Have you ever been camping in the woods? It’s all fun and games until you find yourself in need of a toilet. If you have ever used a shovel to dig a small hole for your business instead of using a portable camping toilet, you can probably relate. Even the most clumsy portable toilet can be a luxury compared to squatting in the woods, or god forbid, hanging your business over a boat.
To make the choice of which portable toilet for camping is the best, we’ve created a Top5er list with the 5 absolutely best toilets in 2019. But before that, let’s check what to actually look at when choosing the perfect portable camping toilet. We’ll also cover what types of movable toilets there are and what are the problems you can encounter (and how to fix them quickly).
Let’s start off with the overall summary you can quickly check in the infographics below to get a bit of a grip on what to look for when buying a portable toilet:
Best Camping Toilets Of 2019 – Top5er list
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular portable camping toilets for camping based on quite a few factors. Starting with the capacity, weight and flush number of each toilet and up to how popular they are and how much does a camping toilet cost. Here is the list of best outdoor toilets:
Best Portable Camping Toilets Of 2019
|Portable Camping Toilet||SereneLife Portable Toilet||Luggable Loo||Porta Potti Curve Toilet||Zimmer Comfort Portable Toilet||Camco Standard Travel Toilet|
|Capacity:||5.3 gallons||5 gallons||5.5 gallons||5 gallons||5.3 gallons|
|Weight:||11.25 lbs||3 lbs||10 lbs||5.56 lbs||10.8 lbs|
|Tank size:||50+ flushes||No flush||70 flushes||50 flushes||40 flushes|
|Top5er status:||Best Overall||Best Budget||Best High-End||Easy Carry||Golden Standard|
|Availability:||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
5 Things To Consider When Buying A Toilet For Camping Or RVs
Portable toilets are quite different than normal indoor toilets. We’ve already written about what to look for when picking the best toilet but the outdoor toilets are another story. We don’t have to decide between one-piece and two-piece toilet because all portable toilets are one-piece; it’s just more convenient.
However, when picking an outdoor toilet, we have to be aware of certain metrics. Here is the list of 5 things you should always check when comparing camping toilets:
#1 Size And Weight Of Toilet (Smaller For Hiking, Bigger For Camping)
As you might imagine, the size and weight are very important; normally we want to reduce both of these. What sizes of camping toilets there are? Well, a standard size would be something like 15 x 15 x 15 inches. Anything below that is considered a small portable toilet and anything above that is considered a larger toilet more appropriate for longer (a week or more) vacations.
When it comes to toilet size, there are two things to remember:
- The smaller the toilet, the easier it is to carry it. But, on the other hand, it is less comfortable to use, obviously. Smaller outdoor toilets are more appropriate for hiking, short trips, and finishing trips.
- The larger the toilet, the heavier it is to carry; however, it is much more comfortable than the smaller varieties. You can use it for longer trips; the big outdoor toilets are especially appropriate for RVs, boats, vans or longer camping trips. And, of course, if there are more people, a larger portable toilet makes sense.
Weight depends on the size but also on the material. What are camping toilets made out of? Usually light materials like ABS plastic or high-density polyethylene. In fact, polyethylene is the most popular choice when designing a portable toilet because it can be easily maneuvered into shape and it has a high durability/weight ratio.
#2 How Many Times Can You Flush?
If you don’t want constantly refilling the portable toilet with water, you’ll probably have to opt for a bigger water tank. With the advancement in camping toilet flushing mechanisms, an outdoor toilet offer anywhere from 30 to 80 flushes per one filling on the water tank.
You can get anything from 2-gallon to 6-gallon water tank. The water tank is the upper compartment of the outdoor toilet and if you can readily refill it, you can opt for low-volume tanks (it’ll make carrying the portable toilet filled with water easier). However, if you can’t or don’t want to refill it more than once or twice, go for the high-volume tanks.
A standard toilet uses 1.6 GPF (gallon per flush) of water. The camping toilets are designed to use only about 0.1 GPF. Of course, the flush is not as thorough as with a standard toilet but in the outdoors, it will do the trick.
Combining the water tank size of portable toilets and flush volume, we can calculate the number of flushes you get with one filling. Being a key metric, the producers of outdoor toilets will usually state the number of flushes. Just a tip: take that number with a grain of salt. Some producers might exaggerate with the flush number.
#3 Waste Tank Volume
The bottom part of a camping toilet is the waste tank. It’s where all the feces end up. Of course, camping toilets are meant for multiple uses and the feces accumulate to, in the end, fill the entire tank. That’s why it’s important to check what kind of volume does a portable toilet waste tank have.
It’s quite simple actually. The waste tank, the bottom part of the toilet, gives height to a toilet. A campingtoilet would be unusable it would be too low: that’s why the waste tanks are quite big to heighten the base for the water tank and, finally, the seat of the camping toilets.
#4 Do Campinge Toilets Smell? (Key Is Sealed Valve)
One of the key concerns is that the toilet for camping will smell. It’s easy to imagine all those feces macerating and producing an outworld aroma that the whole camp will smell. But do the portable toilets really smell?
Not if they have a sealed valve. The key to an odorless camping toilet is to completely shut off the bottom waste tank when you’re not using a toilet. Of course, when you flush the outdoor toilet, the seal will open and let the water and feces through to the waste tank. The sealed valve is the key feature that completely separates the tanks and prevents leaks.
Also, check how both the tanks are connected. Strong connection with sealed valves will not only take care of the odor but it will also increase the stability of the portable toilet. Check that one tank doesn’t wobble on the other; they should be held together as one uniform piece.
