The best skoolie toilet depends on how you plan on using the skoolie toilet, how many people will be using it, and how often you will be using it.
Skoolie toilet options can consist of composting toilets, dry flush toilets, and flushable toilets.
We will review the best toilets for a skoolie depending on how often you will be using it.
Best Skoolie Toilet
We compiled a list of the best skoolie toilet options for school bus conversions. Before we dive into these, we have some tips on how to select the right toilet from this list for your skoolie.
When looking to find the best toilet for a skoolie, you have to first decide on how you plan to use the toilet – with a focus on how often it will be used and how many people will be using it. The four typical scenarios are:
1. Skoolie toilet for a couple
2. Skoolie toilet for a family
3. If you want to carry a black tank or just have a grey tank
4. How often you want to be emptying your toilet or black tank
If you don’t mind carrying a black tank or having to stop at a dump station to empty your black tank, you might be fine with a flushable toilet. If you want to stay off grid for a longer period of time, and only have a grey water tank (I would say the majority of skoolies do this) you would benefit from a composting skoolie toilet.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of composting toilets, dry flush toilets, and flushable toilets to ultimately see what skoolie toilet option would work best for you.
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Best Toilets for Skoolies
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Note: Some of these carriers are currently experiencing a 4-10 week lead time due to COVID-19. Please keep this in mind when purchasing your skoolie toilet.
Skoolie Toilet Options
Let’s go through the difference between composting toilets, dry flush toilets, and flushable RV toilets.
When we first bought our school bus, I never thought we would do a composting toilet. I was wanting a flushable toilet (I can’t believe I am even typing this right now). But as Chris and I discussed it more, we knew we didn’t want to be carrying around black water with us wherever we go. We wanted minimal to no smells inside our bus. After doing extensive research on different types of skoolie toilets, we decided that a composting toilet was the ONLY option for us.
Why were we so set on getting a composting toilet? Composting toilets separate the liquids from the solids. The combining of the liquids and the solids is what makes the toilet and/or holding tank let out those sewage smells. Therefore, composting toilets seriously do not smell. That is what I was worried about. I thought these types of toilets would be super smelly and I would hate it. After all, you are spending around $1,000 on this toilet and we want to know we like it. But truthfully, I would never go any other way than a composting toilet. The only time it starts to smell is when you need to change out the solids, which you can look at as negative reinforcement.
There are many different types of composting toilets. You can read more about them below. We went with the Nature’s Head composting toilet. We wanted to go with a toilet company that had excellent customer service in case anything went wrong and was trusted by a lot of others. Nature’s Head fit the bill for us. Some other popular composting toilets are the C-Head and Air Head composting toilets. We will discuss both of these options more below.
How to Use Composting Toilets:
There is a little bit of a learning curve to start using a composting toilet rather than a traditional toilet. To start using composting toilets, you will need an electric supply usually in 12V DC. This makes it so the fan can run constantly which takes the moisture out of the toilet and lets it compost. Then, simply run the vent hose to the outside of your skoolie, pour your medium into the solids compartment, and latch it down. We use sphagnum peat moss as our composting medium, but you could also use coconut coir. Both of these can be found at the hardware store. After this is all done, you are ready to use your toilet!
All genders must sit down when using this toilet, aside from a few brands that I’ll point out below. If you do not sit down, liquids have a higher chance of going into the back solids area, which will cause them to mix and the toilet to smell and not compost correctly. When you are going poo, simply slide open the back area with the handle on the side, do your business, and slide it shut when done. Then, stir it up with the agitator handle a few times, this step is a bit different for some of the brands outlined. This allows it to compost.
Composting toilets require a bit more cleaning than regular toilets. You will want to make sure you empty the front liquids container every other day if not every day, depending on how many people are using it. You can dispose of it in a regular flushable toilet or in a holding tank that will eventually empty into a dump station. Chris plumbed our front liquids area into our grey tank so we don’t have to empty the bucket every day, which has been really nice.
As for cleaning the solids, you will want to clean this after about 80 uses (4-6 weeks for 2 people). After you use this toilet for a while, you will figure out a cleaning schedule that works for you. One thing to note is to empty the toilet sooner rather than later to ensure proper composting. Take the toilet outside to empty as it’s a dirty chore. Empty the solids in a garbage bag or your own composting bin, pour a fresh composting agent in the toilet, and put it all back together. This is all you have to do to empty it! You want to ensure proper composting so only deep clean the toilet (with water) about every 6 months or so.
