If you have an older RV and the toilet isn’t working very well, you might consider replacing it. But can you just buy any toilet, and are RV toilets universal?
This is what I found out:
RV toilets are not universal, although RV toilet flanges are. There are many different types of toilets for different types of RVs. Refer to the sticker on the side of the existing toilet for the correct information for a replacement, or consult the owner’s manual.
But that’s not all there is to know about replacing the toilet in your RV.
In this article, we’ll cover all of the questions you have about your toilet. We’ll talk about the types of toilets, how to identify your RV toilet, and how to replace that toilet. We’ll also talk about the best kinds of toilets for your RV.
So let’s not waste any more time!
Let’s get to it.
Little did I know that the RV toilet flange was glued to the black water tank. Guess I will get an adapter in the morning so I can finish this job up. It’s the RV life for me! #rvlife #rvrepair pic.twitter.com/UA7Qu6secl
— gawags (@wagsga) August 10, 2020
Are RV toilet flanges universal?
RV toilet flanges are universal in size. However, some may have male threads, and others may have female threads. Simply purchase any RV toilet flange with the same threading as the one being replaced.
RV toilet flanges connect the toilet itself to both the floor and plumbing that leads to the black water tank.
A loose flange can lead to leaks and some nasty odors. A loose flange can also cause the toilet to move about, making it unstable to sit on. A broken flange can lead to even more problems.
Luckily, replacing the flange isn’t that hard. However, it may be tricky simply because you’re working in such a tight space.
Replacement RV toilet floor flanges are universal and will work as long as the threads are the same. So, if your current floor flange is male threaded, you need to replace it with a male threaded floor flange.
They work with 3” pipes, which is standard for RV toilets as well.
Before replacing your flange, you’ll have to turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to empty it. Then disconnect the water line leading to the toilet.
Remove the bolts from the base of the toilet and carefully lift the toilet off the bolts, and set aside. The flange should be screwed to the floor under the flange seal. The flange itself should be located approximately three inches down inside the tubing that runs to the black water tank.
The flange can be removed either by unscrewing it or breaking the seal and twisting it off. Install the new flange and reinstall your toilet.
— She Loves Camping (@shelovescamping) December 29, 2018
Can I replace my RV toilet with a regular toilet?
Regular home toilets will not work in an RV. Home toilets use a tank filled with water which uses gravity to feed into the toilet bowl to flush. In an RV, this would be problematic due to the movement. RV toilets use pressurized water from the freshwater tank when the flush pedal is pressed down.
Sure, house toilets and RV toilets have the exact same use – to get rid of waste. But they do not work in the same way and are not interchangeable.
Household toilets are typically made out of porcelain and are twice as heavy as RV toilets.
They are also much bigger than RV toilets. They have a back tank and lid that can break. The swaying and jarring motion can easily break a household toilet.
A household toilet won’t contain the water very well when you’re driving down the road, which means water will slosh all over the bathroom floor.
RV toilets are specifically designed for RVs.
They use much less water and don’t have as many moving parts as your household toilet. Even the most inefficient RV toilets won’t take up more than half a gallon of water per flush.
Household toilets can consume as much as 5 gallons of water per flush, filling your black water tank and draining your freshwater at an unsustainable rate.
Finally, household toilets cannot contain the smells like an RV toilet will.
If you’re worried about the water pressure in your RV, it can be tricky. If you’re at a campground, you’ll probably be hooked up to a water supply.
But those systems have a lot of components and don’t work as well as they should sometimes.
Low water pressure could be due to not replacing the water filters often enough, a clogged pressure regulator filter screen, or simply not turning on the pump. To learn more about why you may have low water pressure and what to do about it, check out this recent article.
Just click the link to read it on my site.
Lovely to get photos of installations from customers! This is an Air Head installed in an Autotrail Commanche motorhome. Replaces the ubiquitous chemical toilet and gives the owner the comfort of not having to find an elsan point every few days. #composttoilet #airhead #campervan pic.twitter.com/O1yUzE3RMq
— WooWoo (@WooWooWaterless) October 2, 2020
How do I identify my RV toilet?
To identify an RV toilet, first, look under the lid, along the sides, bottom, or back of the toilet. There should be a label that provides information on the make and model of the RV toilet. If the label is in a hard-to-reach area, use a phone to take a picture.
But that information will also be in your manual and easily Googleable.
When you purchased your RV, it came with a ton of paperwork. Included in that paperwork is every manual for every installed appliance, including the toilet.
If you bought your RV used or if you can’t find the paperwork for whatever reason, you can check the toilet itself.
If push comes to shove, you can always take a couple of pictures of your toilet. Take the pictures to the local dealer. They should be able to tell you what kind of toilet you have.
Along with the different brands of toilets, there are many different types of toilets.
As long as you are willing to pay the price, you can add countless options and accessories to completely customize your bathroom experience.
Of course, there is the traditional gravity toilet. It’s the most common and similar to a household toilet. It doesn’t have a water holding tank though and usually flushes with a foot pedal.
A macerating flush toilet crushes waste into tiny pieces before it moves to the black water tank. This helps prevent buildup and sensor errors.
Composting toilets don’t use any water and separate solids from liquids. But they need to be emptied frequently and are not ideal for a family.
Portable toilets reduce raw sewage, are portable, and are simple to install. They are nice for tiny spaces or places where you might not otherwise have a toilet, like in a tent.
How do you replace an RV toilet?
First, turn off the water pump and ensure that no external water source is connected to the RV. Flush the existing toilet, disconnect the water supply line, and drain into a bucket. Remove the 2 nuts holding the toilet and remove it. Install the new toilet, tighten the nuts and reconnect the water supply.
