Best RV Toilets — Buying Guide and Reviews
- Posted by Mary O. Frazier
- On February 16, 2021
- 0 Comment
Hitting the road is an exciting experience, and to make it even more comfortable, you need to think about all the essentials, even if they’re as benign as choosing an RV toilet.
Or, you can trust our judgment and pick one of the best RV toilets that we’ve selected for you in this guide!
Make sure you read it thoroughly as it has a lot of useful tips and recommendations on how to make a well-informed decision, along with a detailed review of every unit.
Types of RV Toilets and Their Features
Any toilet unit you may choose for your RV will either be plumbed-in or standalone. Plumbed-in units will be mounted to your water supply tank and the black water tank, whereas standalone toilets have their own waste container and are generally more versatile since they can be used not only in RVs.
So, plumbed-in RV toilets can be one of the following:
- Pedal flush toilets. The most common option with the pedal flushing mechanism. If you press the pedal half-way, it will fill the bowl to create some kind of siphon — that’s why it’s recommended to do BEFORE you do your job — and if you press it all the way through, it will flush the waste in your black water tank.
- Macerating toilets. These use motor-powered blades to break up waste into smaller particles before discarding it into your black water tank. Also known as waterless toilets, they can be a good pick for long-time camping trips where the water might become scarce.
- Vacuum toilets. Similar to macerating toilets, these units use a vacuum pump to break the waste and then force it down your black water tank.
As for the standalone RV toilets, you can count on two types:
- Portable toilets. These toilets have a waste container that you can dump into a residential toilet or public restroom when full. The obvious advantage is portability: these toilets can be used for boating, outdoor camping, and other activities. But you might have to deal with the smells if you plan to use it for long-haul RV trips.
- Self-containing toilets. Also known as composting toilets, these units use aerobic bacteria to break down waste. These toilets are odor-less and very efficient: they can break not only waste but also toilet paper — the main reason for RV clogs — and food waste. Composting toilets are approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency and, when chosen properly, can break the waste down to 10-30% of its original volume (1).
4 Best RV Toilets
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice
- convenient pedal flush;
- 17-½ inches seat height suits most users;
- available in high and low profiles;
- Weighs less than 10 pounds and is easy to install;
- water-repellent texture lid for easy maintenance.
We open this review of the best RV toilets with the 31672 model by the Thetford Aqua Magic series. It’s a durable plastic toilet with a high-profile structure and pedal flush that preserves the comfort of home on the go.
So, the pedal flush is straightforward to use: when you press it halfway, it adds water to the bowl. When you press it fully, it flushes everything and covers the entire surface of the bowl, so there’s no waste remained.
Another awesome feature of the 31672 model is that it’s high-profile. The seat height is 17-½ inches, which can suit most users. So, if you travel with your children or parents, this might be useful, although you can also purchase a low-profile option.
Finally, Thetford Aqua Magic is incredibly easy to clean. It’s made of durable plastic with a glossy surface, so no waste will adhere to it. Plus, the lid of the toilet is textured and repels water, which adds to a more comfortable experience.
- Powerful flush that covers 100% of the bowl to eliminate any waste
- Scruff-resistant textured lid
- Comes with all the furniture required for installation
- Hand sprayer isn’t included
- Might not work for individuals who are 6 feet or taller
Best Low-Profile RV Toilet
- two-way pedal flush and instantaneous pulse flush modes for effective waste elimination;
- comes with a convenient hand spray to further reduce water consumption;
- available in high and low profiles;
- the universal floor flange allows easy mounting in any RV model;
- elegant design available in White and Parchment colors.
The second model in this RV toilet review is also by Thetford but this time it’s 31122 Bravura. This elegant low-profile toilet packs a powerful pedal flush system and comes with a convenient hand sprayer for an easy refresh and less water usage, which is extremely important on the road.
The Bravura features the same pedal flush system as the whole Aqua-Magic series, but it operates a little differently. Aside from filling the bowl by halfway pressing, and flushing the bowl with a full pressing, this toiled also has a pulse flush mode that instantly covers the whole bowl and rinses all the junk.
Also, the 31122 model is easy to maintain. The seat and cover pod can be quickly removed for cleaning, and the front shroud features a pull-off mechanism to reach the pedal system and mounting bolts, in case you need to replace or repair them.
- Two powerful flush models
- A convenient hand sprayer makes cleaning easier and reduces water consumption
- Compatible with most RV fittings
- Might not be a good pick for tall users
- Some users mention that they get White color instead of Parchment and vice versa
Cheapest RV Toilet
- super efficient triple-jet action flush using only 1 pint of water;
- more affordable than similar models;
- 18 inches high residential-style seat for home-like comfort;
- polypropylene plastic with a smooth finish will last you for years and is easy to clean;
- comes in White and Parchment colors.
Moving further down our selection of the best RV toilets, and here’s the Dometic 300 Series standard height toilet. It has a water-adjustable flush system with triple-jet action and uses only one pint per flush, which makes it super-efficient. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest models in the segment, so if the budget matters to you, you might give it a shot.
So, the 300 Series model utilizes a pedal-flush system, but you get full control of the water usage by pressing on it firmly or slightly. Also, the rim features three water jets that create a cyclonic flow and effectively rinse off all the junk.
