It’s not the most glamorous of topics, but we guarantee your toilet situation can make your camping trip much more enjoyable… or never want to camp again. RV toilets can be significantly different than the toilets you’re used to in a house.
If you didn’t know, there are four options for RV toilets and we will run down the highlights and best options for each category. Let’s dive in!
RV Toilet Types
1. Traditional Gravity Flush Toilet
This is your typical RV toilet. There is a flush handle that opens the valve and water flushes the waste down into your black tank. When you want to empty your black tank, gravity and your gray water flush the waste into a dump station. This is the most common toilet option and the style that we have in our RV.
2. Macerator Flush Toilet
To be honest, we had never heard of a macerator toilet until we entered the RV space. We saw one in person at a trade show in 2018 and think the technology is pretty cool! If you don’t know what a macerating toilet is, it has motorized grinders that turn your black tank solids into a slurry. This is important because now your wastae can go through smaller pipes into a holding tank.
Macerator toilets act similarly to a garbage disposal. The bonus is you can have a smaller hose pump waste a longer distance and uphill (because of the pump). It can be easier to empty tanks due to some motorized help!
3. Composting Toilet
The main benefit of a composting toilet is that you don’t need water to use it. This cuts down on water usage, heavy water storage, and also black tank space. You can use the additional space for more fresh water for drinking/showers, or just not have to go to a dump station as often.
In a composting toilet, solid waste separates from liquid waste, usually in two tanks. When the two are not in the same tank, it cuts down on odor. Peat or sawdust in the solid waste tank helps to break it down into compost or fertilizer. Liquids must be emptied, but evaporation also helps cut back on the liquid volume. Composting toilets are a great option for extended off-grid or boondocking use. They are also a great idea to be more environmentally friendly.
4. Portable Toilet
A portable toilet means that it can be moved around. This toilet option is more versatile than the others because it doesn’t just have to be used for RVing. You can take a portable toilet camping, roadtripping, boating, etc.
There is still some technology around portable toilets because they typically still flush and carry waste away like a conventional toilet. However, waste is not moved to a black tank in your RV, instead it is carried to a holding tank attached to the toilet. They are typically smaller so you can move them around, but that also means smaller tank capacities.
Best Gravity Flush Toilet
Dometic 310 RV Toilet
There are many reasons this toilet has five stars on Amazon! The ceramic bowl is classy and reminds you of your residential bathroom; no skimping on size or comfort here. It also includes their PowerFlush technology, has a comfortable long bowl shape, a 360-degree vortex flushing pattern for efficiency, and a standard 18” seat height. You won’t miss your residential toilet when you install a Dometic 310 in your RV.
Best Macerating Flush Toilet
Dometic MasterFlush 7640
This macerating toilet has a standard 18 ⅜” seat height and looks just like a regular flush toilet. It reduces bathroom odor because the toilet bowl doesn’t open directly to the black tank. With a ceramic bowl and a swirl jet flush action, it operates as a residential toilet.
This model mounts directly to the existing toilet flange so it doesn’t require modifications. Great for RVs with two toilets or other models that don’t have a toilet directly over the holding tank. The MasterFlush 7640 also features a convenient foot flush pedal.
If you don’t want to install an entire macerator toilet system, you can just buy a macerator pump. This pump connects to your black tank outlet valve and then turns your solids into a more liquefied substance. The pump helps empty your tanks faster and again, you can pump uphill and for longer distances than a gravity system.
- Dimensions: 14-1/2 inches (368 mm) x 15-13/32 inches (388 mm) x 18-29/32 inches (482 mm)
- High-Capacity macerator pump
Best Composting Toilet
Nature’s Head Composting Toilet
This eco-friendly toilet is lightweight, odorless and compact. It has stainless steel hardware, heavy duty construction, and is user friendly. Made in the USA, it disassembles in seconds for emptying, and is only 28 pounds, 19” wide, 20” tall, and 17 ¾” front to rear.
Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is a big player in the RV community. While we personally don’t have one (we have used one though) we know a few friends that do. The reasons they like this one is because there is no maintenance, it’s super easy to install, and it comes with a 5 year warranty.
- No one - and I mean no one - will beat my customer service and individual support
- Easy to install by any reasonably handy person.
Best Portable Toilet
Thetford Porta Potti
What if you just want the simplest toilet option? These porta potti (trademarked name by the way) options come in various size storage containers depending on how many people are using the toilet and how often you can dispose of the stored waste. They all have a modern appearance, ergonomic carrying handle, a lid latch, a rotating pour spout, and a piston pump flush. Sealed valves keep odors in the tank. Thetford has a full line of the familiar square units in various sizes, and an upgraded oval unit, the 565E, that has a battery flush and integrated toilet paper holder for a more residential look and feel.
- VERSATILITY: Award-winning, top-of-the-line portable toilet, suited for RVs, boats, trucks, vans, healthcare, camping...
- DESIGN: Sleek, modern, and homelike look, Porta Potti Curve comes with a comfortable seat height, increased bowl size,...
While toilets aren’t the most exciting of camping topics, as you embark on your RV journeys you will find yourself discussing toilets and black tanks frequently. Choosing your waste disposal situation based on your preferred camping style is key to happy camping adventures. Hopefully, we’ve helped you find what’s best for you!
Last update on 2021-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API