Compost Toilets for RVs: How to Install and Maintain Them on the Road-:Complete Guide

Are you looking for a reliable and eco-friendly solution for your RV toilet needs? You’ve come to the right place!

We’ll show you how to install and maintain compost toilets in your RV, so you can reduce your environmental footprint while still enjoying the road. Get ready to learn everything you need to know about compost toilets for RVs!

Composting toilets are an increasingly popular option for RV owners looking to reduce the amount of waste they take with them on the road. These toilets utilize natural processes to break down organic material, producing compost instead of traditional waste. Along with being more environmentally friendly, composting toilets require significantly less water and space than traditional RV toilet systems, making them ideal for trips in remote or hard-to access areas.

This guide will discuss the basics of how to install and maintain a composting toilet in your RV so you can make the most of your limited space on the road.

Explanation of compost toilets for RVs

Composting toilets are designed to break down waste into compost, a nutrient-rich material that can be used as fertilizer on agricultural or forestry land. They offer an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional RV toilets, which require expensive chemicals and flush large amounts of water. Composting toilets produce far less wastewater, reduce smells more effectively, and require fewer maintenance tasks.

Despite these advantages, some RVers may be hesitant to switch to composting toilets due to the complexity of installation and maintenance. This is understandable because composting toilets are a relatively new technology requiring special care and attentiveness. This guide will provide all the necessary information you need to ensure successful installation and maintenance of composting toilets in your RV.

Importance of compost toilets for sustainable living

The environment is a hot topic for consumers and more people are becoming aware of the importance of sustainable living practices. Compost toilets, also known as “dry” toilets, are an ideal choice for reducing waste and providing a eco-friendly solution while traveling in an RV or camper. Not only do they allow waste to break down naturally, but they help keep wildlife away from campgrounds and other remote camping areas.

Compost toilets work by separating urine from solid waste and turn it into odourless compost that can be used for fertilization. This process is facilitated through aerobic composting, which requires the presence of air so that microorganisms can help break down the organic material in the mixture. The liquid waste is absorbed into the material around it to create compost soil that can be safely spread on vegetation or discarded where allowed by local regulations. By separating solids from liquids these systems make it easier to manage both resources as well as reduce pollution to surrounding waterways or landfills. Dry toilets also require less water than traditional flushing models which helps conserve natural resources while providing a discreet solution when venturing off-grid.

Installing a compost toilet may appear intimidating at first but many options can bolt right into existing RV sites without advanced plumbing skills required. By following instruction manuals and sourcing reliable materials you can choose a model that fits your needs such as size, budget, lifestyle; opt for portable versions if you plan on regularly relocating your RV or trailer; look for self-contained units with built-in vents and separators; understand where certain laws apply; be familiar with guidelines when disposing of human waste; maintain your system regularly; have additional supplies on hand in case the compost material runs out quickly – even biodegradable bags sometimes come in handy!

Benefits of Composting Toilets for RVs

Composting toilets for recreational vehicles (RVs) can provide a number of distinct advantages over traditional toilet systems. Compared to RV-friendly septic tanks and city sewer systems, composting toilets don’t require frequent emptying or lengthy set-up and break-down periods, which makes them perfect for long-term trips or camping areas without appropriate disposal systems. Composting toilets are also more environmentally friendly than conventional wastewater systems, since they help avoid the consequences of polluting soils and groundwater with harmful chemicals. When selecting composting toilets for RVs, there are several factors to consider in order to ensure your system meets the needs of your setup.

First and foremost, you should determine what types of waste will be collected. Some composting toilet models are designed specifically for human waste only, while others can accommodate a variety of organic materials such as food scraps, pet waste, and paper products.

Furthermore, this type of toilet operates without electricity or water which makes them more energy efficient. This means that owners do not need to worry about connecting their systems to mains power sources or wasting water supplies with each flush. Composting toilets also cut down on the need for hazardous materials like formaldehyde and chlorine found in traditional waste collection systems. Lastly, when properly maintained these environmentally friendly alternatives generate nutrient-rich soil amendments instead of hazardous incontinence resulting in significantly fewer impact on the environment.