#5 How To Clean A Camping Toilet? (And What To Dispose Of The Waste)
Sooner or later, the camping toilet will be full and you’ll need to empty the portable toilet and clean it. How to empty a camping toilet? Well, simply pour out the waste. That is easier said than done. For emptying purposes, portable toilets usually have a big spout. If you’re lucky and the camping toilet’s spout is wide enough, the waste will drip out without a problem.
However, what to do if the waste is stuck in a camping toilet? Well, you can shake it but a more effective technique is to use a water hose and flush the feces out. Another way of emptying toilet for camping is to use chemicals to soften the feces; add the chemicals, leave it for half an hour and then flush it out with more ease.
And finally, where to dump the portable toilet waste? Improper disposing of toilet waste can be damaging to the environment and can even be against the law in some states. In order to help you properly dispose of the camping toilet waste, some camping and RV sites offer dump stations or vault toilets. Those are something referred to as the ‘black tanks’.
Types Of Portable Toilets For Campers, Camping, Hiking, RVs, Boats
There are several varieties of portable toilets. Usually, you can’t get a portable toilet specifically for camper of a camping toilet designed only for boats. Nonetheless, you can narrow down your choices by knowing which features you’re probably going to need for a specific use.
In any case, we usually don’t decide for a toilet because it has a big water tank, for example. We base our choice of what it need it for; be it if you want to know which is the best portable toilet for RVs or camping. Below you’ll find some rough features that are desirable for a specific outdoor activity.
Types Of Portable Toilets
Portable Toilets For Campers
Campers can be quite amazing but what’s usually not amazing about campers is a lack of a toilet. While some RVs have a toilet, almost none of the campers have one. It doesn’t really matter if we talk about travel trailer or popup camper – usually one the luxury ones come with microwaves and toilets.
By now you see why camping toilets are a great idea for campers. What should be the features of a portable toilet for campers? First of, it should be big and comfortable. Chances are you’re going to use it every day for longer periods of time and you want for the toilet to be comfortable and to have big tanks so you don’t have to clean the portable toilet or refill it with water all the time. This is all about comfortable living; on the other hand, if you go hiking, you just want to do your business and move on.
There are two things you want to make sure when buying a camper toilet:
- Should be comfortable (you’re going to use it daily for weeks on end).
- Where are you going to dispose of portable toilet waste? Make sure to notice the ‘black box’ for emptying an outdoor toilet when you park your camper at a camper park.
RVs And Toilets – Some Have Them, Others Need An Extra Toilet
Unlike campers, some RVs, even not the most deluxe ones, come with a toilet and you don’t need to buy an additional portable toilet. On the other hand, there are also some RVs that come without a toilet. In some cases that makes sense – a toilet, after all, can be unhygienic and contribute to an unsavory smell in the RV.
Also, make sure to notice the ‘black boxes’ on RV camps. Sooner or later you’ll have to ask where to empty the portable toilet waste – the ‘black boxes’ are the designated containers for portable toilet waste
Hiking Portable Toilets
Portable toilets for hiking are a completely different matter. Whereas you could afford to get a heavier toilet for camping or RVs, toilets that are best for hiking are small and, above all, lightweight.
When you go hiking, you pretty much have two options as far as your toilet needs are concerned: either bring a portable toilet or do your thing in the woods. Admittedly, more often than not hikers don’t want to be dragging a hiking toilet along. Chances are sooner or later you’ll find a toilet or just do your business in the woods.
The hikes where a portable toilet would come in useful are usually the ones where you camp on the way. It makes little sense to drag a toilet with you on a one-day hike. However, if you’re going to be in the wild for a few days and have a tent with you, a portable toilet for hiking could be a viable option.
Common sense says such a toilet should be light (under 10 lbs) and small (below 15x15x15 inches). The smaller and lighter portable toilet the better. Oh, and you usually don’t want a portable toilet with a water tank and fancy flushing system – that comes with a considerable addition to the weight you don’t want to carry on a hike.
Outdoor Toilet For Camping
What is really interesting about camping toilets for camping is that you can see pretty much the same kind of camping toilet on camping sites. No one really comes with just a bucket or the fancy flush portable toilets; everybody has a nice and decent, not too big and not too small, toilet.
What is the best tip for buying a portable toilet for camping?
Stay away from the small ones and stay away from the big ones. Everything in between is fair game. The average price of a camping toilet for camping is about $100. If you’re looking at a toilet with a price tag $150, you’re probably looking at a toilet more appropriate for campers or RVs.
Do You Even Need A Toilet On A Boat?
It’s easy to imagine why you don’t need a toilet on a boat. Being surrounded by water in all directions gives you at least a few options where to do your thing and flung it over the boat. But in some cases, a portable toilet for a boat is a smart idea.
The first thing is simple – you don’t really want everybody on the beach or a river bank to look at you while you’re trying to enjoy some privacy. Of course, if you’re in the middle of the ocean, the need for a boat toilet because this becomes less apparent.
The second thing is that you want some privacy and that includes the people on the boat. It doesn’t matter is there are only 2 people or 100 people on the boat; if you’re squatting over the water, chances are people will see you. It can also be a bit indecent.
Do You Use A Portable Toilet On Your Trips?
This is about it. If you have experience with portable toilets and would like to share them, you can comment below.
And the end of the day, doing your business outdoors might be awkward but considerably less so if you use a portable toilet. Some decency and privacy should be a part of every visit to the loo.