Are you thinking of buying a composting toilet for your RV?
It’s a great idea if you’re planning on staying in secluded areas, boondocking, or rustic campgrounds.
But you don’t have to be staying in no man’s land to consider a composting toilet, there are many benefits to having an alternative to traditional toilets in your camper.
Composting toilets offer an environmentally friendly (and fairly convenient) way to have a useable and sanitary bathroom anywhere you go! In fact, these toilets are becoming more popular among nature lovers and campers for just this reason.
If you’re wondering if this is a good idea and which option is the best choice for you, here is an in-depth guide that will go over the different types, benefits, what to look for when shopping, and so much more!
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- Composting Toilet Comparison: Which Is Right For Your RV?
- Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
- Separett Villa 9215 DC/AC
- Porta Potti White Thetford Corp
- Sun-Mar Mobile Composting Toilet
- Stansport Portable Camp Toilet
- What Is A Composting Toilet?
- How Do Composting Toilets Work?
- Is A Composting Toilet Right The Right Choice For Your RV?
- Types of Composting Toilets for RV’s
- 7 Benefits Of Using Composting Toilets
- 6 Things To Look For In A Composting Toilet for RV
- Maintaining a Composting Toilet for RV
- Last Thoughts About A Composting Toilet For RV’s
- Related Articles
Composting Toilet Comparison: Which Is Right For Your RV?
There are many different brands and models of composting toilets for an RV, but here is a list of the top 5 products that are quite popular choices, and that we have personally considered for our camper.
Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
Possibly the most popular composting toilet for RVs is Nature’s Head toilet, and for good reason!
It is a floor-mounted toilet with a comfortable, elongated shape and a top section that looks similar to a traditional flush toilet.
It’s made with stainless steel which makes it free of rust or corrosion, while the granite-colored body makes it easier to clean.
A great feature of Nature’s Head toilet is that it is an amazingly lightweight structure, has a low-air circulating fan that gets rid of all the odor, and also has its own vent and hose.
You can use the hose to pump the compost into a public sewer or a septic tank. It calls for no more than 12 volts and works just perfect with a battery or RV motor for waste disposal at an approved dump station.
This toilet is very easy to install and can be disassembled quickly.
Another great feature is that there is a separate storage tank for solid waste and liquid wastes. This lets you go for longer periods before the need to empty the containers as it slows the process of decomposition.
While some find Nature’s Head composting toilet quite expensive, its smaller footprint, the capacity of 60-80 uses before emptying, and lightweight structure makes it totally worth the cost. This is definitely on the list of best composting toilets!
✔️5-year limited warranty
✔️It’s easy to clean with a spray bottle and a toilet brush
✔️Full-size elongated seat for comfort
✔️Vent hose and fan included
✔️Disassembles in seconds for emptying
❌A bit expensive
Separett Villa 9215 DC/AC
Designed for both on-grid and off-grid lifestyles, this RV composting toilet by Separett works with AC or DC power and is one of the top-rated self-contained dry toilets, and comes with a pressure-sensitive toilet seat.
It also features an electric fan that can be powered by DC supply coming from a battery pack, solar panel, or wind turbine. And it has all the hardware needed for direct vent and drain applications, a waste container, and 10 compostable bags.
With this toilet, solid waste goes into a solids tank section while the toilet drains liquids into a urine container or holding tank.
The vent removes odors and dries solid waste.
After an average use of about 3-4 weeks, you can remove the solids bin liner bag and incinerate, dispose of, or compost the waste.
Its comfortable structure, low power draw, and great ease of use make it a favorite with campers.
Not having a mixing handle makes it even more compact to suit an RV or even a tiny house.
✔️Automatic waste bin mixing
✔️Low power consumption
❌Can be troublesome to use without a power connection
Porta Potti White Thetford Corp
If you’re looking for a high-end portable toilet with a compact design, the Porta Potti composting toilet is a great pick.
This comprehensive toilet, crafted in high-quality plastic, features two connected halves that can be dismantled quite easily when needed.
The top half has a capacity of 4 gallons and holds clean flushing water, while the waste-holding bottom half comes with a capacity of 5.5 gallons.
This portable toilet is well-suited to a small space like a camper van or micro camper and features a small size, sleek design, and a comfortable seat height.
The leak-proof and odorless toilet comes with a battery-powered flushing mechanism, an integrated toilet paper holder, a carrying handle, and a tank level indicator.
It’s easy to use and clean for all while making you feel at home with a standard toilet height.
