There are lots of situations where traditional sanitation is not available. Boats, RV’s, off grid properties all need ways to deal with waste and may times just hold onto it and transfer to a traditional sewer treatment facility. While this works, there are some alternative options. We personally use waterless toilets and have tried many alternative toilet types.
Composting toilets are one option to break down waste with bacteria into a dirt-like substance. But what if you don’t want to deal with it at all? Enter the incinerating toilet that vaporizes waste!
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 waste! An exhaust vent hooked up to the toilet vents smoke and fumes out of the room 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 needs, 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!
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.
Incinerating toilets also sanitize the waste due to the high heat. Ashes are germ-free and will not transmit disease. This does not mean that the bowl section is completely germ-free, but dealing with the remains is much cleaner.
Finally, incinerator toilets are a great choice for RVers, and boaters because they are extremely compact. Their small size makes them functional and easy to use in a compact 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 or boat, there are some drawbacks.
First, these toilets are costly. You can spend around $2,000 to $3,500 or more on one of these toilets. Ouch! This price tag makes them the most expensive toilet on the market.
The largest con to incinerating toilets is their shear energy use. Typically, electric incinerating toilets use between 1.2 to 2.5 kWh per cycle and 2000 to 4000 watts! This is a significant load that might be hard for off-grid properties to handle. While they save tons of water, they sure make up for it in energy costs. While propane-fueled toilets use almost no electricity, their energy consumption is still very high per flush.
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. However, most models will get overloaded if the unit is used too often. Overload can cause smell issues or damage to the burner. 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.
Become A Mortons On The Move Insider
Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!