Let’s face it, the toilet that came with your RV was rubbish.
It’s uncomfortable, you don’t like it, case and point. You can upgrade it, and it doesn’t have to be a scary endeavor.
We’ve outlined the top five RV toilets available on the market, and gone one step further: we’re going to run you through installation, maintenance, and differentiate between the types of RV toilets available, as well as answer some of your burning questions on the matter.
Between flush types and detachable tanks, there’s nothing we haven’t covered.
Let’s jump into it.
5 Best RV Toilets For 2018
Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet Pedal Flush
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Camco 41535 Premium Portable Travel Toilet
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Dometic 300 Series Standard Height Toilet
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Thetford 31668 Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet
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Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet
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Let’s now dive into the nitty-gritty and review each RV toilet individually:
1. Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet
Aqua-Magic produced a fantastic little number here, one that gives you a great blend of quality and value.
First and foremost, the pedal-style flusher is sturdy and simple to operate, giving a forceful flush that covers the entire interior of the bowl.
No more scrubbing the toilet after every use; this will bring everything down the pipe with it.
While that’s excellent, the bowl is a bit shallow.
Aqua-Magic offers this toilet, and then a shorter version, and we can’t imagine the trouble one would face with that unit.
Without being crude, gentlemen, just note that you’ll have to pay attention when sitting to ensure nothing hangs below the flush line.
Apart from the size issue, there is one more gripe.
It has sturdy bolts that lock into the floor, but none that attach to the rear wall, leaving it feeling a bit flimsy. That being said, installation is a breeze, taking up little to no time at all.
The interior of the lid is textured as well, so you won’t be incurring scrapes and scratching up the seat before you even reach the end of your first year of use. Aqua-Magic holds up against whatever you need it to.
- Dimensions: 15.8” x 18.2” x 19”
- Weight: 9.80 lbs
- Detachable Holding Tank?: Drains into tanks
- Type of Flush: Pedal
- Seating Height: 17.5”
- 100% bowl coverage when flushed
- Quick installation process
- Textured interior of the lid prevents scraping and wear and tear
- Shallow bowl
- No rear bolts to secure to wall
2. Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet
Camco came up with the perfect option for hunting, fishing, and most notably, going full-time in your RV.
If you don’t want to hassle with installing a new internal system, then you can opt for a portable unit.
They included a reliable latching system to close the seat, and keep it locked in during your entire travel. Nothing is going to knock it loose.
Speaking of that, the basin is also fitted with a sliding waste lock to keep odors in, and prevent them for spilling out, even if a crash flipped the entire unit upside-down.
We weren’t crazy about the piston-style plunger flushing system, though. It produces three rather wide water jets that spray the interior of the bowl, but it doesn’t cover a lot of ground.
The last thing you want is to think about being tactful while trying to take care of business. Apart from that, the only other gripe is the difficulty of cleaning the basin. It’s simple to flush the waste with an elbow bend, complete with a screw cap.
The main value in Camco’s revolutionary toilet system comes down to the inexpensive cost, large seat, and the tank sizes. You get 2.60 gallons for waste, and up to four gallons of fresh water for flushing.
If you’re not looking to get too technical with installation, you can grab this, and be on the road moments after it arrives on your doorstep. Camco makes it simple.
- Dimensions: 13.5” x 15.5” x 18”
- Weight: 11.00 lbs
- Detachable Holding Tank?: Yes
- Type of Flush: Piston
- Seating Height: 18”
- Odor-trapping technology keeps unpleasant scents inside the bowl
- Simple emptying through the elbow and screw cap
- Holds up to four gallons of water for flushing
- Piston-style plunger offers a very weak water jet
- Basin is difficult to deep clean
3. Dometic 300 Series Standard Height Toilet
Dometic opted for a higher-class RV toilet, and while they were able to conjure up something fantastic, it fell short on a few fronts.
This gravity-fed toilet comes with an excellently low weight of just over eight pounds, making installation very simple and carefree.
After bolting this into the floor, you’ll be draining this directly into the black and gray tanks.
