Can You Put an Incinerator Toilet in an RV?

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An incinerator toilet in an RV

A typical household can use hundreds of gallons of water just from flushing toilets in a month.

Unfortunately, RVers don’t have this luxury if they want to make their tank space or water supply last. Many individuals who strive for self-sufficiency in their RV rely on incinerator toilets in these situations. 

But can you put an incinerator toilet in an RV? Let’s learn more about them.

What Is an Incinerator Toilet?

An incinerator toilet is a type of toilet that uses heat to dispose of human waste instead of relying on water. It resembles a standard toilet, but waste gets deposited into an incineration chamber. 

This chamber can reach temperatures from 970 to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. This incinerates the waste into ash. The ash makes for a great organic fertilizer. However, we don’t advise using it on any plants you plan to consume. 

You can toss the ash into the trash if you don’t have a green thumb. Check the rules and regulations specific to your area for waste disposal to avoid any potential issues.

Can You Put an Incinerator Toilet in an RV?

If you want to boondock and spend as much time off-grid as possible, you can install an RV incinerator toilet in your RV.  In addition to saving water, you can save space and weight by choosing this type of toilet. 

However, while there are many reasons to choose this type of toilet, it’s not always the best option. While they may not require water, they require power or propane to burn the waste. 

Additionally, these toilets are much more expensive than a typical RV toilet. Do some research before you go ripping the toilet out of the bathroom in your rig.

How Do RV Incinerator Toilets Work?

RV incinerator toilets look and feel similar to a standard RV toilet, but how they handle the waste is very different. The waste goes into the toilet bowl, just like any other toilet.

Incinerator toilets differ because the waste goes into an incineration chamber instead of a holding tank. Waste in this chamber will eventually get heated by a heating element that can easily reach over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The waste turns into ash, and a ventilation system removes any odors from the waste or the burning process. The incineration chamber will require some time to cool down before you can use it again. This cool-down process can take 30 to 60 minutes; plan your bathroom use accordingly. 

Then wait until the chamber has cooled completely to remove the ash. You can dispose of the waste in the trash in most places or use it as an organic fertilizer for flowers and other non-edible plants.

Benefits of Using an Incinerator Toilet in an RV

You might want to consider an incinerator toilet in your RV for several reasons. Let’s look at several of the benefits users enjoy from these toilets.

Easy to Use and Maintain

Because you’ll deal with propane and ventilation lines, installation may not be for everyone.

Hire a qualified professional to make sure the job gets done right. However, once you install your incinerator toilet in your RV, it’s easy to use and maintain.

Like any standard commode, you’ll need to clean the bowl regularly. How often you’ll need to clean the ash container depends on how many people use the toilet and how often.

You’ll also want to add cleaning the exhaust pipe and venting system to your annual maintenance. You want to keep the pipes clear of dust or ash particles that could clog up the system and reduce its efficiency. 

Doesn’t Require Water

One of the biggest benefits of choosing these toilets is that they don’t require water. Managing water is one of the most challenging aspects of enjoying off-grid RVing.

Instead of flushing your limited amount of water down the drain, you can use it for showering, drinking, and other essential tasks.

If you struggle to make your water last more than a couple of days while boondocking, consider an incinerator toilet. You can spend less time stressing about your water usage and more time enjoying your RV in remote areas.

Keep in Mind: Before you use a vault toilet for the first time, make sure you know not to make these 5 common mistakes!

An incinerator toilet in an RV

Take Up Less Room

Unfortunately, most RVs lack living and storage space. You learn to appreciate any inch that you can gain by doing an upgrade or making a modification. 

Incinerator toilets require minimal space and often take up less room than a standard RV toilet. Depending on your setup, this could allow you to adjust the layout of your bathroom to maximize the usable space.

Less Stress for Managing Black Tank

The last thing you want to worry about while set up in an epic camping spot is the level of your black tank. 

Unfortunately, this can become a significant concern for many RVers with standard RV toilets. Depending on your situation, you may even have to pack up camp and haul your RV to the nearest dump station to empty it.

With an incinerator toilet, you no longer have to worry about sewer hoses, portable waste totes, or 50+ gallons of human waste. 

The toilet reduces the waste to nothing more than a small pile of ash that you can easily dispose of safely.

Minimal Odors

If you’ve ever been in a campground when someone dumps their tanks, you know the odors can be intense. In addition, some RVers find that odors from their black tank somehow find their way into their rig. 

Luckily, incinerator toilets have special ventilation systems that nearly eliminate the odors and push any remaining odors outside. Because the ash is odorless, you don’t have to worry about it stinking up the area where you dispose of it.

An incinerator toilet in an RV

Disadvantages of Using an Incinerator Toilet in an RV

While incinerator toilets sound like a magical answer to the prayers of many RVs, they’re far from perfect. Let’s discuss a few disadvantages that may cause them not to work well for everyone.

They Can Be Very Expensive

Incinerator toilets are products that deliver premium results, which means they come with a premium price tag.

While you can get a standard RV toilet for a few hundred bucks, an incinerator toilet can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 to put into your rig.

While they may make your RV life easier, the increased cost can be extremely hard to justify. Consider all your options unless you have a giant stack of cash burning a hole in your pocket.

May Require Professional Installation

In addition to costing more, the average RVer likely can’t install one of these units themselves. Since you want to ensure it gets done right, you’ll likely need to pay a professional to install it. 

Installation costs can vary depending on your setup and the hourly rate for the professional. It’s a good idea to call around and get some estimates before deciding whether an RV incinerator toilet is right for your rig.

A man installing an incinerator toilet in his RV

Must Use Paper Filters with Each Use

Once you get over the cost of the toilet and installation, you also have ongoing costs. You’ll need to place a paper filter, similar to a coffee filter, into the toilet bowl every time you use the toilet. The waste goes into these filters and then into the incineration chamber.

You can typically get a pack of 200 filters for approximately $20. As we said, this isn’t likely a cost that will break the bank, but it is an ongoing cost that you’ll need to consider when making your choice.

It may surprise you how often you and others in your household use the restroom.

Keep in Mind: Do You Need RV Toilet Paper? Let’s see if RV toilet paper is a Hoax or Shrewd Reality!

Is an Incinerator Toilet Right for Your RV?

Incinerator toilets are beneficial, especially for those who enjoy off-grid RVing. However, they’re not the end-all-be-all solution for everyone.

One of the most significant hurdles for many RVers will be the massive upfront costs associated with these units. 

They may be helpful, but you could spend thousands of dollars elsewhere to make off-grid camping more comfortable.

Don’t make a quick decision about whether this toilet is right for you or not. Take your time and consider all of the expenses required for them. If not, you could find yourself experiencing buyer’s remorse for your new fancy toilet.

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