When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. And when you’re camping, there may or may not be a standard flush toilet around. That’s true of RVers, too; those traveling in older models or small camper-trailers may find themselves without the facilities they’re used to in a home or hotel.
There are a wide variety of ways to deal with this problem, from squatting in the woods (hey, we’ve all been there!) to using a portable toilet like one of these. But one of the most interesting on the market today is the waterless toilet. You don’t have to worry about any noxious chemicals, and you can easily bring the toilet with you wherever you go.
But how, exactly, does a waterless, flushless toilet even work? If there’s no flush involved, how does the waste get taken care of and deodorized?
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you never knew you wanted to know about dry flush toilets, so you can decide whether or not adding a waterless toilet to your RV is a good idea.
What is a no flush toilet? How does a waterless toilet work?
Let’s start from the very top. What is a dry flush toilet, and how does it work?
There are a number of waterless toilet systems on the market these days, all of which operate on the same basic premise: finding ways to dispose of waste without necessitating the use of water. This is helpful for people who don’t have a way to connect a toilet to main water line, or who don’t want to have to install a whole plumbing system, with black and gray holding tanks, in order to process their wastewater. It’s also great for people who are just plain trying to find ways to use less water altogether!
Many of these toilets are portable, as well, which is great news for RVers; many campers rent RVs for their various trips, and a portable toilet can be easily moved from one unit to another, and even if you already own an RV, using a portable toilet makes it simple to bring along your waste management system even if you go for an upgrade.
But enough about what these toilets are — how the heck do they work?
Well, clever dry toilet manufacturers have found a variety of ways to dispose of waste without utilizing water. It depends on the product. For instance, there’s the Laveo Dry Flush toilet, which works by encapsulating waste into a lined container under the seat. There’s also the Incinolet, which works by — you guessed it — literally incinerating your waste. Talk about lighting a fire under your butt!
What is the best waterless RV toilet?
Of the options available on the market, which type of waterless RV toilet is the best?
It all depends on your needs and desires. But here’s what you should know about the waterless toilets we’ve found.
Laveo Dry Flush
The Laveo Dry Flush is a great option if you’re looking for something truly portable. It weighs less than 30 pounds, and doesn’t require water or electricity to run. The mechanism works off of either AC power or by battery, and one set of batteries should last quite a while: several months unused, and for about 300 flushes. It utilizes liners, which come in cartridges, to encapsulate the waste and keep your space odor-free and inviting. And best of all, there are no messy holding tanks to worry about; just take the liner out, throw it in the trash, and you’re done!
The Laveo Dry Flush has been weight tested up to 500 pounds, and the cartridges are available directly from the source, as well as through online order from Home Depot or Sears. They should be available at Walmart soon, as well, and the company is also working on building out a network of dealers.
The Laveo Dry Flush toilet is a great option for campers looking for a truly waterless and easy toilet solution, which is freeze-proof and easily portable. It costs about $685 from the dealer but is also available for a bit more from Amazon. As the technology grows and takes hold, we predict the Dry Flush toilet will be available from more and more vendors.
If you’re looking for a truly futuristic toilet option, the Incinolet might just be perfect for you. It’s easy to use, just as the Dry Flush toilet is, but rather than encapsulating waste in a liner, it works by — seriously — burning it into a clean ash product that you then dump into the garbage.
You simply put the bowl liner into the Incinolet toilet bowl, use as normal, and then hit the “flush” foot pedal, which initiates the incineration process. But don’t worry; you don’t have to wait until the toilet’s done burning the waste that’s already inside before you can use it again. You can use the Incinolet anytime.
One important difference between the Incinolet and the Laveo: the Incinolet does require a 20 amp electric connection, so it’s not quite as portable as the Laveo is. However, if your RV is wired for electricity, this shouldn’t be a problem to install, and it can still help you save thousands of gallons of water and avoid a messy black and gray water tank scenario! The Incinolet is also a bit more expensive than the Laveo; it currently runs for about $1,900-$2,000 directly from the manufacturer.
Benefits of Using a Waterless Toilet
So, what’s the point of using a waterless toilet in your RV? Why make this potentially expensive, and certainly time-intensive, upgrade?
Well, as mentioned above, portability can be a major boon for those traveling in a variety of RVs, particularly if your smaller camper or travel trailer doesn’t already have an onboard toilet.
Along with portability, waterless toilets are easy to use and clean. You don’t have to worry about carrying around your liquid waste in black and gray water tanks; instead, the problem is taken care of much more easily: you simply remove the liner from time to time and throw it in the trash. Because it’s not connected to a water system, waterless toilets are not vulnerable to complications due to freezing temperatures, and don’t require any kind of winterizing.
Last but certainly not least, dry toilets can save thousands of gallons of water, which is much better for Mother Earth! Most campers found their way to the RV lifestyle specifically because they love this planet and want to see as much of it as possible; finding ways to conserve water is an important step toward protecting the planet, not to mention lengthening your boondocking trips. (Here are some more hints and tips for conserving water while camping in your RV.)
How much is a dry flush waterless toilet?
As we mentioned above, the price of dry flush toilets ranges depending on the type and model you choose. You can find simple, portable dry flush toilets which work with liners, such as the Laveo, for less than $1,000; the incinerating models tend to cost more like $2,000. (After all, they do have to literally set your ? on fire!)
Dry Flush Refill Cartridges
Finally, there’s the question of the refill cartridges. Dry flush toilets do require you to use their patented liner bags, and these will need to be replaced from time to time. How much do they cost, how do they work, and how long can they last in between changes?
The Laveo Dry Flush refill packs are available in a pack of three for $54.95 (at the time of this writing in January 2020), and each lasts for approximately 17 flushes. It works by literally encapsulating waste inside the liner, tightly twisting so that you can’t see or smell it.
The Incinolet’s liners are available in a box of 400 for $38, with each liner good for one use. They’re pre-folded, so all you have to do is take them out of the box and place them in the toilet bowl.
Keep in mind that there are some other accessories and items you may need to facilitate your upgrade to waterless toilets, such as batteries or installation kits. That said, this renovation is one easy way to make your RV a greener place… and to keep your life free of odors and messes!
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