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How Do RV Composting Toilets Work

Thinking of making the switch from a traditional toilet to a composting toilet? Here is all you need to know about how RV composting toilets work!

RV Composting Toilet

Life on the road is all about setting up your space. While many people focus on the outlook, decor, or appliances in their RV, an equally important area is the toilet. RVers can stop at campgrounds and restrooms to take a bathroom break, but there is no greater comfort than having a private toilet in your RV.

When it comes to RV toilets, there are multiple options to choose from. Traditional residential toilets are common, but a composting RV toilet is rising in popularity. It is more convenient, environmentally friendly, and water-free. Replacing an RV toilet with a composting toilet will require research and catching up with the market trends on your part. Read this guide below to find out everything and more about how RV composting toilets work!

What Is an RV Composting Toilet?

When it comes to disposing of waste, an RV composting toilet takes an organic approach. A traditional toilet uses water, plumbing, and a tank to dispose of the waste. A composting toilet, on the other hand, does not. Instead, it uses a dry method to store and process the liquid and solid matter separately. The waste does not turn into sewage and eventually becomes fertilizer. This also prevents bad odors in your bathroom, so you don’t have to worry about them seeping into your RV as well.

RV Composting Toilet

How Do Compostable RV Toilets Work?

The basic function of a compostable RV toilet is to separate the liquid waste from the solid. Your composting toilet will most likely consist of two tanks. When you flush, a trapdoor in your toilet will open. This will drop the waste down, and it will be separated. The liquid waste will be dropped into the removable tank that is located at the front of the toilet. The solid waste drops into the composting tank at the back of the bowl. Some models may consist of an evaporation chamber beneath the compost area to collect and remove the liquid waste.

Composting toilets require power to operate. There is a fan and vent hose at the side of the model that runs on around 12 volts of electricity, so a smaller power source can also work. The composting toilet can often go weeks without getting full, but once it does, it should be disposed of properly. The liquid tank is disposed of more frequently, and all you have to do is unlatch the container and dispose of it. The composting tank, however, has to be emptied according to the guidelines of the state you are camping in.

RV Composting Toilet

Types of RV Composting Toilets

There are two types of compostable toilets for RVs. Read more about them below to find out which one suits your needs more!

  • Single Chamber Composting Toilets:

This model has one chamber for both liquid and solid waste. It uses an aerator that evaporates liquids from the combined waste. Sometimes, however, you may have to remove the humus from the toilet tank yourself for it to dry.

  • Multi-Chamber Composting Toilets:

This model is more popular among RVers. As the name says, the toilet uses multiple chambers to separate the liquid waste from the solid.

RV Composting Toilet

The Pros & Cons of RV Composting Toilets

There are several advantages and disadvantages to installing a composting toilet in your RV. The advantages include:

  • No water needed

This is especially useful when you are boon-docking or staying at a campground without water hookups. Less water used for your toilet means more for household use!

  • Easy installation

Setting up a composting toilet in an RV is fairly straightforward and with no complications.

  • No black tanks

Black tanks are a part of traditional toilets. Emptying toilet wastewater from black tanks can be an unpleasant experience because of the odor. Composting toilets don’t smell as bad.

  • Environmentally friendly

Since composting toilets follow a dry disposal method, you will be saving plenty of water. Not to mention, the resulting compost you will dispose of acts as a fertilizer for the soil.

However, there are some disadvantages as well:

  • Larger toilet

Composting toilets are generally larger in size than traditional toilets. This means that you will have to find a model that fits your RV’s size.

  • Solid waste disposal

Unfortunately, you cannot dispose of the compost of the solid waste however you want. You have to check the legal requirements and guidelines of the state first.

  • Mixing mediums

Those with composting toilets have to carry mixing mediums with them all the time. These act as organic mediums that dry the waste and start the decomposition process.

  • Cost

Composting toilets and their installation parts can be expensive. Most models start from around $1,000.

Five Best Composting Toilets for RVs

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

This model has topped the lists of RV composting toilets. It is very easy to install and has a versatile design that can fit any RV or camper. The elongated toilet seat is comfortable, and the air circulation fan built into the model means it produces minimal odor. Top it off with an innovative design and sturdy hardware, and you have yourself a winning design.

Price: $1,030

OGO Composting Toilet

The OGO composting toilet is small and convenient - a perfect fit for smaller motorhomes. Its compact design does not affect its brilliant performance. The model comes with an easy-to-use handle and trapdoor mechanism that separates the liquid and solid waste efficiently. It also has a liquid-level light that lights up red when the liquid waste container needs emptying. However, it may be a pricey purchase for some RVers.

Price: $1,185

Sun-Mar Composting Toilet

This Sun-Mar model ticks off all the boxes. It has an elegant and sleek design. It is also light in weight and easy to move, so installation is a breeze as you can set it up wherever you wish. Another defining feature it has is its durability. It works just as well in harsh conditions as it does in easier ones, so you do not have to worry about it breaking down easily. Pair this up with its economical price, and you have yourself a seller.

Price: $694

Separett 9215 Composting Toilet

This composting toilet model is by a Swedish manufacturer and is commonly used in the US. It has a solid capacity that can cater to RV families for a few weeks. It is an adaptable model that can run on both AC and DC power. The fan on this model runs on one speed and can vent up to 20 feet, ensuring an odorless experience for you. An additional feature of this model is the child seat accessory that is useful for RVers with small children.

Price: $989

Air Head Composting Toilet

The Air Head composting toilet has a compact size and a simple design. The liquid waste tank and compost tank have a high capacity so that you can empty them flexibly. It has several options for the crank handle and fan housing location for you to choose how you would like the design. Combine all this with its easy-to-clean feature, and this model guarantees convenient use.

Price: $1,095


That’s all for the guide on RV composting toilets! More and more RVers are making the switch to composting toilets each year because of its convenience and features. Use this guide to make the best choice for yourself because who doesn’t want a comfortable and easy stay on the road?


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