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Last Updated on September 6, 2022 by acechapman
There are many types of RV toilets. However, not everyone is aware of all the options. Even those who do know how to choose the right ones for their RVs can’t decide which one is best.
There are many problems that RV toilets can experience. Therefore, you should ensure that your toilet is well-constructed and has minimal problems.
Also, you don’t want to spend your time fixing up your RV toilet when you could be enjoying the view. You can avoid these problems by knowing which type of toilet to use.
Types of RV Toilets
- Composting Toilets
- Gravity Flush Toilets
- Macerating Toilets
- Cassette Toilets
- Portable Toilets
- Porcelain Toilets
- Plastic Toilets
- High-profile Toilets
- Low-profile Toilets
- Elongated Toilets
- Round Toilets
Let’s now take a closer look at each type of RV toilet:
COMPOSTING RV TOILETS
Non-flush/dry composting toilets convert human waste to dry compost that you can use later as a fertilizer for your garden.
There are two types of composting toilets: permanent and portable. A portable composting toilet is what you should install in your RV. They are compact as well as easy to dispose of the waste.
Composting toilets can be set up to separate liquid and solid waste. Liquid waste, accumulates quicker and should be emptied daily. In order to allow solid waste to decompose properly, it should be kept in the solids bin for longer.
To help with unpleasant odors and speed up the process of decomposition, a carbon-based medium such as coconut coir, sawdust, or peat moss is added to the solids container. A few composting toilets have an agitator that helps you mix the waste and peat moss after each use.
You can prevent bad odors coming from your composting toilet by making sure that no liquids, especially urine, are allowed inside the solids container.
A decent composting toilet will come with a fan to help expel bad smells.
Most people are scared of the smells that composting toilets can create in their RV. However, a good composting toilet shouldn’t smell.
Composting toilets are not meant to be used by large groups. These toilets work well for small families and couples. If you have a larger group, then you might consider black tank RV toilets.
A composting toilet is also more expensive than regular gravity flush RV toilets. However, they are very efficient because they don’t require water to work.
The Nature’s Head composting toilet is a great option if you are looking for a composting toilet in your RV. It is my favorite composting toilet on the market.
- They have separate tanks to hold solid and liquid waste.
- Alternative to traditional toilets that are more environmentally-friendly.
- This is a great option for one or more campers.
- It is easy to install.
- It is waterless and does not require plumbing.
- It is not practical for many people
- It may be costly to purchase and install.
GRAVITY FLUSH RV TOILETS
Gravity flush RV toilets work in the same manner as residential toilets, except that they don’t have a tank. There are three main components to gravity flush toilet systems. These three main components are the toilet bowl and fresh water tank, as well as the holding tank (also known as a black tank).
You flush the toilet after you use it. The foot pedal is located on either the side or front of the bowl. During flushing, water flows from your fresh water tank to your bowl, and then to the black tank.
These toilets are less efficient than residential gravity flush toilets. Also, they use an average of 0.3 gallons per flush.
The valve is located at the bottom of your bowl and prevents grey water/sewage from flowing back into the bowl. It also helps to contain bad smells in the tank. This valve is usually the cause of bad smells in your RV.
You can use the foot pedal in two ways. You can use the foot pedal to add water to the bowl by pressing it gently. In order to prevent poop from sticking to the bowl, add a small amount of water to the bowl. To flush the toilet, press the pedal fully.
Some toilets have a hand sprayer that is connected to the water supply to clean the bowl. This is particularly important if your toilet doesn’t have a 360-degree bowl rinsing function. This saves water.
Dometic and Thetford are the main manufacturers of gravity-flush toilets. If you plan to install a gravity toilet in your RV, then we recommend you choose one of these two manufacturers.
- It is easy to fix and install.
- Simple to maintain.
- Available in a variety of sizes and shapes.
- It can be a difficult task for users to empty it.
MACERATING RV TOILETS
A macerating RV toilet functions in the same manner as a residential macerating/upflush. It has a unit in the back that mixes the waste with a slurry.
Macerating RV toilets have the advantage that they are easy to clean. Toilet paper, especially those that aren’t easily disintegrated, is the main cause of RV toilet clogs. Toilet clogs can be significantly reduced because the mixture of toilet paper and human waste is ground into a slurry.
It is very simple to dump waste from a black tank onto a macerating bathroom. Contrary to other toilets that have a mixture of liquids and solids, this waste is fluid and flows out of the tank quickly.
However, the downside to macerating RV toilets is their many moving parts. Repairing a toilet that has one or more broken parts can prove costly and difficult.
Remember that macerating toilets require electricity to function. In order to rotate the macerator blades, they need an electric connection. These toilets are noisy, especially at night.
When using a macerating toilet, it is important to not flush anything that isn’t supposed to be flushed. Clogs can cause expensive repairs and can result in clogs.
