It would be tough to enjoy an outdoor camping trip to the fullest if there aren’t any toilets around when needed.
If you spend most of your free time camping or in a remote location, having a portable toilet is a simple answer, and knowing a bit about functionality will allow you to buy the best camping toilet for your needs.
Keep reading to learn more about different portable toilet options. Plenty of brands have introduced advanced cleaning technology and comfortable seating arrangements and all the products on the list have a heavy-duty structure to make your journey a good one.
- Types of Portable Toilets
- Maintenance and Cleaning
- Comparison Table
- Portable Camping Toilets – 18 Product Reviews
- 1. Reliance Luggable Loo 5 Gallon
- 2. Thetford Porta Potti 550E Curve
- 3. Reliance Products Hassock
- 4. Camco Portable Toilet 5.3 Gallon
- 5. Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Complete Toilet System
- 6. Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model
- 7. Stansport Portable Toilet
- 8. Zimmer Porta Potty Toilet
- 9. PLAYBERG Portable Travel Toilet
- 10. Aqua-Magic Residence RV toilet Thetford 42169
- 11. Atemou 2.64 Gallon 10L Portable Travel Toilet
- 12. Domestic Sanitation 302310083
- 13. Campersville Portable Toilet
- 14. HTTMT 6.3-gallon Portable Toilet
- 15. Thetford 92814 Porta Potti 345
- 16. Reliance Products Flush-N-Go Toilet
- 17. Reliance Products Flush-N-Go 3320 Toilet
- 18. Thetford 92820 Porta Potti
- Deciding Factors for Portable Toilets
- Portable Toilet Tips
- Composting vs. Conventional Toilets
- Some Common Problems
- Location of Use
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Final Word
Types of Portable Toilets
Here we list the five most popular types of portable toilets for your next camping adventure.
★ Bucket Style
A bucket toilet is the simplest form of movable toilet. You need to line the bucket with a plastic bag and dispose of the bag after use. More expensive units also come with a rubber gasket to reduce the smell. Although they are portable and affordable, bucket-style toilets are also the smelliest and require purchasing new bags.
★ Chemical Camping
Chemical (cassette) toilets are very popular among RV owners. They are very similar to classic, home toilets, and require no electricity to work. Also, they are usually light and can fit in almost any type of RV.
★ Portable Composting
Portable composting toilets are often a good substitution for RV toilets. Plus, they are environmentally friendly and do no harm to nature. However, they require 12v of electricity and an extensive setup. They are also more expensive.
★ Foldable Style
Foldable toilet models are an excellent choice for cars as well as RVs. They can be folded very flat, which makes them ideal for storing in small spaces.
★ Urination Devices
These devices are great for persons who find it hard to urinate in a bottle or on the side of the road. With the wide end over the urethra, the toilet creates a seal so that the urine can flow into the device with ease.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Keeping your RV or camping toilet in optimal condition is the only way to reap maximum benefit from it. Cleaning a portable model is not as complicated as cleaning a regular toilet because of its compact size.
Before you get started cleaning, replace your general harsh chemical-based cleaning agents with mild, non-abrasive ones and know the correct techniques. Avoid bleaches too, for they can cause damage to the seals around the tank. Flush-type portable toilets often come with a deodorizer or cleaning agent.
Change the plastic liner of the toilet at regular intervals to prevent the build-up of odors. Plastic liners are cheap and readily available at any hardware store. You may even try fitting a smell-absorbing substance at the bottom of your toilet to prevent the stink from escaping.
Buy some kitty litter and pour it into the toilet basin. As far as the bag toilets are concerned, they are easier to dispose of if made from a biodegradable material. Find a suitable place to dig a 6-inch deep hole into the ground, and bury them securely.
Cleaning a Portable Toilet
If the waste tank is getting full, or if you are returning home from camping, it’s time for cleaning. Almost every area has a chemical disposal. If your area doesn’t, you can find a nearby septic tank.
First, remove the tank from the rest of the toilet. Then, take it to the chemical disposal or a septic tank. Remove the cap from the tank and pour out the waste into the proper disposal area. Wash the toilet properly both inside and outside, and add water to the disinfectant if you plan to use it again right away. Finally, screw the cap back to the tank, and attach the tank to the toilet.