Eco-friendly and sustainable

Compost toilets for RVs are environmentally friendly, sustainable waste management systems that allow RV campers to safely dispose of their sewage and organic waste. By using a compost toilet, an RV camper will leave a reduced environmental footprint and enjoy the ease of not having to use and dig a traditional latrine while camping. Compost toilets are designed as “self-contained” units that have reusable solid and liquid tanks where the waste breaks down under controlled conditions. This guide looks at how to install and maintain compost toilets in RVs so that they can be safely used while traveling.

To start, select an appropriate spot in your RV where the compost toilet will fit. Note that it must be placed near an electrical outlet if you are using electric-powered versions such as Nature’s Head or Sun Mar composting toilets. It is also important to select a spot away from any potential heat or exhaust sources such as stoves, heaters, or diesel engines found inside most RVs today to avoid any problems with air circulation around the unit. Once you’ve identified your desired location, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mounting the compost toilet onto the floor or wall of your RV.

In addition to installing the unit itself, there are several maintenance tasks needed once it is up and running in order for it to operate optimally. These tasks include monitoring moisture levels within the tank; adding bulking agents when necessary; regularly stirring up the contents of both solid and liquid tanks; replacing liners if needed; emptying liquid deposit tanks when they become full; cleaning solids tanks when necessary; checking trap doors for proper sealing; testing ventilation pumps if gas evaporator systems are used; evaluating temperature levels with thermometers (if included); re-charging reactivating media with water if using Clivus Multrum models; and maintaining seals by lubricating them with vegetable oil once a week to keep them functional over time.


Compost toilets offer cost-effective and eco-friendly options for RVers seeking alternatives to traditional waste management systems. Unlike flush toilets, they require no water, and they don’t produce solid waste that must be hauled away. Additionally, composting offers easy DIY installation and significantly reduced maintenance requirements.

In this guide, we will cover the benefits of composting on the road, guidelines for selecting the right option to fit your needs, advice on proper installation and maintenance of composting toilets in RVs, as well as tips to ensure that your system continues to function properly during use. We’ll also discuss how composting can help reduce the impact of long-term camping trips on the environment.

 Maintaining Composting Toilets for RVs

Maintaining composting toilets for RV’s requires regular maintenance in order to function properly. Different models of composting toilets have different requirements, so it is important to read and understand the instructions for the specific brand and model of toilet being used. Generally, regular maintenance involves adding activator material, turning and stirring the waste material, and emptying the bin.

Activator Material: A small amount of premixed organic activator needs to be added with each use to increase microbial activity and heat generation within the unit. The type of activator material should match what is included with the unit or specified by its manufacturer. It is typically added directly on top of waste that was just produced in order to accelerate the composting process.

Turn and Stir Waste Material: In order to keep composting toilets functioning properly, it is necessary to turn and mix up the waste material with a paddle or tool provided by its manufacturer from time to time in order for proper aeration or oxygen flow into all layers of waste without over-stirring which can lead to anaerobic conditions rather than aerobic ones needed for efficient composting.

Emptying the Bin: Depending on local regulations regarding greywater disposal, some RV owners may need to empty their liquid container from time-to-time as well as eventually re-provision composter with fresh media such as peat moss or coir that has been moistened slightly before adding new scope of activator according standards outlined by a unit’s manufacturers when necessary.

Emptying and disposing of waste

Emptying and disposing of the waste from your compost toilet is not the same as dealing with a regular camping toilet. It is essential to follow guidelines for safe, responsible disposal to ensure you protect the environment.

When ready to dispose of the waste, carefully pour it into an absorbent material such as wood chips or straw, a lightweight paper bag, or an absorbent soil mixture; this will prevent harmful elements like pathogenic organisms and nitrates from entering groundwater sources. Make sure you observe local sanitation conditions before dumping; RVers must use only officially designated dump areas.

It is important to note that in most cases compost toilets need very little emptying unless they are very heavily used on a regular basis. Depending on its use level, compost contents should only require emptying once or twice a year; this varies by model and usage level so be sure to check your manual for details. A good way to test when it is time for emptying is with an ‘eye test’: if light does not filter through anymore when you open the toilet lid, then it is probably time for dumping out the contents.

If possible, take some of the waste to an authorized composting facility after each trip; this helps reduce the size of deposits in one place and prevents soils from becoming overloaded with nitrogen and other chemicals. When disposing at home sites or campsites that are not officially designated for dumping human waste, mix it with “acceptable” yard clippings like leaves (in 1:10 ratio) so it blends into dark colored humus more quickly over time- regular disposal sites may reject highly saturated material so please consult local rules first!