Five Oceans Marine Electric Toilet is a macerating option for RV owners. You can install it in both RVs and boats.
The cost of macerating RV toilets is higher than other types. You can also look into other types of toilets if you don’t have the funds.
- The clogs created by toilet paper or large waste can be reduced by macerating toilets
- Gravity-defying toilet allows you to place black water holding tanks in other places
- This reduces the chance of smelly or toilet reflux
- It is more expensive to replace than a traditional toilet, and it costs more to fix.
A cassette toilet is a type of RV toilet that uses gravity flushing but has a removable holding tank. While cassette toilets are more common in Europe, you can still find them in North America.
An exterior door is included with every cassette toilet. This allows you to easily remove the black tank and dispose of it. The holding tanks of some cassette toilets have an extendable handle with wheels that make it easy for you to transport the waste to dispose of.
Cassette toilets are able to be flushed in public toilets just like porta potties. A dedicated RV dumping station is required for permanent black tank RV toilets.
A great thing about cassette toilets is the ability to pivot around the bowl. Because RV bathrooms are often very small, people with long legs can choose the angle that suits them best.
Cassette toilets come with a black tank indicator that is mounted on the wall next to the flush button. This allows you to know exactly when the waste needs to be disposed of.
Regular gravity flush RV toilets have one disadvantage: cassette toilets need to be emptied frequently. Because cassette toilets are smaller than regular gravity flush RV toilets, they require frequent emptying.
Even though cassette toilets have black tanks with handles and wheels fitted, it is still necessary to lift them when dumping. For people with limited strength, this may not be the best choice.
- Includes a removable waste container for easy and quick dumping.
- It doesn’t have to be hooked up to a dump station.
- Toilets with fixed holding tanks emit fewer odors.
- A full tank can be quite heavy, and it may prove difficult to remove waste.
PORTABLE RV TOILETS
The portable RV toilet, also known as a portable camping toilet, is a toilet that can be easily transported from one place to the next. You can choose from sophisticated flush-type toilets or simple 5-gallon bucket toilets.
To install portable RV toilets on the floor, you will need a hold-down kit. It prevents them from flying away and spilling any waste during transport. The kit is sold separately so make sure you include it.
My favorite portable toilet is the flush-type. There are three main components to flush toilets: the toilet bowl, and freshwater tank.
The holding tank can be detached and attached to the toilet by side latches. The bowl and holding tank are separated by a sliding valve. Thus, preventing leakages and helping to contain odors.
You will need to remove the valve from the toilet and then flush it after you’re done. To prevent odors and waste breakdown, a blue chemical is usually added to the holding tank.
Simply unlatch the tank to dump your waste from a portable toilet and take it to any toilet. The top of the holding tanks has a pour-out spout that allows you to dump the waste, without it splashing back.
You will need compostable plastic bags and poo powder if you wish to install a dry portable toilet in your RV. Alternative options include ordinary garbage bags or kitty litter, especially if you have a bucket toilet.
Because they hold a smaller amount of water (around 5 gallons), portable toilets need to be flushed regularly. Portable RV toilets are not suitable for large groups.
- Very affordable
- Portable and lightweight
- Available in both water flush and dry flush options.
- This is a great option for small groups.
- A kit will be required to anchor the toilet to your RV.
- Frequent emptying and cleaning are required.
PORCELAIN RV TOILETS
Porcelain RV Toilets are, as the name implies, RV toilets made from porcelain. Since gravity flush toilets were traditionally made from plastic, porcelain toilets are now the most modern.
Dometic RV toilets can be made entirely of porcelain, while Thetford RV toilets can mostly be made from plastic. The closest RV toilet to a residential toilet is the porcelain RV toilet.
Porcelain toilets are very easy to clean. Because porcelain is so smooth, dirt cannot adhere to it making cleaning these toilets easy.
Additionally, porcelain toilets also last longer because they are very strong and can stay in place for a long time. They are also stronger than plastic and last longer.
These porcelain gravity flush RV toilets are slightly more expensive than plastic toilets. If you have the money, I recommend that you choose a porcelain toilet instead of a plastic one.
- More comfortable and sturdy seating.
- It retains its original shape and doesn’t peel or fade.
- It looks very much like a standard household toilet.
- It is easy to maintain and clean.
- It is more expensive than plastic.
- They are slightly larger and are better suited for larger RV bathrooms.
PLASTIC RV TOILETS
Plastic RV toilets can be described as gravity-flush RV toilets made from plastic. Although they are less expensive than porcelain RV toilets, some of them can easily fade or peel off.
Plastic RV toilets don’t all look the same. Some toilets are better than others. Thetford is the top-rated manufacturer of plastic RV toilets. Thetford Aqua Magic V is their most popular model.
