Best RV and Camping Toilets in 2019
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
Boy, on a trip, isn't a camping toilet the best sight when you really, REALLY have to go? And strangely enough, when you see one, or know you are close to one, does your intensity of having to ‘go’ massively increase? Then once you get there it seriously becomes a case of you BARELY MADE IT??!!!! What’s that about?
Most RVs, campers, and even some van dwellers, are likely to have some sort of RV toilet, be it portable, fixed or an RV composting toilet.
Which type of RV toilet you choose is a personal decision that no-one but you can make.
RV Toilet Reviews
We have found the best toilets of all types for your consideration. Below we have Best RV Toilet (traditional gravity flush), Best RV Toilet on a Budget (traditional gravity flush), Best Composting Toilet system, Best Portable Camping Toilet (has an electric flush), and Best Portable Camping Toilet Runner-Up (manual pump flush).
Gravity Flush RV Toilet Reviews
First up, the traditional gravity flush toilet that most RVers use. This style of RV camping toilet generally sits directly above the black tank and uses water from the RV's fresh water tank to flush the 'goods' down into the holding tank.
- They have an awesome selection of RV toilets with plastic bowls, but we don't consider these to be high-quality toilets. They are made of cheap plastic. We only review RV toilets with porcelain bowls.
- To replace the flush ball seal in a Thetford toilet, you have to disassemble it. Our top RV toilet picks are able to have the seal replaced from the top (accessed via the toilet bowl) without disassembly. We consider this a major feature as all flush ball seals will eventually need replacement.
Plus, as you will see in the below gravity flush RV toilet reviews, Dometic makes a great RV toilet with some features you won't find in Thetford toilets.
Gravity Flush RV Toilets Compared
The Dometic 320 RV toilet is a pretty darn nice porcelain RV toilet. What sets it apart from the other RV toilet offerings is its elongated, porcelain bowl (instead of the usual plastic, more round toilet bowl) and residential-style enameled wood toilet seat. Yes, these things matter. Do we really need to tell you why?
Continue Reading Dometic 320 RV Toilet Review
As the top of the line Dometic toilet offering, the 320 camping toilet comes in either white or bone color, with or without a hand sprayer, and in either full height or low profile (for mounting on a platform, such as over a wheel well).
With a fully enclosed rim that delivers water all the way around (full circumference flush), this Dometic toilet ensures all the 'good little bits' get flushed down into the black tank while utilizing only one pint of water per flush.
Another important distinction that sets Dometic toilets apart from the competition is how easy it is to replace the flush ball seal. The seal is what keeps the water in the toilet bowl between flushes, which keeps the black tank smells out of your rig.
With Dometic toilets, including the 320, replacing the flush ball seal is very easy. You can do this from inside the toilet bowl itself, with no disassembly of the camping toilet required.
With a Thetford toilet, you must take the toilet apart (separate the bowl from the stand) to replace the seal. This opens you up to experience all sorts of 'wonderful' sights and smells and is just a pain.
If you are looking for a residential-style porcelain RV toilet, this Dometic toilet is your best option. Plenty of room, real wooden seat, ease of seal repair, and full circumference water delivery during flush add up to happy times in the bathroom! OK, maybe that didn't come out right.
Dometic 320 RV Toilet Overview
Dometic 320 Toilet Features and Specs:
- Elongated and deep porcelain RV toilet bowl to give more, um, clearance.
- Wooden, residential style toilet seat.
- Foot pedal for flushing. Push partway down to add water to the bowl. Push all of the way down to open the flush ball and let the 'goods' fall into the black tank.
- Full rim flushing ensures no 'good' bits are left in the bowl.
- Rim design prevents spilling.
- Option to purchase with hand sprayer.
- Low water usage: One pint per flush
- Colors: White or bone
- Weight: 37 pounds
- Dimensions: 19.75" Tall x 14.75" Wide x 22" Deep
- Available in full size and low profile height.
- Warranty: 2 years on a complete toilet. 10 years on porcelain RV toilet bowl.