Make sure the new toilet comes with a new floor flange seal.
It is also possible that the new toilet may use different bolts from the old one. In that case, replace the old bolts with the new ones that came with the new toilet.
Once you’ve figured out the toilet you want, measure the area. Measure the space around the existing toilet too. You don’t want your new toilet to prevent cabinets from opening. When you remove the old toilet, measure the hole.
Before you begin removing the old toilet, the RV should be on a level surface. Also, while the floor is exposed, after removing the old toilet, give it a good cleaning.
And make sure the floor flange is free of any debris.
Your new toilet will come with installation instructions. If you are replacing the old one with the same type of toilet, you shouldn’t need any additional tools.
Carefully follow the instructions, bolt down the toilet, place any covers, and reattach the waterline.
Having an rv is So much fun until you need to fix the toilet!!#rv #problems #fixing #fraddyslife #rvfulltime #fulltimerv #fulltimefamilies #rvliving #help #dadlife #rvlife #goodtimes pic.twitter.com/vqcUKGhcDC
— FraddysLife (@FraddysLife) July 18, 2019
How much does an RV toilet cost?
The cost of a replacement RV toilet is between $150 to $300. While almost all RV toilets are made of plastic (for weight reasons), higher-end RV toilets will have a residential-sized seat and use jets to both help flush waste, but still conserve water.
Portable toilets and compost toilets are generally the cheapest RV toilets.
Portable toilets are slightly less expensive. They don’t separate the liquid from the solids like compost toilets do. They have to be dumped pretty frequently.
While portable toilets and compost toilets are not the best for family situations, they are a good choice if you are camping alone or with no black water tank. In fact, it’s not unheard of to convert a closet in a truck camper into a “water closet.”
Truck campers often have just a freshwater tank and a gray water tank.
This means there isn’t a place for sewage. If you don’t want to take on a large project of adding a black water tank and running additional water lines, a portable toilet or a compost toilet is an easy alternative.
Once you get that fancy new throne, you may be wondering what kind of toilet paper to use.
After all, you just went through the pain of replacing your toilet. You want it to last as long as possible. Technically all toilet paper is biodegradable.
But toilet paper specifically manufactured for RVs and boats is faster-dissolving.
This helps ensure that there are no clogs in the plumbing system or sensor errors. To read more about whether you need to use biodegradable toilet paper in your RV, check out this recent article.
Just click the link to read it on my site.
RV toilet fun 🤣
foot pedal snapped one if its plastic nipples so now have to speedily push by hand just right and to that 🤪 angle
interestingly few days ago lost my magic touch & then got it back <snap> 🕳 1st or 2nd try #RVlife #thetford #aria #classic pic.twitter.com/lSUMZsQm8u
— chris berdos 🚚⭕️ (@jazzynaturist) September 18, 2020
Is an RV toilet flange the same as a house toilet flange?
RV toilet flanges and household toilet flanges are different. Household toilet flanges can be 3” or 4” and utilize a wax donut ring as a seal. RV toilet flanges are generally 3” and use a rubber gasket as a seal.
So while they both do the same job and could be the same 3” diameter, they are different.
And even though the floor flanges perform the same function in both houses and RVs, that doesn’t mean you should put a house toilet in your RV.
Traveling in an RV seems like a great way to spend your golden years, right?
Your camper is already like your home in that you always need to make repairs and little fixes. On average, retiring in an RV is 41% cheaper than owning a home.
You get to explore lots of different places and meet new people everywhere you go. But you won’t have a dedicated place to call home, and you’ll not always get to be close to your family and friends.
But there is much more to consider when thinking about retiring in an RV. Check out this recent article to read all about the pros and cons of RV retirement.
Just click the link to read it on my site.
Meet Rio!.. he loves sitting on the toilet in the RV! pic.twitter.com/VsxatObted
— TamyDoo (@tamy_doo) September 4, 2020
What is the best toilet for an RV?
The best toilet for an RV is the Aqua-Magic V by Thetford. It is a high-profile toilet that has a look and feel like a residential toilet. It has thousands of near 5-star ratings and is well under $200.
CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.
This high-profile toilet has a total height of 18.5 inches, making it feel more like you’re sitting on the toilet at home.
It weighs just under 10 pounds, meaning it will fit in almost any RV. The seat is designed with an angled back to allow for more comfortable seating.
It is made from a rugged plastic, making it durable enough to last for many years, even with heavy usage. It has a textured, scuff-resistant lid, so you don’t have to worry about beating it up when you bump it into a nearby drawer or cabinet. It also always looks clean.
And it’s got over 3,000 reviews, and almost all of them are 5-star! Plus, it’s currently under $150 bucks!
CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.
Both options work the same way. Just press it halfway to fill the bowl and press it all the way when you are ready to flush.
It is easy to install too and comes with everything you need. The only thing you might need to think about is making minor modifications to your RV if this is a replacement for a different brand of toilet.
Keep in mind that this is still an RV toilet. It’s not going to be as nice as your household toilet, even with the extra height. It is still made out of plastic, and it’s small. After all, it needs to be small, so it will fit nicely into RV bathrooms.
The only downside to it is that it doesn’t come with a hand sprayer. But you can purchase and install one separately.
CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.
Did I answer everything you wanted to know about whether RV toilets are universal?
With some small adjustments, just about any RV toilet will work in any RV. While household flanges and RV flanges perform the same job, you should only use an RV flange in your RV.
Finally, an RV toilet should not be replaced with a household toilet. The only time that it might be okay is if your camper is parked permanently.
But then, what would be the point of having an RV?