Regular Toilet in RV?

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A toilet is something you cannot get away from. When you own an RV, it’s paramount that it’s accessible at all times and works correctly for you. Given that motorhomes, campers, and trailers are mobile, this can make things trickier when it comes to the washroom facilities.

Can you put a regular toilet in an RV or camper? Some people do, but we would not recommend it. Household toilets usually made from porcelain are not designed for the road. The occasional pothole and jarring motion can easily break your delicate “throne” without warning. A real toilet in an RV is a water hog in comparison to efficient RV toilets. So, your black water tank fills up much faster and needs emptying more regularly.

Also Read: Showering in an RV

Can you replace an RV toilet with a standard toilet? Well, you can… but installing a real toilet in an RV isn’t usually sensible to do.

Can You Put a Regular Toilet in an RV or Camper?

Here are some reasons why it’s best avoided:

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1.      Space Limitations

Most household toilets are substantial in size. Ostensibly, they’re designed for big bathrooms where space isn’t limited. Most separate washrooms in a camper, trailer, or motorhome are compact. Often, extremely so. Therefore, it’s difficult to even find a household toilet that’s small enough to fit into the bathroom of your RV or camper.

Also Read: Can You Flush Tampons Down in an RV Toilet?

2.      Construction and Materials Used

A cheap black toilet and other home toilets are all designed for a stable environment. One where there is access to plenty of water and the plumbing is present to fully flush the toilet.

Given that an RV is mobile and the fact that if you replace an RV toilet with a regular one, it won’t be fixed to anything is… problematic. The amount of vibration from transportation will damage the porcelain too. Eventually, it will break from the internal damage caused by the vibrations.

Also, to convert an RV toilet to a house toilet isn’t a good idea either.

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3.      Water Requirements

For people on vacation or traveling in their RV or trailer regularly, they may use around 2.5 to 5 gallons a day. Especially if they’re a family or a couple who doesn’t restrict or monitor their water use.

A home toilet can easily use up the entire daily allowance with just a few flushes. It’s not uncommon to see a couple of gallons disappear when trying to use a regular toilet in an RV. Also, the freshwater tank will require refilling more often because it’ll lose water at a rapid pace. Furthermore, unless you make arrangements to change your plumbing arrangements and remain stationary, the black water tank will also need emptying more often (not fun).

4.      Regular Toilet’s Holding Tank

When you replace an RV toilet with a standard toilet, you’ll discover that the holding tank sitting atop of a regular toilet contains at least half a gallon to a gallon of water. The tank lid is porcelain and isn’t fixed in place! It’s easy enough to get onto a side road where your RV is being rocked about and see the regular toilet fall over spilling the half-gallon plus of water all over the bathroom floor. The damage from the water seeping through the floor covering and onto the RV’s walls then becomes a potential long-term damp and mold problem. It only had to happen once.

Also Read: RV Toilet Leaking at Foot Pedal


5.      Refit Is Harder Than It Looks

Replacing an RV toilet with house toilet is harder than it looks. Few people have much knowledge about it because it’s so rarely attempted. More often than not, they get removed later at great inconvenience as an experiment that didn’t work. And if going to sell the RV or camper later, a potential owner will likely have an intensive dislike for the residential toilet with all its extra inconveniences.

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When Does a Household Toilet Make Sense in an RV or Camper?

For static RVs that aren’t planned to move any place, then you can replace the RV toilet with a standard toilet. A park model RV is another situation where replacing the RV toilet with a house toilet would befine. Given that the RV or camper won’t be hitting the open road, there’s less risk of the toilet falling over. It could still break from RV instability caused by a hurricane, violent storm, or earthquake though.

RV parks usually have sewer hookups that are capable of managing the half-gallon or more of water that flows through a household toilet with every flush. Linking up to sewer facilities at the park means skipping the blackwater tank emptying process making it more pleasant. Also, the full hookups mean the freshwater tank doesn’t keep running out either.

With that said, the park may not appreciate the extra water being used if they’re offering hookups at a fixed price – because you’ll be using considerably more H2O than other RVs nearby.

And remember, installing a regular toilet in an RV or camper is no joke. It’s time-consuming, difficult, and only semi-permanent. If the RV ever needs relocating, it’ll make that tasks harder to complete.

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Installing Flush Toilet in RV

The task to replace RV toilet with regular household flush toilet is a major step.

While it can be done, it will quickly become a pain because unless you’re in a static position with a park RV model, you will quickly run out of water. This will necessitate refilling the water tanks regularly and stopping off to do so. Just like with how long and how often you take showers, repeated use of a household flush toilet will deplete the available water in record time! And both together will be a nightmare.

Ultimately, replacing an RV toilet with house toilet models is a bad plan. It’ll also need someone who’s handy with RV plumbing systems to do it for you. Preferably, they should have done it successfully at least a couple of times before too.

RV Toilet Options

Regular Toilet in RV

You’re no longer stuck with what the RV came with for bathroom facilities. They’re changeable if you wish to do so. Here are the choices:

1.      Composting Toilet

The composting toilet uses no chemicals or water. Therefore, it’s ideal for people boondocking for an extended time who are worried about running out of fresh water. The black water tank won’t be filling up quickly either.

Two tanks are used within a composting toilet. They cleverly separate solids from liquids. In so doing, it reduces the smell that’s mostly created when mixing “number 1” and “number 2” together. The composting materials work to break the matter down which eventually might be used as fertilizer.

The liquid tank needs more frequent disposal of its contents. However, it’s an easy, less smelly, and altogether more pleasant task than dealing with most black water tanks.

Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet [affiliate link] isn’t cheap but offers more convenience than other toilet types.

Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design

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2.      Ceramic Toilet

A ceramic toilet is one of the improvements that RV owners like to do. Gravity directs the waste product to the holding tank below. The toilet itself sits above the holding tank. Water is used to direct the solids and liquids down to the tank underneath. Then when it’s time, the black water tank is emptied at an RV dump site.

Because ceramic gravity toilets make use of a substantial black water tank, it has a higher capacity than portable toilets do. A ceramic toilet doesn’t move around when the RV is mobile either. There’s a lid that closes quietly and a sprayer is usually included to ensure the toilet (or yourself) is clean after use.

The Dometic 320 Series Standard Height Toilet with convenient hand spray [affiliate link] is an ideal Ceramic toilet.

Dometic 320 Series Standard Height Toilet with Hand Spray (White)

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3.      Portable Toilet

Portable toilets are chosen for campervans, campers, or trailers that didn’t come with their own toilet or plumbing linking it to a black water tank. Indeed, there may not be much, if any, black water tank fitted in some situations. Some smaller RVs maybe didn’t come with one.

There’s a black water tank present within the portable toilet itself. It’s small which means that depending on how many people use the toilet facilities, it could fill up within a day or two. At which point, it must be emptied to use it again and a facility must be found locally to do that. It operates somewhat similarly to a gravity toilet model where water is used along with a water pump to move the waste down to its own black water tank.

The Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet [affiliate link] with its three directional flushes is a recommended one.

Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet With Three Directional Flush and Swivel Dumping Elbow

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Additional Information

Don’t forget to pick-up a LeakAlertor 6000 Toilet Leak Detector [affiliate link]. It can really save your day!

Also, ensure that you only use Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper [affiliate link] as your RV toilet paper of choice.

It dissolves much faster and easier than regular toilet paper to avoid clogging up either your toilet or the black water tank.

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