The Dometic 310 RV toilet is a giant leap forward from the typical plastic toilet that most RVs come with. If you are looking for a superior RV toilet that offers an easy-to-clean porcelain bowl, full circumference water delivery during flushing, and great build quality, this Dometic RV toilet is for you.
Continue Reading Dometic 310 RV Toilet Review
Replacing a cheap, plastic RV toilet is simple with the Dometic 310's easy, 2 bolt installation. You can get a superior camper toilet for much less than you would think, giving you residential features at a low price.
As a very affordable porcelain bowl RV toilet offering, this Dometic RV toilet comes in either white or bone color, with or without a hand sprayer, and in either full height or low profile (for mounting on a platform, such as over a wheel well).
Unlike other lesser RV toilets, this Dometic RV toilet delivers water all the way around the rim (360-degree vortex flush) during flushing. This ensures all the 'good little bits' get flushed down into the black tank while utilizing only one pint of water per flush.
Another important distinction that sets this Dometic RV toilet apart from the competition is how easy it is to replace the flush ball seal. The seal is what keeps the water in the toilet bowl between flushes, which keeps the black tank smells out of your rig.
With Dometic toilets, including the 310, replacing the flush ball seal is very easy. You can do this from inside the toilet bowl itself, with no disassembly of the toilet required.
With a Thetford toilet, you must take the toilet apart (separate the bowl from the stand) to replace the seal. Which opens you up to experiencing all sorts of 'wonderful' sights and smells and is just a pain.
If you are looking to replace an existing RV toilet with one that gives you residential features at a great price, the Dometic 310 is a great option.
If you are willing to spend a little more money to get even more residential-style features including a more elongated toilet bowl and wooden toilet seat, our top RV toilet pick, the Dometic 320, is worth looking at.
Dometic 310 RV Toilet Overview
Dometic 310 RV Toilet Installation
Dometic 310 Toilet Features and Specs:
- Porcelain toilet bowl for long life and easy cleaning.
- Foot pedal for flushing. Push partway down to add water to the bowl. Push all the way down to open the flush ball and let the 'goods' fall into the black tank.
- Full rim flushing with PowerFlush technology ensures no 'good' bits are left in the toilet bowl.
- Option to purchase with a hand sprayer.
- Colors: White or bone
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Dimensions: 20" Tall x 15" Wide x 19" Deep
- Available in full size and low profile height.
- Warranty: 2 years on complete toilet. 10 years on porcelain toilet bowl.
Portable Camping Toilet Reviews
Portable camping toilets give tent campers, van dwellers, and other outdoor lovers who don't have a fixed toilet in an RV they are dragging along the ability to do their 'duty' in a civilized manner. The alternative is to grab a shovel, dig a hole, and pop a squat. Yeah, makes a camping porta potty sound like a luxury item if we put it that way.
Portable Camping Toilets Compared
The Thetford toilet Porta Potti Curve (model 550E) is a great portable camping toilet that, unlike most portable toilets, uses an electric water pump that eliminates the need to manually pump to flush. Its modern design brings a little flair to an otherwise mundane task.
Continue Reading Thetford Porta Potti Curve Review
The Thetford Curve is a great camping porta potty, with push button flush and a large 5.5 gallon waste holding tank. It has a modern design that sets itself apart from the typical square portable commode.
This portable flush toilet would be great as an RV porta potty, for use in a van or other large vehicle, or to take along with you during your car camping/tent adventures. It would also be ideal as a portable flushing toilet for use in an outbuilding, garage, or if your main house toilet is undergoing repairs.
If you prefer to not run the risk of having the electric water pump fail (according to consumer reviews, the pump can fail, though it is a rare occurrence), consider the Thetford Porta Potti 550P that has the same fresh and waste water capacity, but uses a piston hand pump for flushing - no possibility of electrical failure.
Thetford Curve Porta Potti Features
Thetford Camping Porta Potty Curve Features and Specs:
- Oval toilet bowl gives residential toilet comfort and space.
- Seat height is similar to residential toilets.
- Electric water pump eliminates the need to manually use a bellows or piston pump to flush toilet. Just press a button and let the electric pump do all the work.
- Bottom waste holding tank easily separates from top half of this portable flushing toilet, allowing easy disposal of waste.
