A toilet is one of life’s essentials that you shouldn’t lose while camping or on a caravan trip. In fact, some people won’t even consider going on a camping adventure without a working/flushing toilet nearby.
National parks in Australia might have perfectly working portable toilets. But if there isn’t one nearby, wouldn’t you want to take matters into your own hands and get the best portable camping toilet for your needs?
If you’re considering buying a portable toilet for camping or caravanning, here’s a quick guide we have put together for you. From a Porta Potti to more sophisticated bucket-type portable camping toilets, let’s make the selection process easier for you.
Pros and Cons of Having a Portable Camping Toilet
Here are some advantages and disadvantages (if any!) of having a portable camping toilet. See if any of this rings true for you and your preferences while camping.
Pros of having your own portable toilet
- Gives you peace of mind about doing your business in a clean, sanitary and preferred way
- Convenient for going potty in the middle of the night
- No need to share park toilet facilities with strangers and other park goers
- Best for families with small children
- No need to dig holes or find a private space behind bushes
- Gets one thing off your mind during a busy trip!
Cons of having a camping toilet unit
- Emptying and cleaning the portable toilet can be quite a chore
- Space issues inside the caravan
- Heavy and difficult to lug around, especially if you’re moving around
- Porta Potti types still require privacy tents
- Can add to ongoing camping expenses
- Not allowed in some places
Needless to say, it’s important to know the good, the bad and the smelly before you get a portable camping toilet. Now let’s talk about what the factors to consider are, and what you might need to consider before the big purchase.
Considerations in Buying a Portable Toilet
Before you rush and buy a portable toilet online, it’s best to consider your needs, budget and other preferences. Let’s have a closer look at these factors.
What’s your camping style?
Are you the type to do caravan park camping? These parks offer facilities that include toilets. The toilets there, however, are likely to sit over a hole in the ground, you might find isn’t to your liking.
If you’re a remote bush camper, you might find more choices out there. Water, however, should be abundant, or else your flushing portable toilet means you’d have to bring extra water with you.
Will it fit your budget?
Figure out how much you’re prepared to shell money out for the convenience of a portable camping toilet.
As there’s a diverse range of them available (at varying price points), see how the budget fits into your camping lifestyle. If it’s just once or twice a year you’re camping, then you might consider allocating a smaller budget for the toilet.
How many people will be using the toilet?
If you’re just two persons camping or you’re going solo, then a portable toilet will likely be used only a few times a day.
If you’re a family with, say, small kids, then that’s a different story altogether.
There are toilets that might fill faster than their counterparts, entailing more frequent emptying.
Is it easy and convenient to use?
Portable toilets can range from simple to rather complicated, or go over a hole in the ground or require toilet chemicals via a dual tank feature.
There are also portable toilets with added features or toilet accessories for enhanced functionality.
See if the unit you’re eyeing is worth the money or trouble of setting up or installation. Maybe, too, you’re better off getting a simpler portable unit for sticky matters while camping.
Is it a space monster?
Finally, do you have space for a toilet in your caravan, motorhome or camping vehicle? The bigger the toilet, the more room it will take up.
The good news is there are some portable toilets that can be laid flat when not used.
Consider the other camping gear and materials you also need to bring during the trip.
Portable Camping Toilets to Buy in 2021
From foldable toilet seats to bucket type portable toilets, here are some portable camp toilet products to set your sights on for your next road trip.
Thetford Corp Porta Potti 345
What it is
A portable toilet from a market-leading brand, the Porta Potti 345 is an ingenious take on travel toilets.
It’s family-sized, flushable and provides a piston pump flushing system. The parts are smoothly put together and there’s a rotating pour-out spout to boot.
This Porta Potti is already pre-assembled, which comes in handy for beginners. The latches at the bottom of the freshwater tank make for seamless connections.
The holding tank’s swing-out spout makes for convenient dumping. There’s toilet chemical included to deodorize the solid waste. Make use of the carrying handle, too.
Why choose it
This Thetford toilet scores high on comfort and convenience. From toilet height and seat to high-capacity tanks, it is a decent option for the price and quality.
It stands out in sturdiness as well, supporting up to about 113 kilograms.
On the downside, it may require a hold-down kit to add to the stability. There might also be potential leakages as time goes by, with some weak elements such as the flush handle or the latches.
Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet
What it is
This Camco travel toilet offers a sleeker design and slightly larger flush tank compared to its older version.
The non-operated flushing system lets you use the toilet in the most remote locations, using a pumping mechanism to drive the water from the tank into the bowl. Three directional water spouts offer extensive cleaning with every flush.
It also offers ergonomic features for a premium take on camp toilets, i.e., the overall design being focused on convenience and ease of use.
Thanks to the spring loaded latches, you can easily attach and detach the two main parts of the camp toilet.
The two tanks, too, provide a big enough capacity to get your mind off your toilet business and focus on your camping activities.
A swiveled elbow joint helps when dumping the solid waste, while a sliding gate can help contain fluids and odours inside the tanks.
The interior surface is made of ABS material, preventing anything from clinging on to it and making cleanups a breeze.
Why choose it
The multi-directional flushing system is an attractive and practical feature.
It’s easy to use and clean, and waste removal isn’t such a chore with the swivel elbow joint.
