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RV Toilet Buying Guide: What to Look for When Shopping for New RV Toilets

When replacing the toilet(s) in your RV, there are a few things you'll need to take into consideration. A reliable toilet is essential to keeping you and your family comfortable on the road. But with so many advancements in technology and features, finding the right model can be a bit confusing. This guide will walk you through the basics of purchasing new RV toilets. From energy-efficient versions to ones that can keep those, ahem, odors to a minimum, we'll help you find the best RV toilets for your camping needs.

Article Contents

Questions To Ask Yourself

Before delving into the RV toilet specifics, you'll first want to determine your needs. Do this by asking yourself a few general questions about your family size, how you use your RV and what size camper you're working with. This will help you narrow down what type of camper toilets you should be looking at. Then, we'll go over the nitty-gritty in terms of the types of toilets available.

The Most Important Questions To Ask Before Buying Your New RV Toilets

By asking yourself the following questions, you'll be better equipped to find the perfect RV toilet for you and your family's needs and comfort.

  • How many toilets will you need?
  • Will you be traveling long distances?
  • Will you be traveling to remote locations?
  • How much space are you working with and what is your RV layout?
  • Will elderly passengers or those with disabilities be on board?

How Many RV Toilets Will You Need?

If you have a smaller RV, you'll usually only require (or have room for) one toilet. But, if you have a large RV, you may consider purchasing a second toilet for added convenience and comfort.

You'll typically have your main toilet positioned directly above the waste holding tank. But for a secondary toilet, you may want to look into a vacuum or another type of macerator toilet. These types of toilets don't need to be positioned directly over a waste holding tank. Instead, waste is simply pumped through a sanitation hose to your tank, allowing you more flexibility as to where you install it.

Do You Typically Travel Long Distances?

Do you tend to use your RV or camper for long vacations? If so, you may need to consider a few spare waste tanks, as you won't have the ability to frequently discharge them. By adding a spare waste tank, you can significantly increase your capacity.

Do You Travel To Remote Locations?

Like to get away from it all? If you frequently travel to remote, far-off locations where you'll be far from water sources or electrical power for long periods of time, it may be wise to have a cassette or portable toilet in tow. These can be used anywhere and don't rely on power. Plus, each comes with its own water reservoir that you can fill prior to your trip.

What Kind Of Space Are You Working With?

It's not uncommon to have extremely limited space or an unusual layout on an RV. If this is the case, there are a few easy toilet fixes. You can usually go with a low-profile or cassette toilet, neither of which requires you to sacrifice comfort. There are even compact pedal-flush versions of both macerating and vacuum-style RV toilets if that's more your style.

Will Elderly Passengers Or Those With Disabilities Be On Board?

If you or your family are older and/or disabled, avoid low-profile RV toilets unless you plan to install one on a raised platform. Instead, you should consider a high-profile toilet. This style offers similar dimensions to a household toilet and is much easier for people to sit on and lift themselves off of. And instead of a foot-pedal flush, look for an electric toilet with a more traditional handle.

Toilet Features To Consider

In addition to any needs you might have, there are also some convenient features you can look for when shopping for your new RV toilet. From energy-efficient options to models that are simply easier to empty, RV toilets can have just as many beneficial features as your run-of-the-mill house toilets. Just keep in mind, not all of these features are available on every model.

Top RV Toilet Features To Look For

RV toilet features have come a long way over the last few decades. The following are just a few of the many features available in today's best RV toilets.

  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Comfortable
  • Quiet
  • Simple to empty
  • Minimizes unpleasant smells

Energy Efficient

If energy efficiency is important to you and your family, there are quite a few options you have to choose from. Gravity-flush toilets, like the Dometic RV toilet, are your most energy-efficient options. Dometic toilets do not require any electrical connections and thus consume zero energy. Cassette, vacuum and all-ceramic gravity-flush toilets are your next-best options as they use very little electrical power.

You'll typically have your main toilet positioned directly above the waste holding tank. But for a secondary toilet, you may want to look into a vacuum or another type of macerator toilet. These types of toilets don't need to be positioned directly over a waste holding tank. Instead, waste is simply pumped through a sanitation hose to your tank, allowing you more flexibility as to where you install it.

Water Efficient

Looking to minimize your water use? Foot-pedal toilets typically use the least amount of water, whereas electric-flush options use a bit more. But, in general, most electric flush toilets offer both a normal and low-flush option. In addition, gravity-flush and vacuum toilets consume very little water.

Do You Travel To Remote Locations?

Like to get away from it all? If you frequently travel to remote, far-off locations where you'll be far from water sources or electrical power for long periods of time, it may be wise to have a cassette or portable toilet in tow. These can be used anywhere and don't rely on power. Plus, each comes with its own water reservoir that you can fill prior to your trip.

