The Toilet That Will Change the World!

by Kristina Von Kroug

Republished from

Living full-time on the road and in the woods has put our survive and thrive priorities up front – instead of paying someone else to take care of our needs, the basics take up a good chunk of our time.

Shelter, food and water, hygiene, animal care, and the big one – the bathroom.

Toilets in all of their incarnations symbolize a place of urgency and importance, it is the throne after all.

Our bathroom is a scant 2 ft. x 3 ft. — So you can imagine the challenges we have had building our biddy in a bus!

Go here if you are more interested in an inexpensive composting toilet solution.

We have spent MONTHS researching options for a mobile commode! Everything from Ed Begley’s composting Envirolet toilet, to the more compact/travel versions, like Air Head, and Nature’s Head (which cost over a grand after you get all the proper accessories). One thing we learned from our composting toilet option: Strong odor results from solid waste mingling with urine. Separate the two and the smell is waaaaay limited. We nearly went with the composting option – but since we are not stationery for more than a few days tops, and we use our toilet often, there really wouldn’t be enough time to fully break down the material as compost requires — The smell is limited, but not eliminated.

Range Quest's toilet

We also tried the chemical RV option for awhile and porta potty (which we soon nixed – it’s why most RVs smell the way they do). They are just plain awful to operate or empty — and, in our opinion, are only good for very limited or emergency outdoor use.

We even looked into incinerator toilets (warning, that link goes to a very graphic video explaining how incinerating toilets work)! They leave very little waste, but take a lot of power to run and aren’t the safest option for a traveler in motion.

(See also: Our travel tips and galleries on

Thanks to the DryFlush waterless, compact, travel toilet, we have been able to go three-plus months on the road so far without any smells, leaks, or awkwardness! It also costs half what a compact composting toilet will set you back.

DryFlush Toilet

The DryFlush is a space-aged emerging technology perfect for our small bathroom space in A Little Further. The unit is compact, yet the seat size is standard. The DryFlush toilet flushes via an electrically charged battery that can be charged via any average 120v outlet. We charge it by plugging it in to an extension cord once a month (we have gone longer, but if you let the battery sink too low, we have found that the unit uses more power and cartridge resources — so charge when you can!). There is also a solar option!

Once you’ve done your biz, you hit the button and listen for the swirl – the device sucks the air out of the chamber, shrink wraps the waste, then compacts it into the bottom half of the unit, where it is stowed inside of a larger bag that, once full up, you simply pull out (without having to see, touch or smell anything offensive!) and dispose of in a trash bin (no awkward moments at a dump station or rest stop!).

There is seriously NO ODOR. AT. ALL. And you don’t need to cut a hole to vent it out of your vehicle!

Check out a video of exactly how this revolutionary toilet works!

There’s been no leakage and aside from the twinge of guilt for taking up landfill space (the DryFlush company is currently developing a biodegradable/compostable option!) the unit has saved us many painful cold, late night trips to the woods or the restroom.

Our only criticisms of the unit is that a little extra TP is needed to soak up the liquid as the unit gets fuller to avoid being forced out with the air — but the positive is that you can use any type of toilet paper, unlike in a typical chemical or enzyme plumbing system found in most RVs that require special toilet tissue that is expensive and not too skin-friendly. Also, the cost of the cartridges that hold your waste can be steep for a full-time user, but this company is relatively new, and we have been told that in addition to the biodegradable solutions they are working on, they are also redesigning their cartridges to be more affordable, since they are a disposable item. Our suggestion to DryFlush: nix the plastic and try a fabricated (perhaps coated?), recycled cardboard for the ring!

The DryFlush is a truly incredible invention that can solve so many problems for travelers, disadvantaged areas with poor plumbing and sanitary conditions, military units, off-grid homes, boaters, ice fishers, you name it!

The DryFlush retails for $420 at this time and comes with one battery and one refill installed. Three refill bags retail for $49.95.