Composting Toilet Options
Nature’s Head Composting Toilet
Installed on the Skoolie Livin Bus
- Height: 22 in
- Width: 17 in
- Depth: 17 in
- Weight: 28 lbs
- Overall Best Composting Toilet
- Good for 80 uses
- 5 year warranty
- Excellent customer service
- 12V fan
The Nature’s Head composting toilet is one of the most popular options for a skoolie toilet. It’s a good normal size toilet and it’s easy to start using. This goes for all composting toilets, but I love how we aren’t using any water (okay, a little) to flush. One thing that makes the Nature’s Head composting toilet different is that the toilet is molded together, meaning the toilet seat is molded into the toilet versus a regular household toilet seat. This is a unique feature and some people love it while others hate it. Let’s go through some pros and cons of this skoolie toilet.
The pros of the Nature’s Head toilet are that it is self-contained and that it does not smell when used properly. This toilet does a really good job at separating the liquids from the solids better than some others on our list. This is imperative to make it not smell. Emptying is an easy job when taken outside.
The front liquids part of the toilet before it goes into the bucket can get scummed up and there is no access point to clean it. However, it should be cleaned every now and then. To do this, get a long, but skinny brush to clean it. Another thing to notice is that anytime you want to empty the front liquids bucket, you must unlatch the latches which opens up the solids container compartment so it can be a unpleasant chore, which you are doing every day.
Air Head Composting Toilet
- Best Designed Composting Toilet
- 5 year warranty
- Fan on the end of the hose, not next to toilet which prevents it from clogging
- Can empty liquids tank and not see solids tank
- Heigh: 19 3/4 in
- Width: 18 3/4 in
- Depth: 17 1/2 in
Just like the Nature’s Head toilet, the Air Head composting toilet works almost exactly the same. A few key differences between the two brands are that the Air Head is a bit smaller in dimensions, has a regular toilet seat with a seal, and you don’t have to see your solids compartment to empty your liquids compartment.
When ordering this composting skoolie toilet, it’s customizable. You get to choose between a marine size toilet seat (smaller) and a household seat, which side you want the agitator handle to be on (left or right), bottle size (1 gal or 2 gal), flat back or hull shape, and what type of fan housing you need.
Let’s go over some pros and cons of this Air Head composting skoolie toilet.
The handle on this liquids compartment is metal so if anything spills on it while emptying, it is able to be washed off with ease. You will get a lid that covers the solids compartment and there are handles to grab onto, which makes emptying this skoolie toilet easy. Another big thing to note is that unlike the Nature’s Head, the Air Head allows you to empty your liquids container without opening and seeing your solid compost. As a Nature’s Head owner, this is a big feature! But if you plumb your liquids into your grey water tank, this is not that big of a deal.
Out of all the options, the Air Head composting toilet is the most expensive option at $1095. Since the front liquids compartment is contained by itself, it requires that you latch down the back compartment AND the front compartment, this means more holes in your floors.
C Head Composting Toilet
- Best Budget Composting Toilet
- Cheapest composting toilet option
- Real toilet seat
- Detachable handle
- Height: 18 in
- Width: 15 1/4 in
- Depth: 20 in
The C head is a composting toilet that is rising in popularity for skoolie bathrooms and one of the main benefits is that it is the cheapest option for composting toilets. However, it works a lot differently than the Nature’s Head or the Air Head.
The C Head is a composting toilet in which the liquids are separated from the solids. It comes with a regular household toilet seat. There are no handles on the exterior of the toilet. When you open the lid, you will see another lid that you will remove before sitting down. This lid opens both the solids and the liquids compartment. After you use the solids portion and put both of the lids down, you insert a detachable handle into the back hole and stir it for 10-15 rotations. This will turn and turn your poo into compost.
The C head has a compact design. It contains a regular household toilet seat which is sometimes more comfortable than a molded seat.
You have to buy and/or figure out your own venting system. It does not come with a liquids container, so you have to use a gallon jug or purchase an extra urine diverter system. Another con is that both the solids and liquids are open at the same time. This could cause the liquids to go into the solids compartment easier than with the other composting toilet systems.
- Best Compact Composting Toilet
- Compact design
- No urine holding tank (will be plumbed into grey/black)
- Comes with everything you need
- Largest composting toilet
- Height: 21 1/2 in
- Width: 17 in
- Depth: 26 1/2 in
- Weight: 34 lbs
The Separett Villa 9215 composting toilet is not a very popular skoolie toilet option. There are a few reasons that I will go over that just make it an “okay” skoolie toilet.