Cleaning and sanitizing the toilet

Whether you are a frequent traveler or occasional camper, it is important to keep your RV toilet clean and well-maintained in between trips. This will help ensure a pleasant and healthy experience for everyone onboard. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of how to properly clean and sanitize a composting toilet for an RV.

When cleaning a composting toilet, it is essential that you take the proper precautions to maintain hygiene as much as possible. We recommend wearing gloves when handling any waste material as well as using a face mask while emptying the containers. To avoid spreading germs, use only disinfectant products that are safe for use in septic tanks.

The steps for maintaining your composting toilet may vary depending on the type of system you have installed in your RV:

Active toilet systems: If your system uses mechanical parts or uses electricity during operation (such as an air pump), we recommend following any maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper upkeep and servicing of these components. Additionally, make sure to empty any solids/liquids from the holding tank periodically according to instructions given by the manufacturer or emergency plumber, check seals and door gaskets to ensure odors are not leaking from inside the unit, inspect hoses & pipes for blockages or cracks, and generally clean entire surface areas with mild soap solution followed by sanitizing product approved by your local municipality health department before use after storage periods longer than once week.

Non-active systems: Maintenance on non-active systems includes emptying solids/liquids containers periodically according to instructions given by emergency plumber or manufacturer; check seals and door gaskets; inspect hoses & pipes; scrub entire surface area after each use with mild soap solution followed by sanitizing product approved by local municipality health department; empty urea container when full; change gel crystals if accompanied with care directions specific to brand being used; replenish ash material when needed; replace filters when indicated (depending on type of model); & clear ventilation flaps of blockage or debris if indicated by warning light(s).

Installation of Composting Toilets for RVs

Installing a composting toilet in an RV is a relatively simple process but must be done correctly in order to ensure safe and sanitary conditions. The steps outlined below will ensure you’re able to safely and easily install a composting toilet.

  1. Unpack the unit and assess all of the components that come with it. All of the necessary components should be included, such as a seat, vent piping, and installation instructions.
  2. Determine where you would like the composting toilet unit to be located within your RV. It is best to have it placed close to sink or shower drains so that any liquid discharged from the unit can easily drain away without needing any additional plumbing connections or valves.
  3. Securely fasten the mounting bracket provided with your unit onto the wall where you plan on mounting it using bolts and screws as per manufacturer instructions. You may want to use some sort of padding, such as foam insulating tape or rubber spacer washers, between the bracket and wall so that it can absorb any vibrations while travelling in your vehicle and create additional cushioning for comfort while using it regularly when stationary.
  4. Following manufacturer instructions carefully, attach the main unit firmly using bolts onto the mounting bracket that was earlier securely fastened on the wall of your vehicle making sure all connections are tight and secure for maximum support when being used regularly in transit.. This should include taking into account weight limitations associated with this type of attachment as stipulated by relevant safety regulations for RVs/vehicles in general use on public roads

5 Lastly double-check everything is securely fastened before attempting any kind of test function or use by yourself or other occupants..

Preparing the RV for installation

Before beginning the installation process, it’s important to make sure that your RV is ready to accommodate a composting toilet. This means ensuring that the necessary space and wiring is available for an effective installation.

First, measure the space in which you plan to install your compost toilet. Make sure that you have enough room for the system and any necessary accessories such as a vent fan or pipework. Additionally, ensure that you have access to a reliable power source as well as any switches or breakers needed to control power flow to the toilet.

If necessary, consult an electrician in order to properly prepare this wiring before proceeding with installation of the toilet system.

Step-by-step installation process

Composting toilets are gaining in popularity as they help reduce the amount of wastewater and pollutants discharged by recreational vehicles (RVs). A composting toilet converts human waste into compost through a natural process of decomposition. This is an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution to RV wastewater disposal. The following is a step-by-step guide for installing a composting toilet on an RV and maintaining it for long-term use.

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools and supplies. In order to install a composting toilet, you will need: an electric drill, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, silicone sealant, plumber’s putty, PVC glue, vent pipe & fittings. You will also need to purchase the actual composting toilet itself as well as any additional components such as the electric fan assembly or cover for the tank lid.

