People love to learn about your RV toilet. I’ve been travelling in my van for three years and always get asked about the bathroom! While it may seem like one of life’s mysteries to those who don’t own a campervan, there are many RV toilets to choose from. Today we’re going to help you navigate the RV bathroom world and look at the eight best RV toilets.
Things to Consider About an RV Toilet
Before we dive in, there are some things you will want to consider before selecting the best RV toilet for you. It’s worth giving it some thought as you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of your road trip with a sticky situation.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before buying an RV toilet:
A key deciding factor in choosing the right RV toilet for you is how long it lasts. If you’re planning on going away for regular weekend trips, for example, most RV toilets on offer would be suitable for you.
How long do I want it to last?
However, if you’re hitting the road full time, then you want to make sure you purchase one that will last for a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, you will need to empty it more regularly than you might like and find yourself at campgrounds and truck spots rather than beautiful boondocking sites.
How many people will be using it?
Your toilet will last longer if you are the only one using it, but if you’re travelling as a family, then you might want something larger. This coincides with how long it’ll last, the fewer people using it, the longer it’ll last.
If you’re travelling with small children, then you might want to think about how easy it is to use. Is it easy to flush and clean up after or is this another task you’ll have to undertake on your trip?
How easy is it to empty?
There’s no getting around the fact that an RV toilet does need emptying. It’s never going to be a pleasant job, but a good design can make the experience less disgusting. Look for something simple to empty and easy to rinse through.
How much does it cost?
An RV toilet can be surprisingly expensive, so you might want to set yourself a budget. You don’t want to pay more for something than you need to! At the end of the day, all RV toilets provide the same service, and they all still need emptying at some point.
How easy is it to install?
Some toilets need to be hooked up to you RV’s electricity and water supply as the flush, requires power and water. Large toilets will also have a black waste that you will need to install, which might be a big job for inexperienced DIY-ers. If you need to hire someone to install your RV toilet, then this is another cost to consider.
What impact does it have on the environment?
Many camper van toilets use harsh chemicals to break down the waste and avoid smells. Generally, these products are not good for the environment. Although you can buy more friendly alternatives nowadays, they still come in plastic bottles that you will need to replace.
If you want to keep a small environmental footprint when travelling in your RV, then a composting toilet may be a good alternative. Not only do they not use any harsh chemicals, but you can also go onto use your waste to fertilise plants. While still unconventional, composting toilets are becoming more and more popular.
Where will I store it?
Finally, consider where you will install your RV toilet. If you’re in a compact camper van, then you will need a small toilet. Some of the fancier models, or composting toilets, are surprisingly large, so make sure you measure up your available space before purchasing your loo.
The Best RV Toilet On the Market
So, now we know what we’re looking out for, let’s dive in and take a look at the best RV toilets currently on the market.
We’ve chosen five different toilets, that would all be suitable for your next road trip.
First up on our list to find the best RV toilet for you, we have the Thetford Porta Potti.
The Porta Potti is a cassette toilet, that would be perfect for weekend warriors or single travellers out there. With only a small holding tank of 2.6 gallons, you’ll get an average of 26 flushes before you need to empty it. This is ideal for short trips or perhaps a week or so or solo travel.
As well as the waste tank, this toilet also has a 2.6-gallon fresh water capacity. This tank means you can flush the toilet to keep it fresher for longer. The Thetford Porta Potti is easy to empty and lightweight to carry, thanks to its small size.
Once the fresh and waste tanks are disconnected, a spout rotates from the waste tank to empty the toilet easily. This toilet can be unloaded in any waste disposal facilities at campsites or truck stops or even in your own bathroom when you get home. It is also one of the cheaper toilets on the market, coming in at $171.
This toilet has a clean and modern design and is also small enough to store under a bench seat, making it an excellent option for a compact RV. Furthermore, it takes no installation, just put in place, and you’re ready to go. If you’re looking for something that is small, easy to use and install and is fairly affordable, then this is the RV toilet for you.
