Composting Toilets for RVs and Tiny Homes: Ultimate Guide

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As the trend of RV (recreational vehicle) living and eco-conscious choices continues to gain momentum, many are seeking practical solutions that minimise their environmental footprint without sacrificing convenience.

Enter composting toilets - an innovative, eco-friendly alternative to traditional flush toilets that not only conserve water but also reduce waste by turning human waste into compost.

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of composting toilets for tiny homes and RVs, top models available, installation tips, maintenance, and even DIY options.

Key Takeaways

- Composting toilets are a great choice for RVs and tiny homes, providing water conservation, reduced environmental impact and low maintenance cost.

- This article provides an overview of the top composting toilet models as well as installation tips, maintenance advice and troubleshooting solutions.

- Research user reviews and follow guidelines to find the best composting toilet that meets your needs!

Benefits of Composting Toilets for Tiny Homes and RVs

The Scandi-Pod tiny house composting toilet (top section) by Green Loo.

Composting toilets are an excellent choice for RVs and tiny homes due to their numerous benefits, including water conservation, reduced environmental impact, and ease of maintenance.

As more people embrace sustainable living, these toilets are becoming increasingly popular as a practical and eco-friendly solution for managing waste on the road.

Composting toilets have gained popularity among RV and tiny house dwellers, not just for their environmental friendliness, but also their water efficiency, straightforward maintenance, and reasonable composting toilet cost.

A tiny house composting toilet system can be a great addition to any eco-conscious home, serving as an excellent example of tiny house toilet options, including various types of tiny house toilets.

Curious to understand the working of these innovative toilets? Let’s delve into the process behind composting toilets and explore their numerous advantages.

Water Conservation

Composting toilets’ ability to conserve water stands as one of their most significant advantages when used in RVs. Most composting toilets are waterless, eliminating the need for flushing and making them perfect for off-grid living situations and tiny houses.

By not relying on water to function, composting toilets help RV'ers preserve their limited water resources, allowing them to stay off-grid for longer periods.

Additionally, the urine collected from these toilets, a form of human waste, can be water-diluted and repurposed as plant fertiliser, further minimising water wastage. This environmentally friendly solution not only conserves water but also repurposes liquid and solid waste into a useful resource.

Environmental Impact

Environmental preservation is at the heart of composting toilet design. By turning waste into compost, they significantly reduce the environmental impact of sewage disposal, making them an ideal choice for off-grid settings and tiny homes.

Organic materials such as sawdust and coconut fibre can be used in composting toilets to help break down waste, keeping composting toilet costs low and minimising environmental impact.

When it comes to disposing of compostable material from a composting toilet, options include tossing it in a compost pile or adding it to a garbage bag for disposal. By transforming waste into compost, these toilets contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.

Ease of Maintenance

Compared to traditional models, composting toilets require less maintenance. Regular cleaning and waste container emptying are the primary tasks required to keep a composting toilet functioning optimally.

Cleaning a composting toilet simply involves using a mild detergent and warm water to scrub the bowl and lid, followed by rinsing with clean water.

When it comes to emptying and replacing waste containers, the process is equally straightforward. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove the waste container from the toilet.
  2. Dump its contents into a compost bin or other suitable container.
  3. Secure the waste container back in place, ensuring it’s properly sealed.

By following these simple maintenance steps, you can enjoy the benefits of a composting toilet without the hassle of extensive upkeep.

Top Composting Toilet Models for RVs and Small Spaces

You'd probably want to use a compost toilet in a cool boat like this!

With various composting toilet models available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is best suited for your RV, caravan or tiny home. To make your decision easier, here's some of the top models:

  1. Nature’s Head Self-Contained Compost Toilet
  2. Air Head Dry Composting Toilet
  3. Separett Villa or Tiny Series
  4. Green Loo Toilets
  5. Sun Mar GTG Toilet System

Each model boasts unique features and benefits tailored to the needs of eco-conscious enthusiasts.

In the following sections, we'll compare models so you’ll be better equipped to know which might be 'the right fit' for your needs. Keep in mind that some toilets are going to be more suited to tiny home living whereas others are more practical for an RV lifestyle.

