Six Easy Steps to RV Toilet Installation

Last updated on September 27th, 2021 at 08:49 am. Originally published on September 11th, 2019

One of the best parts of RVing is the convenience that comes along with having a bathroom to use anytime – when you’re in route from location to location, when you’re at a campsite, and much more. So when your toilet is not working, it’s important to complete RV toilet installation as soon as you can! Luckily, that doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money on a costly professional for repairs or installation. If you know how to install an RV toilet, you can complete the task in a few hours with just some simple tools! 

The first step in an RV toilet install is to purchase your replacement toilet. There are plenty of options, so it’s important to ensure you’re purchasing an RV toilet that fits your current space and toilet specs. Measure the existing toilet and make a note of the toilet bowl shape, size and make notes if you have any extra room for a larger toilet.

You’ll also want to look at how the RV toilet is mounted and make notes of the dimensions and sizes. This is best done at a point in the RV toilet installation when the old toilet has been removed. Take notes of all the information about the mounting – did the toilet utilize a floor flange? It’s also important to take dimension information about the toilet hole, and write down exact measurements. Typically, standard RV holes are around 3”, but they can be much smaller.

Once you know all the information about your existing RV toilet, you’re ready to start the next step in a RV toilet install – picking out a new one! First, make sure that the new toilet has the right measurements and specifications to fit into the spot where your existing toilet is. Trust us, it will make RV toilet installation much easier!

Next, make sure to look at all the features of each RV toilet. There are a wide variety of options, so it’s important to think about what makes sense for your lifestyle and how you use your RV. You may also just want to save the guesswork and go with exactly the toilet style and model that you currently have, and that’s just fine, too!

If you’re going to purchase an RV toilet with different features, some of the options include: antimicrobial, low water, composting, ones with bidets or spray units attached and much more. You’ll also want to know if you’d like to use gravity, electricity or air to power the flushing system. Keep in mind that the size of the waste hole will often times dictate the answer to this question – those with a larger hole have more options. You also want to know how you’d like to flush the RV toilet. Some of the options include a foot pedal, slide handle, hand-held handle, and electric push-button. 

Some of the other, potentially less important questions to answer include:

  •   Color
  •   Style
  •   Shape and size
  •   Materials – plastic, china or a hybrid
  •   The brand of toilet – Thetford and Dometic are popular RV toilet brands

Keep in mind that you may have to order the toilet you’ve selected, which can take up to a few weeks. 

Once you’ve selected your new RV toilet and have received it, it’s time to put your how to install an RV toilet knowledge to use and get to work!

Here are the steps to install an RV toilet: 

  1. Turn off the water pump and flush the toilet to remove all the pressure and water in your water lines and toilet bowl.
  1. Once that is complete, you’re ready to remove the old toilet. You should find a place to put the toilet once you remove it from its mounting – either right where you’re going to dispose of it, or on top of old rags or towels. To remove the old toilet, unscrew the nuts and bolts holding it down, and disconnect the hose behind the toilet. Lift the toilet straight up to remove it, rocking if it is hard to pull or seems stuck.
  1. Drain your RV waste tank completely, as you don’t want to remove any old plumbing connections with the waste tank full. You’ll want to wear rubber gloves for your safety during this step, and make sure not to touch your eyes or mouth. Once you remove the gloves, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
  1. Next, remove the rubber, cone-shaped gasket that seals the RV toilet to the floor. If it’s stubborn, you may need to pry it off with a screwdriver. Once it’s removed, you can clean up any gunk still left on the floor, and then install the new gasket (which should have come with your new RV toilet).
  1. Now is the time for the actual RV toilet install! Carefully place the new RV toilet on top of the gasket ring, making sure to line up the mounting holes so that the new bolts fit into the old holes. Once it’s placed, use the wrench and tighten the nuts over the bolts, taking care not to overtighten. Then check to make sure the toilet is snug by sitting on it and making sure it doesn’t wobble.
  1. Next, it’s time to attach the hose behind the toilet, again making sure not to overtighten it. Once that is attached, it’s time to check your work and find out if you really know how to install an RV toilet! Turn the RV water pump on and flush a few times, checking thoroughly for leaks. If you spot a leak, go back through the steps and check your work again, tightening bolts and the hose without going too tight.

And that’s it! Now you can boast to friends and family you know how to install an RV toilet, and you can assure everyone that it’s much harder than it seems.

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