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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PUBLISHED ON May 31, 2019
One of the least glamorous aspects of RVing is the toilet. However, a toilet is essential if you plan on taking a long, stress-free trip. The best RV toilet will be easy to use and will make traveling more enjoyable. Check out our RV toilets reviews to find the best one for your next adventure.
- Best OverallDometic 310 Series Standard Height ToiletSummarySummary
This gravity-flush toilet with an 18-inch-tall seat has a ceramic bowl and 360-degree vortex flush pattern. It includes a water line connection, two-bolt installation, optional hand spray, and two-year warranty.ProsPros
The product is sturdy, well-designed, and flushes like a house toilet. It's also easy to clean and fosters a fast clean-water refill with the touch of your foot.ConsCons
The seat is plastic, not ceramic, and there have been some reports that the valve or seals leak.
- Best ValueAqua-Magic V ToiletSummarySummary
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.ProsPros
It's sturdy and easy to install. It also has a solid handle and is easy to flush. It comes with a flange seal, bolting hardware, and bottle of chemicals.ConsCons
The toilet is plastic, and the lid is a little flimsy. The seat ring may be uncomfortable, and it may also be difficult for larger adults to use.
- Honorable MentionAqua-Magic Bravura RV ToiletSummarySummary
This toilet has a single-pedal system and a removable seat and cover for cleaning and service. The front shroud pulls off for easy access to mounting bolts and the pedal mechanism.ProsPros
It's easy to install and use. The flushing is smooth and simple, and the flush mechanism cleans the bowl well. Its base is also strong and sturdy for larger individuals.ConsCons
The toilet is large, completely plastic, and may use more water than other models. Also, your foot may slip on the pedal when flushing, slamming the valve shut.
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Benefits of RV Toilets
- Convenience. If you travel a lot, it's helpful to have your own toilet at your disposal. You don't have to use a communal one at rest stop, Porta Potti, or those stationed at campgrounds. You’ll need to make fewer stopovers if you have one in your RV (especially if you have kids!)
- Privacy and comfort. RV toilets are great if you're the type of person who doesn't like using public restrooms. They're also important if you have health issues and require quick and easy access to a commode.
- Versatility. The best porcelain RV toilet will be similar to the one you have at home. Many are full-sized and have large, comfortable seats. Some are very practical and can be used in campers, boats, trailers, and other types of vehicles
- .Earth friendly. If used properly, RVs can be quite environmentally-friendly. Some toilets have composting features that turn your waste into fertilizer. This allows you to leave a smaller impact on the earth.
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.
RV Toilet Pricing
- Under $100: There are a few RV toilets in this price range, but they may lack features that make waste disposal more convenient.
- $100-$150: You can find a decent RV toilet at this price point. Less expensive ones will be entirely plastic, and pricier ones will have ceramic elements.
- Over $150: You can spend hundreds of dollars on a premium RV toilet. The best toilet is typically made of china or porcelain and is designed in ways to provide ultimate comfort.
An important factor when it comes to finding the best RV toilet system is hygiene. First and foremost, toilets for travel trailers should flush properly. Also, they should have sealed valves, be leak-proof, and not spread bacteria inside your motor home. Since RVs consist of enclosed spaces, infections can easily spread. It's also crucial that the toilet doesn't emit a foul smell.
There are several types of RV toilets, and some are more comfortable than others. For example, you may prefer a high-profile toilet, which is easy to sit on. Also, some RV toilet manufacturers make replacement seats that close slowly or are made of wood. Still, other options include remote flush switches or toilets with backlighting.
Some RVs have a small amount of space, so toilet options may be limited. For example, cassette toilets may be necessary for smaller vehicles. Toilets should also have the ability to rotate 360 degrees so they can be used in several positions. Low-profile toilets are also preferable for narrow spaces.
- 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 long 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 Toilet Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Dometic 310 Series Standard Height Toilet
This gravity flush toilet has a 100-percent vitreous ceramic bowl and 360-degree vortex flush pattern with powerful swirl-jet cleaning action. It's lightweight and features a long, full-sized seat that's 18 inches tall. It includes an easily accessible water line connection, two-bolt installation, and optional hand spray. It also has a two-year warranty.
Installation is straight forward, and the product is designed well. The toilet is taller than most standard toilets, and it flushes with power similar to a house toilet. The foot pedal is great because you don't have to stick your nose close to the dump valve. Also, a toe touch provides a fast clean-water refill. The ceramic bowl is easy to clean, and it has sturdy construction with no wobble.
One downside is the toilet seat is plastic. You may need to be careful when taking off the lid to replace the seat with a different one because part of that thumb sticking up in the back is the cover for the water valve area. There have also been some reports that the valve or seals leak.
Best Value: Aqua-Magic V Toilet
This toilet features a single-handle flush system: simply press it halfway to add water to the bowl and all the way to flush. It has a textured lid that sheds water and resists scuffs. It weighs just 9.4 pounds and can be fitted with a hand sprayer to reduce water consumption. Also, its higher profile provides a taller seat height for comfort.
Installation is easy, and the toilet is very sturdy despite being lightweight. The extra 2 inches in height are good for older people and those seeking more comfort. Also, it's very easy to flush and has a solid handle. It comes with a flange seal, bolting hardware, and bottle of chemicals for the black tank.
One downside is that the toilet is plastic, and the lid is a little flimsy. In addition, there have been some reports that the seat ring is uncomfortable and the toilet bowl does not hold water. It may also be difficult for a large adult to use due to its small size.
Honorable Mention: Aqua-Magic Bravura RV Toilet
This toilet features a single-pedal system: press the pedal halfway to add water to the bowl and press all the way to flush. The seat and cover is easy to remove for cleaning and service, and the front shroud pulls off for easy access to mounting bolts and the pedal mechanism. It comes with a hand sprayer to reduce water consumption.
It's easy to install and easy to use. The foot pedal flush is smooth and simple compared to a system with a double-pedal flush. The flush mechanism pulses the water and cleans the bowl well so it does not get dirty. Its base is also strong and sturdy for larger individuals. It looks nice and has the appearance of a residential unit.
The toilet is large and is completely plastic and may use more water than other models. Also, your foot may slip on the pedal when flushing, slamming the valve shut. The hose nozzle only works while the pedal is depressed.
- 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: 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?
A: 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?
A: Yes. If you don't use the proper toilet paper, you can clog your tank. The best kind of RV toilet paper will disintegrate 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?
A: 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?
A: 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 Toilet.