Recreational vehicles are great when you want to go away on holiday with the family or go touring, and then of course some permanently live in their RVs.
There may be one small problem that the ladies will certainly question.
Do all RVs have bathrooms?
While most RVs do feature a bathroom, some RVs do not include a bathroom. Some smaller RVs do not have a bathroom which means you will need to haul sewerage waste in a portable black tank or use campground amenities.
What Are the Smallest RVs with a Bathroom?
Smaller RVs tend to raise the question more frequently of whether there is a bathroom available or not.
The good news is that there is actually a large range of small RVs that do have a bathroom.
Pop-up campers, A-frame trailers, teardrop campers, fifth wheels, and even the traditional bumper pull trailers may offer a bathroom.
1. Smallest Travel Trailers:
Below is a list of the smallest travel trailers that include a toilet and shower:
- 14′ iCamp Elite. This micro-camper is the smallest RV on the market that has a bathroom.
- 13′ Scamp trailer (features a full front bathroom)
- Little Guy Mini Max
- KZ Spree Escape Mini
- Jay Sport
- Cricket Camper
- Winnebago Rialta RV Tour 2018
2. Smallest Class B RVs:
Below are some of the smaller Class B RV options that feature a complete bathroom:
- Airstream Interstate (plus Twin Dual Wardrobe)
- Leisure travel van U24MB
- Sportsmobile Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Extended
3. Smallest Class C RVs:
Below is a list of some of the smallest Class C motor homes that feature a bathroom:
- Winnebago View 24M
- Thor Chateau 22B
- Coachmen Leprechaun 210RS
Can All Sizes of RVs Have a Bathroom?
The simple truth is yes, all sizes of RVs can have a bathroom, however not all of them do.
The next thing to consider is that even though the very smallest of RVs can still squeeze in a bathroom, what kind of bathroom are you getting for the limited space available?
In most instances, the smallest RVs have a wet bath which is an all-in-one shower and toilet combination.
All of the features found in a regular bathroom are found in a wet bath, it is just a more compacted version and a lot less luxurious than some of the larger RVs bathrooms.
The four most common toilet types in RVs include:
- Traditional toilet
- Cassette toilet
- Portable toilet
- Composting toilet
Do People Actually Use the Bathroom Inside Their RV?
This all comes down to personal preference.
Many couples may choose to use bathroom stops along the way as they traveling and may opt to rather use campground amenities.
Why avoid using an RV toilet?
- RV toilets are generally a maintenance hassle with the emptying of the drainage tanks on a regular basis.
- Despite flush after flush and ample bathroom deodorant, a smell can still linger.
- What you flush is very important, and RV toilet paper specifically is an additional expense vs. regular toilet paper.
How Do RV Bathrooms Actually Work?
Your RV offers the convenience of a bathroom, and regardless of its size, you are going to need to know how the bathroom works if you are planning on using it.
An RV bathroom has its own sewer system that needs to be drained into holding tanks and then manually emptied.
A hose that is connected to the water intake connection (located on the outside of the RV) feeds water to the sink, shower, and toilet.
The sink and the shower drain into a holding tank known as the gray water holding tank. This tank is found beneath the RV.
The toilet drains into a different, separate holding tank known as the black water holding tank.
The toilet needs to drain into its own tank for hygienic reasons, keeping human waste and odor separate from the clean sink and shower water.
1. The Gray Water Holding Tank:
This tank can be left open during use when the RV is connected to a sewer connection at a campground.
If the RV is not connected to a sewer connection then the holding tank needs to stay closed and when it is full, the RV needs to be driven to an RV dump station so the tank can be emptied.
If the shower is used, then the gray water holding tank will fill up fairly quickly.
To prevent any unwanted odors, the holding tank needs to have a treatment product put into the gray water tank to clean it.
This needs to be done at least once a month.
2. The Black Water Holding Tank:
The black water tank requires a lot more maintenance than the gray water tank and should always stay closed, even if the RV is connected to a sewer connection.
An RV holding tank treatment product needs to always remain in the black water holding tank to eliminate odors and to break down toilet paper.
The black water tank should not be emptied unless it is at least 3/4 full. A fuller tank helps the sewerage flow faster when it is emptied.
3. Emptying the Tanks:
The black water tank should always be emptied before the gray water holding tank so that the gray water can help clean and flush out the sewer hoses.
When the tanks are emptied they need to be connected to a sewer connection on the outside of the RV.
The other end of the sewer hose is connected to the sewer connection which is located at the RV dump station.
All sewer hoses are stored in a compartment that is located underneath the RV.
Remember to always use gloves, and preferably a mask, when emptying both the gray and black water tanks.
Are RVs Without a Bathroom More Popular?
Regardless of whether the bathroom is used thoroughly or not, RVs with a bathroom is a popular choice.
One of the encouraging keys to choosing the right floor plan is to look for an RV floor plan that features a large bathroom that enables you to dress inside it comfortably, to shower, and to move around with a decent amount of space available.
Bathrooms for RVing families are particularly popular.
This enables children to safely use the bathroom while traveling on the road and to eliminate unnecessary stops.
Convenience is also offered at night when RV owners do not want to leave their RV in the middle of the night to use the toilet, especially with children.
Which RVs Have the Biggest Bathrooms?
Some RVers do not want to use campground amenities and would prefer the option of “glamping” with a bathroom that is the same as the bathroom in a house.
Perhaps luxury living in an RV is not a want, but space may be a need if someone has a disability and needs the space of a large bathroom in which to safely move a wheelchair.
Regardless of the reason behind wanting a large RV bathroom, there are extra-large bathrooms that exist in RVs.
Let’s take a look at some of the RVs with the biggest bathrooms:
Motorhomes with the Biggest Bathrooms:
- Winnebago Horizon 42Q
- Fleetwood Discovery LXE
- Thor Motorcoach Aria
- Jayco 2019 Embark
- Berkshire XL by Forest River
- Thor Motorcoach Tuscany 40RT
- Newmar King Aire
- Forest River Georgetown 5 Series GT5 34H5
- Monaco Signature 44M
Travel Trailers with the Biggest Bathrooms:
- Jayco Flight Bungalow 2019
- Dutchman Aerolite 2133RB
- Forest River Flagstaff Super Lite 26RBWS
5th Wheels with the Biggest Bathrooms:
- Milestone 389TB
- Volante VL3851FL by Crossroads RVs
For many RV enthusiasts, owning an RV is an extension of their home life and they would ideally want the full house of comfort, including a bathroom.
Many RVs come standard with a bathroom, whether it just a compact “wet bath” found particularly in smaller RVs, or an extra-large bathroom in larger RVs that offer floor plans with extensive space.
Believe it or not, RV toilets are quite the divisive subject among RV enthusiasts. For some, it is not a necessity and the potential odor is preferably avoided.
For others, they are a non-negotiable feature, and the bigger, the better.
Whether RV toilets are loved or loathed, they are a consideration for anyone who travels, camps, or lives in an RV.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.