The freshwater tank is 3.75 gallons in capacity, while the waste tank has a rather reduced volume in the newer iteration (2.6 gallons).
Flushing system isn’t power-operated, so that might be worth rethinking.
Reliance Products Fold-to-Go Collapsible Portable Toilet
What it is
A foldable portable toilet like this Reliance product is for those who absolutely hate carrying heavy, bulky things while travelling.
Compact and a lightweight delight for campers, foldable portable toilets are often a top choice for those prioritising portability.
This Reliance toilet in particular measures can be carried easily up to the mountains or in a smaller car. The leg locking system offers a stable grip no matter the surface.
It also comes with an integrated handle as well as a Double Doodie bag for attaching to the seat for waste disposal. This bag is sold separately.
Why choose it
Folding travel toilets like this are easy to lug around and clean. Disposal is relatively mess-free with the disposable bags.
The price isn’t prohibitive and the product even comes with a 5-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
On the downside, you might find the legs a little short and the seat dimensions lacking. The Doodie bags can also be expensive in the long run.
Weisshorn 20L Portable Outdoor Toilet
What it is
Another popular portable camp toilet is the Weisshorn 20L unit, with an array of attractive features and corresponding benefits.
This portable camp toilet comes with the privilege of flushing, giving you up to 50 flushes with its 3.17-gallon freshwater tank. No external water connection is needed for flushing.
The waste tank with a 5.3-gallon capacity is detachable and proves quite easy to clean.
For sturdiness, the product can handle up to 200 kg in weight. Double seals protect the drain valve against leakage, while a seat cover hinders leaks while in transit.
Why choose it
Weisshorn scores high in durability, safety as well as strength. Even the flushing mechanism and large flow outlet are strong and reliable.
A particular draw is it’s easy to clean, so you won’t have to worry about icky things on your camping or caravanning endeavours.
A potential turn-off is this camp toilet is big in size and takes up considerable space in your caravan. The heavy weight might be a deterrent so see how it compares to others on the same tier.
Alpcour Portable Toilet
What it is
For heightened comfort in going potty outdoors, this Alpcour camping toilet is another crowd pleaser with its toilet height that exceeds the standard 15 inches (38 centimetres).
The elevated height pairs well with the sizable seat and two compartments: a 3.2-gallon freshwater tank and a 5.3-gallon waste tank. Both tanks are secured using strong latches on either side of the toilet unit. Flush to your heart’s content, or all 50 flushes of them!
This Alpcour portable toilet is a frontrunner among units for families or small groups. With a larger capacity, you are in for fewer water refills as well as emptying sessions.
The design is as robust as the features look. Built-in handles allow for smooth carrying, and you can use the level indicator on the water tank to know if it’s time for refills.
Turn to the user manual for further instructions!
Why choose it
This camp toilet packs a punch in comfort, elevation, flushing mechanism and fuss-free waste disposal.
The price may be quite high for a portable toilet, especially among first-time buyers. It’s worth looking into, however, for all the perks and offered features.
Take note, though, that the waste may not as efficiently drain out as in others and may therefore require more water for the cleanup job.
Bonus: Portable Toilet FAQs
Here are frequently asked questions when it comes to camping toilet waste, bucket toilets, porta potty and more.
Can you poop in a portable toilet?
Yes, you can do it! Even if it’s a bucket toilet, compost toilet or chemical portable toilet in question, the answer is a yes and it’s what the product is actually designed for.
How do you empty the camping toilet?
Emptying the contents of your portable toilet is one of the inevitable tasks of camping.
Doing this and disposing of the waste bag depends on the type of unit you’re using. Bucket toilets, for example, come with waste bags. Once full, you remove and tie the waste bag and throw it in the proper disposal area.
Here are some straightforward steps to do this:
- Separate the fresh water tank and the waste tank. Look at the bottom tank and for the latch that releases the two tanks. Be ready with the manufacturer’s guide for specific instructions for your model.
- Wear gloves during the process.
- Move the swivel arm or pour-out spout outwards towards the side.
- Holding the carry handle, tip the tank such that the spout is pointing downwards.
- See the contents come out; it’s perfectly okay to be terrified. If there are chemicals used, this will look like a slurry.
- Shake it a bit as needed. If you can hear the waste material still sloshing around inside, add some water. Wait for clear water to empty.
- Add required chemicals to both top and bottom tanks before next use, along with water.
- Once the camping trip is over, disinfect all parts of the porta potty thoroughly. Leave some portable toilet chemicals in the bottom tank when not in use.
- Wash your hands with soap and water even if you worked with gloves.
How often should you empty the toilet?
The answer depends on the number of people using it, the climate and your camping situation.
The rule of thumb, however, is to clean it frequently. The fuller the waste tank is, the harder it will be to carry the bag from the camp and dispose of it in the proper areas.
What chemicals do you need?
There’s a wide range of portable toilet chemicals available out there, but we recommend Australian made and owned, environment-friendly and non-toxic solutions for your cleaning needs.
These chemicals will kill germs, deodorise the unit and help maintain the overall hygiene and sanitation.
Help! How do you stop the camp toilet from smelling?
An easy answer is to clean the camping toilet often.
In addition, use an air freshener (a good chemical solution can also do this for you) and introduce proper toilet ventilation.
Choosing toilets for camping need not be a messy affair. Let us know what the best camping toilets that made it to your own list!
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