- Exclusive rotating pour spout for easy waste dumping.
- Freshwater and holding tank level indicators.
- Requires 6-AA batteries (included).
- Water Capacity: Fresh - 4.2 gallons. Waste - 5.5 gallons.
- Average flushes per fresh water tank: 56
- Warranty: 1 year
- Dimensions: 17 5/8" Tall x 15 1/4" Wide x 17 3/4" Deep
Thetford Curve Porta Potti Review
If you want the simplicity of a manual flush pump (no electrical parts to fail) then the Thetford Toilet Porta Potti 550P is the portable commode for you. With its large holding tank capacity and ease of dumping, the 550P is a great, high quality, portable camp toilet.
Continue Reading Thetford Porta Potti 550P Review
While you certainly can get cheaper portable flushable toilets, the Thetford Porta Potti is considered the best when it comes to this style of camping toilet. Thetford toilets invented the Porta Potti and continue to be an industry leader.
The Thetford 550P's oval seat and toilet bowl design give more room than competitor's round bowl. Yes, room is important, if you know what we mean! Also, the 550P's seat height is similar to residential toilets, which makes it easier to sit down, and stand up, when using this portable camping potty.
The Thetford Porta Potti 550P has a sealed valve to keep odors in the waste tank and allows for the removable holding tank to be held vertically via the integrated, ergonomic carrying handle for transport to where you empty the tank. The rotating pour spout and air relief valve make it easy to dump out the contents and avoid splashing.
If you would rather not have to manually pump to flush this portable camp toilet, the Thetford Curve offers the same tank capacity and the same waste containment features but has an electric flush water pump.
Thetford Porta Potti 550P
Thetford Camping Porta Potty 550P Features and Specs:
- Seat height is similar to residential toilets.
- Piston pump for flushing offers better performance than competitors bellows pump.
- Bottom waste holding tank easily separates from the top half of this portable flushing toilet, allowing easy disposal of waste.
- Exclusive rotating pour spout for easy waste dumping.
- Removable seat and cover for ease of cleaning.
- Locking cover.
- Holding tank level indicator.
- Water Capacity: Fresh - 4.2 gallons. Waste - 5.5 gallons.
- Average flushes per fresh water tank: 56
- Warranty: 1 year
- Dimensions: 16.5" Tall x 15" Wide x 16.5" Deep
If the idea of never having to deal with RV black tanks ever again floats your boat, then Nature's Head composting toilet system should peak your interest. However, don't be fooled that you will never have to deal with human waste again - you will but in a much different (and arguably better) form.
If you are looking for a way to minimize fresh water consumption and extend your dry camping time, then read on.
Continue Reading Nature's Head Composting Toilet Review
Nature's Head is a self-contained composting toilet system that is odorless (if used correctly), doesn't use your precious fresh water supply, and has a separate urine contain (it is a urine diverting design).
There are two compost agitator handle styles - the standard handle and the spider handle. The spider handle is used when clearance is an issue as it shaves 3 inches off the total width of the toilet. Handles can be installed on either the left or right side of this compostable toilet.
With the Nature's Head composting toilet system, the solids go into the composting section that is filled with either sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir (see below), and the liquids go into a 2.2-gallon liquid holding tank (that you dump separately). The composting section will hold approximately 60-80 uses which would be about a full summer of part-time usage by 2-3 people or 3-4 weeks of full-time use.
As far as self-contained RV composting toilet systems go, Nature's Head is fairly compact, lightweight and has tens of thousands of successful installations in RVs, boats, cabins and tiny houses.
Nature's Head RV composting toilet system comes fully assembled and has all necessary mounting hardware. You will need to run the vent line to the outside and hook up 12-volt power to the circulating fan.
If you are replacing an existing convention RV toilet, your floor will have a hole in it when you take your existing toilet out. You only have to cap the hole and then mount your new compostable toilet on top of it. You will want to cap the hole to prevent odors from seeping out around your new toilet.
You will need to run the vent hose from the side of your Nature's Head RV composting toilet system to the outside. A 5-foot section of 1.5-inch vent hose is included, but the outside vent port is not. Depending on your RV, you may need more hose length which you can purchase separately, and you can get a PVC pipe to extend the length.
