Best RV Toilets: Top Commodes to Make Camping More Comfortable
The top RV toilets to make your road trip stress-free.
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021
No one wants to think about their RV’s toilet — but while it isn’t the most glamorous aspect of RV camping, it’s a pretty essential one. Without a good, quality RV toilet, you can find that your trips out into new wide-open spaces become serious adventures. After all, there’s no one out there who enjoys creating their own bathroom out in nature. Having an RV toilet that’s functional, well-built, and works flawlessly will make every trip more enjoyable and relaxing.
But how do you know which RV toilets are really the best and worth investing in? There are a lot of choices out there, and many even seem identical to one another. We’ve done the hard work for you, and we have a list of the best RV toilets available right here. Plus, you’ll find all of the advice and insight you need to find the best RV toilet for your specific camper’s needs.
This gravity-flush toilet with an 18-inch seat has a ceramic bowl and 360-degree vortex flush pattern. It includes a water line connection, two-bolt installation, optional hand spray, and a two-year warranty.
- Product is sturdy, well-designed, and has a home-like height
- Easy to clean
- Fosters a fast clean-water refill with the touch of your foot
- Seat is made of wood,
- There have been some reports that the valve or seals leak
This toilet features a single-handle flush system, it weighs 9.4 pounds, and it can be fitted with a hand sprayer. Its higher profile provides a taller seat height for comfort.
- Sturdy and easy to install
- Has a solid handle and is easy to flush
- Comes with a flange seal, bolting hardware, and a bottle of chemicals
- Toilet is plastic
- Lid is a little flimsy
- Seat ring may be uncomfortable
- May also be difficult for larger adults to use
This toilet has a single-pedal system and a removable seat and cover pod for cleaning and service. The front shroud pulls off for easy access to mounting bolts and the pedal mechanism.
- Easy to install and use
- Flushing is smooth and simple
- Flush mechanism cleans the bowl well
- Base is also strong and sturdy for larger individuals
- Toilet is large and completely plastic
- May use more water than other models
- Your foot may slip on the pedal when flushing, slamming the valve shut
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Benefits of RV Toilets
- Complete comfort. If there’s one key benefit to having an RV toilet, it’s the total comfort that having your own bathroom offers. You don’t have to worry about finding restroom facilities while you’re on the road or at a campsite. With your toilet just steps away, you can use the bathroom comfortably and at your leisure. You can even find and install an RV toilet that suits your size and preferences for a totally comfortable experience every time.
- Privacy. You don’t exactly get a ton of privacy in a public restroom — you have to share with everyone else at the rest stop, campsite, or other public destination. However, with an RV toilet, you don’t have to worry about what happens in the bathroom. You’ll have complete privacy to do whatever you need to do, a benefit that’s especially important if you have health concerns that lead you to rely on an accessible, private bathroom with just a moment’s notice.
- Total convenience. Forget about mapping out public bathrooms at rest stops, campsites, or anywhere else. With your very own RV toilet, you always have a bathroom available for use. That’s a convenience that’ll only enhance your travels. You never have to wait for bathroom access, and you can go whenever it’s necessary (even in the dark of night). It can even help you save time as it limits the need for pit stops on the road.
- Clean and secure. If you’ve ever encountered a dirty public bathroom, you know just how wonderful it is to have a clean, secure place to do your business. In your RV bathroom, with your very own toilet, you’ll have cleanliness that’s up to your standards. After all, you, your friends, and your family will be the only visitors. You won’t have to worry about gross or unsightly messes that frequently happen in public places, and you can lock your bathroom door or your RV door for security.
- Easy to manage. Think having your own toilet inside your RV is a lot of work? You don’t have to be worried—these bathroom additions are very easy to manage. You’ll find that the process of overseeing, cleaning, and emptying your RV toilet isn’t too complicated at all, and with just a little practice you’ll have the process under control. Just think about it like your bathroom or toilet at home—with a few extra steps when you’re ready to empty the holding tank.
- Environmentally friendly. If you’re a camper who wants to make sure you aren’t harming the environment, here’s a big benefit: RV toilets can be perfectly eco-friendly. There are different types of RV toilets that use environmentally friendly processes and servicing products. Some even compost your waste and turn it into usable fertilizer. You can enjoy all of the other benefits of your RV bathroom while still being kind to the environment.
