Composting Toilet vs RV Toilet

Composting Toilet vs RV Toilet: An In-Depth Comparison

Proper hygiene and sanitation practices in the home are essential for any modern resident. But while most households keep their bathrooms and kitchens clean, they often overlook a crucial aspect of sanitation – choosing the right toilet. Though historically, limited choices were available, families these days have many options, two of which are the two most popular non-flush toilets, the composting toilet and RV toilet.

Both of these alternatives offer an alternative to the traditional flush toilet, but each has its pros and cons, making them suitable in different cases. But, with so many toilet types available in the market, how can you be sure when choosing between a composting toilet vs rv toilet system?

This article will explore the differences between a composting toilet and an RV toilet, comparing and contrasting their features, strengths, and weaknesses. We will also discuss various tips and strategies for choosing between the two, as well as learn how to live with either one in a comfortable way, so you can make the best decision for your family.

Disclosure: Best Composting Toilet, as an Amazon Associate, earns commissions on qualified purchases. This informative review article may contain affiliate links. Commission and earnings support our work. This means we may receive a commission if you purchase items from links embedded in the articles.

Last update on 2024-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Use Alternative Non-Flush Toilets

The idea of traditional toilets may be preferred, but the drawbacks of flush toilets are becoming more and more obvious. The environment and health of the planet are adversely affected due to the high water usage and chemical content in many of the wastewater. It’s time to reconsider the use of alternative toilets which provide many environmental benefits.

Firstly, the use of environmentally-friendly alternative toilets offers the opportunity to reduce water usage. Non-flush toilets use very little or no water at all and thus, reduce natural resource usage. Most non-flush toilets use a simple gravity-fed system or else a sealed biofilter or composting system to separate solids from water, which significantly reduces water usage. This allows homeowners to save money and the environment by reducing their water bills and cutting down on total water usage.

Non-flush toilets also greatly reduce the amount of wastewater that is deposited in waterways. This is because wastewater is not discharged directly into rivers and streams when you use an alternative toilet. Instead, the wastewater is collected in a tank and either filtered out or treated and returned to a usable state. This reduces the risk of contamination and pollution and keeps local waterways clean and healthy.

Next, non-flush toilets reduce the number of household chemicals that end up in the environment. A large number of chemicals are released into the environment through conventional flush toilets as they flush out disinfectants and bleaches and other chemical compounds that are usually used to clean the toilet. On the other hand, alternative toilets do not require such chemicals as wastewater is collected and filtered before being discharged. This means that fewer harmful chemicals are released into the environment, making them a much more eco-friendly option.

Finally, non-flush toilets reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water for flushing. In areas that are naturally cold, such as during the winter months, heating water for flushing is a costly venture. But non-flush toilets use only a fraction of the water that conventional toilets do and thus do not require additional energy to heat water for flushing. This makes them more cost-effective and environment-friendly solutions for wastewater management.

These are just a few of the advantages of using alternative toilets in comparison to traditional flush toilets. Not only is it better for the environment but it helps in saving water and energy while also reducing water bills. It is therefore essential that people are encouraged to opt for non-flush toilets over traditional flush toilets. Not only will it help to reduce pollution levels, but also promote a greener future.

Composting Toilet vs RV Toilet
Composting Toilet vs RV Toilet

What is a Composting Toilet?

A composting toilet is an ecological toilet that operates without water. A composting toilet collects waste in a chamber where organic matter is broken down and transformed into fertilizer.

The most common type of composting toilet is the dry composting toilet. This type of toilet uses a living layer on the surface of the waste, made up of facultative microorganisms which decompose feces in the absence of air and moisture.

Composting toilets usually have separate chambers for solid and liquid waste, which helps to maintain balance, avoid odors, and increase the efficiency of the decomposition process.

Composting Toilets Benefits

The first part of helping you learn more about the difference between using a composting toilet vs rv toilet system is understanding the former’s benefits.

Composting toilets are self-contained, off-the-grid toilet solutions. Essentially, a composting toilet uses a combination of aeration, heat, and moisture to break down waste material and mix it with sawdust or other natural material to create compost. Composting toilets are perfect for those looking to minimize their environmental impact or use off-grid solutions. The main benefits of a composting toilet include:

  • Zero to minimal water usage — Composting toilets use minimal or no water, making them the perfect solution if you’re looking to go off-grid or minimize your water usage.
  • Low odor — Thanks to the natural composting process, composting toilets create minimal odors and don’t require the use of traditional septic systems which may emit unpleasant smells.
  • High storage capacity — Composting toilets have high storage capacities, allowing them to store large volumes of waste for more extended periods.
  • Minimal maintenance — Composting toilets require minimal maintenance and are easy to use and empty.
  • Alternative fuel sources — Composting toilets can use alternative fuel sources like solar energy, making them ideal for remote locations.
  • Reduced environmental impact — The lack of water usage in composting toilets and the use of natural composting mean there is less of an environmental impact than in other toilets.