Comfortable

Typically, high-profile toilets are the most comfortable toilets to sit on and also the easiest to stand up from. If you have no space restrictions, the most comfortable option would be a high-profile, full-ceramic vacuum toilet. This will give you the most powerful, odor-free flush while still using very little water and electricity.

Quiet

In terms of the quietest RV toilet, cassette, portable and gravity toilets are the way to go. These versions don't have a motor, so they're much quieter than other types of RV toilets. You can also install a slow-close seat for a near-silent toilet.

Easy To Empty

Most RV toilets are pretty simple to empty, but macerating or vacuum toilets more thoroughly discharge waste from the holding tank. Barely any waste will be left behind after emptying, unlike some other types of toilets that run the risk of blockages.

Minimizes Smells

Let's face it: Nobody likes a smelly bathroom. While most RV toilets do a good job of keeping smells to a minimum, there are a few types that do an even better job. Macerating and vacuum toilets are the kings of banishing smells. Both types are installed without a direct path from the tank to the toilet bowl, isolating smells. Just make sure the waste line drains properly into the tank to avoid residual sewage in the sanitation hose. Keep in mind that you can still avoid smells with other types of toilets by using the proper tank treatments and plumbing seals.

Types Of RV Toilets

Now that you have a better idea of your sanitation needs, you can begin to look at the various types of RV toilets you have to choose from. Understand that not every model will work with your RV setup or your family's needs. Be sure to reach out to a Boat & RV Accessories representative if you have any questions. The following are just a few of the many RV toilet models you have to choose from.

7 of the Best RV Toilets

RV toilets come in many shapes and sizes. The following are just a few of the most popular styles and types of RV toilets you have to choose from.

  • Gravity-flush toilet
  • Macerating-flush toilet
  • Vacuum-flush toilet
  • Composting toilet
  • Recirculating toilet
  • Cassette toilet
  • Portable toilet

Gravity-Flush Toilet

This is your traditional RV toilet that uses a simple flush, similar to that of a regular toilet. The gravity-flush toilet, like the Dometic Sealand Toilet, has been used in RVs for decades and allows the contents of the bowl to drop directly into a large holding tank. This ensures straightforward, reliable performance.

Macerating-Flush Toilet

A macerating-flush toilet features blades powered by a motor to soften and liquefy waste before moving it down to the holding tank. This technology allows the toilet and waste holding tank to be located apart from each other.

Vacuum-Flush Toilet

A vacuum-flush toilet uses a macerating pump and a stored vacuum vessel in order to pull out the contents of the bowl and pump it into a large holding tank. The vacuum creates a much more powerful flush that can virtually liquefy solid waste. Similar to that of macerating-flush toilets, vacuum-flush toilets can be located virtually anywhere in your RV as the toilet and waste holding tank can be positioned apart from each other.

Composting Toilet

A composting toilet is an environmentally friendly, self-contained RV toilet that doesn't use any water and is able to separate solids and liquids. The solids compartment of your toilet is usually filled with coconut coir or sphagnum peat moss to help break down solids. An agitator then churns after each deposit, while a small vent fan pulls the bowl air outside. When full, the solid tank can be dumped into a composting bin or trash can. And for liquids? The liquid container can be removed and flushed down a toilet, septic tank or waste disposal station.

Recirculating Toilet

A self-contained recirculating toilet features a storage tank that contains water and chemicals used for all liquid-related purposes. This tank doubles as a waste containment system and flushing system. A recirculating toilet uses very little water and is ideal for those who don't have a holding tank.

Cassette Toilet

The most similar to a regular toilet, cassette toilets are designed more for campers and caravans. Cassette toilets include a compact toilet bowl that is permanently installed on a small, removable waste tank. When full, just remove the tank through the service door and empty it into a toilet or waste disposal station, reinstalling it afterward.

Portable Toilet

Similar to the cassette toilet, a portable toilet is extremely popular for small campers or for tent camping. This toilet features a lightweight bowl and a small waste tank. When the tank is full, simply remove the lower tank and empty it into a standard toilet or waste disposal station. Then, you just reconnect it to the portable toilet bowl. A freshwater holding tank and hand pump also help to flush out the waste.

Shop Boat & RV Accessories for the Best RV Toilets

At Boat & RV Accessories, we are proud to provide our customers with the best quality products at the lowest prices. We carry only top-of-the-line products, like our popular selection of Thetford toilet parts, designed to be safe, durable and reliable. Shop our wide variety of stationary Dometic toilets, Thetford portable toilets, RV toilet parts and more to find just what you're looking for. Have a question or need additional information about our RV toilets? Reach out today.