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Types of RV Toilets for Campers and Boats

Let’s first see the different types of RV toilets we can find for the campers, the differences between RV Toilets vs Regular toilets, the Best RV Toilets on the current market, how to interchange RV toilets, and Why is Necessary to Use RV toilet Paper (differences between regular toilet paper and RV toilet paper).

Whether it is a pop-up camper, travel trailer, motorhome, or any type of RV, and whether we are traveling or living, it is absolutely comfortable to have a bathroom and particularly a toilet in our RV.

And it may happen that we have bought a camper without a toilet because we were tight on budget and now, we want to add a new RV toilet and we need to investigate to know which one best suits our needs. Or it may be that our RV has a toilet but we are looking to change it and make an upgrade, and the question arises, how interchangeable are the RV toilets and what should we consider before? If you feel that any of these are also your situation, you are in the right article. I encourage you to read this post to the end and learn all about RV toilets and which one is best for each type of camper and need.

So, let’s dive into what are the types of RV toilets, pros, and cons.

Different Types of RV Toilets

With a price range of $180 to $250, most typical RV toilets come within this category. RV-sized toilets that attach to the floor, have flushing capabilities, and function normally is available at this range of prices. Below $180 you will find portable RV toilets, practical but laborious to prevent smells.

Besides the classification of types of RV toilets that we are going to discuss in the following paragraphs, there are several different materials to pick from, including plastic and ceramic bowl. The RV toilet seat may be a seat made of wood or plastic. The lid could be flimsy or sturdy. Also, consider the RV toilet height that varies with the price and model. You will find a standard height (18″) and a low profile (13.5″), which I will not recommend if you are looking for comfort. All these options are good to consider as well when choosing a new RV toilet.

On the other hand, many of the RV toilets that we show in this article are also good options for boat toilets. It is very common to choose a portable toilet, Porta Potty for a pop-up camper without a bathroom as well as for a fishing pontoon boat.

Let’s see the different types of RV toilets:

  1. Cassette Toilet, also known as a Swivel Cassette Toilet,
  2. Portable toilets also called Porta Potty
  3. Composting Toilet
  4. Recirculating Toilets, also known as Vacuum Toilet, (similar to ones on airplanes)
  5. Macerating Toilet
  6. Traditional Gravity Flush Toilet (Flush or Dry Flush Toilet, regular RV toilets),

Let’s see the types of toilets for RVs that we can find on the current market.

Swivel Cassette Toilet

Cassette Toilet, also known as a Swivel Cassette Toilet, is very common in small campers.

cassette toilet is a toilet that is not portable, permanently installed with a removable black water tank. When manufacturers of small campers add a restroom to their floor plan, be sure that is a cassette toilet. Otherwise, if the restroom is optional, it may be a Porta Potty, which is a portable restroom. The difference is a cassette toilet is installed; it is not portable.

Every year more Class B RV manufacturers utilize cassette toilets in their camper van designs, mostly after copying the good European experience and it’s becoming popular in USA and Canada.

The biggest advantage of this type of RV toilet is its small size. Although cassette toilets must be emptied more frequently, they are a better option for class B RVs and compact campers since they are easier to clean and have less potential for foul odors.

A cassette toilet replaces your standard RV toilet, and waste is sent to a small, portable waste tank rather than your black tank. Cassette RV Toilets Pros: Cleaner and with fewer odors.

How Frequently Should I Empty the Cassette Toilet to Avoid Odors? Here’s how to keep it smelling fresh for as long as possible. Dispose of the RV toilet waste regularly and use enzyme-based products. When should you empty a cassette toilet? At a minimum, once every two days. Although you may need to do it more regularly in the future.

What Is the Best Way to Empty a Cassette Toilet?

The waste tank, which is detachable and on wheels like a suitcase, may be emptied at a public bathroom or dump station.

How Common are Cassette RV toilets?

Cassette RV toilets are very common, and you will find many campers with wet bathrooms using cassette toilets. Lightweight and small pop up campers with bathrooms generally offer wet bathrooms with cassette toilets because it is a good choice to save space.

Why are campers’ wet bathrooms named that? It’s because they normally have an RV toilet inside the shower stall, and the RV toilet gets all wet when you use the shower. In general, the RV is a cassette toilet, although it may be a Porta Potty.

pop up campers with cassette RV toilets
Cassette toilets are very common for RVs, and you will find many campers with wet bathrooms using cassette toilets, especially pop-up campers, because it is a good choice to save space.

Let’s move to some more types of RV toilets. The next RV toilet is very popular.

Portable toilets (Porta Potty)

Portable toilets are commonly called Porta Potty. However, is not correct because Porta Potty® is a commercial brand by Thetford.

Because a Portable RV toilet does not filter particles from liquids, it generates raw sewage. While they are incredibly portable and simple to set up, you must discharge the waste regularly at an RV dump or in a toilet. You will also be able to see and smell the sewage because there is no hose involved.

Porta Potti® is a portable RV toilet, as well as a portable boat toilet made by Thetford, It is very sanitary, has good plastic quality, and is odorless.

In this video, we show you one of the best portable toilets for Small Campers and Boats.

RV toilets under $180: If you want to spend less than $180, your RV toilet selections will be restricted. Few RV toilets are as inexpensive, and those that do tend to have few amenities and conveniences. In fact, many RV toilets in this price range are portable toilets. It is affordable and practical but inconvenient (smelly) if you cannot keep it clean.