Until we land and are able to build out our ultimate dream bathroom – the DryFlush is our choice for the road!

best travel toilet

129 Comments The Toilet That Will Change the World!

  1. Sandy Graves

    This is a great discussion about waste management in a limited space but there is a lot of misinformation and opinion to wade through. Someone has mentioned the C-Head and I am the designer and manufacturer of this product. I would be glad to answer questions regarding waste management in general and the C-Head specifically with respect to tiny houses or any other application with the same problems. I can gladly answer questions about the ethics and methods of your waste management, how a urine diverting composting system works exactly and I can address installation issues. I truly believe that the urine diverting composting toilet is the wave of the future in so many areas.

    1. Kerry

      Have a question regarding the dryflush toilet. We can’t afford to put a bathroom on main floor of our house. It will be hard for my husband to get upstairs to the bathroom so I was looking into this toilet to put in the sunroom off of the kitchen. Bad idea, so-so idea or good idea?

      1. Sandy Graves

        There is no reason that you couldn’t do that with a BoonJon (google it). I would get a wood grain model so that it looks like furniture. You don’t need to vent the BoonJon and there is no smell when closed and only a brief basement smell while using it.

  2. S. Sloan

    It’s a Litter Locker for people! I don’t have to see it to know it will work – I use a Litter Locker for my cat’s litter, and it does this exact same thing (only with a hand crank). No smell, empty it when full. I’m impressed!

  3. mark plum

    i just bought an ecojohn for my cabin in big bear, california. an incinerating toilet. man i love this thing. a little pricey at $3,995 but worth it. works perfect and very sturdy. these are supplied to the us army and marine corp. i have the propane model that also uses a small amount of electricty. we use the cabin about twice a month and usually it’s four of us. works like a charm. i was surprised by no odor. i really thought that would be a problem. anybody else have one??

    1. roxanna

      I too live in BBC, restoring a small vintage trailer, and developing a small garden nursery using off the grid tech…would like to connect. Roxanna

  4. Nerida

    I cant get my head around a plastic bag full of human waste, even if wrapped in plastic – because it wont stay that way for long, being thrown in a garbage bin and going untreated to landfill! Does anyone else have a problem with this?

    This would not be acceptable where I live.

    It does look like a nice tidy unit but I think I will go the composting route even though i dont like the look of them or an incinerator type.

    1. Brenda

      What’s the difference from a diaper genie. They have been out for years. Tons of households use them everyday. They go into landfills with the diapers that are not good either.

    2. Tania thorn

      I agree! I used to live on a boat so I get the need to think about these things, but poo in plastic bags in landfill? Ugh! Composting toilets way to go!

    3. Teresa

      Uh… how many people have pets and put their poop, untreated, in plastic bags and put them in landfills? Most people who will use something like this DON’T have pets, so what is the difference, really?

    4. vicki

      Watch a video on composting toilet questions by Gone with the Wynns. The media used in it helps breakdown waste materials. It’s like a composting bed in your garden.
      Once broke down, there is no harmful bacteria. It then can either be dumped in your garden or disposed of in trash container.
      I would guess where you live compost is ok for gardening.

  5. Angela

    I could not use a product that prioritizes convenience over the environment. I hope the manufacturers are working hard on a biodegradable option.

  6. Richard Brunt

    I don’t think that is a very ecologically minded way to go. Untreated poop in a landfill (that bag will quickly break, by the way) is a health risk to sanitation worker and anyone else that comes upon it. It would also likely be illegal in some areas (like Canada). Why not just poop in a plastic bag then? Composting toilets are a better idea, and if cost is the big issue then you can build your own, as I detail on my site.

  7. Richard Brunt

    May I also add that replacement cartridges are $55 for 3. Each cartridge is good for 15-17 flushes. So you definitely can’t flush after each pee – that would get expensive quickly. Two people, flushing only for solids, will go through 2 cartridges per month. That is $440 per year! In 10 years, almost $5000 on toilet cartridges. Composting toilets have practically zero operating costs.

    1. Stephanie

      Your calculations are based off of 10 years. This company is new and growing. Chances of them still charging that amount even in a half a year from now is not very likely. Just keep an eye on the product if it’s tickling your fancy future tiny home builders. Compost toilets still a great idea.

