LAST UPDATED: January 28, 2020
Best Composting Toilets for RVs: Get Rid of Waste on the Road
These composting toilets will make a convenient and sanitary addition to your RV
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON January 28, 2020
When you’re on the go in your RV, going number one or number two can be a messy business. It doesn’t have to be that way, however, as these composting toilets can take care of that issue for you in a way that’s convenient, sanitary, and environmentally friendly. They’re also relatively easy to maintain and install, allowing you to spend more time enjoying your trip and less time worrying about your plumbing.
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Benefits of Composting Toilets for RVs
- No plumbing required. The best compost toilet for RVs allows you to do your business without worrying about installing plumbing lines and pumps. They are easy to use and clean and are great for off-grid living.
- Earth-friendly. A portable composting toilet for RVs uses little to no water, and you can recycle human waste and turn it into fertilizer. Composted waste does not need to go through a treatment plant.
- Convenient. When you're camping or RVing, it can be uncomfortable to head into the woods when nature calls. The best composting toilet for RV use is a good alternative.
- Save money. The best composting toilets for RVs don't use as much water as traditional toilets. They are great if you want to reduce your water bill.
Types of Composting Toilets for RVs
A self-contained composting toilet includes all the required parts in a single unit. If you have limited space or need a portable toilet for camping, RVing, boating, tiny homes, etc., this type of system is ideal. Many of these units feature detachable tanks, which allow you to easily dispose of the waste.
This type of composting toilet features a centralized tank that's installed outside or underneath a home. When you flush, the waste is sent to a storage tank. Different centralized systems have different flushing mechanisms and storage chambers. They are very similar to full size traditional toilets but are not portable.
Nature’s Head was founded by two sailors in 2006. They created a product that can be used on RVs, boats, in tiny houses, and more. The company is located in Van Buren, Ohio. One of its top products is the Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting toilet.
SerenLife produces a wide variety of products for those on the move, including outdoor entertainment, appliances, air conditioning, and heating units, and toilets. One of the most popular products is the SereneLife Road Tripping Toilet.
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thetford is one of the top manufacturers of mobile sanitation products for RVing, camping, and trucking. It makes low-water-use toilets, self-contained toilets, waste holding tank deodorants, and more, including the Porta Potti White Thetford Corp.
Composting Toilets for RVs Pricing
- Under $150: There are several user-friendly RV composting toilets available for a relatively low price. They tend to be portable but are likely to have smaller tank capacities, so they're less ideal for larger families. They also have odor-free features.
- Over $150: Some of the best RV composting toilets cost several hundred dollars. They are much more durable than their cheaper counterparts and include features such as stainless steel hardware, elongated seats, vent hoses and fans, and separate chambers for liquid and solid waste.
One of the most important features to consider is the size of the composting toilet. Look at the space in your RV, van, or camper, and measure the dimensions. Compare them with the size of the head toilet. Some are smaller than others and are more portable. Some are also lighter in weight.
Ideally, a head composting toilet will last for several years. Most of them are made of plastic and vitreous china, which are not as durable as some other materials. Look for sturdy designs and high-quality components that can tolerate the composting process for many years. One of the best ways to gauge durability is by reading consumer reviews.
Composting toilet tanks come in a variety of sizes. If you're a solo traveler, you can get by with a smaller storage tank, which is less expensive than products with larger tanks. Families need higher capacity tanks, especially if they don't want to empty the waste every day. Most manufactures include the capacity in their specifications.
Ease of Cleaning
Higher-quality composting toilets are easier to clean because they are constructed of better materials. Some brands lose integrity over time. For example, the storage tank may become difficult to open, which can result in a spill. Some models have better rinsing mechanisms than others, preventing you from scrubbing them after every use. Also, look for models that you can easily clean and don’t require special equipment.
- Separate Waste Areas: These types of toilets separate liquid waste from solid waste. The advantage to this is that they are often easier to clean. In addition, these composting toilets generally produce less odor. Overall, this makes upkeep a lot more pleasant.
- Seat Height: Some composting RV toilets are made to resemble standard toilet seats. They're around the same height, which is much more comfortable than a shorter seat. In addition, some include elongated seats, which are also more comfortable. If you want to recreate the home experience, look for products that are similar to traditional toilets.
- Vents and Fans: One reason why some people avoid composting toilets is the odor. They are designed to seal in odor and leaks, and some feature extra protection in the form of venting and fans. Sometimes you can connect the vent to an existing line in your camper.
Best Composting Toilet for RVs Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This portable toilet is designed for camping, RVs, boats, trucks, and more. It features a sleek and modern design with a comfortable seat height. It comes with a battery-powered flushing mechanism, a carrying handle, integrated toilet paper holder, and a tank level indicator.