While we didn’t experience this issue, be on the lookout for a dent or bend in the valve that closes off the pipe to the tanks.
This Dometic RV toilet helps you save water, only using one pint each time it flushes. While that aspect of the water system is impressive, the cleansing flush jets are far from perfect.
Much like the previous toilet we reviewed, the spray doesn’t fully cover the bowl, and doesn’t have enough pressure to really flush everything away.
The only other major complaint is that the Dometic toilet seat is a bit too thinly constructed. Pay attention to weight limits and ensure you don’t close it too hard and crack it.
For the price, Dometic packs in value, a fair height and size, and a very quick installation so you can get the ball rolling in no time at all.
- Dimensions: 19.8” x 16” x 18”
- Weight: 8.25 lbs
- Detachable Holding Tank?: Drains into tanks
- Type of Flush: Gravity
- Seating Height: 18”
- Saves water; just one pint per flush
- Quick installation process (hardware included)
- Taller than most models (actually feels like you’re sitting at home when you’re on it)
- Seat is thin and malleable, use care to prevent cracking
- Lack of coverage on the triple jet rinse system
4. Thetford 31667 RV Toilet
The Thetford RV toilet builds on their brand name, giving you a simple, easy to install toilet that gets the job done.
Among most of these that we’ve reviewed, the Thetford toilet seat has to be the most comfortable to sit on.
While the lid over the seat is a bit thin, it’s not a major issue. Thetford promises simple installation, and also gives you the plastic ring to ensure a tight, secure fit.
While that lid is thin, it’s textured to reduce visible scratches and scrapes, so even if you’re a bit rough with it you won’t degrade its aesthetics.
Where many come sub-par in this space, Thetford delivers on the flush system with full bowl coverage, ensuring that everything travels down the pipe, directly into your black tank.Altogether, the Thetford toilet gives you what you need without costing too much.
You’ll have this for years to come (average ten-year use for this brand), and access to their fantastic customer support team should you run into any issues. Great seat height, solid build, a great choice for your RV.
- Dimensions: 19.3” x 20” x 15.1”
- Weight: 9.40 lbs
- Detachable Holding Tank?: Drains to tanks
- Type of Flush: Hand flush
- Seating Height: 20”
- Textured lid reduces scratches and scrapes with extended use
- Complete bowl coverage when flushed
- Simple installation, works well in all RV types
- Thinner lid construction
- Not the best odor retention
5. Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet
Last but not least, we have another excellent Camco product.
This one works extremely well for camping, hiking and fishing as well as RVing.
You get Camco’s odor-locking seal at the bottom of the waste pipe.
Simply open the valve, allow you waste to fall into the 5.3 gallon basin, and pull the bellow style flusher. As a warning, there’s a lot of power in the flush so you’ll want to stand back to avoid splashback.
The major concern we have with this model is that after a few uses, it leaks near the flush valve, and that’s not something that anyone wants.
While the leaking is clean water, you don’t want a mess or a musty smell in your bathroom area when you go to use this. The bowl is a bit shallow for our expectations, though the seat is plenty high so you won’t feel like you’re using a child’s toilet.
Camco’s known for their customer service and fulfilling their one-year limited warranty found on most of their products.
With a few issues in mind, you can see why this didn’t top the list, but it is still an absolutely viable and very inexpensive option if you’re on a tight budget.
Easy to empty, simple to clean, and a powerful flush with a generous basin.
- Dimensions: 15.5” x 14” x 16”
- Weight: 10.80 lbs
- Detachable Holding Tank?: Drains into black tank
- Type of Flush: Bellow pump
- Seating Height: 16”
- Includes Camco’s innovative odor-locking waste pipe seal
- Generous 5.3 gallon basin capacity
- Side latch system to keep everything in place, even when you start moving
- Shallow toilet bowl height
- Reported leaking around the flush valve
Introduction To RV Toilets: What You Need To Know
They’re an afterthought; we assume that the one that came with our RV will suffice, but after you hit the road for a while and get to using it, you’ll find that it needs an upgrade.