Disposing of Waste
The storage space of your portable toilet will need emptying after a couple of uses. To dispose of your waste responsibly, find a secluded site at a reasonably good distance from human inhabitancy. Many areas have restrictions on burying human feces in the ground.
Carrying biodegradable bags is the smartest solution for this task. You can throw them away wherever you find trash receptacles or bury them in the ground. If you do bury your bags, do it a minimum of 100 yards away from any body of water and at least 6″ deep. These unique bags use a chemical powder to convert urine into solid waste.
The safest way to dispose of waste is to wait until you encounter a real bathroom, then flush it down. Bucket toilets can be emptied straight into the toilet.
Portable Camping Toilets – 18 Product Reviews
All the products that have made our list are reasonably priced, have a heavy-duty structure and offer convenient cleaning options to make your journey satisfactory. Our research found several models that offer similar features and there are plenty of brands trying to introduce the most advanced cleaning technology and comfortable seating arrangements. Let’s dive into the reviews of the top 18 portable toilets for camping.
1. Reliance Luggable Loo 5 Gallon
Reliance Portable Loo is a familiar name to hikers, mini-campers, and RV users who have purchased a camping toilet at some point. The Reliance Portable Loo is our top pick for many strong reasons.
First is the reasonable pricing. The bucket-style design combined with chemical cleaning action makes it a hassle-free portable toilet for folks who live off the grid.
It is a 5-gallon lightweight unit and it includes a hinged lid cover top for optimal sanitation. The package offers 12 double doodie bio bags containing BioGel. The seating space along with a high weight capacity is ideal for an average-sized adult.
Assembling this toilet doesn’t require any extra skills. If you’re planning to go on a long weekend trip to the woods or fishing on a boat, the Luggable Loo will give you the best value for your money.
2. Thetford Porta Potti 550E Curve
What are the must-have features you’re looking for while shopping for a portable toilet? Affordability, capacity, ease of use, and effortless maintenance. Thetford 92360 offers all this and more.
Unlike other poorly structured, cheap models, Thetford Porta Potti doesn’t sacrifice the hygiene standard nor the user’s comfort. Its slightly quirky design resembles a giant coffee machine.
The body of the toilet has a water tank attached to it for a smooth relocation. The key feature that sets this model far above the rest in the same category is the indicator on the container that alerts you when it is time to empty the unit. The battery-operated flush controls are nearly as adequate as flushes on traditional flushing toilets.
The comfortable toilet seat height is apt for people of every age, especially if you have an older person in your group. Last but not least, a toilet paper holder has been fitted to the toilet to give you the feeling of an actual toilet.
3. Reliance Products Hassock
Reliance is giving other big companies a tough run for their money. They brainstorm new useful ideas every time they launch a product.
The Hassock is a one-stop answer to all your toilet needs. It features a detachable inner bucket for trouble-free cleaning and waste disposal. The minimal weight and compact dimension of the toilet make carrying the unit a breeze.
Irrespective of the simple look, Hassock is strong enough to accommodate a person weighing around 300 pounds without collapsing.
As a bonus, you will get an inner splash guard and a holder. Extra comfort comes from the contoured toilet seat design that is gentle on your skin. However, the top lid is not very stable so you need to be very careful to avoid creating a mess.
4. Camco Portable Toilet 5.3 Gallon
The Camco has been trendy among outdoorsmen, professional hikers, and RV owners. Its lightweight profile doesn’t add excessive weight to your luggage.
The body of the toilet is made of high-quality plastic that reliably stands the test of time. The 5-gallon storage capacity is more than enough to handle a group of 4 to 5 individuals every day. The toilet is fully odor-proof with several locks and a brilliant sealing slide valve lock.
To litter the waste, you have to slide the valve lock to open the tank. When done, you can push the latch back to lock it up again. Camco’s flush system is a class apart and secure enough to be used by children.
An ultra-lightweight design and optimal sanitation maintenance ability are the two most sought-after qualities in portable toilets. Fortunately, Camco offers both. However, this seemingly perfect toilet is not free from negatives. The design is too small and thin to accommodate larger people.
5. Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Complete Toilet System
If you want a tougher, wider, and more powerful folding unit, you might take a glance at the Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Complete Toilet System.
It is indeed a complete toilet kit with everything that you need to for a great portable toileting experience. The Cleanwaste package includes waste bags and a privacy shelter neatly tucked in a bag pack.
