Whether you are prepping for a disaster or want to get off the grid and become more self-reliant, a toilet is one of the most important considerations.
I know that toilets aren’t exactly the most thrilling topic, but this something that all of us need on a daily basis. So, it is really important that you know what your options are.
One of the newest technologies available is called a Dry Flush toilet.
What is a Dry Flush Toilet?
“Dryflush” is the brand which makes a toilet called the Laveo (trademark).
The Laveo Dryflush
- Uses no water
- Requires no chemicals
- Is portable
- Is odorless
The Dry Flush toilet has gotten a lot of attention. An article over at Tiny House Blog called it The toilet that will change the world and the “Best RV toilet.”
How Does the Dry Flush Toilet Work?
The Dry Flush toilet comes with special liner bags that fit inside its bowl. You just do your business in the bowl. Then you “flush” the toilet.
The “flush” causes the bowl to liner bag to collapse and twist above the waste. Because the seal is airtight, no leaking occurs and there are no odors.
Once you’ve run out of Dry Flush bags, you just change the bag cartridge.
Pros of the Dry Flush Toilet
- Ridiculously Easy to Use: This is a lot simpler than other off-grid toilet options such as composting toilets. You just pee/poop and remember to change the cartridges before they run out.
- Don’t Have to Clean It Out: There aren’t many options for portable toilets available. The ones which do exist need to be cleaned out (such as a chemical toilet) or you risk leaks when changing the bags (such as with a bucket toilet or camping toilet).
- Portable: The Dry Flush toilet weighs just about 26lbs, so it really is portable.
- You Can Use Any Toilet Paper: Chemical toilets require you to use special types of toilet paper. You can use any TP that you want with a Dry Flush toilet.
- Really Small Size: This is a good option for really small bathrooms.
Cons of the Dry Flush Toilet
- You Still Have to Dispose of the Waste Bags: Because the Dry Flush toilet bags seal the waste, it is easy to dispose of. (Note: Check with your local authority regarding the legalities of placing human waste in with the normal trash). However, if you are living off grid and don’t have garbage collection, it might be better to use a composting toilet instead and not worry about burying bags of crap in your yard.
- Refill Cartridges Are Expensive: At about $450-$600, the Dry Flush toilet is cheaper than many composting toilets and chemical portable toilets. However, you have to buy refill cartridges for the liner bags. When bought in a 3-pack at Home Depot, these cost about $1.10 per bag!
- Have to Use More Toilet Paper When You Pee: The Dry Flush toilet pushes air out as it seals waste. If you just pee and don’t use any toilet paper, it might push out the pee as it seals the bag. So, you might want to follow the “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule or toss in some paper to absorb the liquid.
- Runs On Battery Power: The Dry Flush toilet uses a battery to seal off waste. The battery can be charged in a typical 120v outlet or with solar. If you don’t have a way of recharging the toilet (such as during a grid outage), this will obviously be a problem.
Is A Dry Flush Toilet a Good Choice?
There are a lot of reasons you might need a portable toilet. Here’s whether a Dry Flush toilet might be a good choice or not…
1. Dry Flush As Your Emergency Toilet
As I’ve talked about before on this blog, absolutely everyone should have an emergency toilet! Otherwise, it will bring a completely new meaning to “SHTF.”
I don’t know if I’d shell out $500 for an emergency toilet when a couple of $5 buckets and trash bags will suffice (read How to Make a Bucket Toilet).
But, if you can afford it and really don’t like the idea of wrapping up your own poop bags during an emergency, then I guess it is worth paying that sort of money for an emergency toilet.
2. Dry Flush for Your RV
I don’t have an RV nor have I spent much time traveling with them. However, the Dry Flush does seem like a good alternative to the chemical toilets which are normally used in RVs.
It is especially good for RV owners who travel off the beaten track and might not have a place to empty out their chemical toilet.
Note though that the Dry Flush is going to be more expensive in the long run than a chemical toilet for your RV.
