How Does An RV Toilet Work: We Tell You!

how does an rv toilet work


How does an RV toilet work? Understanding the process and maintaining your RV toilet ensures you experience the best road trip. When properly maintained, your black water tank will last years, and you can successfully eliminate unwanted smells or problems. 

The team at Kirkland RV Sales offers insight into maintaining your RV toilet and preventing potential issues with your tanks. Continue reading to learn about the types of RV toilets and how to care for each kind. 

Different Types of RV Toilets

There are three main RV toilet types, each with pros and cons. Read below to know their differences, and find out which works for you! 

The Full RV Toilets

The full RV toilet, or the flushing toilet, is the most common type. These toilets connect to your RV’s black tank and fresh water supply and work similarly to an in-house toilet. The main difference between an RV toilet and a house toilet is the location of the flushing pedal.

Most full RV toilets are plastic, but wood and porcelain versions are available too. 

The Portable RV Toilets

As the name states, the portable toilet remains unconnected to your RV in any way. You cannot connect it to your black water tank or fresh water for flushing. However, you can tuck them away when not in use, saving space. 

These toilets tend to be smaller in size and less comfortable. You must empty them by hand regularly, but you can use an at-home toilet or similar. 

The Compost Toilets

Composting toilets are more expensive than their counterparts but preferred for their environmentally friendly concept and ease of use. Compost toilets do not use water to flush; it does not use chemicals and has little to no unwanted smells. 

They separate liquid and solid waste into separate containers. The solid waste becomes soil through composting, and you can flush the liquid down a toilet.

How Do You Take Care of RV Toilets?

How does an RV toilet work? With regular maintenance, the RV toilet works by taking small amounts of fresh water in the toilet bowl and flushing waste into the black tank. Taking care of your RV toilet is simple but essential to RV living. 

Always check the seals on your toilet; if they become worn, dry, or cracked, your toilet will not function properly, leading to sewer smells and potential leaks. Replace the seals or coat them in a rubber replenishing liquid when you notice an issue. 

Keep an eye on your tank levels, and empty your black tank when it hits 3/4 full. Empty, clean, and add a gallon of fresh water with cleaning chemicals or environmentally-friendly biological enzymes to restart your black water tank. 


Keeping your RV toilet maintained ensures your comfort during an RV trip. Hopefully, this article has answered the question, “How does an RV toilet work?” The more you know about your RV, the more you will enjoy your stay in one. 

For any questions regarding your RV, reach out to Kirkland RV Sales in Everett, WA.