RV toilets generally have fast installations, are easy to clean, but a little more fragile than the porcelain throne you have sitting at home.
Together, we’re going to run through everything you need to know about maintaining your RV toilet.
Different Types Of RV Toilets
These are also called camping or hunting toilets, and can often be used on boats as well.
Portable toilets are a little more than standard buckets with seats that you see in hunting shops.
These usually have about a 2.6 to 5.4 gallon reservoir in the base, and roughly 3.3 to 4.5 gallons of water in the clean flush system.
On average they weigh about ten to fifteen pounds, making them portable and easy to use.
Portable toilets are a great option if it’s just you or a maximum of two in your RV, so long as you get one with an odor-blocking shield or system.
There are portable models that you drain or run chemicals in, then there are detachable ones where you find an appropriate way to dump your waste and liquids.
Portable models with detachable basins are generally inexpensive, but have more working parts that you’ll need to be careful of, and clean before reassembling and storing for later use.
These are a popular choice for RVers who like to go wherever the wind takes them.
Gravity toilets are among the most simplistic plumbing type around.
Water sits, pressure builds on its own, and through no assistance by you, they flush when they reach a certain capacity.
These are popular choices for a low-maintenance toilet in your RV, and are usually installed and feed right into your black tank.
Gravity-fed toilets are one of the best options simply for the foolproof mechanism: there’s no pedal or piston to worry about.
If you’re really roughing it, you can use a compost toilet to actually turn human waste into usable compost for crops and plants.
Keep in mind, you cannot urinate in most of these, as they use waste, toilet paper and sawdust (as well as other composting agents) to aerate and turn everything into compost.
You’re definitely going to have a faint odor in your RV if you’re using one of these.
You can take them right out to the campsite with you, so long as you follow a few rules of thumb.
These are not the best choice for an RV, but if you’re on a budget, a camping toilet can help save you some cash and even prep you for that hunting trip that’s coming up.
These need to be either emptied into receptacles, or depending on the type, you can bury the waste in the woods through appropriate measures.
So Which Type Is Best For My RV?
Part of it comes down to preference.
As you can see based on our selection, we always opt for a bolted-in toilet that’s gravity-fed or hooked up to the black tank.
It’s a cleaner method, and when you pair it with one of our picks for the best RV sewer hose, you’ll be able to have a relatively sanitary and quick experience.
Ask yourself a few questions to determine what’s right for your RV and your family.
Can you be a little DIY-friendly and install a new toilet?
Do you have a large family and need a large capacity?
Are any of your squeamish about emptying the tank?
You’ll find your answer soon enough, though our professional opinion is a gravity or pedal flush toilet.
How Do I Install An RV Toilet?
- You’ll want to start by assembling everything necessary: a mounting bracket, sealant, gasket, bolts, necessary tools, and shutting off the main water line. Even if you’re not currently hooked up to anything, there’s probably a bit of water in the line.
- You’ll need to remove the old toilet. Discard the old bolts, and ensure you have enough water line to connect to your new toilet. If you’re upgrading the size or height, you might need a short extension. Remove any old flange or mounting kit that previously held the toilet in place.
- Place your new mounting kit (with appropriate watertight sealant applied) over the hole in the floor. Screw the mounting bracket into place.
- Mount your new toilet onto the bracket, and screw down the bolts. Most toilets will come with a plastic cover to hide the sewage line. Wait until the end to snap that into place.
- Attach your water line, turn it on, and test your toilet. Flush it a few times and check for leaks before calling it a day. You might need to add the pedal cover before finishing.
How Do I Secure It To Prevent Shifting Or Moving?
If you’re putting a portable or non-bolted down model in your bathroom, good on you for saving some money and using the camper’s preferred method.
It can get tricky though, so we want to find a way to temporarily mount it, so we can use it and empty the tank later on.
Since these portable toilets were never meant to be affixed, we don’t want to be invasive and damage the unit or the bowl.
Instead, you’re going to either use a cloth strap or a bungee cord, and install two hooks into the wall of your bathroom. In most setups, you’ll place one in the wall near where your pedal goes, and another in the side of the sink cabinet.
