RV Composting Toilet Pros and Cons

RV Composting Toilet Pros and Cons

Bathroom facilities onboard RVs have improved significantly over the last 20 years – particularly when it comes to composting toilets.

So much more efficient, effective, and easy to use than they ever used to be, today’s composting toilets are quickly becoming the “go-to” bathroom option on board. This isn’t to suggest that composting toilets are without their drawbacks or downsides.

In the rest of this detailed guide, we run through (almost) everything you need to know about these kinds of toilets – the good and the bad – to better decide whether or not they are the right option for you.

RV Composting Toilet 101

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the pros and cons of RV composting toilets, it’s important to first break down exactly what these toilets are, what they do, and why they are so popular.

For starters, a composting toilet looks like a traditional toilet – but it doesn’t use any water.

Instead, these toilets are designed to leverage a composting technology that separates liquid waste from solid, breaks them down into separate containers, and processes all of your waste using 100% natural and often organic compounds.

The end result is a toilet that is near silent in operation, doesn’t require you to tap into valuable (and limited) water resources on board, and is pretty simple to clean and maintain.

To empty a composting toilet, all you have to do is pull out the separate “containers” and empty them in designated areas – or use the compost the way you would use traditional compost (in a garden, on your lawn, etc.).

That’s tough to beat!

RV Composting Toilet Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve gone over what a composting toilet is (and a big part of why they are so popular) let’s get into the pros and cons of these systems.


No Plumbing Needed

As we highlighted just a moment ago, composting toilets will not require any plumbing whatsoever.

These are legitimate “set it and forget it” kinds of toilets that can install into much more compact spaces in your RV.

Every RV owner can tell you that space is always at a premium. Getting a few extra feet to dedicate to some other system (or even expand the living space) can make an RV a lot more comfortable.

Because there are no pipes and no plumbing, you don’t have to worry about hooking up to a dump station regularly and flushing all of your waste every week (or even more often than that).

Very Environmentally Friendly

Secondly, composting toilets are much more environmentally friendly than traditional toilets for several different reasons.

First, composting toilets will take a ton less water than a traditional toilet would.

That’s a huge upgrade in and of itself.

Secondly, though, the composted waste can be recycled in a bunch of different ways – including as a fertilizer. The compounds used for composting the waste are 100% natural and often 100% organic.

Best of all, in many states, you can actually dump composted waste in the regular garbage. You won’t have to spend a lot of money on specialty dumping fees.

No Stink

One of the things that most people in the world of composting toilets are shocked by is the fact that they have almost no smell whatsoever.

As soon as people start to hear about composted waste, no water being used in a toilet system, and separated containers of waste sitting around for days, if not weeks or even months, they think the system will stink to high heaven.

Nothing could be further from the truth, though.

Thanks to the use of the composting compounds, unpleasant aromas are never going to be an issue. Your composting toilet may smell even nicer than a traditional setup!

Can’t Be Clogged

Because there are no pipes to clog, you won’t ever have to worry about your RV bathroom getting backed up. You won’t ever have to worry about emergency plumbing projects. And you won’t have to worry about your only bathroom on the go-getting shutdown.


A Little Expensive

Of course, because composting technology is still relatively new and always in demand, you can expect to spend a little bit more money on your composting toilet than on a traditional setup.

The convenience, hygienic benefits, and overall utility of a composting toilet generally make these upfront costs well worth it over the long haul.

Takes Some Getting Used to Using

Truth be told, using a composting toilet can take a little bit of time to get used to.

Not only are you going to have to get used to using the actual toilet self, but you’re going to have to get used to the process of holding waste, composting waste, and getting rid of waste in a brand-new way as well.

The adjustment period shouldn’t take too long (maybe a couple of weeks at the most), but there will be an adjustment period all the same.

Needs a Reliable Power Source

Lastly, your composting toilet will require a small amount of electricity on a regular and consistent basis to operate the ventilation system.

Without that electrically controlled ventilation system, the composting process cannot be as effective or as efficient as it should be. This can lead to unsafe and unsanitary conditions happening in a hurry, so you need to be sure that you can provide “always on-demand” power to this system.

Closing Thoughts

When you get right down to it, the benefits of using an RV composting toilet significantly outweigh the drawbacks and downsides.

There’s a reason why these toilets are the most in-demand options today and why so many companies continue to innovate and improve the technology consistently.

Don’t be surprised if RVs of the future ship with composting toilets as a standard feature in the idea of using a traditional toilet becomes almost unheard of.

It’ll happen sooner than later, thanks to the benefits of these toilets.

Don’t forget to check out our Recommended RV Equipment list!

Get a FREE copy of the Go Together Go Far Travel Trailer Hookup and Disconnect Checklist when you sign up for the Go Together Go Far Newsletter!

Want to learn more about different types of RVs? Check out:


Hi, my name is Andy. I have been camping my whole life. I started camping with my parents as a little kid and remember hanging out around a campfire roasting marshmallows. As I got older, car camping was a regular occurrence. After I got married and started a family, we decided we wanted to share the travel and camping experience with our kids. Out of that experience, this site, GoTogetherGoFar.com, was born.

Recent Posts