The Cleanwaste model qualified as the strongest portable toilet on the list and has secured its position as one of the most widely used movable toilets by U.S. mariners. If treated with care, the product will serve you for a long time. Plus, Cleanwaste GO Anywhere weighs no more than 18 pounds.
6. Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model
Camping enthusiasts who wish to concentrate more on exploring their surroundings than finding a bathroom will find Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model a great bargain for the money.
This ultimate unit has a favorable design that suits anybody’s weight. It utilizes a flush mechanism to wash out waste, offering 50 flushes before emptying the reserve. The unit holds deodorizers with 4 oz of liquid gold concentration to make throwing away the waste material easier.
On top of that, it comes with a heavy-duty lid that sticks into place. This vital seal secures the top when you’re on the move.
7. Stansport Portable Toilet
The thoughtfully crafted, compact, and lightweight Stansport toilet is ideal for rafting, camping, boat riding, and even RVs. The unit folds easily in your bag pack for painless storage. Its tough, molded seat efficiently accommodates large persons.
The tubular legs add extra stability, knee support, and comfort, which is a rare thing to find in non-traditional toilets like this. The waste bags are straightforward to install. When disposing of the waste, you have to detach the bags carefully from the body and dump them in a trash receptacle. Stansport’s limited period warranty backs the product.
8. Zimmer Porta Potty Toilet
Made by Zimmer, this is a fantastic toilet if you are looking for a cheap solution. It’s perfect for camping, hunting, fishing, or any similar activity. It has a 3-gallon tank for fresh water and a 5-gallon reservoir for waste. You can use it up to 70 times before refilling.
Fresh water and waste tanks can be easily detached and are very simple to use. They have removable caps and handles on each tank for easy transportation. Also, the slide valve closes tightly, perfectly preventing odors and leakage.
The toilet is made from high-quality polyethylene. It can endure any outdoor elements and arrives fully assembled. The Porta Potty is also lightweight and compact.
9. PLAYBERG Portable Travel Toilet
This unit is made entirely of plastic yet is high-quality and very sturdy. Due to its size, the toilet can easily fit almost everywhere and is also lightweight and easy to carry.
Another nice feature of this model is the built-in holder for toilet paper. You simply need to pull it out while using and push it inside when carrying it around. It’s made of durable materials and tightens well.
The toilet comes with an 8-gallon bag for waste, however, the bag could be a bit stronger.
10. Aqua-Magic Residence RV toilet Thetford 42169
Several things made us consider this toilet for testing. First, it’s stylish, comfortable, and ideal for any RV. Plus, it features a dual-function flush. Pressing the pedal halfway pours fresh water into the bowl. Pressing it all the way gives a complete, powerful flush.
The unit also comes with an anti-bacterial toilet seat, which prevents mold and odor. It’s lightweight and features a seat with a customizable height. Additionally, you can order an optional water-saving hand sprayer.
11. Atemou 2.64 Gallon 10L Portable Travel Toilet
The first thing to mention about this unit is its super-large capacity. It comes with a 3.2-gallon tank capacity and a 5.3-gallon waste tank. Since it has a load-bearing capacity of up to 330 lbs, it’s an ideal choice for most people.
Additionally, the unit features a flexible handle design. You can use a pull handle to lock the unpleasant odor into the waste reservoir, without diffusing it into the air. Also, you don’t have to worry about portability. The parts are detachable, and the unit weighs only 1.12 lbs when empty.
12. Domestic Sanitation 302310083
With its simplified design, this unit is ideal for most RVs. It’s a lightweight and powerful toilet that meets the demands of most people. It comes with a special toilet seat cover that automatically closes, which prevents unintentional bashing and damage.
Additionally, it has a pressure-enhanced, powerful flush. After use, the bowl will be cleaned almost instantly. Also, it has a one-direction pedal, which either adds water to the bowl or flushes completely.
13. Campersville Portable Toilet
The first thing we noticed about this toilet is that it could have a slightly better flush. It can take two flushes to rinse the bowl. However, all the other aspects of this unit are excellent and completely justify the price.
The toilet is portable and is made from strong, high-quality materials. It can withstand 400 lbs and comes with a 5.2-gallon waste tank. Additionally, you can easily detach it by pressing the button, which also activates the air pump to clean the bowl. It provides excellent value for the price.