The circulating fan requires a 12-volt power source. The fan runs continuously so plan accordingly.
Removing a Traditional RV Toilet
Nature's Head Composting Toilet Installation
An RV composting toilet needs a medium for the solid bits to mix with.
DO NOT use Miracle-Gro peat moss. They enrich it with plant food and therefore it will not 'compost' human waste. Instead, use either sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir.
Sphagnum Peat Moss: This is probably the most commonly used type of composting medium. It is readily available at most gardening or home improvement stores. You can buy it by the cubic foot (pre- baled) for around $8-$10. One bag should work for you for about a year or more. How's that for savings??? Just make sure you buy only organic peat moss and that there are no additives in it. Keep in mind that peat moss is not very sustainable. Your better environmental bet is coconut coir.
Coconut Coir: This stuff is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly than peat moss. It is also known as coir brick. The drawback is that it is more expensive and harder to find than peat moss (though, it is readily available on Amazon). Still, you can usually find some at hydroponic gardening shops or online. Just keep a supply with you and you will be ok.
There is no better or worse composting toilet system medium as far as smell goes. Neither will produce a smell if used properly.
To Prepare your Composting Toilet For RV Use:
Place 2 gallons of pre-moistened sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir into the base. Make sure it is level with the agitator when the agitator is in a horizontal position. IMPORTANT: The sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir should never be wet or soupy, only moist.
Nature's Head Composting Toilet Review
Nature's Head Composting Toilet Update
Nature's Head Composting Toilet Features and Specs:
- 2.2-gallon translucent liquid holding tank for easy visual inspection of tank level.
- Spare liquid holding tank available.
- Two handles available: Standard handle and spider handle for close quarters (when there isn't enough room on the side for the standard handle).
- The handle can be mounted on either side of the toilet.
- All stainless steel hardware.
- RV composting toilet comes fully assembled. You just need to mount, run vent line, and hook up 12-volt power to the fan.
- Made in the USA
- Warranty: 5 years
- Weight: 28 pounds.
- Dimensions: 21" Tall x 19" Deep x 21" Wide (standard handle) or 17 3/4" Wide (spider handle)
RV Cassette Toilets
RV Toilet Guide
We can give you a little guidance as to the pros and cons of each type of RV toilet to help you make the best decision.
There are four types of RV toilets that you can choose from, depending on your circumstances and rig:
1. Traditional gravity flush toilet
2. Composting toilet
3. Portable camping toilet
4. Cassette toilet
If you are a REAL, rugged nomad, you can always get a bucket style toilet. This is the most inexpensive and disposable type of portable toilet for camping. We're not really going to count that type as it's so infrequently used. It's just not practical for most. And many people turn their nose up at how 'unglamorous' it is!
But if you insist, you can certainly purchase a bucket style toilet. Um, enjoy?
Let's dive into the four most common types of RV toilets.
Traditional Gravity Flush RV Toilets
The traditional flush RV toilet is much like a household toilet but it doesn’t have a water holding tank in the back. These toilets must either be used with an RV that is connected to an outside water source like a water hose (hence giving your unit water pressure) or used with the water pump on and pumping water from your RV holding tank.
Non-RVers can be confused when they first see an RV traditional toilet. Where's the handle to flush the tank? Usually, there's a foot pedal you use to flush. Also, you usually either pull the lever up or hold it halfway down to fill the tank with water if you prefer.
An RV toilet uses MUCH less water than a regular household toilet. Well, this really depends on how long you choose to flush it. Usually, all it takes is a second or two of allowing water to flow to get your contributions down the hatch. If you are conserving water, you won’t want or need to flush any longer than that.
How To Use A Traditional RV Toilet
A gravity flush RV toilet is usually made from hard plastic. You can find a toilet with a porcelain bowl, but all of the other parts will be plastic. Our top picks for traditional RV toilets both have a porcelain bowl.
There are different heights to choose from so if you are having a hard time getting up and down from the throne, you can usually find a higher setup. Or, you can build a higher base. Some of these toilets are narrower than others. You can find a standard sized (elongated) bowl, but make sure it fits in the area the toilet will be going into.