Up next we have the Dometic MasterFlush. If you want a toilet that will last a bit longer, then this could be the one for you. As this RV toilet needs to be connected to a black waste tank, exactly how long it will last depends on the size of your tank.
The toilet itself has a macerating flush system. This means that motor-powered blades turn the waste into a slurry before entering your waste tank, making it easier to empty. As well as making unloading your waste tank more straightforward, the macerating flush allows this toilet to have two flush settings: with water and without.
If you’re heading out on a long trip and are looking to save your onboard water for drinking and cooking, then the dry flush option could be handy. By using the dry flush, you’re not only saving water consumption up you’re also lengthening the time between each emptying of your tank. Both of these things mean you can be in the wilderness for longer.
The Dometic MasterFlush is a good looking toilet, and wouldn’t look out of place, even if it were in a house. It’s made from plastic with a wooden seat, making it comfortable but still lightweight compared to a ceramic version.
Before use, you need to connect the toilet to a waste tank, water supply and electricity. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, then you will have to pay for a professional, adding another cost to your toilet. Without a tank, the Dometic MasterFlush comes in at $398.
Going back to basics, the next RV toilet on our list is a portable folding toilet. If you don’t have space for a permanent loo or have chosen not to have one on board, then this could be a good option for you.
This toilet is simply a folding seat. To use, unfold and hang a bag over the centre, you can later dispose of the sealed bag in a regular bin. You may be thinking, just go outside! While this is an option if you are camping in the wilderness, it isn’t practical when city camping, on a long road trip or in the middle of the day.
Cheap and cheerful, this toilet comes in at $33, does the job and could be a lifesaver in an otherwise awkward situation.
Up next, we have an option for the eco-conscious traveller; Nature’s Head Composting Toilet. A composting toilet works by separating the liquid from solids. The fluid needs to be emptied every few days, either in a bathroom or outside, but you can leave the solids container for a few months. Good news for anyone who is a bit squeamish!
By the time you come to emptying your composting toilet, the waste should have broken down enough that it has turned into compost and no longer smells. Of course, this depends on how regularly you use your RV and, therefore, how quickly the waste tank fills.
The Nature’s Head Toilet uses no water, instead cover your waste with something like peat moss to aid with composting. This reduces your water consumption and also ensures you aren’t using any nasty chemicals.
While it doesn’t need a water connection, the toilet does need power to run the fan at the back. The fan ensures no smells build-up, keeping your RV a pleasant space.
We think a composting toilet is a great option, with more pleasant and less frequent emptying and a small environmental footprint. However, it is relatively pricey, coming in at $940, so make sure you do your research before making your purchase!
Last up on our list to find the perfect RV toilet for you; we have the Thetford Aqua Magic. If you are looking for an RV toilet that will look and feel like your toilet at home, then this could be the one for you—made of china, and with a full-size toilet seat, there aren’t many differences in appearance. The main difference is that the flush is operated by your foot, not hand.
You will need to pair this toilet with a waste holding tank. As the Thetford Aqua Magic is a gravity flush, your waste tank will need to be installed directly below your toilet, so make sure you have space for both the toilet and tank. A gravity flush simply means that waste from the toilet goes straight down into the tank.
To use the flushing mechanism, you will need to hook up your toilet to your RV’s water supply, as well as the waste tank. This could be done by a keen DIY-er, especially if you’re replacing an old RV toilet and all the piping is already in place.
The Thetford Aqua Magic is an excellent option if you’re looking to make your bathroom feel like a home away from home. It comes in at $242, plus the price of your chosen waste tank.
How Much Is A Waste Tank?
Some of these RV toilets need to be paired with a black waste tank. You will want to factor in this cost, as well as the value of your chosen toilet. Remember, you will also need to calculate the installation price of this system and ensure you have enough space for it below your van.
These holding tanks can be relatively expensive, and the price range rises as you go for a larger tank. Expect to spend anywhere from $500 upwards.
Hopefully one of these toilets is the one for you, or you now know what to look for. Getting the right RV toilet is essential. Although it is a boring thing to spend money on, life on the road is so much more comfortable with a good toilet on board.