But, if the batteries or pump motor fails, you will need to pour water into the toilet bowl for rinsing it.
The fact that the water feature doesn’t come with huge power to clean the entire bowl means that you may be required to scrub the
bowl daily, which is a drawback for some people.
A helpful feature is that you can empty the Porta Potti composting toilet into a regular toilet or septic tank without the need to work with plastic liner bags.
✔️Portable but can be fastened to the ground
✔️An add water button that reduces toilet streaks
✔️Battery-powered so no electricity needed
❌Gas pressure may build up so you need to open the valve carefully when you empty the toilet
Sun-Mar Mobile Composting Toilet
Although the Sun-Mar Mobile Composting Toilet grabs a spot on the list of some most expensive composting toilets, it’s also one of the
At the same time, it stands out from the rest with the fact that it optimizes the whole composting process amazingly well. Instead of simply having containers for holding solid and liquid waste with a fan to vent out odors, the Sun-Mar toilets feature a Bio Drum that comes with an evaporation chamber. This speeds up the breakdown of solid waste into compost, while the liquid waste is simply evaporated!
You don’t need to empty the liquids at all. It features a 12-volt fan coupled up with a 110-volt heating element to get it all done with great efficiency.
This composting RV toilet is crafted to create enough compost movement to comprise input and output doors on the left and right hand, respectively.
The output door opens only when the bio-drum rotates backward for the extraction of compost.
The non-electrical central system toilet comes with a 5-year warranty on its fiberglass tank, while the other parts offer a 3-year warranty.
✔️A zero odor design
✔️Turns waste into fertilizer while evaporating the liquid waste
✔️ANSI/NSF certified design
❌Maintenance could be a bit challenging
Stansport Portable Camp Toilet
If you are looking for a small portable composting toilet on a super small budget, Stansport Portable Camping Toilet lined with waste disposable composting bags is a great option.
It’s an amazingly comfortable and sturdy choice when compared to most bucket toilets (like the 5-gallon buckets with lids).
This is a perfect fit for RV owners who don’t mind using biodegradable liner bags or would love to avoid spending a lot of money on a composting toilet for their RV.
This compact composting toilet easily supports up to 350 pounds of weight, is sturdy to sit on, and looks much more like a toilet than a bucket with a seat. Being a simple, low-tech design, this portable camping toilet is easy to use and has no knobs, levers, or buttons. All you need to do is lift the seat lid and it’s ready to use.
When it comes to cleaning up, simply take out the disposal bag and properly dispose. (Be sure to follow local regulations)
Bottom line- this portable toilet is a low-budget option that is known for its comfort level, simplicity, and portability. It is great for camping trips, road trips, and much better than using a public toilet!
✔️350 lbs. maximum weight limit
✔️Comfortable contoured seating
✔️Easy to use and clean
❌Small waste bucket calls for frequent emptying
❌Risk of splashing or spilling due to lack of waste compartment
Well, there are the top 5 composting toilets for an RV.
Now, let’s move on to a little info about composting toilets in general and a few helpful tips!
What Is A Composting Toilet?
A composting toilet is a waterless toilet that gets rid of human waste by natural decomposition and the process of evaporation.
In other words, it transforms solid waste into compost, i.e. a soil-like mass that’s quite similar to fertilizers.
A compost toilet ditches the concept of flushing altogether which makes them a great environment-friendly alternative to a traditional toilet.
How Do Composting Toilets Work?
Just like the composting of food, these toilet systems break down human waste with the help of aerobic bacteria to break down the waste.
They’re installed right above waste-gathering chambers so that you can add carbon-containing items – such as leaves, mulch, or wood shavings to the waste material instead of flushing it.
Once the process of composting completes, the results can be added to a compost pile outside or used as fertilizers in gardens.
Another option is to collect the compost in a septic hauler.
Is A Composting Toilet Right The Right Choice For Your RV?
When you are traveling, camping, or simply hitting the road with your RV, it can sometimes be difficult to find a convenient spot to attend to nature’s call.
This is where a composting toilet for your RV could help.
While you can always opt for a traditionally installed RV toilet that makes use of a water tank and other plumbing to get the task done,
composting toilets prove to be so much easier to manage with limited resources.
No water? No problem! With RV composting toilets, there is no need for water (other than washing your hands, of course!)
Septic systems in an RV are not only difficult to maintain at times but they use a lot of water and are also highly
They can turn out to be an ongoing problem (ask me how I know this…. our 5th wheel waste system is a pain!!)