Traditional Gravity Flush Pros
- Most commonly found toilet in an RV. Easy to replace.
- Doesn't use much water
- It's the only type that doesn't have you 'seeing' your waste. (Unless you have a spill!)
Traditional Gravity Flush Cons
- Uses your water supply. Not so great if you boondock.
- Have to dump/deal with the dreaded black tank
- Odors are sometimes an issue
- Black or toilet tank can clog
RV Composting Toilets
"What is a composting toilet?" you may ask? It's a self-contained toilet that doesn't use any water. It also separates the solids and the liquids. They are great for boats and RVs where a water supply and/or a dump are not around every corner. Many folks who use one never go back and 'going' in a bowl of water seems like a very strange and wasteful thing.
Contrary to popular belief, and the biggest question posed over this type of toilet is, “Does it smell?”
Myths About Composting Toilets: No, They Don't Smell When Used Properly, and Other Myths Debunked!
No! They really don’t when they are used properly. You may smell a little soil-type smell, but you aren’t going to have a sewer smell. Why? Because with a composting toilet, the solids and the liquids are not mixed. The mixing of the two is the cause of 'sewer smell'. Also, they use a little vent fan that pulls odors outside through your vent.
In a composting toilet, no sewage is made because there are two separate holes for the different contributions.
How Composting Toilets Work: Composting Toilets 101
The solids area should be filled (per instructions of the toilet maker) with something like sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir. There is an agitator inside of this compartment that you turn after each deposit. This helps it dry quickly and also covers it.
Nothing to look at and nothing to smell! The liquids container separates from the unit and can be flushed down a toilet or septic tank/dump.
How long until you have to dump these compartments? Of course, that answer varies greatly depending on how many people are using it and how often they are using it. If you live in an RV with a family of 4 full-time, it may not be ideal.
For ONE person, living in an RV full-time, the liquids might have to be changed every other day. The solids compartment can go for at least a month, possibly longer depending on if you choose to go in other places from time to time.
Obviously, for a single boondocking man, if they go #1 outside, they are going to have to dump the liquids much less frequently.
Thoughts on an RV Composting Toilet
DISCLAIMER: I may have a slight bias in this review, as we only went on a single week-long trip with our RV before installing the composting toilet.
We made the decision to install a composting toilet before beginning our full-time travels after extensive research on methods of extended boondocking. Much like a full solar setup, a composting toilet is an upgrade/conversion that may not even be necessary depending on your particular travel lifestyle.
We knew from the beginning that we would be boondocking as often as possible, for as long as possible, so avoiding a full black tank would be very valuable for us. Keep this in mind when considering a composting toilet for your own RV.
After doing some research, we selected the Nature's Head brand of composting toilet, so this review will cover that specific product.
The most prominent benefit of a composting toilet is the length of time between needing to empty or 'reset' the composting tank of the toilet. We are able to go a maximum of up to four weeks of regular use without needing to reset. Though on average, I typically reset ours around every three weeks.
The reset process is fairly easy and involves emptying the compost tank into a trash bag which then can be disposed of in a trash can or dumpster, followed by refilling the composting tank with a compost medium.
We have settled on coconut fiber coir as our compost medium of choice, as it can be purchased on Amazon in block form (great for limited RV storage) for typically around $15. We are usually able to reset our compost six to eight times per block of coconut coir.
In all, the compost reset process typically takes around fifteen minutes.
In addition to resetting the compost tank, emptying the urine tank is another part of the composting toilet's regular maintenance. This is quite simple: when the urine tank fills, it must be emptied. For us, this is typically every two days.
Emptying the urine tank can mean pouring it outside, depending on where you are, pouring it into another toilet (such as a campground or rest area toilet), or pouring it into your gray tank.
We have a second urine tank for our composting toilet, which can come in handy for situations where you may not be able to empty your tank immediately.
If you accidentally do not empty soon enough, the urine tank will begin to overflow, which means it back flows into the composting tank. This is bad news bears!
