This RV Toilet Turns Your Waste Into Biodegradable Ash

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A waterless toilet inside an RV

Many adventurers dream of heading out for off-grid adventures in remote locations.

Unfortunately, answering nature’s call while enjoying the great outdoors is unavoidable. Thankfully, the TinyJohn from EcoJohn makes it much more manageable.

If you’re tired of black tank issues or want more freedom while camping, this product is worth considering. But how does it work?

Today, we’re examining the TinyJohn toilet to see if it lives up to the hype. Let’s get started!

What Is the TinyJohn Toilet?

TinyJohn is a waterless incinerating toilet designed for off-grid use by explorers. They feature a compact design, which makes them perfect for tiny living in a van, RV, or cabin. Because they don’t rely on water, you can save weight and make your waste tanks last longer. 

Regarding construction, TinyJohn Toilets use stainless steel components. You can find them in gas or electric options; both work great for the environment and are safe to use.

To use TinyJohn, insert a toilet bowl liner and do your business as usual. When finished, the waste dumps into the furnace compartment at the press of a button. 

From there, it uses propane or electricity to burn the waste and toilet paper into a sterile ash. You can then dispose of it with your trash or in nature and not worry about contamination. The incinerator cycle takes 3 to 4 hours. In that time, you can’t flush anything more down. 

Who Makes TinyJohn Toilets?

EcoJohn produces the TinyJohn from their North Little Rock, Arkansas, facilities. They manufacture their products in the United States of America. They’ve been making septic alternatives since the early 1990s, but the company was founded in 2001 by Stefan Johansson. 

While we’re highlighting their use with off-grid living, they also make products for disaster relief and commercial applications. Their products can help reduce water usage and make it easy to dispose of waste safely. 

Types of TinyJohn Toilets

You can choose from a few models if you’re considering a TinyJohn toilet. Let’s examine the differences and see which might suit you and your situation.


The TinyJohn doesn’t look like an ordinary toilet, and that’s because it’s anything but ordinary. It stands 22 inches tall and weighs 65 pounds, similar to a standard residential toilet. However, where it separates itself is the stainless steel construction and 8,500 BTU incinerating function.

This is the smallest model in the TinyJohn lineup. It takes up the least amount of space, but it also stores the least amount. The manual states that the storage canister can hold six urine flushes or four solid flushes. 

This model is an option for solo or couples traveling. The company claims it can handle the bathroom needs of five people. However, families should choose a larger option to avoid constantly emptying the ash container. Luckily, EcoJohn offers larger options.

TinyJohn XL

The TinyJohn XL is the bigger brother of the TinyJohn. It stands 25 inches tall and 20 pounds heavier (85 pounds). This allows it to store more, so you can empty it less often. While the TinyJohn can offer 40 flushes daily, the TinyJohnXL can handle up to 60.

Aside from being larger, the TinyJohn XL shares many of the same features and functions as the TinyJohn. Since it can handle more waste, it is ideal for families or those anticipating frequent bathroom use.

The manufacturer states the TinyJohn XL is suitable for six to 12 people.


If you don’t know, just because you have land doesn’t mean you can always install a septic tank. This could be for many reasons, but EcoJohn’s SepticJohn is a possible solution. This compact wastewater residential system does the job when a septic system can’t.

When installed, the SepticJohn connects to waste tanks, which store black and gray wastewater. The waste gets pumped into the SepticJohn, which then incinerates it.

The only thing that remains is ash. It works with low-flush toilets and fixtures to process up to 300 gallons daily.


The WorkJohn is a self-contained mobile restroom. It’s an excellent option for work or event sites. EcoJohn offers the WorkJohn in TinyJohn and TinyJohn XL models. You get the same great features but built for maximum mobility and convenience.

These structures have vents, porch lights, hand sanitizer, and a fuel tank. You can add optional solar panels, air conditioning, and even a trailer to make it easier to haul from site to site. This is a substantial upgrade from the standard port-a-potty you frequently see at events or construction sites.

Keep in Mind: Sometimes, nature will call when you don’t want it to. If you’re out in nature without a toilet, here’s How to Legally Poop in the Woods!

Benefits of a TinyJohn Toilet

If you’re unsure whether a TinyJohn Toilet is right for you, here are some benefits. These may make your decision easier.

Water Conservation

Many people love boondocking and camping in remote locations, us included.

Unfortunately, this requires you to conserve water. In these situations, flushing toilets can waste an incredible amount of water. Before you know it, your freshwater supply could be sitting empty, and you’ll have to deal with refilling it and dumping the black tanks.

Remember, the TinyJohn is waterless. This means you can make your freshwater tank last longer. Thus, you can increase your time enjoying the great outdoors before finding a refill and dump station.

Off-Grid Capabilities

Incinerator toilets like the TinyJohn are among the best options for off-grid capabilities. These systems can operate seamlessly if you keep power and fuel to them. 

Whether preparing for the apocalypse or wanting to escape for the weekend, the TinyJohn can make it possible. You don’t need a sophisticated plumbing system when you choose an EcoJohn product.

An RV parked by the beach boondocking

Reduced Environmental Impact

When finished, the final product is a sterile pile of ash. This means you no longer have to worry about contamination issues.

Septic tanks can fail and develop leaks, which can find their way into nearby bodies of water and pollute the ground. With TinyJohn, you can safely dispose of your waste with any other typical trash.

For RVers and other travelers, this means saying goodbye to the stress of dumping black tanks. If you’ve ever had a “poopsie,” you know how anxiety-inducing this experience can be. It only takes experiencing these disasters once before you’ll look for alternative options.

Low Maintenance

Once installed, the TinyJohn requires minimal maintenance. Cleaning the ashes and changing the propane tanks is the only necessary maintenance. If you do not use liners in the bowl, you’ll need to wipe out the bowl occasionally. The bowl easily pops out to make it easy to clean.

Once a year, you should review the connections and parts to ensure everything operates as it should. When in doubt, contact your local dealer or EcoJohn’s customer support. They’ll likely be able to answer any questions or issues you might have.

Reduced Odors

Because TinyJohn incinerates the waste, it has practically no odors. During the burning process, all scents go out of a vent. 

If you’re worried about smells, you can purchase an optional catalytic converter. This piece of equipment further cleans the air and reduces odors. This also helps keep the exhaust fan clean to minimize maintenance.

Read More: Learn more about how Waterless Toilets Work!

A waterless toilet

Is a TinyJohn for You?

While there are reasons to consider the TinyJohn, we believe in honesty. The TinyJohn costs over $3,000, with the TinyJohn XL coming in at roughly $5,000. 

In addition, some negative reviews online call into question EcoJohn’s customer service. We’ve heard of customers experiencing major issues with the toilet and a lack of quality control. 

They had issues with the amount of waste the bowl could contain and the ease of use. And it can be difficult to troubleshoot if something breaks. 

One customer complained that it took months to receive their order despite paying for expedited shipping. Unfortunately, they claim never to have received a refund for their shipping fees.

So while TinyJohn may have some great features, we can’t fully put our stamp of approval. When you spend your hard-earned money, you want to know that the company will be there for you if things don’t go as planned.

Unfortunately, we can’t confidently say that EcoJohn won’t let you down if you choose a TinyJohn. 

But this eco-friendly waste disposal system does have some pros. What do you think about an incinerator toilet? Would you get one?

1 comment
  1. Ok but how much power does it take to use it? When off grid I depend on solar panels and a generator for power and this sounds like a power hog as well as a propane hog. Can you answer that?

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