Let’s continue. We have a few more types of RV toilets to review. The next RV toilet, the Composting RV toilets, became very popular for van campers.

Composting Toilet

Composting RV toilets are waterless and separate solids from liquid waste. They’re beneficial if you have a restricted water supply and are traveling as a pair or alone. They do not stink when appropriately used. They may smell like soil, but a vent fan blows the air from the bowl outdoors. The number of times you have to replace the tank makes it unsuitable for a family.

Vacuum Toilet

Recirculating Toilets are also known as Vacuum toilets. A vacuum flush toilet removes all of the contents of the bowl using a macerating pump and a suction unit. The vacuum boosts flushing power and liquefies solid waste. A vacuum RV toilet is convenient because it can usually be placed in several ways in your RV.

Macerating Toilet

Before the waste is sent into the holding tank (black water tank), motorized blades in Macerating Toilet soften and thin it. Because the waste is broken down into tiny bits before it is transferred from the toilet to the black tank, the waste in the holding tank becomes considerably more fluid.

Finally, we have the last (but probably the best of all the different types of RV toilets reviewed), the traditional RV toilet. If you have enough space and you are looking for something comfortable, I am sure you will choose a Traditional Gravity Flush Toilet.

Traditional Gravity Flush Toilet (Flush or Dry Flush Toilet, regular RV toilets)

A traditional gravity flush toilet is very similar to a regular home toilet, but you will need to fill it with water for a clean flush. That’s why it is also known as the “Dry Flush Toilet,” and it used to be the regular RV toilet.

The traditional gravity flush toilet doesn’t have a water-holding tank. That’s why you can only utilize a traditional gravity flush toilet if it is attached to an external water supply or if the water pump from the RV holding tank is turned on. Regardless of the material of the bowl, you will have a foot pedal to flush the RV toilet.

The Dometic 302320081 320 Series is one of the best gravity flush toilets for RVs on the current market. Easy to install floor mounted, this model with a height of 20 inches has a comfortable size with a ceramic bowl.  

3 Best Brands for RV Toilets

#1 Best Brands for RV Toilets: Thetford

Thetford, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a prominent maker of transportable sanitation solutions for the RV, marine, camping, and truck sectors. In 1963, the business developed its first slide-action valve for RV holding tanks.

#2 Dometic

Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters, two Swedish engineering students, invented the world’s first refrigerator in 1920. RV toilets, holding tanks, mobile refrigeration, furnaces, and air conditioners are among the items manufactured by the firm.

#3 Camco 

Camco is a company that offers a wide range of RV and camping equipment – and if you’ve been camping for a while, you’re probably familiar with it. Camco offers perfect RV holding tanks. Camco supplies anything from electrical products to sanitary products to equipment and comfort things. An excellent brand in this industry since 1966.

Types of RV Toilets: RV Toilet Vs. Regular Toilet

Can You Put A Regular Toilet In an RV?

Can You Put A Regular Toilet In an RV? How a regular toilet works is very different than the RV toilet. An RV toilet uses less or almost no water. And that’s the main difference. It is possible to install a regular household toilet. However, keep in mind that you will not be able to use the same flush water, as the volume will be too much for the holding tanks. The base can be used, and water can be added by hand using a small flush.

Are All RV Toilets Interchangeable

If it is a portable RV toilet, there is no problem with interchangeability. If it is an RV toilet that requires installation, such as cassette toilets, the vast majority of RV toilets are interchangeable. The diameter of the installation piping will match. Only some drilling may be necessary for attachment. In general, the most common brands on the market have an installation system that provides all the necessary materials, which facilitates this process.

We have noticed that many RVers have recurring problems with clogged toilets and are looking to switch to different types of RV toilets. If you identify with this, we recommend you read the following paragraphs.

Is It Necessary to Use RV Toilet Paper?

As mentioned in previous paragraphs, the big difference between a regular RV and an RV toilet is the amount of water drag and the force of the water. RV toilets use little or no water, making it challenging to remove both paper and solid organic waste from the toilet.

The difference between RV toilet paper and regular toilet paper lies in the breakdown with very little water and little movement. This is the challenge of an RV toilet and why RV toilets become clogged. Because solid organic waste and paper cannot be broken down and degraded, so that this is never a problem, we offer you the definitive solution in the post about How to unclog an RV toilet, without having to change and buy another RV toilet.

We’ve found that many RVers have repeated issues with obstructed RV toilets and are considering switching to alternative types of RV toilets. If this describes you, we recommend that you read the following sections.

RV and boat toilets typically clog due to insufficient flushing water. Each flush of a house’s regular toilet uses 10 to 5 liters of water. Camper toilets and boat toilets use only 0.5 L of water every flush. RV canister toilets clog quickly due to their low flushing and flushing capacity.

I hope you get the most out of our review of different types of RV toilets for campers and suitable toilets for boats.

About Ward Greenway

Since I was 5 years old, I remember being inside my father's pop-up camper crossing the USA. My passion for RVs and Campers grew until I graduated in Mechanical Engineering (Tennessee). Then, I took my passion to the next level. Because I wanted to improve the design and engineering of the RVs I enjoyed them so much. I have been lucky to work for Central RV New Zealand, Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Australia), Forest River Inc., and Mercury Marine, as a Mechanical Design Engineer. I have seen and improved hundreds of RV floor plans. Nowadays, I enjoy RV living full time in my Mallard travel trailer and the joy of meeting new friends along the way who help me put the best on CamperOutdoor.com

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