1. Nature's Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet

Nature's head toilet (can use foot spider to turn the mix or handle variant).

Nature’s Head composting toilet is a popular choice among RV owners due to its easy installation, lightweight design, and exceptional customer service.

This self-contained composting toilet features a urine-separating function, which diverts urine away from solid waste, minimising odour and simplifying waste disposal. With a five-year warranty, Nature’s Head offers peace of mind and reliable performance.

Installation of the Nature’s Head composting toilet is relatively straightforward, as long as it can be vented to the outside of your RV. The toilet comes with a 12-volt fan and requires a 2-inch (5 cm) vent hose for proper ventilation.

Lightweight and with a smaller footprint compared to other brands, Nature’s Head is ideal for those looking for a compact and efficient composting toilet for their RV.

Nature's Head is available here on Amazon.

Ideally suited for caravans, motor homes, boats or workshops where underground access is not possible.

2. Air Head Dry Composting Toilet

Might look complicated but this Air Head toilet should easily fit in a yacht.

Was this toilet named after me? Anyways, the Air Head Dry Composting Toilet offers:

  • A compact design with a similar cost and capacity to Nature’s Head.
  • A smaller footprint, making it an ideal choice for RV owners with limited space or those seeking a more compact composting toilet option.
  • Easy installation and maintenance, making it a convenient choice for those new to composting toilets.

Like Nature’s Head, the Air Head Dry Composting Toilet features a urine-separating function, ensuring odour-free operation and simplified waste disposal.

With a comparable cost and capacity to the popular Nature’s Head model, the Air Head Dry Composting Toilet is another excellent option for RV enthusiasts seeking an eco-friendly waste management solution.

Made in the USA, the Air Head is ideal for sailboats. Around $1000.

3. Separett Villa or Tiny Series

The Separett is a great little tiny house toilet very popular in Europe.

If you’re looking for a composting toilet with a more traditional appearance and straightforward design, the Separett Villa or Tiny Series may be the perfect fit for your RV. These composting toilets incorporate rotating drums and biodegradable bags for easy waste disposal, making maintenance a breeze.

The Tiny Series (winner of the European Product Design Award in 2021) has been especially developed for tiny homes and small spaces like camper vans, boats, caravans, etc.

Features of the Separett Villa and Tiny Series composting toilets include:

  • Nice classic look and (the Tiny) is designed for limited spaces.
  • 5 year warranty.
  • Hygienic and odourless (uses small fan to exhale smells).
  • Can use 12V or mains power to operate.

Available here on Amazon.

4. Green Loo Portable Toilets

The Green Loo GL 90 toilet is so impressive I ordered one myself!

Green Loo have a great range of portable toilet systems including the Oz-e-Pod and the RV-Pod, as well as the GL 90 with a compost maximiser (which is the one I have ordered for my tiny home).

For RVs, boats, caravans etc, the RV-Pod is worth a look. It includes all the good stuff - silent fan, a very handy LED backlit liquid level indicator, mains power, solar or 12V, and so forth. It's ideal for movable situations where no underfloor space is required.

The GL 90, on the other hand, comes with 2 x 90L containers that attach with an adjustable chute to the pedestal, fitting snugly underneath the floor of a cabin or tiny home. (Good for 2-3 people full time).

Green Loo is made in Australia and uses recycled materials in their products.

Some great benefits to using a Green Loo:

  • Waterless, hygienic and odourless (no chemicals).
  • Simple installation (don't need a plumber for most of their models).
  • Convenient privacy screen and LED indicator for RV model.

5. Sun Mar GTG Composting Toilet

The Sun Mar GTG looks like it's from outer space but it's a clever little compost toilet.

The Sun Mar GTG Composting Toilet boasts a patented Bio-Drum and evaporation chamber, setting it apart from other toilet models. This innovative design eliminates the need for emptying liquids, as the evaporation chamber takes care of this task. (They offer a urine diverting toilet as well).

Although the Sun Mar (self contained toilet) is one of the more expensive options on the market, its unique features and capabilities may justify the higher price tag for some RV owners.