The toilet is odorless and leak-proof. There's no smell even after several days and uses. It's easy to use and clean and works great for older folks, as well as for people as short as five-feet tall to more than six-feet tall. The standard toilet height makes it feel like you're at home, and the plastic is high-quality.
However, the electric pump may break over a short period of time. If the batteries or pump motor fail, you have to pour water into the toilet bowl to rinse it. Also, the water feature doesn't have a lot of power and may not clean the entire bowl, so you may have to scrub the bowl every day.
Designed for outdoor and indoor activities, SereneLife’s Road Tripping Toilet is available at a reasonable price. If you often find yourself on the road, this composting toilet is easy to install and extremely large with a 5.3-gallon tank. That excess tank room can take you the extra mile on your trip and allow you to stop less.
While it can be a bit tougher to clean thanks to the lightweight materials used to manufacture it, the toilet is rigged with a splash-free rotating pour spout. Emptying waste can get nasty; the splash spout will ensure you stay clean and smell-free when its time to drain.
Included is a convenient carrying case, so whether you’re a boat enthusiast or an avid hunter, the SereneLife Toilet is ready to go. Between price, quality, and convenience, it's no wonder why the SereneLife's Road Tripping Toilet is considered amongst the best portable toilets on the market right now.
The SUN-MAR GTG Composting Toilet is great for RV use and small spaces due to its size and portability. The toilet separates liquid and solid waste into two different chambers and acts like a cassette toilet, so it's easy to dispose of the waste.
The GTG is simple to connect and disconnect to access the composting material beneath the seat. Liquid waste can be poured out, and you can either remove the solid container or use a bag or liner for composting. The toilet also has a built-in fan to eliminate odor and promote the composting process. Users report that the directions are easy to follow, and overall the toilet is easy to use. It's a heavy-duty and solid toilet that performs well.
However, despite being marketed as ideal for small spaces, it may be too big for certain RVs, so make sure to check the dimensions before making a purchase. Also, there's no handle under the liquid container, and the solid container does not come out very easily.
The Villa 9215 AC/DC composting toilet connects to AC or DC power and is designed for both on-grid or off-grid living. It comes with a single-speed fan, the hardware required for direct vent and drain applications, 10 compostable bags, and one waste container.
The toilet drains liquids into a greywater system or holding tank, while solid waste drops into a solid waste holding area. The vent aids in drying solid waste and removing odor. After about three weeks of average use, you can remove the compostable liner bag and compost, dispose of, or incinerate the waste. Overall, it's a great toilet for a tiny home, RV use, camping, sailing, etc. Users like its comfortable design, it's ease of use, low power draw, and lack of odor.
However, it may be bulkier than the dimensions indicate, so thoroughly check the specs to make sure it will fit in your RV.
This lightweight, five-gallon portable toilet is made of durable, heavy-duty polyethylene, which is easy to clean. It features a full-sized seat and lid and uses a bellows pump for flushing. The freshwater and waste tanks are easy to disconnect and have removable caps for dumping waste and refilling with water.
This toilet comes fully assembled and has a slide valve that closes tightly to contain odors and prevent leaks. It is great for people who like to go camping or hunting and comes with handles on both tanks for easy transport. The large holding tanks allow you to go up to 70 flushes before you need to refill it.
However, the seals aren't the best quality, and you may need to replace them after a short period of use. The handles and the lid are a little flimsy, and the toilet may start to leak around the cap.
- Decide whether you want a model that will be left in your RV full time or one that you can take out at campgrounds, hunting sites, and the like.
- Picking the right size can be tricky. Make sure the one you buy fits in the space you have available, but don’t get one so large it dominates the bathroom.
- Be careful when setting up the ventilation system, as doing it improperly could lead to bugs getting into your RV. When in doubt, have a professional do it.
Q: Do composting toilets stink?
A: They will if they’re not properly maintained, but if you’re diligent with their upkeep, they shouldn’t smell much worse than a regular toilet. Don’t get one if you’re not prepared to do a little maintenance work periodically.
Q: Why should I consider a composting toilet?
A: They work as well as regular toilets, but since they typically don’t use much (or any) water, they have a much smaller environmental impact. In addition to making you feel good about being conscientious, that can also save you money on water costs.
Q: Are they difficult to install?
A: Some can be tricky, but they’re not all challenging. However, some require making alterations to your RV, so if you’re unsure of how to proceed, consider hiring a pro to put it in.
We’re big fans of the Porta Potti White Thetford Corp because it’s clean and easy to use. It also does a good job of neutralizing odors.
For a more budget-friendly alternative, consider the SereneLife Road Tripping Toilet.