Choosing the Best RV Toilet
If you think a toilet is a toilet, think again. There are several types of RV toilets that could work in your RV. While some types are better suited for your RVs plumbing system, they’ll all work in an RV, and choosing one is just a matter of personal preference. However, you need to know about them to choose. Here is a quick breakdown of each type.
Types of RV Toilets
Traditional Gravity Flush
Gravity Flush RV toilets work precisely how the name describes it. It doesn’t have any mechanical or electrical help with flushing. Easy to use, step on the lever and the water is “suctioned” down through a siphon, pulling the waste along with it into a waste tank below. While this is one of the oldest toilet technologies, it’s different than a standard home toilet because it doesn’t have a water basin attached to it. However, it does need to be connected to your RV’s water holding tank or an external water holding tank.
This type of toilet has blades that grind the waste to a liquid-like pulp before sending it to the waste tank. This allows for easier disposal and fewer chances of “mounds” of waste to get stuck.
You don’t have to worry about costly and time-consuming installation under the drain line because the pump is attached directly to the toilet. The blades grind the waste, and the pump sends the waste upward, out of a thin pipe that is very simple to connect to existing sewage lines in your RV.
A vacuum toilet is a macerating flush toilet with a vacuum. It’s electric-powered and uses a bio-tank to dispose of waste. The vacuum is so powerful that there are little to no deposits left in the toilet itself. This helps to eliminate foul odors. It also uses a lot less water than the other types of toilets.
The drawback is that the system is costly and complicated. You also need to have a good bit of space for the whole system, which may not be suitable for an RV.
Composting toilets are waterless toilets that convert human waste into fertilizer. Once you are finished using the toilet, you rotate the handle, and the drum/tank mixes the waste with the composting matter inside. This begins the degrading of the waste, which surprisingly eliminates odors.
When the waste tank is full, unhook it and use the contents to fertilize your garden. If you don’t want to do that, you can dispose of it.
If you’re thinking of a porta-potty for this type of toilet, you’re on the right track. However, for RVs, a portable toilet is a small, lightweight, two-compartment system. One compartment holds fresh water while the other holds waste. Once the waste compartment is full, dispose of the waste and put the toilet back together.
There aren’t any mechanical parts with this type of toilet. Use, dispose, and use again. One downside is that these types of toilets can have a high odor. Another is that they’ll require a lot of cleaning.
A cassette toilet is a straightforward type of toilet. When flushed, the waste drops from the toilet into a “cassette-like” waste tank, which is located under the toilet, usually in a chamber. You empty the cassette when it’s full and reinstall it under the toilet.
The biggest drawback to this type of toilet is that, due to the size, you may be emptying it often.
Features to Consider When Buying the Perfect RV Toilet
Space is usually a big concern in RVs, so the size of the toilet is one of the most important features to pay attention to. Certain types of RV toilets are going to be smaller than others, such as the gravity flush toilet or a cassette toilet, so if you have a small space, you may want to consider one of these types.
Some RV toilets are easy to clean compared to others. Some of them handle odors better than others. The cleanest type of toilet you can get is a vacuum toilet because it literally sucks everything away. The bio-tank degrades the waste, so there aren’t any lingering odors to deal with.
On the other hand, portable toilets are probably the least hygienic type because you must deal with the waste head-on. There is no water, no vacuum, no degrading of the waste. With this type, you’ll want to keep some gloves, and a face mask handy.
You should decide whether you want to deal with a plumbed-in toilet or a portable (movable) toilet. If budget is a concern or if you’re going to be able to move the toilet to different locations, then a portable toilet may be a good choice for you. A composting toilet is good for portability but isn’t necessarily a budget option.
If you plan to leave the toilet in your RV’s bathroom and you want something clean and easy to maintain, a plumbed-in toilet is an excellent way to go. The installation on some types are simple enough for DIYers, while others may require professional installation.
The material of an RV toilet usually has very little to do with how well the toilet functions. When considering what material your RV toilet is made of, it often goes hand in hand with other features.
A toilet can either be made of porcelain, a high-quality, hard plastic, or a combination of materials. You may also see the material listed as Vitreous China or enamel, but these are glazes that go on top of the porcelain.
If you want something lightweight, plastic is a great choice. If you want something extremely durable, choose porcelain.
Most people want a compact toilet for their RV, but with a compact RV toilet comes a compact waste capacity. You should consider how many people will be using the toilet and how often you’ll be able to dump it in the container.
Gravity toilets, macerating flush toilets, and vacuum toilets are great if a group of three or more people will be using the toilet regularly. Composting toilets and macerating flush toilets are a suitable choice if you can’t empty the waste tank often.