The venting hose you get with this composting toilet is rigid, not flexible and it’s pretty limited on how you can exit as it is rigid. With a flexible hose, you can exit it wherever you need to. With this, you have to think about your venting system a lot more.
There is no urine holding compartment in this composting toilet. You will receive a 6′ long urine hose, which you can then plumb into your grey or black tank. This means only ever emptying the solids!
The first thing is that this toilet is on the large side. The depth of the toilet is just over 26″ meaning you will have to really think about your bathroom layout. You usually want to keep at least 10″ for knee room (more if you are tall) meaning you would need the bathroom to be at least 3 feet deep.
Dry Flush Toilets
Dry flushing toilets might be a good option for you if you are looking to live off grid for longer periods of time, just like the composting toilets. Dry flush toilets contain a bag inside of the toilet that you flush after you use it. It does not need any fresh water hookup and after you flush, it seals the bag.
A potential downside to these types of toilets is that one bag will only last for 17 uses. So you will always want to make sure you have extra bags on hand and that you have a place to dispose of the bags whenever they are full. Another downside to these types of toilets is that they have the potential to let out sewage smells as the liquids and solids are being mixed, but they are sealed off inside the bag.
Dry flush toilets need an electric hookup, just like composting toilets do or they can be bought with a battery hookup, whichever you prefer.
Dry flush toilets may be beneficial for single individuals or a couple. You may be changing the bags out quite a bit if you are using these types of toilets with a large family.
Dry Flush Toilet Options
Laveo Dry Flush Toilet
- No odor
- Battery operated OR AC operated
- 17 uses per bag
- Height: 21 in
- Width: 16 in
- Depth: 23 in
- Weight: 27 lbs
Dry flush toilets may be a good option if you can’t see spending $1,000 on a toilet. Dry flush toilets are a little bit cheaper, but you have to keep on purchasing bags which adds more cost to the toilet overall. You can order this dry flush toilet as battery-operated or as AC, which would just plug into an outlet. The battery would give you about 300 flushes before needing to charge up. If you are building a skoolie for a weekend camping option, this toilet may be good for you. If you are looking to live in it full time, we would definitely still suggest a composting toilet. Let’s go through some pros and cons of this Laveo dry flush skoolie toilet.
If you’re looking for a “flushable” toilet that lets out no smells, this is definitely it. While it still mixes the liquids with the solids, this toilet seals the waste after every dry flush. It is easy to operate and even easier to clean! As it features a regular household toilet seat, there is little learning curve to this skoolie toilet.
The cons of a dry flush toilet has to be the the bag cost. You will never be able to escape this cost and each bag is only good for 17 uses. It’s about $110 for 6 bags.
Flushable RV Toilets
Flushable toilets might be a good skoolie toilet option for you if you bought a tour or coach bus that already had toilet plumbing in. As the other skoolie toilet options do not need fresh water plumbing, a flushable toilet needs fresh water supply. A downside to this is that your fresh water will drain much faster and you are carrying dirty water with you versus solely grey water, such as dishwater and shower water.
If you are planning on being hooked up often, a flushable toilet might be for you. If you are looking to be off grid more, you would be better off going with a composting toilet or a dry flush skoolie toilet.
Flushable RV Toilet Options
- Extremely lightweight
- Taller seat
- 3 year warranty
- Height: 18 1/2 in
- Width: 15 in
- Depth: 17 in
- Weight: 10 lbs
A flushable toilet may be for you if you had bought a bus that had plumbing already installed on the bus or if you plan to always be hooked up to utilities. Let’s look at how this RV flush toilet works and some pros and cons to this toilet.
RV flush toilets work by using the pedal to “flush.” This specific toilet has a 2-in-1 pedal flush design. Press the pedal halfway down to bring water into the bowl, press all the way down to open the valve and let it release into the black tank. You just need to hook up this toilet to a fresh water supply line or if you already have an RV toilet, this is a good replacement one.
2-in-1 pedal flush. The taller toilet seat is a big benefit. This toilet is very affordable! There’s nothing that would add to the cost of maintaining this toilet in the way the dry flush toilet works.
Some cons of this RV flush toilet is that the bowl is a little shallow and it is quite noisy when flushing. This could cause issues if you had guests or nighttime bathroom runs. Another con is that it uses your fresh water supply, which will make it harder to stay off-grid for longer periods of time.
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