What is an RV Toilet?

RV (recreational vehicle) toilets use the same technology as traditional flush toilets, with the added feature of being able to flush with less water or without the use of sewers, and without the need for a septic tank.

RV toilets are also known as ‘black water’ RV toilets because they are different from traditional flush toilets in that they don’t allow greywater, also known as blackwater, to be flushed into the sewers. Instead, greywater must be extracted and disposed of separately.

RV Toilet Benefits

RV toilets are portable toilets specifically designed for recreational vehicles. They are usually made of plastic or ceramic and use a tank system and retractable roof to hold waste materials. RV toilets are easily installed in a range of recreational vehicles and offer convenience and flexibility to those on the go. The main benefits of RV toilets include:

  • Convenient and portable — RV toilets are easy to install and provide a convenient, portable toilet solution.
  • Versatile — RV toilets are versatile and can be installed in a range of recreational vehicles, making them the perfect solution for those frequently on the road.
  • Inconspicuous — RV toilets have a discreet location, meaning they don’t stand out when you’re in transit.
  • Easy to clean — RV toilets are easy to clean and some models are even designed so that they can be flushed with water or cleaned out with a vacuum.
  • No sewer or water hook up required — RV toilets don’t require a sewer or water hookup, making them perfect for remote locations.
  • Affordable — RV toilets are typically a more affordable option than conventional toilets.
  • Maximum waste capacity — RV toilets provide users with the maximum waste capacity, meaning you don’t have to dump your tank as often. 

Last update on 2024-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disadvantages of Each & How to Choose Between the Two

The debate between composting toilets and RV toilets is a long and storied one. While both types of toilets have their fair share of fans, there are also some notable disadvantages. When making the decision between the two, it’s important to consider the types of disadvantages that come with each type of toilet.

One major disadvantage of composting toilets is the cost of the setup. A well-designed composting toilet system can take a significant investment of money to install since it is a complex system with multiple parts. In addition to the upfront cost for the composting system, you also typically need to purchase odor removal chemicals and additives, as well as a compost separator, a thermometer, and additional bin components that make the system work.

In contrast to composting toilets, RV toilets are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. The initial expense is far less than it is for composting toilets, and the installation is much simpler. In most cases, all that is needed is a few screws, a sealant, and some hoses. RV toilets are also much more compact than composting systems, so they make more efficient use of limited space.

Composting toilets also require more maintenance than RV toilets. They need to be routinely checked for proper functioning, and when necessary, the temperature must be monitored for adequate decomposition. In addition to regular maintenance, composting systems also need to be adjusted and changed over time to keep up with accumulating biodegradable material or wastes.

RVs, on the other hand, are largely self-contained systems that require only minimal maintenance. No adjustments need to be made to the tanks, and the tanks themselves can be emptied when needed. This means RV owners don’t need to worry about making adjustments or having to constantly monitor the system.

Another major disadvantage of composting toilets is their odor. Composting systems are designed to break down organic material, so there is an inherent odor that the system creates. This can be especially problematic for those living in close quarters or small areas where the smell can quickly permeate the space. Additionally, composting systems tend to be large and bulky, which means that there may be limited mobility and visibility options when using them.

RV toilets, on the other hand, are far less odorous than composting systems. The tanks are designed to hold both liquid and solid wastes, and the smell is largely contained within the tanks themselves. RV toilets are also more compact and easier to move, making them ideal for those looking to reduce the size and weight of their bathroom accessories. 

When comparing the advantages and disadvantages of composting toilets and RV toilets, it becomes clear that each type of toilet has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the decision of which one to use comes down to individual preferences and needs. Some people may find that the investment of a composting system is worth it, while others may prefer the ease and convenience of an RV toilet. Ultimately, it’s up to each person to decide which of these two toilet types best suits their needs and lifestyle.

Things to Keep in Mind

When using either type of non-flush toilet, it’s important to keep in mind that regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to ensure proper operation. It’s also important to be mindful of the environment when disposing of waste and use appropriate water conservation practices. Finally, it’s a good idea to check with local regulations before choosing either a composting toilet or an RV toilet.

How to Live Comfortably With These Types of Toilets

In order to live comfortably with either a composting toilet or an RV toilet, it’s important to ensure adequate ventilation to reduce odors, and frequent cleaning and maintenance to ensure proper operation. It’s also important to be aware of environmental considerations, such as water conservation, and proper waste disposal.

Last update on 2024-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Composting toilets and RV toilets are both viable alternatives to traditional flush toilets. While each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, both offer water conservation and reduced costs associated with wastewater disposal. Ultimately, choosing to adopt a composting toilet vs rv toilet or vice-versa will come down to the purpose and location of the toilet. Ultimately, both types of non-flush toilets are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint by using less water and reducing sewage costs.