You now have an anchor for your bungee cable or cloth strap, so you can keep this close to the wall even when moving.
How Do I Properly Clean An RV Toilet?
You’re in a cramped space, so you want to use as few chemicals as possible.
Even if you have an excellent RV vent fan to help suck the air out and condition the space, you want to evade breathing in those harsh chemical cleaners in the first place, especially if you’re riding with children and their more fragile immune systems.
To properly clean your RV toilet inside and out, follow this simple checklist.
- Slip on a pair of latex gloves or single-use plastic ones, and if you have a disposable face mask around, it would be good to wear it as well. We’re going to start from the inside.
- Use a solution of baking soda and white distilled vinegar, and apply it to your toilet brush. You can make this mixture for less than five dollars, just ensure it’s one part baking soda, three parts vinegar, and you’ll be good to go. Take the toilet brush and start with the rim, working under the lid and maneuver your way down the bowl.
- You want to ensure you’ve coated the entire toilet with this mixture. Scrub everywhere, even if it looks like there’s no residual waste or notable odor in that area.
- Flush the toilet. It’s best to clean your toilet when you’re already connected to a sewer grate via your RV sewer hose. While the mixture is breaking down bacteria, you’ll want to grab a rag and start tackling the exterior of the bowl. Start from the top of the seat, clean the hinges, and put heavy focus on the handle/paddle. Use the same mixture.
- After letting everything sit for about four to five minutes, it’s time to clean. Work from the outside, wiping away any excess mixture. Wipe the top of the seat, the hinges, anything external. Now dump a bucket of water down the drain to properly rinse out the bowl. Wipe down the lip of the bowl, flush, and you’re done.
What To Look For When Buying An RV Toilet
Many others would say, “It’s a toilet, it’s simple,” but we both know that’s not the case.
We’ve thrown together a quick checklist of what you need to really keep your sights set on, so you can be certain you’re getting the very best RV toilet to fit your needs.
A major factor for certain.
This is going to dictate your installation process, how well it fits, leg room, things of that nature.
It’s also going to determine if you need to modify the current setup you have.
Many newer RVs come with small toilets, yet have enough space to accommodate a larger size.
If you’re augmenting your newer RV (basically anything 2010 to current), then you’ll need to plan ahead appropriately if you plan on sizing up. Size also correlates to weight.
How often are you going to be using this?
If you’re a full-time RVer (or a hopeful one), then we don’t need to preach this fact to you: quality beats quantity every time.
For part-timers and newcomers without a lot of capital to pump into their RV, they usually opt for cheaper models. The more you travel, the more stress you’re putting on your RV toilet, meaning you’ll need a higher quality model to see you through the worst of times.
Your RV isn’t fortified like a house.
It doesn’t have constant hot water running through the pipes, nor a fortified foundation.
You’re much more susceptible to interference from the elements, which is why you need to pay attention to the minimum and maximum operating temperature range.
If you’re travelling somewhere to meet with family, and it happens to be the snowy season, you’ll want to plan ahead to prevent your tank from freezing.
If your tank freezes, your toilet pipes are likely to freeze. Even if they don’t, you’d be trying to pump water into a frozen tank, and that’s going to cause major problems.
Average Passenger Capacity
This all relates to your gray and black tanks, their capacity, and how many passengers are going with you for the ride.
You’ll need to plan ahead if you have a large party: schedule stops, try to use the restrooms in restaurants and gas stations as much as possible to save the tank capacity for when you stop at an RV park or camp overnight in a parking lot.
You should really learn the specs of your tanks, and do your best to monitor use. Provided you have a small number of passengers and minimal use, you should be okay, but knowing is half the battle.
Avoid spillovers, capacity breaches and bathroom flooding by planning ahead.
Always Equipped For The Ride
Whether it’s the right toilet for your RV, or a proper sewer hose to empty its contents at the next stop, we’ve compiled buying guides and information on everything you need to know.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer, there’s always something to learn; utilize our resources, our top product selections, and our experience with RVing to help transform you into the ultimate RV master.