Additional features are usually a matter of how convenient you want your toilet experience to be. Things like heated seating, self-cleaning options, a bidet-system, and more can make a simple RV toilet into a modern waste disposal system.
The Best RV Toilets: 9 of the Best Toilet Reviews
Thetford Aqua-Magic Residence RV Toilet
RV toilets can get heavy, but at 12.3 pounds (10.6 for the low-profile), you could carry Aqua-Magic RV toilet with one hand. The lightweight and easy installation make it great for DIYers who need a basic RV toilet solution.
The toilet isn’t extra-special – it has an antimicrobial set, a foot pedal for hands-free operation, and a full-size seat and bowl for sitting comfort. These are all pretty standard, which makes the low-price point make sense. It’s a toilet without a bunch of bells and whistles, which means you can get around to using it quickly.
As with most products, you get what you pay for. There are a few quality issues with this toilet, such as some leaks or the foot pedal possibly sticking. However, the toilet still works great and would be a great beginner RV toilet for any DIYer
- Easy to pick up and carry.
- Easy to install.
- Nice, wood seat.
- Toilet seat is wide enough to accommodate larger-sized bottoms.
- Tends to leak around the seals.
- You may need to add water for a thorough flush manually.
Dometic 320 Series Toilet
Best RV Toilet – Value Pick
The Dometic is a few steps up from a basic gravity flush RV toilet in quality. For a little more money, have an RV toilet with little to no leaking issues, a better glaze, stronger porcelain, and a longer life span. This RV toilet is an excellent replacement for any RV toilet because the elongated bowl and vitreous china glaze give it more of a “residential” feel.
It’s comfortable, easy to use and it works well – what more could you ask for?
The model has an ergonomic foot pedal for hands-free operation. The pedal, conveniently located on the side instead of the front (no jammed toes), is easy to press and doesn’t get stuck. We also like that it comes in two colors: white and bone.
The Dometic is a better quality product than other cheaper gravity RV toilets without the price being jacked up. This is why we labeled it as the best value. However, you should be aware that Dometic does not offer replacement parts for this toilet. Once it breaks, you’ll need to buy another (which is why it’s so cheap).
The product weighs 37 pounds and measures 22 x 14.75 x 19.75.
- Little to no leaking issues like other bargain portable toilets.
- Easy installation.
- Foot pedal is in a comfortable location.
- No replacement parts.
- Flush is a little weaker compared to similar RV toilets.
Thetford 34429 Aqua Magic Style Plus RV Toilet
The Most Residential-Like RV Toilet
The Aqua Magic Style Plus is a contemporary gravity flush RV toilet that looks and feels like a home toilet. You can choose between a high or low profile, and the toilet seat can be customized. This is a good-looking RV toilet that is coated in vitreous china to make it stand out from everything else in your RV.
The model is easy to use, with a hands-free operation because a single foot pedal controls it on the front. It’s a ball-style flush that cleans with every flush since the flush is a good, powerful swirling stream. The Aqua Magic Style Plus measures 19.5 x 25 x 22 inches and weighs about 45 pounds.
While the product works flawlessly, there is a slight design flaw that, when flushed, prevents the water from flowing over certain spots in the toilet bowl. These spots will cause you to have to clean the toilet more often than others, but it’s not a complete deal-breaker if you don’t mind a few minutes of cleaning.
- Stylish and contemporary.
- Has good weight, which makes it sturdy.
- Easy to install
- The plastic cover at the base may take a few tries to squeeze it on.
- No total toilet bowl coverage as advertised.
Dometic 310 Series RV Toilet
Best Overall RV Toilet
The Dometic 310 is an award-winning, standard height camping toilet that has an unmatched quality in construction and design expertise. The best part is that, unlike some other premium RV toilets on the list, you can get this quality without breaking the bank.
This gravity flush model features a powerful 360-degree vortex flush pattern, so it’s a champ at getting rid of left-over deposits. It has a water-tight ball flush system that always keeps water in the toilet bowl, so you don’t have to worry about unpleasant odors.
Our one concern about this model is that standing at 19 x 15 x 20 inches; it only weighs 23 pounds. This is light for a standard size model and could cause the product to lack sturdiness. While there are lighter models than this on the list, we expect a product of this quality to have a little more weight and sturdiness.
- Slow-closing lid.
- Lid is made of wood.
- Hands-free operation.
- Easy to install.
- Lightweight for its size.
- The plastic piece that holds the lid could be a little stronger.
