How To Select A Toilet For Your Camper Van

Understanding Your Toilet Options As A Van Owner

The Porcelain Throne. The Can. The Dream Catcher. One of RV owners' most common questions revolves around the all-essential toilet. There are so many different types of toilets for RV’s, but which one is right for a camper van that doesn’t have the space for a black water tank as many larger RV’s do.

At Zen Den Tiny Om, we design beautiful, non-toxic RV and van conversions that are designed specifically to your needs. We have broken down the different kinds of RV toilets to help you figure out which one is the best fit for your travel goals!

Camping Toilet

Camping toilets are simple and get the job done without any frills. These toilets are essentially like a bucket, occasionally designed to look like toilets, although they are typically pretty low to the floor at approximately 16” high. These toilets are lightweight, require no power or plumbing, and can be easily relocated if you’d like to keep it in a small shower compartment, cabinet or bench seat. Special bags and powder are used on the inside of the toilets to solidify liquids and mask odors. Bags are best used once or twice to avoid any unwanted odors from drifting through your space. These toilet units are the most budget-friendly, costing anywhere from $35 to $90. The disposable bags are easily available on Amazon at about $2/bag. One downside to this low-maintenance option is these toilets are not allowed in some state parks since they don’t have a separate contained compartment for waste and flushing mechanisms.

Cassette Toilet

Cassette Toilets are the next step up from the Camper toilet. These toilets are built with two compartments, an upper compartment with a bowl, and a lower compartment where the waste is stored. They have a mechanical flushing mechanism that drops the waste into the lower compartment. Unfortunately, these toilets are a bit more….” hands-on” than we would normally like and therefore not recommended by the Zen Den team. Since there’s no water in the bowl, you need to wash the bowl after going numero dos. Additionally, when emptying the toilet, the lower compartment will need to be dumped and cleaned out, which is often a messy process. Although the “hands-on” method may not be ideal, there are perks to a Cassette toilet. Although these toilets are not odor-proof, they are better at masking orders than the camping toilet. They are also lightweight, require no power or plumbing, and can be stored and relocated in a shower compartment, cabinet, or bench seat. They cost anywhere from $80 to $150.

Laveo Dry Flush Toilet

The Laveo Dry Flush Toilet is the most reminiscent of your standard home toilet. This electric, waterless toilet is about the same size as a residential toilet and made of a hard plastic. It utilizes cartridges that allow you to flush the toilet. When you flush, the bag inside the upper compartment of the toilet twists, and locks the waste into a sealed bag that drops it down into a lower compartment that has a large garbage bag in it. When the cartridge is empty, you simply tie up the large garbage bag and throw it away. The biggest advantage of these models is that there is no odor! However, since this toilet must be hardwired into a power source, it cannot be moved. Pricing for these toilets are about $600. The cartridges are about $90 for 15 flushes ($6/flush).

Composting Toilet

Composting toilets are probably what first comes to mind when it comes to camper van toilets. These toilets have two compartments, one for solid waste, and one for liquid. Liquid waste is diverted into a small container that must be emptied regularly. The solids disintegrate over time and the integrated fan inside masks odors. Similar to the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet, these toilets must be hardwired to a power source and cannot be moved. Compared to the other toilet options, this is one of the more expensive options, costing around $1000.

Incinerating Toilet

For those looking to splurge, the Incinerating Toilet is a simple, odor-free investment at $3,000 to $4,000. These toilets are made up of two compartments, an upper chamber, and a lower burn chamber. Before each use, a paper liner must be inserted into the upper chamber. The waste gets dropped into the burn chamber and incinerated at the touch of a button. Many incinerating toilet models are equipped with safety features that prevent burning from starting with an open toilet lid. Depending on use, the ash will need to be emptied from the burn chamber about once a week.

Similar to the Composting and Dry Flush toilet options, this toilet must be hardwired into a power source and cannot be moved. From camping toilets to incinerating, there are a variety of different toilet options for camper vans at different price points. When choosing your toilet, it is important to consider your space and your lifestyle.

Have other questions about what components and features your campervan needs? Contact Zen Den Tiny Om today!