According to About RVing, toilet chemicals cost about $1 per week of toilet use. By comparison, the Dry Flush refill bags cost about $1 per use.
3. Dry Flush Toilet for Cabins and Off-Grid Homes
At first, a Dry Flush toilet seems like a great choice for off-grid homes like cabins. However, it is going to get expensive quickly because of those cartridge liner bags you have to buy.
Plus, you have to actually throw away the sealed Dry Flush bags. If you don’t have trash pickup, that’s going to be a problem.
Your best option will be to dig a hole for burying the bags. As of now, the Dry Flush bags aren’t biodegradable (though they say they are working on biodegradable bags). So, you’ll end up with a giant pile of poop bags buried in your yard!
For off-grid homes, the best option is going to be a urine-diverting composting toilet. Yes, they require a higher initial investment and learning curve, but you end up with no trash and no additional expenses.
The Bottom Line?
The Dry Flush toilet is a good choice for an emergency toilet or RVs – but only if you can afford paying for those refill cartridges. Maybe follow the guidelines “If it is yellow, let it mellow” so you don’t have to “flush” each time you use the Dry Flush toilet and then it won’t be too expensive. Otherwise, look into other options for an emergency toilet.
Here’s the website for the Dry Flush toilet in case you want to learn more.
Do you have an off-grid toilet yet? Which type? Let us know in the comments.
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It is inappropriate to make a blanket statement that it is LEGAL to dispose of human waste in the trash. My research indicates that this is NOT legal. Perhaps this varies in different regions. I feel you should recommend people to check with local regulations. Check BLM and Health Department statements on human waste please.
Having done some further research it seems you are correct, I have amended that. Thanks for the heads up.
Not much different than throwing away poppy diapers!
If shtf, I don’t know why you just couldn’t use your regular toilet with Biodegradable shopping bags. Have a specific spot to bury them, away from your water supply of course. Just an idea.
In a SHTF situation anything that works is good.
Seems like a good idea for us truck drivers when customers won’t allow access to the bathrooms. Shipping and receiving offices across the nation are not allowing much choice.
I live in Florida” but by the grace of God I never had to worry about the tolit. But it gives me something to think about especially since the storms are getting more server and taking longer to clean up and habitable.
You can dispose of diapers with “human waste” ??? Why not these?
I have a Laveo and agree with all you’ve said.
My problem is, my unit puffs the bag up but does not suck it back down to create the next ‘ready’ bowl. The fan is working .
Any thoughts or suggestions?
When it was working, it worked like a charm.
Could it be a faulty cartridge?
Your thoughts Would be appreciated.
Joey in Toronto
Here’s the update.
My ‘genius’ friend says the fan is blowing air into the cavity which is pushing the bag with it’s contents up rather than sucking the bag down after it’s been twisted.
Should the fan not be pulling air out of the cavity? It seems backwards. Can u weigh in on this matter?
Hey Joey – I think you need to check this out with Laveo, they will be in the best position to advise.
I haven’t been able to reach customer service at Laveo.
Called and emailed numerous times. Any idea what’s up with them?
Nope, we have no affiliation with them but will do some digging and report back here if we find out anything.
Needs a new circuit panel they cost like 10 bucks
Where do you purchase these circuit boards? We are having the same problem-waste bag puffs up and fan does not suck the air back down.
That seemed like a great question to me. Why do we trash disposable diapers that end up in the landfill? Just curious.
My dry flush just stop working… battery is charged but nothing!! Battery reading good.. no power going to the toilet… what can I do.. this is the second one that has done this… I’m off the grid and main toilet… help!!!
Hi Lori – you will need to contact the manufacturer, as far as I can see they are still online but we have no affiliation or relationship with them.
If you can dump diper bags
Your should be aloud to dump composting waste.
In theory I agree — until you get neighbors who decide to dump their composting waste next to the creek which is upstream from your property. The laws are always made with the least responsible and idiotic people in mind.