Nature’s Head Composting Toilet
The Best RV Toilet for Composting
This composting toilet is one of the most rugged on the market. It’s designed with for use in marine environments, uses high-quality materials, and is made in the United States. Complete with stainless steel components, this is a top premium product. As a plus, since it’s a composting model, you don’t have to worry about odors or frequent dumping.
The close quarters’ spider handle is impressive and thoughtful. Instead of one handle, you have three that stand out almost vertically, so even in a tight fit, you can rotate the drum without a struggle.
There are two waste bin – one for solids and one for liquids. While the liquid waste bin needs to be emptied more frequently than the solid one does, it still requires a lot less dumping than other types.
A built-in fan pulls air (odors) from the unit to the outside using only .1 amp of electricity from your RV. The product measures 22 x 20.5 x 21.7 inches and weighs 28 pounds.
There aren’t any low points about this product. It’s a slight annoyance to have to carry around compost soil continually, but this is a small price to have to pay for such a great RV toilet.
- No odors.
- Easy to dump.
- Easy to install
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Very expensive.
- Need compost purchases for the life of the product.
Thetford Marine Nano Eco Macerating RV Toilet
Best Compact RV Toilet
If space is an issue for you, then look no further than the Thetford Marine Nano macerating RV toilet. It’s the world’s smallest macerating model, standing only 11.6 inches tall. Needless to say, the product is designed to sit on a platform.
This product is small, but the manufacturers didn’t skimp on quality. It features a Turbine technology that resists clogs and is made with a vitreous ceramic china coating to give it a nice, elegant luster. The unit is self-contained, and is it insanely easy to install.
We don’t think that this model warrants a top-dollar price. While the superb quality does demand a higher price than similar portable products, the Marine Nano is more along the lines of your average portable unit at a mid-range price.
- Easy to install
- Very high-quality.
- It’s very quiet for a macerating model.
- It’s costly.
- Must use electricity.
Thetford RV Aria Deluxe II Electric Toilet
The Best Designed RV Toilet
The Thetford RV vacuum model looks like an RV toilet you’d find in a house, but it sports a contemporary design. It looks exquisite with the vitreous china coating. The smooth curves of the product flow seamlessly to make it look like a piece out of a home decor magazine.
The toilet bowl is elongated, so it’s the same size as a residential toilet. It comes at a standard height, although you can choose a low-profile version if you want to. This model measures 19 x 27.5 x 24 inches.
The construction of the Aria II is impeccable. The china, buttons, and mechanical parts are all put together with precision and are highly durable.
We don’t have anything bad to say about this product. It is a little on the heavy side, weighing 66 pounds. This is due to the all-china construction using high-quality ceramic.
- One button push flush.
- Swirl-action water flow cleans the toilet bowl.
- Self-contained system.
Camco Portable Travel RV Toilet
Best Portable RV Toilet
The Camco portable camping toilet is a two-compartment system that can fit into almost any budget. It’s a “goldilocks” size – not too big and not too small – and it comes in two different capacities.
Measuring 15.5 x 14 x 16 inches, it’s an excellent fit for any RV. The product only weighs about 10 pounds due to a lightweight polyethylene (HDPE) construction. This, along with molded handles, makes it easy to clean it out and move it around. It’s a bellow-type flush and has side latches that connect the two compartments.
The HDPE on this model seems to be thin and a little lacking in sturdiness. The product isn’t going to fall apart, but it’s not made of the highest-quality materials. We wouldn’t suggest it for heavier-set people because there have been reports of it developing hair-line cracks under pressure.
- Comes in two capacities.
- Wide latches for easy handling.
- Cheap construction.
- Tends to splatter when dumping.
SEA FLO Portable Toilet
Best Budget Option
At this price range, you’d expect a glorified plastic bucket with a toilet seat. However, the SEAFLO saves you money while still providing you with a quality camper toilet option. It’s not a bare-bones model like other budget options, and it’s very durable, making it a great buy.
The SEAFLO has a push-button for flushing and a rotating spout to make emptying it easier. It’s made of a high-quality, durable ABS molded plastic, which, like HDPE, has a high strength-to-density ratio. This model is short and lightweight, measuring 15.9 x 14.3 x 12.4 inches and only weighs 11.2 lbs.
The only issue we have with this model is that the locks that hold the two compartments together should be a little stronger. However, if you’re careful with them, they can still last a long time.
- Very affordable.
- Sealed valve to combat odors.
- Ergonomic carrying handles.
- Side locks could be stronger.
- Very short.
Last update on 2020-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API