Everyone has to deal with it, but no one likes to talk about it: going to the bathroom in an RV. Unlike flushing at home, you don’t have the luxury of letting someone else deal with your waste. And dealing with the black tank is never a fun chore. If you worry you’ll be stuck with the dreaded task forever, don’t. You have a few other toilet options that are much less work (and less yucky). One option is an incinerator toilet.
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What Is an Incinerator Toilet?
An incinerator toilet is a self-contained, waterless unit that works to dispose of human waste. It does this by literally incinerating your waste and turning it to ash. Sounds pretty wild, huh? But it really works. Here’s how:
How Do Incinerator Toilets Work?
Incinerator toilets operate using either electricity or natural gas/propane. However, you have to empty electric incinerator toilets more often than propane toilets. Once the toilet is full, you’ll turn the incinerator “on.” The cycle time differs depending on what kind of toilet you get. It may be as short as 30-40 minutes for electric toilets and up to 4 hours for gas toilets.
During the incineration cycle, the toilet’s interior chamber heats to as high as 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. So yes, you really can vaporize your poo! An exhaust vent hooked up to the toilet vents smoke and fumes out of your RV during the cycle, so there is little to no odor. Once the incinerator cycle is over, all you’re left with is a tiny pile of ash.
Pros of Using an Incinerator Toilet in Your RV
If you’re wondering if an incinerator toilet is right for your RV, keep reading. There are pros and cons to this type of toilet. Let’s start with the pros.
First, most people find an incinerator toilet to be relatively easy to use and maintain. After the initial setup, there isn’t a lot of extra work for you. All you need to do is press a button, and “poof!” your waste is gone (in around 1-4 hours). There is much less “ickiness” compared to a composting toilet.
There is even less cleaning. This is because an incinerator toilet uses special liners. You have to put in a new liner every time you go to the bathroom (which is a con). But the good news is, the liner keeps the toilet bowl clean!
Another positive is that incinerator toilets are completely waterless. This is great for boondocking, so you conserve fresh water and black water tank space. It is also virtually odor-free, so you don’t have to worry about stinky black tanks ever again!
The toilets only use power when they are incinerating, so they conserve energy well when boondocking. And you can use an incinerator toilet in below-freezing temperatures. So, even if it gets chilly, your waste can be managed appropriately. Conversely, a composting toilet needs a warm place for microbes to do their work.
Finally, incinerator toilets are a great choice for RVers because they are extremely compact. Their small size makes them functional and easy to use in an RV bathroom. We all know how tiny those bathrooms can be, after all.
Cons of Incinerator Toilets
Although there are many reasons to get an incinerating toilet for your RV, there are some drawbacks.
First, these toilets are costly. You can spend around $2,000 to $3,500 or more on one of these RV toilets. Ouch! This price tag makes them the most expensive RV toilet on the market.
Another con is that there is sometimes a slight smell after incinerating. This is definitely nothing to squawk about if you have had a black tank before, though! The incineration cycle also takes some time. You can still use the toilet in some models while it is incinerating, but that sounds kind of scary if you ask us. This means your toilet could be out of commission for a couple of hours.
Other Waterless RV Toilet Alternatives
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are in the market for a waterless RV toilet. But if you can’t stomach the price tag of an incinerator toilet, there are other options. You could opt for a dry flush toilet or a composting toilet. Both are totally waterless. And they come with a lower price tag than an incinerator toilet.
Incinerate Your Waste
Everyone’s gotta go, but the type of toilet you use is up to you. If you want something waterless, compact, and virtually odor-free, the incinerator toilet is a great option. You will enjoy the ease of use and the lack of work needed to deal with waste. Just be prepared for a hefty price tag if this is the way you decide to go.
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