How to Use Boat Toilets for an RV

How to Use Boat Toilets for an RV
Many marine toilets can be retrofit to be used in an RV. Marine toilets, or heads, come in either a hand pump flush action, or with a flush mechanism that uses gravity and water flow to flush away the waste into a black water holding tank.

Some marine heads are a little bigger than a typical RV toilet, making them a good choice for those seeking a larger seat and toilet. To use a marine toilet in the RV, you will need a few hours to install the unit.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Marine toilet
  • Rubber gloves.
  • RV with bathroom and black water tank and plumbing system
  • Power screwdriver
  • Power drill with bits
  • Measuring tape
  • Grease pencil
  • Silicone caulk and caulk gun
Step 1
Drain the black water tank on the RV completely before removing the plumbing connections from the old RV toilet. Once drained, unscrew the plumbing and black water hoses leading to the black water tank.

Wear rubber gloves anytime you are touching black water tubes or connections to prevent unwanted contamination or illness. Remove the toilet from the RV bathroom.
Step 2
Measure the dimensions of the new toilet and the space in the RV bathroom. Mark the floor of the RV with the grease pencil where the holes need to go to secure the marine toilet to the floor. Drill out the holes and clean the holes of any debris of wood splinters.
Step 3
Place the marine toilet onto the RV bathroom floor. Align the holes on the base of the marine toilet with the newly drilled holes on the RV bathroom floor. Use a power screwdriver and screw in the attachment screws to lock the toilet into position.
Step 4
Attach the black water plumbing connections to the marine toilet while wearing rubber gloves. Test the system by priming the plumbing and tank with a bucket of water poured into the bowl.

Flush the water with the flush mechanism and check to see there are no leaks from the black water plumbing connections.
Step 5
Caulk the drilled holes with silicone caulking to waterproof the holes on the RV bathroom floor.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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