Normally, the composting tank has relatively no scent at all, or a sort of 'earthy-plant-scent'. If the urine tank is allowed to back flow into the compost tank, the mixture of urine and solids will quickly create the sewage smell that you want to avoid. When this happens, you will want to reset the compost tank as quickly as possible.
When we began using our composting toilet, we found that there was a slight learning curve to its use. It took a few resets and a couple of months of use to really get the hang of it. We eventually learned things like to understanding the right level of dampness when refiling the compost medium, and becoming accustomed to the schedule of emptying the urine tank to avoid overflow issues.
For all the benefits of a composting toilet, there are definitely some downsides as well.
For one, I personally feel that the Nature's Head brand is quite overpriced. For the hefty price tag that the brand carries (just shy of $1000), it does not feel like you are getting what you paid for. The product is extremely simple overall, made of 90% plastic, and its construction is so-so.
After a month of use, we actually came to find that the first unit that we purchased was defective due to poor construction. Nature's Head did send us a replacement at no cost to us, but regardless, it was a very negative experience and gave us a 'cheap' early impression of the brand.
I would also like to say that the Nature's Head product has some design flaws. The fact that the urine tank is able to back flow into the compost tank is the main flaw.
Next, the level detection on the urine tank is accomplished by the tank being semi-translucent plastic. At times it can be challenging to accurately determine how full the tank is, especially under low light. If you are not cautious, this can quickly lead to overflow situations.
Additionally, the manufacturer chose not to include any sort of gasket where the crank mechanism (used for regularly turning the compost medium) enters the compost tank. I was told by a representative that gaskets in these locations 'were not necessary because the compost medium is never meant to be wet'.
If you do end up in a situation where your urine tank overflows and the composting tank itself is quite full, it is possible that you will have sewage leak from these gasket-less areas on the composting tank (yes, this has happened to us before).
If you are properly using your composting toilet, this type of situation will never occur, yet I personally feel that it possibly points to poor design.
Once we found a rhythm, maintenance of our composting toilet became a simple and easy part of our travel lifestyle. We feel that our composting toilet is an invaluable part of our boondocking outfit and we are pleased that we made the decision to covert to it.
- Longer boondocking stays
- Less fresh water usage
- No black tank mess
- No need to spend time flushing the black tank
- No smell
- Never clogs
- No need for special 'RV' toilet paper
- Full composting toilet is typically lighter than a full black tank
- Good customer service (Nature's Head)
- Emptying and resetting the compost
- Frequent emptying of urine tank
- More complicated than traditional black tank toilet
- Somewhat involved installation
- Poorly designed (Nature's Head)
- Somewhat low quality (Nature's Head)
The problem with some people is over usage or not renewing the medium for the solids often enough. The more that goes into the solids tank at a time, the wetter it gets, and if your stuff doesn't get a chance to dry because there is too much in there, it will start smelling and it sure will stop composting. You will get a sludge if you aren’t changing out the tank often enough. We’re not saying it’s impossible for a family of 3+ to use one, it will simply need more frequent maintenance.
What happened with the couple below is that he is an athlete and he eats a LOT every day. At times it was too much for their composting toilet to handle. Watch this video for a more thorough explanation of their experience.
Here's a Not-So-Glowing RV Composting Toilet Review
Still, with an RV composting toilet, you don’t have to drive your rig to a dump station to empty your black tank if you are boondocking. You no longer have to deal with a black tank - period. No more accidents at the dump station or clogged black tank messes. You are also using less water. Therefore, RV composting toilets make the most sense for conservationists and for those who boondock a lot.
What do you do with the solid waste? People either keep them in the bag and throw them in the trash (this is what people do with diapers) or they can dig a hole and bury it and it will eventually compost.
Read our RV composting toilet review to learn what is our top pick.
- Keeping the urine hole/tube clean eliminates most urine smell. Kelly R (not to be confused with Camp Addict Kelly) keeps a bottle of fresh water handy and pours a dab of it down the urine hole after each urine 'session'.
- She also keeps a bottle of Nature's Miracle (a liquid enzyme designed to clean up pet urine accidents) handy and pours a bit of that down the urine holes each day to help keep it clean and neutralize any urine smells.