  8. crittergarden

    This seems like an AD! Sounds perfect. I’ll have to see someone else promoting it before I’ll believe it wasn’t written by the marketing team!

  9. Brad

    There is an error here. It says composting toilets reduce but do not eliminate odor. This is 100% false. I’ve used several composting toilets, including the Airhead and Nature’s Head, and there is absolutely no odor whatsoever. The toilet featured is much more expensive in the long run because of the bags. Plus you are creating garbage, and contributing to the problem instead of helping solve it. If you can’t afford a compost toilet then build one, but don’t use this wasteful and expensive contraption!

    1. Amber

      I completely agree with Brad. I live full-time in my Airstream, & I have had my Nature’s Head toilet installed for nearly a year now. There is no odor whatsoever. It’s fantastic!

  10. Camb-Loos

    It looks like a neat and compact toilet but looking how you’ve described it (almost perfect, without smell and all that), it just becomes questionable, you know? And as you said, using it is relatively easy but we wouldn’t go for that knowing that it isn’t very eco-friendly.

  11. Suzanne

    Did you know that it is illegal to dump solid human waste into landfills? People do it all the time with diapers even though if you look at the packaging it says to remove and flush the solid waste into the toilet. Furthermore, this is not “off the grid.” Sure you don’t get a water bill but you still have to rely on a manufacturer to supply you with refills and you still need electricity. A composting toilet or an electric incinerator (solar powered) would be truly off the grid.
    I just don’t like the idea of putting poopie in a case (biodegradeable or not) and then another larger case and then sending it to the landfill. I don’t think that it’s a tiny “twinge of guilt” that most people feel about this subject.
    Finally with a composting toilet eventually you make up for the cost because once you buy/make it you don’t really need anything else if you use a solar option or make one yourself. With this unit you have to perpetually buy these refills… Forever…. Just like your double bagged poopie will be around in that landfill…

  12. echo59

    i’m late to this party…sorry.
    some ?s for everyone:
    if the bags were bio would that make a diff? if they were compostable and could just be thrown on the compost heap would that help? if the cost per “flush” was around 5 cents would that work? oh, and if you didn’t need power?
    just wondering….

  13. Nick

    How could anyone support this terrible toilet? First of all you can get a composting toilet at the same size, if not smaller. I can’t believe the the price on this thing, it is NOT “half the price of a composting toilet. Sure maybe compared to some retail composting toilet models… but I don’t need some fancy machine to stir my poop and look pretty. That’s not even mentioning the operating costs. This is probably somewhat of an upgrade from a conventional toilet but the problem with our society comes from making complex issues out of simple solutions. The average simple composting toilet is effective, has no smell, and does the same thing.

  14. Wxm

    I agree with earlier comments. Bad form to discard human waste in a refuse facility. The pathogens in animal waste and human fecal matter are not the same. Diapers in the dump are a travesty for multiple reasons. Let’s work to reduce the mess that we are leaving, not just move it around.

    1. Tee

      Actually, in Toronto Ontario we have ‘green bins’ in which we can put diapers, pet waste, along with vegetables and other traditionally compostable items. All of it goes into a compost. It’s a great program and would make having this toilet a viable solution.

  15. Anna

    It’s a packaging toilet. These have been on the market for decades.
    I doubt this is only $420, but perhaps it is. I had an early version of this called the Pacto-San. No one would buy it except crane operators and prisons where they do drug tests. I ultimately did give it to the Boston Building Materials Cooperative.

  16. Trudie

    As if there’s not enough diapers filled with poo in land fill, let’s add adult poo as well! This toilet is not ecological.

  17. Claire

    Does anyone know if there have been any updates regarding the refill cartridges (less expensive & biodegradable)? It’s been over a year since this post was originally posted.

    We are seriously considering getting a composting toilet, but need one that is:
    1. affordable
    2. not smelly
    3. low maintenance cost
    4. environmentally friendly

    We are considering this one & the Nature’s Head since everyone raves about the Nature’s Head.

  18. Claire, too

    How offers do you change your cartridges? Do you find them hard to find when traveling? Do you stalk up on them? If so, do you find they take up a lot of space?

