Dometic 976 Portable Toilet Review

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After years of traveling in our tiny RV, we have really learned how to live off grid. The one challenge we ran into most was “Where can we dump out our black tank?” Having an on board black tank for out toilet waste might seem like a great idea, however, the added weight and the inconvenience of having to find a dump station left us searching for a better option. I began looking at Dometic because they have long been known as the leader in RV solutions. We recently replaced our refrigerator with a quality Dometic product and were certain we would find the right toilet, also. We decided on the Dometic 976 Toilet and set off testing it while traveling from Colorado to Michigan.

Dometic 976 Toilet: Mobile Living Made Easy

When the the Dometic 976 Toilet arrived, the box was so light! It measures in at approximately 16″ tall x 16″ deep and 14″ wide. I set off reading the manual and found that everything was super simple and easy to assemble. On the front of the toilet is a push button for flushing, a level indicator for the waste water, a handle for carrying the upper portion and the flush handle. On the back side of the toilet, is a handle for carrying the waste tank and a spring loaded latch for removing the upper half of the toilet. It really is that simple! There are no batteries or electronic components to add weight. The flushing is purely mechanical and that’s really all there is to this simple but functional toilet.

 

Easy Management of the Fresh Water

Before using the Dometic 976, you must fill the clean water tank on the top half of the toilet. This is done by simply removing the fresh water cap and add water from a container. It holds a little over 2 gallons of fresh water which lasted (with excess) until we needed to empty out the waste tank. The cap to the fresh water fill hole has a pressure relief valve in it to prevent over pressurization. It is leakproof, proven by a mishap while traveling when we forgot to secure the toilet and had to slam on the brakes. The toilet tipped on it’s side but didn’t spill a drop of fresh (or waste, thank goodness!) water. To pressurize the freshwater tank for flushing, there is a pump on the top of the toilet that you pump about 15 times. And now you are ready to “go.”

Doing Your Business using the Dometic 976 Toilet

In the manual, Dometic warns you to de-pressurize the waste tank prior to using the toilet. You do this by sliding the flush lever in and out BEFORE putting anything in the bowl. My husband learned this the hard way after we had changed elevation. When he opened the valve to flush his waste, the pressure released a “puff” and caused a splash. Lesson learned and we now make sure we “burp” the toilet after we have traveled from one place to another. After doing your business, flushing is as easy as pushing a button with one finger then pulling the flush handle. This opens the valve in to the waste tank and rinses out the bowl. The water pressure from the fresh water tank was forceful enough to clean the bowl appropriately without any excess splashing or wasted water. The flushing feature was very well designed!

After flushing, you push the flush handle back in and all the waste and odors are trapped inside the air-tight holding tank. Perfect!

Emptying the Waste Tank

I really wanted the emptying feature of this toilet to be easy and clean. I was so pleased! There is a indicator window on the front of the toilet that turns dark as the toilet fills. The waste tank capacity is 5 gallons. That allows for many days of use before it needs to be emptied. Once it is full, its off to a dump location. We found that the Dometic 976 could easily be dumped in a flush toilet or an outhouse with absolutely no mess (Rubber gloves not needed!). The top half of the toilet releases with a latch on the back of the toilet. There are nice handles to lift the top and set it aside. Then you can carry the bottom half like a briefcase with it’s study handle. I was nervous about this but it did not drip or spill a drop! Whew!

I made my way to the outhouse and once inside, I opened the vent for the waste tank. The cap to the waste tube has inside threads so your hands never touch any waste. The waste tube swivels out to the side and you can smoothly dump the waste into the outhouse, toilet or designated dump station. Once it is empty, replace the cap, swivel the tube back to it’s place and close the vent. It was a super easy process and the toilet is ready for use again. There was absolutely no mess!

Storage and Placement

Deciding where to store your toilet is going to be very important. When the Dometic 976 first arrived, we hadn’t removed our old toilet from the camper yet so it did not have a designated spot. We found that it did slide around some on the floor when we turned corners and had to secure it in place. Once we made it home to Michigan, we went to work removing our old on board system and replacing it with out new Dometic 976 Toilet. We ordered the fastening kit (not included) from Dometic that matches up with the locking system of the toilet. There are two small slots on the back of the toilet and a sliding lock on the front. This will prevent any movement of the toilet while in motion but still allow it to be easily removed for emptying.

Features and Capacity

  • High-strength ABS construction withstands harsh environments; smooth, easy-to-clean finish
  • Prismatic tank level indicator allows easy tank level monitoring
  • Push-button flush clears bowl instantly
  • Full-size seat for comfort; latching lid for security
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 8.7 Liters/2.3 Gallons
  • Waste Tank Capacity: 18.9 Liters/5 Gallons
  • Dimensions: 16″ height x 16″ depth x 14″ width

Final Thought and Recommendations

What a game changer for our off grid RV! With the Dometic 976, we are no longer at the mercy of dump stations fees. Never again will I have to touch a disgusting dump valve to empty our waste. Aside from this toilet being the most sanitary way to carry around (and dispose of) our waste, we now have a toilet system that is useable in all 4 seasons. Living in Michigan, we are active in all months of the year. In the past, the toilet was off limits in the colder months because we had to winterize our water system. Not anymore!! While we travel to the upper peninsula this winter for our ice climbing ventures, I will be so happy to use the toilet in the privacy of our own RV. Not to mention, who wants to go outside when it’s 10 degrees? Not me!!

I can’t say enough good things about the Dometic 976 Toilet. It is sleek and clean looking and never had any odor escapes. The freshwater fill and wastewater disposal are engineered perfectly. If you are looking for more freedom with your current setup or are just getting set up for the first time, take my advice! This toilet is the way to “go.” If you want to learn more about the Dometic 976 Toilet or order one for yourself, visit www.dometic.com or www.amazon.com.

Sara Fillman: Sara is an avid ultra-marathoner and outdoor adventurer. Living in Michigan, Sara has ample opportunities for outdoor sports during all seasons. When not open water kayaking on the Great Lakes or backpacking in some distance mountains, she can be found ice climbing in Norther Michigan at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. She is constantly looking for the next big adventure.
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