Capable of handling full-time use for a single adult or a family of two, the Sun Mar (especially the urine-diverting models) are perfect for boats, farms, tiny homes, cabins, etc, with a 12V fan for odour free operation.

Sun-Mar offer high-capacity self-contained toilets as well as complete CENTREX composting systems.

The super compact Sun Mar GTG is available here on Amazon.

Two Quick Mentions

We have to quickly mention the OGO. This sleek little ergonomic toilet is the smallest waterless composting solution on the market and includes an electric agitator to mix solids. Great for tiny homes, RVs, camping and caravans!

Highly recommended, the OGO is available here on Amazon.

Also make sure to check out the NRS Eco Safe Toilet System.

Installation Tips and Requirements

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, my (not composting) toilet was outside and refreshingly simple.

Getting your new toilet up and running requires proper installation, which includes addressing ventilation, electrical connections, and potential challenges such as space constraints and vent pipe routing.

I'm personally relying on my tiny home builders to set up my toilet, but you may want to do research on your chosen composting toilet model to ensure a successful installation and prevent unwanted issues down the road.

Now let's look into ventilation, electrical connections, and potential challenges you may face during the installation process so you're well-prepared to tackle the installation of your new toilet.


Composting toilets require proper ventilation to function effectively and prevent odours. A well-ventilated composting toilet promotes decomposition, ensuring that waste is broken down efficiently and without releasing unpleasant smells.

When installing a compost style toilet in your RV or small home or cabin, it is essential to ensure that the vent pipe is routed correctly and not blocked by any other components.

Regular maintenance of the ventilation system, such as cleaning the fan and vent pipe and replacing the vent cap if necessary, will also help to maintain optimal performance and prevent odour issues.

Electrical Connections

Certain composting toilets need electrical fans to ensure continuous venting. It’s essential to plan for these electrical connections during the installation process, as they play a crucial role in the proper functioning of your toilet.

The specific requirements for electrical connections will vary depending on the model, with some toilets requiring 12 volt power sources, while others may need a wall transformer to plug into a 110 volt outlet. (Some will need to work with a solar system as well).

Make sure that the electrical connection is set up correctly, safeguarding against potential electrical issues. Following the guidelines provided by your composting toilet’s manufacturer will ensure a safe and functional installation.

Often you can request your tiny home to be wired for solar (like I did).

Potential Challenges

Limited space or the need to route the vent pipe through other components can be a challenge. One tiny home owner couldn't install her chosen toilet because her tiny home wheels were positioned directly underneath her toilet. So she was forced to use an 'above-ground' toilet.

Sometimes you might need to problem-solve. In cases of limited space, consider opting for a compact composting toilet model, or explore creative solutions for fitting the toilet into your tiny space.

By addressing any potential challenges during the installation process, you’ll be better equipped to enjoy the benefits of your composting toilet without any unexpected hiccups.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Call me weird but I really do like the Japanese bidet toilets!

No one wants a stinky toilet! Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning, emptying, and dealing with odour issues, and you'll maintain the optimal performance of your composting toilet and prolong its lifespan.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your composting toilet is vital to maintain hygiene and prevent odours. Here’s a simple and effective cleaning solution:

  1. Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture onto the bowl.
  3. Scrub the bowl with a non-abrasive brush or sponge.
  4. After cleaning, rinse the bowl with clean water to remove any remaining residue.

Did you also know that RV-specific toilet paper is a thing? Often made out of recycled paper or bamboo, this rapid dissolve paper is biodegradable and designed to break down more easily in composting toilets.

Rapid dissolve RV toilet paper is available here on Amazon.

Note: In Australia I use WGAC (Who Gives A Crap) paper and find it to be amazing!

Emptying and Replacing Waste Containers

At some stage your composting toilet will need emptying or replacing waste containers. Depending on your specific model and usage, the frequency of emptying may vary.

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for emptying and disposing of waste, ensuring both proper functioning and compliance with local regulations.