14. HTTMT 6.3-gallon Portable Toilet
This unit is an excellent choice if you don’t want to pay too much. With its innovative design, the toilet is also portable and comfortable. Additionally, it features a very nice, sleek look, which perfectly fits any modern RV.
The toilet is very simple to use, due to its push-button operation, making it a great choice for any activity like camping or boating.
15. Thetford 92814 Porta Potti 345
With a refreshed modern design, this toilet will perfectly fit any modern RV. It provides industry-leading performance and comes with a rotating pour-out spout.
It offers a 4-gallon tank capacity and is simple to use. Additionally, the toilet weighs only 3.8 kilograms, which is less than most models. Another useful thing is the level indicator display for the waste-holding reservoir. It’s a feature that most units of a similar quality don’t offer.
16. Reliance Products Flush-N-Go Toilet
First, we need to mention that though it may not look like it, this toilet is very comfortable. It’s made from durable, yet soft materials, which improve the user experience. Also, it features a 3-gallon freshwater tank and a 5.8-gallon tank for waste, which is more than enough.
Another nice thing is the innovative T-slot flush design. It has a nozzle that directs the water around the bowl, which ensures efficient drainage.
The toilet also comes with a useful waste level indicator.
17. Reliance Products Flush-N-Go 3320 Toilet
Although it looks similar to the previous unit, there are some differences. This toilet has slightly lower water consumption at around 2.5 gallons. However, it still provides an excellent flush compared to similar units.
Additionally, it’s made of plastic, but it’s not as comfortable as the previous toilet. On the other hand, it comes at a lower price.
Finally, instead of a T-slot design, this toilet uses a classic flush which does the job perfectly.
18. Thetford 92820 Porta Potti
This toilet is similar to Thetford Porta Potti 345, but it’s more compact.
It weighs almost 2 pounds less and comes in smaller dimensions. However, the seat height of 16 inches is comfortable for most people.
Like the previous model, it features a sleek, modern design. The materials are solid and sturdy, but still soft and comfortable. It also features a useful, ergonomic carrying handle.
Deciding Factors for Portable Toilets
Below we will discuss seven buying decisions to make when looking for your next portable toilet.
1. Design and Features
Be sure to consider whether the toilet area has a flat floor. If it’s not flat, it might be complicated to use the toilet. Additionally, you should look for a toilet that can trap odors. Some models have tight seals, while some use various chemicals.
Another feature to consider is how hygienic a toilet is. For example, models with deep bowls are more hygienic and more comfortable. Models with multidirectional flush leave less waste in the bowl after a single flush and are an excellent choice when the toilet is used by large crowds.
2. Unit Size
Size is important for both transport and comfort during usage. Simply put, there are three types of toilets based on their size.
Standard models are designed for average-sized persons. If you weigh a bit more, you should aim for a toilet with a bigger seat. Deluxe models are a bit larger, and usually have features such as a toilet paper holder. In the end, luxury models are more expensive but provide elegance and comfort. They also come with features such as a place where you can put hand wash and soap, etc.
3. Duration and the Number of People
Depending on the situation, the toilet will be used by many people for a short time, or by fewer people for a longer time. Sometimes, it can be a mix of both.
A toilet with larger fresh water and waste tanks is ideal for large crowds and more usage time. Therefore, toilets with smaller tanks are ideal for short usage by fewer people. Note that some models have helpful water level indicators.
4. Ease of Use
Ease of use is another vital feature to consider while shopping for a reliable portable toilet. While RVs and boats have a select area for portable toilets, open locations require you to set up the toilet each time you use it. The mobile toilet components need to be assembled and disassembled in a couple of minutes.
5. Construction and Capacity
You will require a bigger toilet if you’re a group and traveling for an extended period. If it’s going to be used for a family get-together or a bonfire with a small group of friends, a small portable toilet will suffice.
Whatever the size, durable construction is of utmost importance for any toilet. You wouldn’t want the toilet to collapse with you on it. Therefore, take careful note of the weight capacity of the model you’re planning to purchase.
Also, don’t buy a model that sits too low to the ground. Folks with knee problems and senior citizens will not have a comfortable experience unless the seat height is on par with a standard chair height.