RV Composting Toilet Pros
- Doesn't consume any water
- No water means less waste water to have to dispose of
- Very little power consumption. (Just the circulating vent fan.)
- No need to move your rig to dump your black tank
- No black tank disasters or clogging
- You can put your kitchen waste into your composting toilet. However, this will fill it faster.
RV Composting Toilet Cons
- Changing out solids may be more frequent with big eaters or large family
- You may be embarrassed to carry urine container to bathroom. (Get over it) ????
- It can attract bugs if you get a hole in the protective vent screen
- Won't work as quickly/efficiently in very cold climates
- Can be unpleasant to clean out if you don't manage it properly
Portable Camping Toilets
These mini commodes are fully portable and require the least amount of work for installation. They require more work as far as dumping goes, (more frequent dumping than the other two) and it’s a pretty unappealing type of dump.
Since there is no separation of the solids and liquids in a portable camping toilet, the result is raw sewage. You can remove the portable toilet top to take just the waste tank to an appropriate dumping place (either an RV dump or a toilet). The issue is that you are going to see and smell the sewage worse than you would at a sewer dump using a hose from a black tank (traditional) or than you would with a composting toilet.
Why These Types Of Dumps Can Be Gross: Watch At Your Own Risk! (Vomiting)
This is the price you pay for the ease of installation and easily transported nature when you are using a portable toilet for camping.
Some portable commodes also sit lower than the other types do, so if you have a hard time squatting, you may need to either reconsider your choice or place it on an elevated platform. Though our top picks for portable toilets both sit at close to residential toilet height.
Portable Camping Toilet Pros
- You can take it with you if necessary
- No real installation required, just to bolt down if you so desire
- Better than nothing
- Uses very little water
- Doesn't need a dump station to empty
Portable Camping Toilet Cons
- You have to re-see and smell the contents when you dump
- Can have a small capacity holding tank
- More frequent dumping
This type of toilet is similar to the portable camping toilet but the big difference is that this type is fixed in place. The waste storage tank is usually accessible from an access door on the outside of the RV.
How To Dump Your RV Cassette Toilet Tank
This type of tank, determined by what type of toilet came with your rig, is also like the portable type in that you are going to have to get up close and personal with the sewage when you dump it either into a toilet or an RV dump.
How NOT To Empty A Portable Toilet. And What's With The Mess All Around This Place?
A cassette toilet typically is found in smaller vehicles such as vans. If your rig comes with this type of toilet, you would have a hard time changing it out for a different type of toilet.
Cassette Toilet Pros
- It's better than nothing
- Uses very little water
- Doesn't require a dump station to empty
Cassette Toilet Cons
- Very small holding tank
- Fairly gross to have to empty the tank
RV Toilet Paper Ins And Outs
Think you can use just any old brand of toilet paper in your RV? Think again. The camping toilet paper you use can also clog your black tank if you don't use the right stuff. Camping toilet paper should disintegrate quickly in water. Lots of people claim to use Charmin Ultra Soft or Angel Soft brands without any issues. Still, how do you know what is the best RV toilet paper?
You can buy 'real' RV toilet paper - you know, the stuff marketed as such. However, it may not suit your... well... your back-end, very well! (You may or may not like the feel of it or how strong it is.)
There are certain types of 'normal' toilet paper that you can generally put down your black tank. TP labeled 'septic safe' is usually RV safe toilet paper.
If you aren't sure if what you pick is safe or not, fear not. There's a super simple test you can do.
Testing Your Toilet Paper For RV Friendliness
Get a jar and partly fill it with water. Get one sheet or two of your toilet paper. Put it in the jar so that it is completely wet. Then, shake the jar a couple of times. Let sit for an hour or so and then shake again. If it doesn't shred, you might want to steer clear.
RV Toilet Paper Test
There you have it. There are a few things to consider for your specific situation as far as what type of RV toilet you will go with. Most rigs use a standard traditional gravity flush toilet, which works fine for most. If you boondock a lot or you just like the idea of using less water, a composting toilet might be good for you. It's pricey though, so this issue might limit using this type.
Well, we've done our part, now it's up to you to choose and get your new RV toilet on the road!
Camp on, Addicts!