Best Composting Toilets – The Ideal Choice for Campers

Being a leading plumbing consultant with over 30 years of experience, I would like to share my knowledge of composting toilets. Many do not understand what these products entail, and it has compelled me to provide my vast expertise in plumbing. Hopingly, it will assist beginners and pros in making a proper choice when buying a composting toilet.

The toilet is, no doubt, one of the most important inventions made as it solves lots of issues dealing with hygiene. The composting toilet system is well-known due to its water and energy efficiency. Therefore, it is the best option to use in places with water shortage and drainage issues. Campers mainly find themselves in such sites often, and this leaves them seeking alternatives as proper hygiene is of utter importance.

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But, thanks to the composting toilet, the problem is solved at your convenience. So, how do these toilets work? What do they use instead of water? Well, the blog below covers all these and other pressing issues. Besides, there’s a purchase guide for first-time buyers elaborating on the essential features they need to check for satisfactory shopping.

The Meaning of Composting Toilets

composting toilet

  1. Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet – Top Pick
  2. Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model – Premium
  3. Villa 9215 AC/DC Waterless Composting Toilet
  4. Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composting Toilet for House
  5. Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet Review

The toilets are of two types – a self-contained kit with the composting unit being the part of the toilet, and another model where this unit is separate. The items are fused with a fan to remove the gas or foul odor emanating from the waste. Some are electric-powered, while the other part has a DC/AC option to enable use in remote areas. Additionally, there are non-electric units.

5 of the Best Composting Toilet Reviews

Under this section, you will get individual item reviews with detailed pros and cons analyses. The products are arranged from the best to the least popular to ease your selection. With the reviews, you are assured to make a non-regrettable purchase. Besides, there is a buying guide section to equip you with knowledge of the essential features to consider before shopping.

1. Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet – Best Composting Toilet for RV

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  • Dimensions: 22 x 20.5 x 21.7 inches
  • Bowl shape: Rectangular
  • Material: Plastic

Nature’s Head Self-Contained Toilet with close quarters spider handle design tops my selections. The item’s quality, ease of use, size, and effectiveness puts it miles ahead of products under this category. It is perfectly built to surpass your expectations.

This self-contained compost toilet is a space-saving model, which makes it suitable to use in tight spaces. Talking about the capacity, this composting toilet is large enough to endure 80 uses before a need to empty it.

Additionally, the item is lightweight and portable, weighing 28 pounds. It is also easy to set up, relieving you of all the assembly hassles. Due to the frequent need to empty the kit, the manufacturer has provided an easy-to-disassemble tool. This characteristic offers huge convenience during and after equipment use.

This item is made of stainless material, making it the ideal choice for use in harsh conditions. Moreover, it is elongated for comfort enhancement. The product is of top-notch quality, as it is entirely made in the USA. All composting toilet systems require frequent and at times costly maintenance, but this elongated toilet is an exception.

It is run by low-cost and process maintenance as every part is easy for anyone to fix. The most exciting feature, however, is the low power-consuming fan present in the construction. The fan is ideal for removing all the foul odor from toilet use while consuming the least energy possible.

9.9Expert Score

For many people, this item is the best of its kind, and it has served their needs beyond imagination. However, the users have complained about the product’s lack of a mesh that would keep out small insects. Besides that, the fan is only 12V, and this made some people upgrade the unit to a more powerful fan for optimal results. All in all, I profoundly recommend you to purchase it.

Material and Design
Flushing technology
Value for Money
Pros: Cons:
  • highly effective;
  • odor-free;
  • easy to assemble and disassemble;
  • energy efficient;
  • space-saving model.
  • less powerful fan;
  • lack of a mesh to keep out insects.

2. Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model – Affordable Composting Toilet

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  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 14.5 x 16.2 inches
  • Toilet style: ‎Visa Potty
  • Bowl shape: ‎Square

The item’s cost might leave you wondering about its quality, but I am here to assure you that it is not an issue to worry about. The toilet under review is one of the best products of its kind as it gives the best value for money. It is the best compost toilet system accessible at such a friendly price. It is likewise comfy and easy to use as it resembles a home toilet due to its height.

The kit has an 18-liter solid waste capacity and 14-liter water capacity. These dimensions make it serve quite a lot of people without a need to refill water or empty the item frequently. You also don’t have to worry about the bad smell associated with toilet use, since it is perfectly sealed to prevent the stench from leaking. Besides that, its maintenance process is straightforward.

The fused indicators will easily notify you when the water or solid level is alarming. It will help you to know exactly when to empty or add water as per the requirements. The waste container is easy to detach from the toilet, which, in turn, ensures easy emptying and assembly.

The item’s only con is the waste container design flaw. It gets heavy, and the handles are poorly made. You may find it hard carrying the full waste container without gloves. Moreover, the maximum weight the unit can support isn’t indicated.