Types of RV Toilets
Traditional Gravity Flush
This type of RV toilet is similar to a household toilet, except it doesn't include a water holding tank. As a result, it can only be used when it’s connected to an outside water source or if it’s used when the water pump from the RV holding tank is on. Typically, you flush the toilet with a foot pedal. You’ll also need to fill the tank with water using a lever.
This type of toilet has motor-powered blades that soften and thin the waste before it's transported into the holding tank (AKA black tank). The waste in the holding tank becomes much more fluid because of how it's crushed down into tiny pieces before it moves from the toilet to the black tank.
A toilet with a vacuum flush uses a macerating pump and a vacuum unit to remove all the contents in the bowl. The vacuum makes flushing much more powerful and liquefies solid waste. It's convenient because you can typically place it in several areas of your RV.
Composting toilets do not use any water, and they separate solids from liquids. They're useful if you have a limited water supply, and you're part of a couple or a single traveler. When used properly, they do not smell bad. However, they may emit a soil-like smell, but a vent fan moves the air from the bowl outside. It's not ideal for a family because of the number of times you have to change the tank.
This type of toilet does not separate solids from liquids, so it produces raw sewage. While they're very portable and easy to install, you must dump the waste quite frequently at an RV dump or in a toilet. Also, because no hose is involved, you will see and smell the sewage.
A cassette toilet is like a portable camping toilet in several ways. However, it's fixed in place, and you can usually access the waste storage tank from outside your RV. Like the portable toilet, you will see and smell the sewage as you eliminate it at a dump station or toilet. Van owners often use cassette toilets because their rigs are smaller.
Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford is a leading manufacturer of mobile sanitation products for the RV, marine, camping and truck markets. The company created its first slide-action valve for RV holding tanks in 1963. One top product is the Thetford Aqua Magic V RV Toilet Hand Flush-High Profile.
Dometic started in 1920 when Swedish engineering students Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters created the world's first refrigerator. The company manufactures a variety of products, including RV toilets, holding tanks, mobile refrigeration, furnaces, and air conditioners. One popular product is the Dometic 320 Series Standard Height Toilet.
Camco is a brand that offers a whole world of RV and camping products — and it’s one you likely know well if you’ve been a longtime camper. From electrical products to sanitation products to equipment and comfort-based items, Camco sells it all. An expert brand in this field since 1966, products like the Camco 41541 Portable Toilet for RV are good examples of what you can equip your RV with.
RV Toilet Pricing
- Under $175: If you’re hoping to spend $175 or less, your RV toilet options will be a bit limited. Few RV toilets are this affordable, and the ones that do fall into this price range tend to have very few features and comforts. In fact, many RV toilets within this range aren’t actually traditional toilets, but rather portable models.
- $180 to $250: This is the price range into which most standard RV toilets fall. You’ll find RV-sized toilets that mount to the floor, include flushing capability, and work like a typical toilet. Available in plastic and ceramic, you’ll have quite a few options to choose from.
- $275 and up: Want to get fancy? You can equip your RV’s bathroom with a high-quality—or even high-tech—toilet if you spend $275 or more. Often made out of china or porcelain, these toilets offer more convenience and more functionality.
Sanitation and Sealing
In order to keep your RV toilet and its waste system as hygienic and clean as possible, you need to look for a toilet that offers good sanitation and sealing features. You want to consider how it flushes — does it flush easily and fully, with enough power to actually remove waste from the bowl? It’s also important to look at the valves and connection points. These should all be tightly sealed with durable, leak-proof materials that won’t let waste seep or sneak through. These details will help prevent smells and the spread of unsafe bacteria.
Comfortable Height and Width
Who hasn’t encountered a camping toilet that’s way too small for adults and way too low to the ground? When you’re picking out an RV toilet, you absolutely want one that’s tall enough and comfortable enough to use with ease. This means you should look for just the right height and an appropriate toilet seat width. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you take your RV’s model and available space into consideration, too—go too wide, and the toilet might not fit.
