall

Pure Power Holding Tank Treatment – Best for Back Up

Camco Mega All-in-One Sewer Tank Treatment – Best Scented Pods

Thetford AquaBio RV Holding Tank Treatment – Best for Easy to Use Liquid

Camco TST Ultra-Concentrate Lavender Scent RV Toilet Treatment – Best for Liquid Scented

Bio-Active Holding Tank Treatment Deodorizer and Waste Digester – Best for Unscented Liquid

Walex Bio-Active Eco-Friendly Septic Tank Treatment – Best for Unscented Pods

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately every camping trip has to end with a dumping of the tanks! To keep this as quick and easy as possible you’ll need to regularly treat your RVs black tank to prevent blockages.

Our favourite treatment is HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment it works wonders on your waste and paper and is really cost effective.

We also recommend always having some Pure Power Holding Tank Treatment sachets as a backup in case you run out, they’re really convenient and will ensure that you never get blocked up.

You’ll also need a great sewer hose, we’ve also researched this and found the best ones on the market.

Heather

Heather is an avid camper and RV enthusiast! Her aim is to cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions, to have THE BEST RVing trip EVER.
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