6. Child and Adult Comfort
A toilet is not a one-time-use item, so you should definitely consider its comfort. There are no specific criteria for comfort, however, since we are all different. If both young children and adults will be using the toilet, remember that universal seat heights are not ideal for everyone.
7. Accessories and Spare Parts
Sooner or later, some parts of your toilet might break, and you will need to buy new ones. Therefore, it’s important to buy a toilet with standard, widely available parts.
Most accessories and parts like urine diverters or toilet chemicals can be purchased separately. It may be helpful to buy a biodegradable deodorizer pack or a privacy tent can be a nice investment. You will also need hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
Portable Toilet Tips
Upscale camping toilets from premium brands don’t require the user to dig a hole in the ground. For example, a portable chemical toilet has a small vessel attached to it which should be emptied into a sanitary sewer or a similar suitable place. They make use of a particular chemical to eliminate the odor in the container.
This kind of toilet costs much more than regular bagged units. Chemical camping toilets are mostly used in caravans, small boats, and passenger train toilets, etc. The disinfectant deodorizer formula is a blend of quaternary ammonium compounds and glutaraldehyde.
They come with plastic containers that are relatively simple to use. The waste bags should be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner after use. This is undoubtedly the best option to carry when you’re up for your next camping trip.
There is another category of camping toilets that applies the composite method to turn human waste into a compost fertilizer with the help of moss or other fibrous plants. Consider buying one if water shortage is a big concern for you.
Never put toilet paper in these toilets. It takes longer to break down than human waste and should be thrown away separately.
Composting vs. Conventional Toilets
These composting toilets come with a self-contained tank for solids and another for liquid waste. They treat waste by using composting organic matter. Of course, like all toilets, they have some upsides and downsides.
On the upside, they require no water for flushing and use no chemicals. It’s very easy to dispose of the waste, and you can do it almost anywhere. They are also odorless.
On the other hand, the liquid tank needs cleaning at least once per day and the emptying process can be smelly. The whole process can take up to an hour, but if you have a small group, you won’t need to do it frequently.
Unlike composting toilets, conventional models might stink a bit during use. However, you can get rid of the odors by using strong chemicals. Emptying the waste tank of these units requires a dumpsite, but it’s usually a very simple process. If you don’t want extra costs over time, a conventional toilet might be the ideal choice for you.
Some Common Problems
Odor is the most prominent and common problem with portable toilets using temporary storage. Regular maintenance is likely to reduce the odor to a great extent. If you’re still not satisfied, try putting some chemical deodorizer in the toilet, and replace the plastic liners frequently for better results. Many flush-type portable toilets are well-engineered with robust waste tank seals, dual basins, and a vent pipe that prevent the odor from dissipating in the air.
Unless your on-the-go toilet is a corrosion-proof material, you must level the surface properly before setting up the toilet over it. If you do not flatten the ground adequately, the adjustable stands will fail to maintain stability when you sit upon it. However, these issues are quickly resolved if you have the right equipment handy. They are overall very reliable and deliver excellent service.
Location of Use
There are different portable toilet categories for various location types. If you’re going to use the toilet in a truck, boat, or RV, you should probably focus more on foldable models specifically designed to fit in RVs. Three out of five portable toilets use bags.
These portable models come with multiple plastic or bio bags that gather waste and make disposing of the waste in appropriate places a snap. Make sure you set these are on flat ground, or you’ll end up with a mess.
Composting toilets provide an all-around hygienic solution in areas where water is not readily available. Their self-contained designs will save you the chore of fetching water or any chemical replenishment to get rid of the odor. If your trip is long, bagged toilets will be more comfortable to take care of than the other two types.
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right unit depends mainly on your needs. However, among all the manufacturers, Campersville and Zimmer provide the best quality.
It’s ideal to empty it into a local septic tank. However, if it’s not available, you can empty the toilet in a classic, indoor toilet. Just be careful to avoid splashing.
The Final Word
Portable toilets are not a new concept. Mariners have used them for decades. Yet, like almost everything else around us, the evolution of technology has left its mark on these lightweight, foldable toilets. The modern models are solid, stable toilets with a more appropriate waste disposal facility than their ancestors.
Costlier products indeed offer more quality features than most low to medium budget toilets. But judging the quality of an appliance based on its price tag wouldn’t be a wise idea. Researching the subject extensively is the only way to assure an excellent investment.