Your Royal Throne: RV Toilets

Jan 9 2017

Everyone has to use them, it’s just a matter of when and for how long. Whether you’re young or old, big or small, it’s a natural part of our physiology that when nature calls we…well, answer. When you’re in the lot picking out your rig, it’s possible to do some customizations before it leaves the shop. If everyone has to use the potty, it had better be something you don’t mind using or looking at. With this in mind, here are a few things to consider about your royal throne before you purchase your RV.

How Does Your RV Toilet Work?

RV toilets can be a little tricky if you’re not used to using them. Sometimes people finish their “business” and don’t know where to find the flush. Here’s a quick 101 crash course in RV toilets for those who are wondering how they work or just plain don’t want to be left in the dark wondering how you’re going to get rid of your embarrassing deuce before the RV owners see it (or worse, smell it).

The setup of your RV toilet is the most noticeable difference between it and the one in your brick and stick house. Since RVs are made to be in motion, the toilets have to be modeled to meet the needs of movement beneath it. So, instead of having a traditional trap (the u-shaped pipe found at the “neck” of your toilet at home), that piece is totally gone and there’s just a hole to the holding tank. The rubber seal in the bowl keeps water from splashing around while you’re moving and prevents some of the smell from seeping into your living quarters.

Basics Covered: Using the Throne

Flushing is a little different than you’re probably used to. The mechanism can be on the floor as a foot pedal or a traditional handle like you’re used to seeing. Not only might the placement be different, but they way you flush is different too. If you’re going to be doing a number two, you’ll want to hold the handle down halfway before you sit down. This fills up the bowl part of the way and keeps your poo from sticking to the walls of the stool. When you’re done, flush like you would after honkin’ out any other dirt snake.

Fans in RV bathrooms are a little different too. Instead of running the fan while you’re getting down to business, run it after you’re finished. Even in the winter or if you don’t think it stinks. If you turn on the fan while you’re going, it will suck the air through the potty you’re sitting on and makes a glorious stench. So unless you want to be skunked off your throne, we suggest turning on the fan as you depart the loo.

Traditional RV Toilets v. Composting Toilets

Not only are traditional RV toilets confusing, but there’s also a newer composting toilet that’s come on the market and is picking up steam among tiny house builders and RVers alike. This method decreases the number of time you’ll need to clean out your black tanks (down to about four times per year, depending on the size of the tank and how many people are using it), and completely rids you of the need to empty your black water system. Composting toilets are specially manufactured to optimize evaporation, temperature and oxygen. By balancing all three of these components (and with a whole lot of other science and math), you can dump your waste in nature to complete the cycle of life.

There are lots of options for your throne in today’s marketplace. Will you opt for a traditional plastic RV stool or spring for ceramic? Will you use a composting toilet instead of a contemporary one? These decisions are all personal ones and can only be made by the owner that will be using it. Take some time to do some research and learn about your options before you invest for a comfortable Good Life experience…no matter where you go.