Composting Toilet Systems: Self-Build vs. Pre-Made Options

Composting Toilet Systems: Self-Build vs. Pre-Made Options

When it comes to installing a composting toilet system in your van or RV, you have two main options: self-building your own system or purchasing a pre-made composting toilet. Both options have their advantages and considerations, and the choice ultimately depends on your skills, preferences, and specific needs. In this article, we will compare self-built and pre-made composting toilet systems to help you make an informed decision.

Self-Built Composting Toilet Systems

Customization and Flexibility

One of the main advantages of self-building a composting toilet system is the ability to customize it to your specific requirements. You have the freedom to design and construct a system that fits your van layout, available space, and personal preferences. You can choose the materials, dimensions, and features that align with your vision and needs.

Cost Savings

Self-building a composting toilet system can be a more cost-effective option compared to purchasing a pre-made unit. By sourcing your own materials and components, you have better control over the overall cost. Additionally, if you already have some of the necessary materials on hand, such as a container or ventilation components, the cost can be further reduced.

Learning Experience

Building your own composting toilet system can be a rewarding learning experience. It allows you to gain knowledge about composting principles, waste management, and the inner workings of the system. You can acquire valuable DIY skills and have a deeper understanding of how your composting toilet functions.

4. Time and Effort

Self-building a composting toilet system requires time, effort, and DIY skills. You need to research and gather the necessary components, plan and construct the system, and ensure proper functionality. This option is ideal for individuals who enjoy hands-on projects and have the time and motivation to dedicate to the construction process.

Pre-Made Composting Toilet Systems

Convenience and Ease of Installation

Pre-made composting toilet systems offer convenience and ease of installation. They come with detailed instructions and all the necessary components, making the installation process straightforward. This option is suitable for those who prefer a ready-to-use solution without the need for extensive DIY work.

Established Design and Functionality

Pre-made composting toilets are designed and tested by professionals who have refined the functionality and features of the system. They often come with built-in ventilation, separation mechanisms, and odor control systems. By choosing a pre-made unit, you can have confidence in the established design and its effectiveness.

Warranty and Support

Purchasing a pre-made composting toilet often comes with warranty coverage and customer support. If any issues arise or you have questions about the system, you can reach out to the manufacturer for assistance. This level of support can provide peace of mind and save you time troubleshooting or sourcing replacement parts.

Time and Expertise

Opting for a pre-made composting toilet system saves you time and effort compared to self-building. The system is ready to be installed, eliminating the need for extensive research, sourcing individual components, and constructing the system from scratch. This option is ideal for individuals who prioritize convenience and prefer a plug-and-play solution.


Deciding between self-building and purchasing a pre-made composting toilet system depends on your skills, preferences, and specific requirements. Self-building offers customization, cost savings, and a learning experience but requires time, effort, and DIY skills. On the other hand, pre-made systems provide convenience, established functionality, warranty coverage, and ease of installation. Consider your capabilities, available resources, and desired level of involvement to choose the option that best suits your needs. Whether you choose to self-build or purchase a pre-made composting toilet system

Back to blog