  19. k

    • > “Did you know that it is illegal to dump solid human waste into landfills in the US? People do it all the time with diapers even though if you look at the packaging it says to remove and flush the solid waste into the toilet.” !!!!!
    • > “Is it legal to dump human waste in landfills?
    Yes! (dumping human waste is legal). All landfills accept human waste to accommodate baby and adult diapers. Standard regulations require that waste be contained in plastic bags. (we are currently working on a biodegradable bagging system)”
    • > “Actually, in Toronto Ontario we have ‘green bins’ in which we can put diapers, pet waste, along with vegetables and other traditionally compostable items. All of it goes into a compost. It’s a great program.”

    • > “Thank you for your environmentally sensitive question. It is all right to put disposable adult diapers in the trash that goes to the landfill. Although, most brands are made from mostly biodegradable material, there is still some plastic covering as well as the fumes of human waste. Recent studies have shown that adult disposable diapers are more environmentally safe than the cloth ones due the energy required for frequent laundering.”

    • > “I called the authorities. Here’s what the EPA and the California Department of Resources had to say about human poop in landfills. The EPA said, “Disposable diapers fall under the category of municipal solid waste, which means the material is safe to be disposed of in a U.S. municipal solid waste landfill.” What’s more: “Modern landfills are well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations, which aim to protect the environment from contaminants, which may be present in the solid waste stream.”
    and “California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s spokesperson, Amy Norris, told me that, indeed, a landfill is a place for non-hazardous waste — but “the contents of a diaper are considered solid waste, not hazardous or medical waste.” Plus, since diaper bags are mixed in with a lot of other trash when it’s part of residential pickup, there’s “not a concentration of a huge amount of human waste at any time.” (Amy Norris has clearly not seen my Diaper Genie.)”

    The lies everyone passes around and believes are ridiculous. People don’t bother to learn any facts and then they all chime in with uneducated opinions passing on more lies into the rumor telephone game AKA adult conversation.

    FYI – When I was researching for my own land problem solving with the Department in Norwich, Connecticut that manages sewars, I found out that leaching fields actually spread out CHEMICAL AND human waste into your yard every day but ypeople think that is ok!!!!! One laymen friend I spoke to about this said, “They aren’t harmful chemicals.”

    In the past, wastewater treatment and disposal facilities for homes with indoor plumbing consisted of buried bottomless containers, or cesspools. Discharge of both solids and liquids to the soils caused the soil pores to clog, and contaminated water entered surface waters and groundwater. Therefore, to protect the soils and reduce public health hazards, septic tanks were installed between the houses and the soil absorption systems. Septic tanks are watertight containers which remove large solids and greases, provide anaerobic digestion of the solids, and storage of the sludge and scum. Septic tanks do not remove large numbers of bacteria and viruses.

    Septic tanks are constructed of concrete, bricks, clay, or fiberglass. Baffles are placed within the tank to improve solids settling and prevent the scum layer of lightweight solids, fats and greases from floating out of the tank with the effluent. The settled solids are biologically digested by bacteria which live in environments without air (anaerobic bacteria*). Some of the products of anaerobic digestion are gases, including methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide, which has an odor similar to that of rotten eggs. The gases are vented from the septic tank through the household plumbing vents. Inorganic and non-biodegradable materials cannot be digested by the microorganisms in the septic tank, and accumulate in the sludge or digested by the microorganisms in the septic tank, and accumulate in the sludge or scum layers. The sludge and scum layers must be removed periodically to prevent the accumulated solids and greases from flowing into the soil absorption system and clogging the soil pores. If washing machines, dishwashers, and garbage disposals are used, the amount of sludge will increase and the septic tank will require frequent cleaning.”

    [*Anaerobic digestion is a series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. One of the end products is biogas, which is combusted to generate electricity and heat, or can be processed into renewable natural gas and transportation fuels.” ~Google]

    Effluent (liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea) from the septic tank flows by gravity or is pumped to a leach field for disposal. The wastewater effluent is absorbed by soil particles and moves both horizontally and vertically through the soil pores. The dissolved organic material in the effluent is removed by bacteria which live in the top ten feet of the soil. As the effluent moves through the soil, the temperature and chemical characteristics of the wastewater change and create an unfavorable habitat for most bacteria and viruses. Therefore, as the septic tank effluent moves through the soil, organic material and microorganisms are removed. The wastewater generally percolates downward through soil and eventually enters a groundwater aquifer. A portion of the wastewater moves upwards by capillary action and is removed at the ground surface by evaporation and transpiration of plants.

