How to Install a Compost Toilet in an RV

How to Install a Compost Toilet in an RV
Compost toilets are an environmentally friendly option for camping toilets. They are also useful where sewage hookups are unavailable. RVs use mobile compost toilets designed for RVs or boats. Smaller than regular compost toilets, mobile compost toilets are self-contained and designed to withstand movement. Compost toilets are available from various manufacturers and come with all of the necessary equipment for installation. Most compost toilets have similar installation instructions. However, it is always best to refer to the compost toilet owner's manual before installation to find out the particular instructions for your brand of toilet.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape
  • Power cutting tool (Choose a tool appropriate for your RV's ceiling and roof materials)
  • Flexible silicone caulking
  • Hacksaw
Step 1
Position the compost toilet next to an electrical outlet if you purchased an electric model. Make sure there is sufficient space to pull out the emptying drawer.
Step 2
Measure the diameter of the vent pipe, using a measuring tape. Cut a hole the same diameter as the toilet vent pipe in the ceiling of your RV, using the appropriate power tool for your RV's ceiling and roof materials.
Step 3
Slide one end of the vent pipe onto the vent opening on the compost toilet. Slide the other end of the vent pipe through the opening in the ceiling. Cut the vent pipe shorter if it is too long, using a hacksaw.
Step 4
Caulk around the vent pipe at the ceiling with flexible silicone caulking, to seal the space around the vent pipe.
Step 5
Plug the composting heater into an electrical outlet if you have an electric model.
Step 6
Attach the overflow container to the compost toilet if you have a non-electric model. Find an area to place the overflow container. Place the container in the storage area underneath your RV, if available. This is usually where the gray water and black water holding tanks are located. To attach the overflow container, slide one end of the overflow tube onto the overflow opening on the toilet. Attach the other end of the tube to the container. If you placed the overflow container underneath the RV, drill a hole in the floor, run the tube through the hole and slide the tube onto the overflow container.
Step 7
Install the vent fan if applicable. Attach the vent fan to a marine battery or to the RV electrical system. To connect the fan and wiring, refer to the compost toilet owner's manual for the wiring instructions.

Tips & Warnings

Measure your bathroom area before purchasing a compost toilet to ensure the toilet will fit.
Non-electric compost toilets are larger than electric models.
To avoid problems, choose a compost toilet that is recommended for the number of people who will be using it. If six people regularly use a compost toilet designed for two people, the toilet will overfill and fail to compost properly.
Electric compost toilets are designed to be used with a constant source of electricity available, even when the toilet is not in use.
Do not install a vent fan unless the fan will always have an electric source. A fan without electricity will block the vent pipe from removing toilet odors.
Compost removed from the compost toilet still contains viruses and bacteria, making it unsafe to use on edible plants.
Check the local area regulations on discarding compost from toilets. The Environmental Protection Agency warns that some areas have strict rules regarding compost toilet waste. For instance, some areas allow the waste to be disposed of only through burial or at a sewage treatment facility.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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