RV toilets can be somewhat budget-friendly and made out of materials like plastic, or they can be more high-end and made with the same materials as your toilets at home. It’s entirely up to you which material you like best, but it’s important to consider a few different options. Plastic, while cheaper, doesn’t last nearly as long as porcelain. Some RV toilets might even feature wood components, which is another option that can be durable but require extra care.
- Ease of Installation. A portable or full size RV toilet should be easy and not very time-consuming to install. Since it's an essential item for traveling, a flush toilet for RV should come with straightforward installation instructions. In addition, the best RV toilet should be simple to repair and easy to clean.
- Durability. RV toilets are often made of plastic, but some are made with better plastic than others. While it's not as durable as porcelain, it can still function as required. If you want to feel like you're at home, a porcelain commode is a better bet, and it's longer lasting.
- Waste Capacity. The more waste your portable toilet can hold, the longer you can travel without emptying it. If you let the waste sit too long, it will start to smell. RV toilets with higher waste capacities will make your trip much more comfortable, and you won't have to stop as often to empty them.
- Type of User. If you are elderly or disabled, you probably want to avoid purchasing a low-profile toilet. If necessary, you can install a raised platform for this type of toilet to make it easier to use. High-profile toilets are preferable because they're similar in dimension to household units.
- Length of Trip. If you plan on taking a long trip, it may be challenging to find places to dump your waste. In those situations, you may require a spare tank, particularly if you have a cassette or portable travel toilet. These types of toilets are also more convenient if you're visiting a remote area.
Best RV Toilets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- The amount of water you use to flush the toilet depends on how long you choose to flush it. In general, it should just take a couple of seconds to wash waste down the drain. To conserve water, don't flush for very long.
- With a composting toilet, you can dry the solids area more quickly by using sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir. You also need to turn an agitator every time you use it. Liquids can be flushed down a toilet or septic tank.
- Sludge will start to form if you don't change the tank frequently enough on a composting toilet. As a result, it is less than ideal for more than three people to use this type of toilet in a recreational vehicle.
- To prevent your toilet from smelling like urine, keep the urine hole or tube clean. You can pour fresh water or Nature’s Miracle down the urine hole after each use to neutralize any smells.
- You should empty your water and waste tanks every few days at a dump station. The more people you have in the RV, the more often you will need to do this.
Q: Can I use a residential-style toilet in my RV?
A home toilet is not recommended. A replacement RV toilet is specially designed for a motorhome. Most importantly, it uses much less water than a toilet in your house. Some new, efficient ones use as little as a pint of water. Also, the best RV toilets are designed to withstand the RV traveling on twisty roads; home toilets don’t have a flush tank, which would cause spills.
Q: How often do I need to empty the compartments from a composting toilet?
It depends on how many people use the toilet and how frequently they do so. For example, one person who lives in an RV full time may need to change the liquid compartment every other day and the solid compartment once a month. The more deposits in the solid compartment, the wetter it will be. When the waste takes longer to dry, the toilet will stop composting and start to smell.
Q: Is special toilet paper required?
Yes. If you don't use the proper toilet paper, you can clog your tank. The best kind of RV toilet paper disintegrates quickly in water. Some popular brands include Charmin Ultra Soft and Angel Soft. There is also toilet paper designed especially for RV use, but it may be rough on your bum. Look for brands marked "septic safe."
Q: How do I fix a clogged RV toilet?
Usually, RV toilets become clogged due to toilet paper. The first thing you should do is open the valve and pour hot water inside it. This should break down the matter that is clogging the toilet. Certain chemicals designed for septic use may also fix a clogged toilet.
Q: Is there a way to keep the toilet from smelling?
An RV toilet may start to smell because there’s a leak, the sewer tank is damaged, there's a clog, or it hasn't been cleaned in a while. Some of these problems you can resolve yourself, such as removing a clog or sanitizing the tank. Other issues may require a professional.
Our pick for the best RV toilet is the Dometic 310 Series Standard Height Toilet. Its high-profile design provides a taller seat height, and it can be fitted with a hand sprayer. It's sturdy, easy to flush, and comes with equipment that makes installation easy.
For a less expensive option, consider the Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet.