What Is The Best RV Toilet (In 2017)?

best rv toilet
Portable Advisor

There comes a point in all our RV lives where replacing the pre installed toilet will become unavoidable. But how do you find the best RV toilet for your circumstances?

I learned quickly from my research that some of the pre-installed toilets in the older RVs are lacking some really useful features so it was an immediate upgrade in RV living quality when we made the switch.

I have outlined my research below along with some the best models which could suit your situation.

Product

Best Feature

   Our Rating

             Price

Dometic 310

All Rounder

Dometic 320

Extra Wide Seat

Nature's Head

Composting Toilet

Thetford AquaMagic

Tall Seat Position

The Best RV Toilet: What To Look For 

Water Efficiency

Water is one of your most precious commodities when out on the road as your fresh water tank, black tank and grey tank are so small. The water efficiency of your RV toilet should be a key concern therefore as shortages can cut any bookdocking adventures short.

Unlike standard toilets at home, which releases a set amount of water per flush, most RV toilets use a foot or hand pedal to flush. The sensitivity of the pedal, and your own exuberance pushing the pedal will impact the water usage. Ensure there a no complaints about the foot pedal’s efficiency before buying.

Ease Of Installation

The speed and ease of installation are factors to consider especially if you aren’t much of a handyman and do not want to pay an RV dealer to come out.

The recommendations I have made below all share ease of installation as a key feature. The biggest pain point with installing a replacement is matching up the specs of the new toilet with the fittings of the RV. In all cases where you are replacing your toilet with a different model you will need to buy a universal mounting kit to connect to the toilet.Ensure this is purchased before you begin installing to save you time. 

Other common extra parts that could be needed include an extension for the water line or different screw in bolts to complete installation. These are amendments you will not typically know about until you have taken out the old toilet. When removed, examine the fittings and compare it to your new toilets specifications to see alterations you will need to make. 

Check out this video for instructions on installing your RV toilet and also, this useful video will show you How NOT to install it! 

Height Of Toilet

Height of the new toilet is a common question and complaints for RVs. Older models are considered much too low to the ground whilst people want the same experience as if they were in their home toilet.

Manufacturers are catching onto this and are designing taller models in line with residential toilets. If you want the normal home sized toilet, you want a model with a height of 18 inches, these model will usually be called ‘standard height’ in the product description.

Taller models in the range of 18.5 inces to 20 inches are also offered and would be suitable for eldery RV’ers who are finding it difficult to sit and stand with their current models.

Flush Coverage

The best RV toilet should usually have a full bowl coverage flush! The flush technology of some cheaper models will only clean 60-70% of the bowl and this can leave waste remnants to accumulate.

Full bowl coverage saves you having to manually clean these areas and it reduces the chances of odor developing.

Style Of Seat

Typically RV toilets will have two styles of seats, plastic and the more expensive porcelain.

I will always pay that bit extra for a porcelain seat for the extra comfortability – porcelain seats are essentially the style you will find in peoples homes. I always feel I could crash through the plastic seating at any moment creating a very awkward situation!

The plastic seats are also more susceptible to wear and tear and will need to be replaced more often. Thus the benefit of them being cheaper is lost over time. Keep in mind that the porcelain seats can be a lot heavier however.

Hand Sprayer

I would consider the hand sprayer a compulsory feature when buying an RV toilet as it offers an extra sanitary measure. Being able to clean certain ‘tough’ stains which the flusher cannot clean is really important and it is a lot more effective and hygienic than using a toilet brush.

While many more models are incorporating this feature into their designs, not all new models have it so ensure you check for this feature.

Warranty

You should place some importance on the level of warranty offered by the manufacturer. As a standard benchmark, the model you buy should be offering two years warranty. This warranty should cover defects in the products as well as parts and labor coverage for this time period.

Any company offering more than two years is a bonus and this is one of Thetford;s biggest advantages as they offer 3 years warranty.

Composting Toilet Option

For those of you willing to pay premium prices, getting a composting or dry toilet instead of the standard flush model has a number of advantages.

Firstly, it uses no water at all which could possibly add one or two days to any off the grid road trips. The technology turns your waste into compost which offers not only environmental benefits but a more immediate concern – a reduction in the odor from your waste. That stink we all know is replaced by a smell of potting soil.

For many people the removal of the black tank smell is reason alone to upgrade to the composting style. The FitRv have a good video of their experiences with a composting toilet which I have linked to below.