On the contrary, a composting toilet is specially crafted to suit an off-grid or low tech lifestyle and come in handy even when you are in the
most remote locations.
Types of Composting Toilets for RV’s
There are different types of composting toilets that suit different purposes and locations. While all of them serve the purpose of breaking down waste and turning it into comport, they vary in terms of functioning and pre-requisites.
As the name suggests, the whole process of composting in a self-contained composting toilet happens within the system itself.
They feature a small toilet with a removable tank and a drain for waste removal.
Some systems are also portable and that makes them a good option for camping trips as they can be set up in places without any plumbing facility.
When the tank is full, you remove the tank and empty it at a convenient spot. Sometimes, these toilets also have water supply lines or freshwater tanks that flush waste into a chamber located below the toilet.
✔️Portability (with many models)
✔️No plumbing and easy installation
❌Some people may not always find them convenient when it comes to emptying the small containers
Split System or Central System
Composting toilets featuring a split system or a central system are very similar to conventional toilets and are not portable.
The system features various pipes that transfer the waste to a central tank, bio-drum, or hopper where all the composting is done.
The hopper performs the churning of the waste and breaks it down, further venting out the odorless gases.
You empty the tank quite like a self-contained toilet when needed. The fact that split systems call for a hopper that’s installed below the toilet makes them a bit pricey.
But, the hopper significantly increases the amount of compost these systems can hold.
✔️Can hold an increased amount of compost
✔️Perfect for a permanent off-grid living
❌A bit more expensive than self-contained composting toilets
❌Not a good choice for portability
Single and Multi-Chamber Toilets
Generally, you find two chief types of composting toilets – single chamber and multi-chamber models.
Multiple chamber toilets handle the process by separating the kinds of waste in terms of solids and liquids in two different chambers.
On the other hand, a single chamber model may call for removing the humus to dry.
As oxygen plays the main role in composting, some models also include several ways to turn the waste regularly, which further eliminates odors and other troubles.
7 Benefits Of Using Composting Toilets
Installing a composting toilet in your RV has a number of benefits such as convenience, but it also saves a lot of resources while keeping everything nature friendly.
Need a few more reasons to consider adding a composting toilet to your RV?
Here are 7 benefits of composting toilets 🙂
Composting Toilets Conserve Water
Being on the road in an RV gives you access to limited water storage, and regular toilet flushing uses loads of water.
The fact that composting toilets function just perfectly without the need for running water makes them a great choice.
You can not only take a longer trip without worrying about wasting loads of water but also use it for your shorter camping trips just as easily.
Eliminate The Need For A Black Tank
Managing the wastewater from the toilet in an RV is largely dependent on black tanks, but it is definitely not a camping highlight to empty the tank.
On the other hand, when you choose to go with a composting toilet, you work with a bucket of composted dirt which is much more convenient and mess-free.
Plus, not using the black tank anymore allows you to take it out and possibly use that space for something else, or just have a lighter camper.
Composting toilets don’t pose harm to the environment as they don’t rely on chemicals for the treatment of raw sewage.
Plus, the resulting compost is eco-friendly and can be used to help fertilize the soil if you choose to do so.
Using the compost from a composting toilet in your RV isn’t for everyone, but it is an option.
Separating the solids from the liquids is a benefit of composting toilets as it reduces odors.
While many worry that composting toilets stink, they can actually produce fewer odors than a conventional bathroom because you don’t need to tolerate the potential sewage
smell with a composting toilet.
The built-in fans work wonders to eliminate any unpleasant smell.
If you experience a smell, it may be coming from the dirt or other materials added to the toilet.
Easy to Maintain
The fact that most composting toilets have very few moving parts means that they typically require very little maintenance.
Mainly, maintaining a composting toilet is all about handling humanure and dumping it in the right manner.
Overall, they are amazingly easy to use and clean, and great for off-grid travel and living.
Many composting toilet models for an RV let you get the installation done without any plumbing lines and pumps.
In fact, most RV users install a composting toilet entirely on their own because of the simple setup.
The idea of installing these toilets is gaining popularity because of the ease of use, installation, and eco-friendly nature of not using chemicals.
Composting Toilets Increase Gray Tank Capacity
If you choose to go with a composting toilet, you then have the option of removing the black tank for a regular RV toilet.
This allows you to have a lighter camper, or keep the current black tank, thereby using it as an overflow solution.
This would allow you to increase the amount of water your gray tank could hold which means you could go twice as long before emptying your tank.
