How to Unclog an RV Shower Drain

Whether at home or on a trip in your RV, a clogged shower drain is never any fun. Of course, as soon as you notice a clog has developed, the first course of action is to unclog the drain as quickly as possible. Your RV shower isn’t going to do you any good as long as the drain is plugged up, so this is not a task which can be put off until a later date.

Mountain lakeMake Sure You Actually Have a Clog

This might seem like a silly place to start, but it is possible you don’t even have a clog in the first place. How so? Well, if your grey water tank is completely full, your shower isn’t going to drain – even if there is no clog in sight. As a first order of business, check the level of your grey tank to ensure it has not filled up. Remember, you can’t completely trust your tank sensors, so check for yourself before you go looking for a clog.

A Visual Inspection

It may be a bit dark in the shower of your RV, especially with your body obscuring the light from above. Take a flashlight in with you and shine it down into the drain to see if you can visually confirm the presence of a clog. If you do see the clog, it might be possible to break it up manually with a long, slender object. Should you fail in this effort, continue on to try out the options below.

Turn to the Plunger

As you might imagine, having a plunger on board your RV during your trip is going to be a wise decision. Assuming you packed a plunger, use it to attempt to release the clog inside the drain. The water may not immediately drain out even if you have loosened the clog, so give it a few minutes before you decide that you have failed with the plunger.

Drain Cleaner

Another handy item to have with you on your trip is a drain cleaner meant for use in RVs. This is something you can find easily at your local camping or RV store, and it won’t take up much space in your rig while you travel. Should the plunger come up short, pour some of the drain cleaner into the shower and let it work its magic. With any luck, the clog will be loosened up by the drain cleaner to the point where it can be flushed out with some water (or released by another use of the plunger).

The Snake

As a last resort, you may need to use a drain ‘snake’ (or auger) to clear out the clog once and for all. You may not travel with one of these tools, so it might be necessary to head to a local hardware store to pick one up. While mechanical snakes are available for residential or commercial applications, those are too harsh for an RV. Instead, stick with a hand auger model to protect the inner workings of your rig.


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