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The Multiple Uses Of An RV Bathroom

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

While many RV buyers look specifically for a camper with a bathroom and shower, many models don’t come with those conveniences, so it’s off to the campground facilities.

However, the subject seems to be a controversial one among RV owners. Why wouldn’t you use your own RV bathroom if it’s available to you?

Granted, not every RV bathroom looks like this.

Photo by Winnebago Industries

The reasons seem to be as varied and personal as the individual owners. Some RV owners are unable to use their cramped RV shower due to physical difficulties. Some don’t want the hassle of visiting the dump station.

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Many owners use their shower and sink, but not the toilet.  Others use the toilet, but only for #1. They use campground facilities for #2.

The convenience of full hookups is one reason why RVs with bathrooms are so popular.

Photo by Pfc. Victor A. Arriaga

Several RV owners chimed in on their own facilities and where they stand (or sit) on the subject:

“My wife uses the RV bathroom for all things which I don’t have a problem with. I use it for most things but when solids call I use the campground toilet for pragmatic reasons. Vault toilets are even better. Besides, with the campground toilet I only have to deal with it once.” – Durb, 2008 Carriage Domani DF300 fifth wheel

“Depends on where we are camping. If we are camping in a hookup site, we use our bathroom. If we are camping in a primitive campground, we use the campground facilities. Why? Because I’m lazy and I am not going to take the travel trailer to the dump station. I also am NOT going to use the little blue tote.” – Terryallan, Coachman Apex 288BH

“Our camper is home away from home. We use everything just like if we were in our stick and brick home.” – Toolguy5, 2013 Chaparral 325MKS

“RVs are basically porta-potties with a kitchen and bedroom.” – coolbreeze01, 2014 Sandsport 26FBSL

So if the toilet, shower, and sink remain vacant, what else can you use your RV bathroom for? Here are several ideas from other RV and trailer owners:

1. Extra storage

Photos by Travels with Birdy

Storage in some RVs just doesn’t cut it. The bathroom and shower then become a convenient place to hold larger items like camping chairs, supplies, or extra clothes.

In the Travels with Birdy blog, a 2012 Jayco Swift bathroom with an unused shower was converted into a closet. The owner installed a Instahanger clothes hanging system that can be tucked away when not in use.

“We use the bathroom as intended except for the shower. We don’t use the shower because we’re almost always in electric-only sites. We use the shower for storage.” – wing_zealot

2. Wash and dry clothes

Photo by kalhh

While it would be handy to always have a washer and dryer available, sometimes the sink or shower becomes a makeshift laundry facility.

The shower then becomes a place to hang wet clothes. A folding drying rack can easily be tucked away in the bathroom when not in use.

“We hang wet clothes and towels in there but we shower with the outside shower. It’s just easier and there’s more room, plus we don’t have to dry the shower.” – bcbouy, 2015 Northstar truck camper

3. As a place for pets and their gear

Photo by KounG

Taking pets on camping trips does require a bit more gear. Dogs tend to have large bags of food and cats need their own toilet.  Amazon sells a collapsible kitty litter box for under $20.

“We also use the shower to hold the cat in. We put a litter box in the shower, shut the glass door, and when he gets his round of car sickness, will barf in the cat litter.” – DutchmenSport, 2013 Keystone Outback 298RE 

4. A privacy zone

Photo by Max Pixel

“Two other things I use the bathroom for. Reading and thinking.” – weathershak, 2002 Fleetwood Terra 26Y

So, in the end, it comes down to if you got it, use it if you want. If you don’t, other amenities are available.

See also:  8 Easy Ways To Organize Your RV Bathroom Storage

2 thoughts on “The Multiple Uses Of An RV Bathroom”

  1. Well I’m not going to try of making a point to use onboard toilet…. BUT before I have an accident or use a filthy public can I will use my RV bathroom. Dumping it is no picnic but we are both disabled and walking a long way thru a truckstop or to a campground facility is a hardship for us. I can suffer through dumping when needed.

  2. In a Class B the shower/sink/toilet opens up hygiene options and at the same time can be used to hang some clothing and towels, etc. on a swing away rod, so imho it is a-okay to squeeze one in in a way that still allows a good width of laneway. My current mock-up is to put such a bathroom across from a narrow galley and it is a narrow cabinet with swing out doors when in use – a transformer bathroom 🙂 And I still have at least two-plus feet of laneway when not in use.

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