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
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PUBLISHED ON January 28, 2020
When you’re on the go in your RV, going can be a messy business, if you catch our drift. 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.
This portable toilet has a sleek and modern look. It has a battery-powered flushing mechanism, a carrying handle, an integrated toilet paper holder, and a tank level indicator.
- It's high-quality, odorless, leak-proof, easy to use, and easy to clean
- The standard seat height makes it very comfortable for people of all sizes and ages
- The electric pump may break prematurely
- The water feature isn't very powerful, and you may have to scrub the bowl daily to keep it clean
When nature calls, you shouldn’t be worrying about a toilet. This 5.3-gallon portable tank is easy to empty and ready to take on the wilderness.
- Extremely easy to clean and a far lower price than most composting toilets
- Large tank for less emptying, and portable to keep you on the move in your RV
- Made with lesser-quality products, so it may not last a long time or be durable
- Additionally, can be very tough to clean
This lightweight five-gallon model can be used outdoors as easily as in an RV. The heavy-duty polyethylene is durable and easy to clean when necessary.
- It’s an excellent choice for users who like to go camping or hunting, and the large holding tanks allow you to go up to 70 flushes before you need to refill it
- The seals aren’t terribly long lasting, so expect to replace them before too long
- Be careful with the handle as well, as it’s on the flimsy side
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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. Hence, this is an ideal solution for those who rent out their RVs.
- 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 2021
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, an 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 5-feet tall to more than 6-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 either 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 daily.
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 it’s time to drain. Included with a convenient carrying case, whether you’re a boat enthusiast or an avid hunter, the SereneLife Toilet is ready to go.
The Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet Pedal Flush is plastic with a 17 1/2-inch seat height and is suitable for all types of RVs. It's lightweight (9.8 pounds), easy to install, and easy to use. It features a textured lid that sheds water and is scuff-resistant. The pedal operates in two ways: it adds water to the bowl when depressed halfway and flushes the toilet when depressed all the way. Users report that it's sturdy and solid even though it's made of plastic. Also, the higher profile and taller seat height make it more comfortable to use. Overall, it works great and looks good. However, the toilet may spurt a few drops of water onto the floor if you don't close the lid. There have also been some complaints that the bowl is a little shallow, which can cause some backsplash.
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 gray water 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, its 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, 5-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 excellent 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 it 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.