Also, the 300 series model is built with tall or overweight users in mind. First, it’s higher than the standard RV toilets and doesn’t require a pedestal. Second, it offers a wider, residential-style seat that adds some comfort for the people of large build.
- Can drastically reduce water usage on the road thanks to a triple-jet action system
- Suitable for tall and/or overweight travelers
- Costs less than similar models
- Ball flush systems may require more frequent replacement
- Might be a bit uncomfortable for small users
Best Ceramic RV Toilet
- one pint of water per flush;
- durable vitreous bowl with glossy finish resists stains and scratches;
- all the hardware and fittings are included in the package;
- vacuum breaker system protects your RV water supply and offers a consistent flow;
- compatible with most flanges and mounting systems.
Finally, the last contestant we selected for this RV toilet review is the 510 Series model from Dometic. This toilet features a vitreous ceramic bowl that is much more resistant to stains and odors than plastic and can offer you a complete home-like experience for years.
Also, the 510 Series utilize a patented flush system that uses about a pint of water per flush. This can significantly reduce your water usage on the road while still providing peak performance. Plus, the toilet has a self-cleaning ball flush and locks the bad odors that may come from the waste tank.
Another option that makes the 510 toilet good is that it’s pretty wide. The seat is 17-inch high and the bowl is elongated and measures 26.3” deep and 20.87’’ wide, which can suit even overweight individuals.
- The ceramic bowl is more durable and stain-resistant than plastic
- Has a vacuum breaker system that protects your water supply from the backflow
- Suitable for tall and corpulent individuals
- Hand sprayer isn’t included
- Is 2-3 times more expensive than plastic models
Things to Look for When Choosing the Best RV Toilet
Generally, RV toilets are made of durable polypropylene plastic — the kind that is used for making toilet seats for residential toilets. Polypropylene is hard yet flexible enough to survive the bumps and pits on the bad road without cracking. It’s also relatively easy to clean since polypropylene has a smooth finish and doesn’t stain. However, in a long run, polypropylene plastic might start to soak in odors, and you might start to smell the funky things in your RV.
Also, you can count on ceramic toilets that resemble the feel of a residential unit. Ceramic bowls with a glossy finish are even more resistant to stains and smells than plastic bowls, but they’re pretty fragile, and may not survive an overly bumpy road. Plus, they are 2-3 times more expensive than polypropylene toilets, which can also be a turn-off for some users.
RV Space and Toilet Dimensions
RVs have limited space, especially when it comes to the bathroom, so be sure to make your measurements before going shopping.
It’s advisable to measure the depth, width, and height of your old RV toilet and add 4 inches of space to the sides and 6-inch clearance to the front, so you’ll know the approximate space you need to not feel cramped.
The profile of the toilet also plays a huge role. Although it’s more a matter of preference, we recommend going for standard and taller models simply because they suit most people. Low-profile toilets may occupy less space, but if you’re a tall or overweight camper, they might be uncomfortable to use unless you have a pedestal.
Holding Tank Capacity
If you decided to go with a portable RV toilet, pay attention to a holding tank capacity. Smaller holding tanks require to empty them more frequently, which means more stops on the way. Larger tanks are more recommended for long-hour trips, but they can be difficult to empty single-handedly.
Ease of Maintenance
RV holding tanks used for sewage (the gray and black water tanks) are prone to generating bad odors, which means that you can start to notice funky smells in your vehicle sooner or later, especially if the trip is long. However, if you plan to use deodorants and chemical toilet products to eliminate odor, be sure to choose more eco-friendly alternatives such as enzyme-based or oxygen-based cleansers, as the Department of Toxic Substances Control recommends (2).
The tallest one we’ve reviewed is the Aqua-Magic 31672 by Thetford, which is 17.5 inches high. According to user reviews, Thetford toilets tend to be higher than in other brands, so if you need a toilet for a tall camper, you can choose this brand.
The most common reasons for the toilet odor in your RV include the clog or damage in the black water tank, a leaky toilet, or improper cleaning. You can clean and sanitize the black water tank and fix the leaky toilet by yourself. But if the problem is damage or clogs in the black water tank, it’s better to contact a repair specialist.
Grey water that comes from the kitchen and shower, is perfectly suitable for flushing your RV toilet, and can save you significant amounts of clear water, especially if you go dry camping. However, to be able to use it, you need to install a water recycling kit in your RV, which will reroute the gray water into your flushing system.
Bleach is allowed to use as a cleaning agent for RV toilets, however, during the trip, it’s recommended to use ‘safe’ cleaners, such as enzyme-based or mineral, and leave the bleach solution for sanitation purposes after emptying your black water tank. That’s because the black water tank is an ecosystem of some sort and the bacteria that growths inside can actually break down some waste. When you pour the bleach into the tank that has waste in it, it kills all the bacteria, which may result in clogs. That’s why it’s better to empty your black water tank first, and then use the bleach solution (¼ cups of bleach per 1 gallon of water) and rinse off all the residue.
One of the efficient options for unclogging on-the-road is using a flexible tank wand that can be connected to your water supply line and reach the depths of the tank pipe. The spray attachment on the nozzle will release a high-pressure stream of water that will soak up the clog and break it down into smaller particles.