    A leach field consists of a series of four-inch diameter perforated distribution pipelines placed in two-to-three foot wide trenches. The perforated pipe is placed on top of gravel which is also used to backfill around the pipe. The gravel promotes drainage and reduces root growth near the pipeline. Untreated building paper or straw is placed over the gravel to prevent fine soil particles from migrating into the gravel. The building paper or straw does not reduce the evapotranspiration of the wastewater. A minimum topsoil cover is placed over the gravel to protect the leach field, prevent contact with the wastewater and reduce infiltration from rain and snow. ”

    Google results about TOXIC CHEMICALS IN SEWERS….

    “Sewage carries an array of potentially disease-causing microbes known as pathogens… In many developed countries, these wastes typically are delivered either to on-site septic systems or to centralized sewage treatment facilities. In both methods, sewage is treated before being discharged, either underground (in the case of septic tanks) or to receiving surface-water bodies (in the case of sewage treatment plants), typically a stream, river, or coastal outlet…. Another source of ocean pollution by sewage-related waste is the disposal of biosolids, a semisolid byproduct of the sewage treatment process, often called sludge. Historically, sludge in developed nations was disposed in coastal waters: New York’s twenty sewage treatment plants, for example, once disposed their sludge offshore in a region known as the New York Bight. Although today’s environmental regulations in the United States prohibit this practice, sewage sludge is still disposed at sea in some countries. Disease-causing microbes are the primary human health risk in sewage-contaminated waters, and the main cause of recreational beach closures.
    Read more:


    The remaining wastewater is disinfected before it is discharged to the receiving waters (Massachusetts Bay). This stream of treated wastewater, known as effluent, travels through a 9.5-mile Outfall Tunnel bored through solid rock more than 250 feet below the ocean floor. The tunnel’s last mile and a quarter include 55 separate release points known as “diffusers.” By extending to an area with water depths up to 120 feet, this outfall provides a much higher rate of mixing and/or dilution than is possible with present discharges into the shallow waters of Boston Harbor.

    Sludge from primary and secondary treatment is processed further in
    sludge digesters, where it is mixed and heated to reduce its volume and
    kill disease-causing bacteria. It is then transported through the Inter-Island Tunnel to the pelletizing plant in Quincy, where it is dewatered, heat-dried and converted to a pellet fertilizer for use in agriculture, forestry and
    land reclamation.”


    Yes. If excessive levels of toxic chemicals are allowed to enter the system, they could either prevent the safe application of sludge as fertilizer or threaten the marine environment if discharged to ocean waters.

    New regulations have been written by the MWRA to control the amount of toxic chemicals that companies can discharge into the sewer system. The MWRA’s Toxic Reduction and Control Department is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the regulations and imposes fines against industrial polluters. The MWRA also works with industries to encourage reductions in the use of toxic chemicals that might be discharged into the sewer system.

    Households are also an important source of toxic chemicals due to the careless dumping of toxic products down household drains. Used motor oil, pesticides, solvents and even many household cleaners pose significant hazards to the environment. For most household jobs, less toxic alternatives are available.”

    Also, kitty litter causes miscarriages and dog urine kills grass and they force people to collect dog poop into little plastic bags, but somehow people think that is OK to dump too!

    People consider it ok to go out into the woods and poop in a hole and bury it while camping, to “piss” outside, to have un-compost-ed piles, and to use porto potties and outhouses which ARE the same thing as…..

    Throwing away their waste in biodegradable bags into the landfill, when, in fact….

    The trash dump IS a compost pile, which is what it WAS INTENDED TO BE before modern age plastic and destructive MAN-MADE MATERIALS ruined what it was indeed intended for….

