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Aqua-Magic 2

Thetford Aqua-Magic V product review

A robust all-plastic toilet designed for RV use
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
$99.69 to $136.60
  • 90%


What can you say about toilets? They are an absolute necessity for RV use, but you really don't appreciate them until they go kaput. The nice china toilet that came with my 2003 Winnebago Adventurer started having problems. First, the seals wore out, so no water would remain in the bowl and odor could creep in. Then, a valve in the back of the toilet exploded pour water all over the floor. It was time to upgrade the throne.

While visiting the Thetford factory, I asked them to install a new Aqua-Magic V toilet with foot pedal flush. The installation took about 30 minutes and was as simple as unscrewing a few bolts and screwing a new toilet in its place.

Immediately, I enjoyed having water back in the bowl, and the new seal contained all odors, so that was good. The all-plastic design certainly weighs less than the china bowl that it replaced. However, there was no noticeable difference between the all-china bowl and the plastic bowl for comfort or functionality. Although I think the china bowl may be a bit easier to clean.

A pedal at the base of the toilet operates the flushing mechanism. Depressing it slightly adds more water to the bowl, while pushing it all the way down dumps the contents into the holding tank. The toilet is designed so that water flows around the bowl to ensure a good clean flush.

Here's the key point about the Aqua-Magic V -- it is very strong and able to withstand some serious abuse. Last winter, acting on bad advice from an RV dealer, I left my RV unplugged for four days while I went to visit my children. I was assured as long as the motorhome had propane the furnace would work. But, it was cold enough (15 F) that the batteries eventually drained and the entire motorhome froze solid. The water in the toilet turned to ice as did the contents of the refrigerator. We're talking frozen solid.

Once the batteries were replaced, the generator started and the furnace turned to high, I allowed the motorhome to thaw out for eight hours before turning on a faucet or flushing the toilet. Fortunately, nothing was damaged in the toilet. It continues to function as perfectly today as it did when installed almost a year ago. When I saw the ice in the bowl, I knew the interior mechanisms froze as well. But, Thetford designed this toilet to handle all weather conditions, although I doubt the technicians at the factory would recommend leaving it unwinterized in freezing weather.


  • All-plastic design makes it lighter than traditional china toilets, and yet still resists scuffing and scratching.
  • Foot pump is easy to operate — depress half-way to fill bowl with more water, depress all the way to flush contents.
  • Robust design handled freezing weather without breaking
  • Toilet constructed in such a way that water swirls around bowl when flushing to help ensure a good clean flush under most circumstances.
  • Easy to install, service and clean.
  • Quiet operation — flush as much or as little as needed to get the job done.
  • Available in high and low profiles, depending upon height level desired. I use a higher profile for taller seating.
  • Optional hand sprayer


  • Plastic bowl appears to require more cleaning than china bowl. Solid waste more likely to stick and require additional effort to fully clean.

About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is the editor of Let's RV and the editor of RV Daily Report. A Wisconsin native and father of three grown daughters, he is now based out of Arizona and travels the country in his Winnebago Adventurer motorhome interviewing industry professionals and interesting RVers alike. He can be reached at

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