Individual Product Reviews

Dometic 310 Toilet

Dometic 310 Series Standard Height Toilet, White

Our Favourite Feature

All Round Best Toilet

Price

Our Rating

For people looking for their first replacement RV toilet, this dometic brand would be our benchmark best rv toilet as it ticks most of the areas in my buying guide.

Firstly and most importantly for beginners it is a straight forward install – they have the seal pre installed which removes one headache immediately. Mark Polk of RV Education shows how it easy it is to install at this link.

The flush pattern cleans the whole bowl with little water and they have added that the hand sprayer which is a nice hygiene bonus.

This is the model being installed in many new RVs today which shows its reputation as an all rounder

Pros

  • Ease of installation.
  • Full bowl flush coverage.
  • Hand sprayer for additional cleaning.
  • Ceramic bowl.

Cons

  • Flimsy seat.
  • Splashes waste when flushing (ensure lid closed).

Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet

Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design

Our Favourite Feature

Composting Self-Contained Toilet

Price

Our Rating

Nature’s Head are probably the most reputable brand on the market when it comes to composting toilets and this is their benchmark model.

A quality composting toilet will be waterless ,odorless easy to install, and have an easy cleaning process. Nature heads ticks these boxes with the only smell being a dirt-like odor which only resonates if you leave off the air fan feature.

Ok, there will be a smell when replacing the urine bottle (replacement frequency depends on use) but that is to be expected.

Compost replacement is also a simple process and it takes 60-80 uses before you need to make this change. That is a full month for 2 people. Overall, I think Nature Heads will offer you the smoothest transition from standard toilets to composting.

Pros

  • Waterless – can add considerable time to dry camping trips.
  • Odorless with fan turned on – smell of soil otherwise.
  • Black water tank use removed.
  • Environmental benefits of composting.

Cons

  • Premium price. 
  • Hard to tell when urine bottle is full unless in very bright room.

Thetford 31672 Aqua-Magic

Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet Pedal Flush /High Profile / Parchment - Thetford 31672

Our Favourite Feature

A Taller Seat Positon

Price

Our Rating

The Thetford is designed for the older RVer in mind.

It sits a little taller at 18.5 (taller the average 18 inch home toilet) which will help those of you who have difficulty sitting and standing or if the toilet is in a confined space.

It is also a lot lighter to carry in comparison to other models which will suit those of you who struggle with heavier weights. This lightweight does not impact its sturdiness however – once installed it is rigid and durable. Its thin shape will also suit those of you with limited space

Pros

  • Lightweight to assemble but sturdy.
  • Taller design helps less mobile.
  • Thin model good for confined space.
  • 3 year warranty.

Cons

  • Splash back if lid open..
  • Seat not that comfortable.

Dometic 320 Toilet

Dometic 320 Series Standard Height Toilet, White

Our Favourite Feature

Extra Wide Toilet Seat

Price

Our Rating

I have included the Dometic 320 in the list for those of you looking for that extra seat quality that the 310 lacks.

For an extra $50-$60, the 320 has a bigger, elongated seat which is much more comfortable than the 310. It’s a deeper, lipped ceramic bowl and is more roomy than the 310 and most others on the market.

There are also less durability concerns for this model because of this feature. Apart from that, it has virtually the same features as the 310. If you want to sit in comfort then you will need that bit extra for this 320 model.

Pros

  • Deeper, wider toilet seat than competitors.
  • All the redeeming features of 310 model such as hand spray and full bowl flush coverage.
  • Quick installation.

Cons

  • Pricier than 310 model.
  • Wide seat may not suit everyone.

Conclusion

My closing thoughts would be not to venture from these brands Dometic, Thetford and Nature’s Head for the composting option. These three brands are the leaders on the market and this is where you will find the best RV toilet for your situation.They have a well developed customer support structure, wide warranty and tons of good youtube videos to help installation.

I do not see other brands in this market offering these services so even if you save $30-$40 with another brand it may end up costing you in the long run when you are faced with sub-standard post-sale customer support.

About the Author Rick Rose

Irish-American husband, dad of three and gadget enthusiast! Sandy and I have been RVing since the mid-nineties after embracing the boondocker way of life. We now practice what we call the 'Portable Lifestyle' - the ability to ‘get up and go’ and explore new places throughout the year while maintaining our income.

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