By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Remember the days when you hit the supermarket checkout and the question was, “Paper or plastic?” Today the question for RVers seems to be, “Plastic – or china?” Yep, what you keep in your bathroom seems to make a big difference for some.
When on-board RV toilets first came into vogue there was no choice. Plastic toilets were the order of the day. Now there’s a huge influx of porcelain thrones. While many RVs typically come with a plastic toilet, they’re often a manufacturer option, and certainly for those looking to replace an existing toilet, china or plastic is the choice we face.
So what’s the difference? One “toilet propaganda” advertisement photo compared “typical RV toilets” to potty chairs. In terms of operation, both china and plastic toilets do the same job, and typically in the same fashion. Just how you feel while seated on the throne, for the most part, is a function of the height of the toilet and the construction of the seat. However, one –shall we say, “stout” – RVer did comment that he found that many porcelain RV toilets did not have as large a surface area where touching the floor as did plastic ones, and as a result, he felt a bit “tippy” sitting on a china toilet.
There are those who say that a porcelain toilet is easier to clean that a plastic cousin. It would seem you have a wider range of permissible cleaning agents to use on porcelain, and it does seem to have less of a tendency to stain. If you travel in areas of hard water, you may notice the difference, in which case china may be a better choice.
In terms of price, nowadays the comparison is so close as to be nearly negligible. You can purchase a Thetford Aqua Magic V plastic toilet (one of their best sellers) for $112. The same Internet retailer sells a Dometic 310 “China Toilet” for $115. You’ll pay a few dollars more for the shipping charges on the latter, porcelain being a bit heftier.
Which takes us to the other question, weight. If you are watching your RV weight carefully, then take into account the added weight of a porcelain pot.
So weigh your options and needs. It shouldn’t take much of a whiz kid to figure out what’s best in your RV bathroom.