When emptying the waste containers, be sure to dispose of the contents, including liquid waste, in a suitable manner, such as adding them to a compost bin or disposing of them in a garbage bag.

By regularly emptying and replacing waste containers, you can maintain the efficiency and hygiene of your composting toilet.

Troubleshooting Odours

In the event of odour issues with your composting toilet, proper troubleshooting is essential for maintaining a comfortable and pleasant environment. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Ensure proper ventilation.
  2. Add appropriate composting materials, such as sawdust or other cover material.
  3. Empty the urine tank regularly.
  4. Add a small amount of vinegar to the tank after use to help neutralise odours.

By following these steps, you can effectively address odour issues with your composting toilet during the composting process.

DIY Composting Toilet Options

The OGO small compost toilet looks more like an air purifier than a toilet!

For those looking to save money or create a custom composting toilet solution, DIY options are available. Building a DIY composting toilet requires sourcing components such as:

  • a toilet seat.
  • a waste container.
  • a composting chamber.
  • a ventilation system.

It also requires engineering the toilet to effectively break down waste into compost. While this can be a more affordable alternative to commercial composting toilets, you'll need to get the components and engineering right to ensure a functional and sanitary solution.

Before you do-it-yourself, make sure you have the necessary permissions and ensure adherence to local regulations and building codes. I'm sure there's plans out there (Youtube anyone?) that can show you how to build one too.

With a bit of planning and research, you can create a functional and eco-friendly waste management solution tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Choosing the Right Composting Toilet for Your RV or Tiny House

The NRS eco safe toilet system kit and shelter. Not composting, but great design.

Choosing the ideal composting toilets for RVs, cabins or small homes involves careful consideration of factors like:

  • Size and Capacity (how many people does it serve?)
  • Installation ease (can you do it yourself?)
  • Maintenance requirements (how much maintenance does it require?)
  • Budget (what will it cost?)

Take the time to explore user reviews and testimonials to gain valuable insights into the real-world performance and satisfaction of various composting toilet models.

This firsthand feedback can provide a more accurate understanding of each model’s pros and cons, helping you make the right choice for your RV or tiny home.


As we’ve learned, composting toilets provide a practical and eco-friendly waste management solution for RV and tiny living, conserving water and reducing environmental impact.

Consider factors like size, capacity, ease of installation, maintenance requirements, and budget, and remember that a tiny home toilet may be very different to an RV, caravan or boat toilet!

I'm sure you'll choose the perfect composting toilet for your needs and embrace a more sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle on the road or out camping in a beautiful environment!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put a compostable toilet in an RV?

Yes, you can put a compostable toilet in an RV! Using a compostable toilet in your RV is a great way to conserve water - something that's precious while on the road. Compost toilets are easy to install and use, and they don't require any special plumbing or maintenance. They are also much more environmentally friendly than regular toilets.

How do you empty an RV composting toilet?

Disposal at a designated dump station is probably ideal, but check about the requirements and protocols for this. Additionally, you can empty urine bottles anywhere you can urinate, as long as it's away from waterways, storm sewers, and private property without permission. Lastly, if all else fails, using 100% compostable trash bags in a public trash can is a safe disposal option.

Alternatively, using a dumpster or trash / rubbish can with a large opening is another way to empty your composting toilet. Public parks, sports fields, and trailheads are good places to find these options. (Make sure to check regulations about this in your area!)

How often do you empty a composting toilet?

Hopefully not too often! It all depends on how many people are using your toilet, right? But on average, a composting toilet should be emptied every 1-3 months when used by two people full-time. For weekend use, the time can extend to 2 months or more.

How does a composting toilet work in a tiny house or RV?

With an RV, boat or caravan, composting toilets separate liquids from solids, with liquids going into a container at the front of the bowl and solids deposited into a holding container below through a trap door.

Whereas with a tiny home, sometimes liquids and solid waste can go into the same container, which is then turned (mixed) and eventually added to a compost pile.

Are composting toilets safe?

Composting toilets are a safe and sustainable alternative to traditional flush toilets. When used correctly (by following the manufacturer's instructions carefully), they can help reduce water usage and protect the environment.

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