6 Things To Look For In A Composting Toilet for RV
Shopping for a composting toilet for your RV may seem a little overwhelming with so many differences between the various models out there, but don’t worry- here are some tips that might help!
Size And Height To Match Your Space
Compared to a traditional RV toilet, composting toilets may call for a little more space.
Measure the available space in your RV, and then find the specs for the toilet models you’re interested in. This alone might narrow your choices.
If you have family and enough space in your RV to fit a split system, it’s a good idea to go for it because it has a larger holding capacity.
Also, look for the right height as some composting RV toilets resemble regular toilet seats, while others include elongated
Although both are quite comfortable, the dimensions must suit your specific area (and height preference).
Durability and Warranty
An RV composting toilet must be durable and long-lasting.
Models that are made with plastic may not that durable, but it really comes down to your individual situation and needs.
Make sure you choose a high-quality material and sturdy design that withstands use for years to come.
Also, select a model that has a lengthy warranty as it indicates that the makers have faith in the durability of their product and so can you!
The number of people who use the toilet plays a key role in determining what should be the right capacity of a composting toilet for your RV.
Most manufacturers mention the suitable family size for their composting RV toilets.
Choosing the right tank size ensures enough time for the breakdown of waste to form manure without getting the tank filled.
Generally, a split system with a big capacity tank works just right for 3 adults or a family of 5, while a single adult can also go for a self-contained system with a 5-gallon tank.
Composting toilets for RV can be electrical as well as non-electrical.
Some call for electricity to operate a fan to break down the waste by feeding the aerobic bacteria.
They also vent out the carbon dioxide released in the process.
While some models call for a 110V system, others function just perfectly with 110V AC as well as 12V DC from an RV battery.
Composting toilets that need a water line to function usually take up very little water with each flush, but you can always choose a waterless system depending on your personal needs.
If you like to boondock or camp in places where you may not find easy access to electricity, you may want to check out a non-electric model.
Ease of Cleaning and Dumping
It’s essential to get a system that’s easy to clean and doesn’t require any special equipment to do the task.
Good quality composting toilets made with better materials are often easier to clean.
Some efficient models feature a rinsing mechanism that eliminates the need to scrub them frequently.
But even if you opt for a cheaper composting toilet for your RV, do yourself a favor and make sure that cleaning and dumping will be simple and easy!
Different composting toilets come with different price tags, each of which has its own features and maintenance terms.
You can spend as little as $20 for a bucket with a toilet lid or over $1000 for a top-of-the-line composting toilet.
Just be sure the product fits your budget as well as requirements after considering any possible installation costs, taxes, and handling costs. And if you choose the bucket version, don’t forget to factor in the cost of extra bag liners!
Maintaining a Composting Toilet for RV
No matter what design or model you choose, there are a few essentials that you need to take care of when it comes to maintaining your composting toilet for an RV.
Right from dumping the waste to getting rid of any unwanted smells, here’s what you need to get it all done 😉
Finding Organic Material
Drying out the waste and turning it into compost calls for organic material, and that’s why it’s one of the most essential elements of maintaining a composting toilet for your RV.
Make sure you have sawdust, peat moss, or coconut coir (coconut fiber) on hand and have enough storage space for the material.
Be sure to plan ahead and get the sawdust or coco fiber you need for your toilet if you’re going to be spending time in a remote location or are going to be on the road for a while.
No matter which type of composting RV toilet you have, at some point emptying the tank will be necessary. So it’s essential that you find an appropriate spot to dump the waste.
And make sure you know the local rules on human waste composting as well as learn the proper temperature requirements for waste
Even though it’s not raw sewage, there may still be regulations regarding proper disposal so be sure to do your homework on this one!
Eliminating the Odor
The composting process releases gases that must be vented to make sure there’s no odor build-up.
If not vented properly, a lack of fresh oxygen will reduce the performance of the composting bacteria, thereby hampering the process.
Some models feature fans that draw air into the tank while eliminating the unpleasant odors by venting out the gases.
Blocking the odor may also call for throwing in some sawdust or other organic materials over the waste after using it every time.
Last Thoughts About A Composting Toilet For RV’s
Taking a look at the benefits as well as the convenience a composting toilet for your RV brings to your travels, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that this is surely a purchase worth considering.
The key is to assess your space and specific requirements and then narrow down your choices to see which option would be the best fit for your situation.
If you choose to go this route, you may just find that a composting toilet can be simple and convenient, but also be a great eco-friendly way to recycle waste- no chemicals needed!
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