9.8Expert Score

On the bright side, the unit is lightweight at 12 pounds and thus easily portable. The toilet flushes with the help of a piston pump, that’s highly effective and replaceable. It is made of high-quality and heavy-duty materials to resist breakages and ensure it lasts a lifetime. I highly recommend this portable toilet to anyone under a strict budget, as it will be an ideal choice.

Material and Design
Flushing technology
Value for Money
Pros: Cons:
  • highly effective and replaceable piston pump;
  • friendly price;
  • huge capacity;
  • heavy-duty material used;
  • water and waste level indicators.
  • the design flaw in the waste container;
  • maximum weight supported isn’t indicated.

3. Villa 9215 AC/DC Waterless Composting Toilet

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The product is now gaining popularity in the US after many years of success in Europe. This is the best waterless toilet under review. Moreover, there are a lot of unique features in the unit poised at meeting your needs beyond expectations.

One of the vital aspects to consider before buying a composite toilet is the smell. With the Villa 9215, that will be the least of your worries. It is uniquely made to divert urine and solid waste composts in the available container. You can also use a composting bag.

Emptying the unit is straightforward, due to the detachable nature of the waste vessel. There’s an automated trap door for you not to see the solid waste. The door opens and closes upon sitting and standing.

There’s also a DC/AC powered fan that’s essential in keeping the surrounding air odor-free. The fan is also energy efficient. The item measures 18.5 by 23 by 27.75 inches and weighs 34 pounds; therefore, it is light for transportation.

There’s a bag where the process happens. Its capacity can suit 3 weeks of use by an average family. After composting, the bag is removed and disposed of, thus preventing the problem of the material composting in the toilet.

9.4Expert Score

There’s a massive boost as 10 compostable bags are provided upon purchase. The item is among the best choices available on the market. It is supported by a 5-year warranty against the manufacturer's defect, but the fan is covered by 3 years. To sum it up, the reasons to buy the unit remain unchallenged as it is worth every penny spent.

Material and Design
Flushing technology
Value for Money
Pros: Cons:
  • AC powered and waterless, hence suitable for use in remote areas;
  • easy to install;
  • automated trap door;
  • urine diverting;
  • 10 compostable bags were provided.
  • dry the trap door gets stuck at times.

4. Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composting Toilet for House, Model# Excel-NE

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  • Dimensions: 33 x 22.5 x 33 inches
  • Bowl shape: Oblong

This dry toilet is ideally made to ensure you have an odor-free experience when using it. Surprisingly, the model deals with smell elimination without using electricity. This makes it the ideal choice for campers and those living in remote areas. Undoubtedly, it is the best off-grid toilet system.

It is incorporated with a thermostatic heater that works optimally to vaporize any liquid present, leaving you with dry and odorless waste. Moreover, there’s a fan that helps to maintain a hygienic scene by expelling the bad-smelling air.

The unit is also waterless and ranks among the best dry toilet systems accessible. It measures 33 by 22.5 by 33 inches and weighs 90 pounds. It is heavy, and this may limit its portability efficiency. The item fits from medium to high capacity use.

The model is an environmentally friendly composting toilet. However, there has been a complaint about the item’s poor and shallow drainage, leaving users with the need to siphon the accumulated urine frequently.

9.1Expert Score

Taking into consideration its high cost, I didn't expect the item to have any design flaws; but on the contrary, there’s more than one defect in the model. I can confidently say it could have lower retailing prices after have been using the kit for half a year.

Material and Design
Flushing technology
Value for Money
Pros: Cons:
  • non-electric;
  • odorless;
  • suits from medium to high capacity use.
  • exorbitant price;
  • poor and shallow drainage.

5. Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet Review, Model# Compact

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  • Bowl shape: ‎Round

This item is among the few toilets that will fully compost waste without producing any odor. It is highly effective, and this might be the reason for its relatively high price. It contains a bio-drum where all composting occurs. The unit is suitable for medium to high capacity use. It is waterless and fits perfectly in any bathroom.

It is heavy at 90 pounds, thus hindering its portability. All in all, it is a perfect choice for campers as it suits their use in remote areas. The unit is NSF approved as it entirely meets safe environment standards. It is ideal for use by all people regardless of their height as there’s a detachable footrest in provision.

Its capacity is a bit low as the item is made for single users. But that aside, it is easy to install the toilet without any plumbing expertise. It measures 33 by 21.5 by 28.5 inches. A venting kit is incorporated, and the toilet has dual drains; one being for emergency purposes.

9Expert Score

That said, I need to point out the kit's biggest drawback, which is craftsmanship defects. The unit easily cracks and requires extra careful handling; otherwise, the excrement liquid may spill on the floor. Besides, the warranty seems to cover only the manufacturer’s defects, which results in no refund if the item fails to meet your expectations. I recommend you to consider better and cheaper brands.