Step 2: Read instructions that accompany the composting toilet carefully before beginning installation. This will ensure that everything is done correctly and in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications. Pay special attention to any safety warnings or cautions provided with your unit.

Step 3: Determine where you want your composting toilet installed inside your RV and mark placement of holes accordingly with a marker or pencil. Drill pilot holes in the locations marked earlier using an electric drill with a 5/16 inch bit.

Step 4: Secure mounting brackets to walls using screws provided by manufacturer once all pilot holes have been drilled in place. Cover each screw point with silicone sealant before tightening screws into place to achieve a watertight seal around mounting brackets when completed with installation process

Step 5: Connect vent pipe & fittings according to manufacturer instructions provided with unit; make sure all joints are sealed tightly with plumbers putty & PVC glue for water tightness & air tightness connection between pieces connected together

Step 6: Mount fan assembly onto wall space determined at start of installation process according to manufacturer instructions provided; use silicone sealant around each screw point for water tightness after fan has been successfully installed on wall space allocated

Step 7 : Place body of actual composting toilet onto base plate secured earlier in Step 4 by sliding body over plate until locked securely into place – this should be done manually without use of any tools/equipment other than hands; one hand should be underneath base while other hand secures downward pressure on top portion of unit until secure fit has been achieved

Step 8 : Fit lid onto body securely locks bottom portion onto top portion; lay down gasket material around entire edge perimeter before placing lid into opening which provides extra protection against bugs & other small creatures making their way through gaps between top/bottom portions when closed

Step 9 : Apply final finishing touches such as sealing down all edges around actual composter itself ensuring complete airtightess once fully secure ; perform periodic maintenance checks throughout year such as cleaning out excess materials from tank removing built up solids by running compusters agitation cycle every so often etc.


In conclusion, if you’re an RV owner looking for a convenient, eco-friendly way to manage your waste and conserve water resources, then a composting toilet might be the perfect option for you. Installing and maintaining one of these toilets is fairly straightforward and can help make your RV travels even more enjoyable. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that your waste will be processed naturally and efficiently, helping to maintain clean water sources in the environment.

But before you decide on which type of composting toilet is best for you, make sure to do some research on your particular model to ensure it will fit all of your needs. Happy travels!


How do you maintain a compostable toilet? 

To maintain a compostable toilet, you should add organic material such as sawdust or coconut coir after each use and regularly mix the contents to promote aerobic decomposition. You should also monitor the moisture content and temperature of the compost, and empty the container when it’s full.

Can you put a compost toilet anywhere? 

Composting toilets can be installed in most locations, as they don’t require a connection to a sewer or septic system. However, you should check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before installing one.

How are composting toilets installed? 

Composting toilets can be installed using either a self-contained unit or a split-system where the toilet and the composting chamber are separate. Installation methods vary, but typically involve securing the unit to a base and venting to the outside.

Where do you empty urine from a composting toilet? 

Urine from a composting toilet can be emptied into a separate container or diverted to a greywater system. It should not be mixed with solid waste in the composting chamber.

Are composting toilets high maintenance? 

Composting toilets require regular maintenance to ensure proper functioning, such as adding organic material, mixing the compost, and monitoring moisture levels. However, with proper use and maintenance, they can be relatively low maintenance.

What are the drawbacks of a composting toilet?

 Drawbacks of composting toilets can include odor, the need for regular maintenance, and the potential for improper use and contamination of the compost.

How long can you leave a composting toilet? 

The amount of time a composting toilet can be left before needing to be emptied varies depending on factors such as frequency of use, size of the unit, and temperature and moisture conditions. Generally, composting toilets need to be emptied every few weeks to months.

Do compostable toilets need water? 

Compostable toilets do not require water for flushing, but they do require some water for cleaning and maintaining proper moisture levels in the composting chamber.

How do you clean an RV composting toilet? 

To clean an RV composting toilet, you should empty the solid waste and rinse the container with water and a mild detergent. You can also use a specialized cleaner designed for composting toilets.

How often do you have to empty a compost toilet? 

The frequency of emptying a compost toilet depends on factors such as the size of the unit and the number of users. Generally, a compost toilet needs to be emptied every few weeks to months.

See more-

Leave a Comment