    People freaking out about this new toilet invention which i think will be brilliant ONCE BIODEGRADABLE BAGS ARE USED, BECAUSE ITS FAR LESS TOXIC THAN CHEMICAL DISPOSAL and far less disgusting than driving down the road with a years worth of still-trying-to-finish the composting process (it takes 1 year plus you have to rake it to move it to get oxygen to compost it) huge containers of compost systems in your already small RV or holding onto your poop in your yard compost pile (not all people use a huge spinnable plastic barrel).

    The people commenting have either little knowledge of the realities of full-time off-road RVing or no knowledge of the actual process of the options of either using chemical waste or composting collection to solve this huge problem.

    Being on a high horse knocking people who are at least TRYING to address a huge problem is not a constructive use of anyone’s time.

    My comments to the manufacturers of this toilet are simply this: why are you taking so long to replace your bad-for-the-environment silver bagging system with a biodegradable version? Biodegradable non-plastic is widely available. Simply change it out and educate people about the ridiculous misconceptions about the other 2 options and you will take over the entire market.

    In my opinion, banning plastic trash bags should be everyone’s #1 mission on this topic.

    And why not start collecting all the biodegradable human consumption and waste to make the landfills into huge non-edible botanical gardens where once there was a toxic landfill dump of plastics. Mine the non-biodegradeable stuff first and then have community gardens with JOBS.

  20. k

    PS * and find ways to recycle what is mined which also = more jobs.

    “• Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide (Earth Policy Institute).
    • The average American family takes home 1,500 plastic bags a year (Natural Resources Defense Council).
    • Americans use and throw away 100 billion plastic bags every year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil per year to manufacture. (The Wall Street Journal).
    • Scientists estimate that every square mile of ocean contains approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it (United Nations Environment Programme).
    • A single plastic bag can take up 500 years or more to degrade (Measuring biodegradability,
    • In good circumstances, high-density polyethylene will take more than 20 years to degrade. In less ideal circumstances (landfills or as general refuse), a bag will take more than 500 years to degrade (
    • An estimated 3,960,000 tons of plastic bags, sack and wraps are produced annually. Of those, 3,570,000 tons (90%) are discarded. This is almost triple the amount discarded the first year plastic bag numbers were tracked (1,230,000 tons in 1980) (Environmental Protection Agency).
    • Anywhere from .5% to 3% of all bags winds up recycled (BBC, CNN).
    • When plastics break down, they don’t biodegrade; they photodegrade. This means the materials break down to smaller fragments which readily soak up toxins. They then contaminate soil, waterways, and animals upon digestion (Earth911).
    • 10% of the plastic produced every year worldwide winds up in the ocean. 70% of which finds its way to the ocean floor, where it will likely never degrade (United Nations).”

    (I am am talking about plastic garbage bags, not plastic shopping bags.)

    “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate about 4.6 pounds of trash per person—every day. Forty years ago, each person produced only 2.7 pounds each day. There are nearly 300 million people in the United States.” (not good at math, but 300,000,000 x 4.6
    = 1,380,000,000 pounds of trash PER DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    “In this project, you’ll test how fast the following types of bags degrade when they’re buried in the ground:

    Paper grocery bag
    Plastic grocery bag
    Standard trash bag
    Plastic trash bag labeled as biodegradable

    Scientific Surprise

    Of all the trash (also called municipal solid waste) generated in this country, more than 37 percent of it is paper. Yard trimmings such as branches, leaves, and grass clippings make up 12 percent of the total, food scraps 11 percent, plastics nearly 11 percent, and metals about 8 percent.

    This experiment will give you an idea of how fast these bags might break down in a landfill.

    “Landfills are required by law to have heavy liners in an attempt to prevent trash residue from leaching out into the ground and contaminating earth and water sources.”

    [[[[ So, the entire discussion about landfills damaging our environment is moot anyway. They are lined in plastic which takes 500 years to degrade, so as long as they can recycle and burn whatever comes into the landfill before then, they can pick up the plastic and recycle it! ]]]]*

    *Excerpted from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Science Fair Projects © 2003 by Nancy K. O’Leary and Susan Shelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

    To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at and Barnes & Noble.


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