All other RV toilets except gravity flush toilets are made from plastic. Plastic is lightweight and cheaper than porcelain, making it ideal for portable toilets. Also, plastic toilets are stronger than porcelain and don’t easily break.
Plastic RV toilets aren’t as easy to clean. These toilets are much more susceptible to dirt and human waste sticking to their surfaces than porcelain toilets. They require more cleaning time and water to clean than a porcelain toilet.
- Very affordable
- It is not made from fragile material.
- It is a little difficult to clean.
- To clean this toilet, you may require more water than porcelain toilets.
ELONGATED RV TOILETS
Just like regular toilets, they have oval bowls that are longer.
These toilets offer more space for sitting than standard toilets. Additionally, elongated toilets offer more comfort than standard toilets.
These toilets are ideal for heavy people. They offer a better weight distribution and are therefore more comfortable. By about 2 inches, elongated toilets are longer than round toilets.
These toilets are more useful for men than they are for women. This is due to the men’s frontal anatomy. It can be difficult to fit everything in a round toilet bowl. This is why you need an elongated one.
An elongated RV toilet takes up more space than standard toilets. If space is not an issue, I recommend that you consider an elongated RV toilet.
- You can offer a greater seating area.
- Plus-sized people and men will enjoy more convenience as well as comfort.
- Suitable for larger RV bathrooms
ROUND RV TOILETS
Round RV toilets have a nearly circular bowl. Unless a recent replacement was made, most RVs still have round toilets. Many people find these toilets uncomfortable and small.
A round toilet is a better option for those with small RV bathrooms. It takes up less space and is smaller than an elongated model.
Children prefer round toilets. They are more comfortable using round toilets than adults, who have a larger surface area. Also, children often feel as though they are falling into the toilet bowl when they use an elongated one.
Round toilets can be a great option if you have limited space or if it is intended to be used by children. You might consider installing an elongated bathroom if this is not the case.
- It Will fit into smaller RV bathrooms.
- Round toilets are safer for children and more comfortable for them.
- Adults will not find a comfortable experience
LOW-PROFILE RV TOILETS
Low-profile RV toilets have a height of approximately 14 inches. The height of the seat is measured from the floor to the top edge of the toilet seat when the lid is up.
These toilets are ideal for children and those with short legs. When using a toilet, ensure that your feet are on the ground and not hanging off.
However, low-profile RV toilets may not be a good option for tall people as they require them to bend their knees. It is also difficult to sit and stand on the toilet. These people need a prominent RV toilet.
- This is a great option for children and short people.
- A comfortable toilet for taller persons and people with knee problems.
HIGH-PROFILE RV TOILETS
An RV toilet with a high profile is one that has a height of 18 inches. It is equivalent to a regular toilet with ADA compliance and comfort height.
The high-profile RV toilets are ideal for tall people, the elderly, as well as people with limited mobility. You can easily sit or stand and don’t have to bend your knees.
My ideal RV toilet would have a high profile and long design. You will be able to comfortably sit at a height not lower than 17 inches.
- This is a good choice for people of all sizes, mobility levels, and abilities.
CAN YOU PUT A REGULAR TOILET IN AN RV?
Two questions are frequently asked about RV toilets. These are:
- Can an RV be used as a regular toilet?
- Can an RV toilet be purchased with a tank?
These questions are often asked by people who don’t know much about RV toilets. Both answers of these are NO.
Standard toilets have a tank on the top of the bowl that provides water for flushing. On the other hand, a gravity-flush RV toilet will only come with a bowl.
There are many components that make up a residential toilet tank. This is a good thing because the toilet becomes a permanent fixture once it has been installed.
An RV, however, is intended to be mobile. Installing a toilet tank in your RV is a bad idea. The water and other parts of the tank will constantly be moving, causing spillage and breaking down.
Remember that RV toilets use only a fraction of as much water as regular toilets. Low-flow toilets are more efficient than RV toilets, using 1.28 to 1.6 gallons per flush.
An RV’s fresh water tank has a limited capacity so you don’t want to use it all to flush the toilet. An RV’s regular toilets are very inefficient.
What is the best RV toilet?
There are many factors that go into making the best RV toilet. You may not find the right option for your RV. If you are looking to buy a quality toilet for your home, consider these factors:
- Type of material
- Comfort levels
- Flushing power
- High-quality parts
- Reliability of brands
- Cleaning is easy
- The shape of the toilet bowl
- Installation is easy
- Toilet seat height
- Toilet dimensions
There are many types of RV toilets, contrary to what most people believe. There are many options for RV toilets other than the standard gravity flush. Because they are simple and inexpensive to install, composting and portable toilets have become popular choices among RV campers.
“25” by FastOlly is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
“Simple urine diverting composting toilet” by Sustainable sanitation is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
“Making sure the portable toilet is working” by slworking2 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.