Material and Design
Flushing technology
Value for Money
Pros: Cons:
  • fully composts solid waste;
  • easy to set up;
  • waterless.
  • poor craftsmanship leading to defects;
  • low-quality materials used.

Buyers Guide on Choosing the Best Value Composting Toilet

composting toilet signpost

Below are the factors you need to take into consideration when purchasing dry composting toilets. The tips will ease your shopping hassle and put at bay the risk of panic while buying. They’ll likewise ensure you no longer end up making regrettable purchases.

  • Self-contained units

I highly recommend you purchase a self-contained kit as the composting container is incorporated into the toilet. This means you do not have to spend money buying a bigger vessel as it is the case for those with attached waste containers.

The unit also costs lower as compared to central ones. Also, it is easy to install without the need for plumbing assistance. The units are also ideal for tight spaces.

  • Ease of installation

Buy a unit that won’t require you to be a plumbing expert to put it in place. Luckily, my composting toilet systems reviews have covered items that only require appropriate anchoring and correct ventilation pipe setting for installation.

  • Capacity

Depending on the people accessing the unit, you need to buy a product that won’t be emptying every day. Likewise, you need the right size to prevent the equipment from overflowing.

  • Upkeep

With composting toilets, it is vital to keep a regular check and empty the item to prevent overflowing. For electric ones, you need to ensure the connection is right as required.

  • Weight

Ensure you purchase a light toilet if you need one for regular transportation. The best part is you are at liberty to pick the most appropriate product for you as these lightweight units are readily accessible.

  • Electric powered or off-grid

In the event you need a kit for remote area use, ensure you go for the non-electrical one. This will ensure nothing interrupts a good session and the item’s efficiency in such regions.

  • Safety

You need to keep a check on the item to ensure it doesn’t have any craftsmanship defects. This will save you from the problem of waste spillage, which is hazardous for everyone. You also need an eco-friendly unit, which doesn’t release bad odor to the surrounding.

  • Cost

Do not overpay for substandard products. Ensure you pay the right amount and set sight on achieving the best value for your money.

  • Warranty

Right upkeep will ensure minimal chances of breakdowns or failure. But for electric units, you need a guarantee so that if something happens to the system, you will get a replacement without paying a penny.

When it comes to composting and dry desiccating toilets, I find 3 years of protection against manufacturer’s defects enough to help you evaluate the unit’s durability. With such a warranty, the product’s quality won’t be much of a bother to you.

Composting Toilet Comparisons – Choosing From the Best

composting toilet

Here, I will provide a head-to-head comparison of two similar brands and two of the best items under review. There are not many differences between the models, but it is that single advantage over the other item that will leave you with a non-regrettable purchase and offer the best value for your money.

Nature’s Head Self-Contained Toilet vs. Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model

Nature’s Head is the best item overall, although its cost is extremely high when compared to the Sanitation Equipment model. The former is space-saving, while the latter contains water and waste level indicators. All in all, both items are worth every penny used.

Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Model vs. Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Toilet

The items aren’t top of my listing and tend to compete in failure. The Sun-Mar compact model has the cases of composts wastes, while the Excel model does the same without electricity use. Both items are odorless, but they are highly priced.

How Does Composting Toilet Work in Short?

Composting toilets are water and energy-efficient devices that use natural decomposition and evaporation processes to recycle our waste. All the gases are carried out through the vent system, while the dry remains can be used for fertilizing soil. Composting toilets are designed to maintain the correct balance between temperature, oxygen, water, and organic material to provide a fast and odorless decomposition process.

The Ideal Self Composting Toilet Review in a Nutshell

As I wrap up my waterless toilet reviews, I hope you are now better suited to make the right purchase with ease. The options highlighted above will work beyond imaginations when subjected to RVs, camps, or cabin use.

My highly recommended item is the Nature’s Head Self-Contained Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design. The unit is easy to install, made of stainless material, lightweight, and space-saving, making it the ideal choice as it surpasses many buyers’ expectations.

When buying a composting toilet, it is vital to consider the item’s capacity, weight, warranty, safety, upkeep cost, ease of installation, and effectiveness in it being odorless. Luckily enough, the kits under review only require anchoring and connecting the vent pipe correctly for installation.

Now, I’ll leave you to buy your preferable compost toilet for a camper or home use. But before that, have you ever used a compost toilet system? Were you satisfied with the unit? Kindly share your experience after handling the items as it is of utmost importance.

Gerald Carpenter

My name is Gerald Carpenter and I am a professional plumber in the third generation. My father was a plumber, my grandfather was a plumber. I wish I had records on my other ancestors.

1 Comment
  1. Wow! I was surprised to see my dry toilet from Villa at the top! I agree; it’s a great model. I’ve been using it for over a year now and have not noticed any shortcomings yet. Yeah, I know there are cheaper toilets, but this one fully meets all my expectations, and most importantly, it doesn’t smell at all!

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