Why every van needs a portable campervan toilet
One of the most challenging aspects of vanlife can be finding a restroom. In fact, as we’re all aware, no other issue feels quite as urgent.
The solution? A portable campervan toilet.
So even if I’m headed for a campground with great restroom facilities or even planning to stay some nights in motels, I always carry a portable campervan toilet.
Campervan Porta Potty Top Picks at a glance
What is the best toilet for a campervan?
We recorded an episode of The Campervan Podcast that answers this question. Please take a few minutes to listen to the show.
If you like it, please subscribe. Here’s a link with subscription and listening options.
That public restroom may not be very clean
Gas stations, restaurants, truck stops and rest stop toilets can be hit or miss with regard to how clean they are and some tend to be very dirty.
I’m not over the top with regard to cleanliness, but I am mindful of staying clean on the road and don’t feel the need to risk getting sick.
And if there’s family, kids, friends involved, I’m extra careful and definitely don’t take chances.
It’s worth it to have a campervan toilet to avoid less than clean public options.
Quick, convenient toilet use, any time, any place
Just pull over, climb in back, problem solved. No searching, no extra driving, no stress.
The time it can take to find a public facility can throw off your itinerary or even get you lost.
Hoping for a rest stop, gas station or truck stop to come along is a gamble that doesn’t always pay off.
Will they let you use their toilet?
With van life on the rise everywhere, gas stations and restaurants are less and less likely to let random travelers use facilities for free.
“Restrooms are for customers only” signs are more common than ever on the road.
Pretty sure some places bank on travelers needing a toilet and being forced to make a purchase. How many random packs of gum or bottles of water does one van need
I like to think that this one advantage, not having to make unnecessary purchases, has paid for my campervan portable toilet.
It’s 3 am, do you know where your toilet is?
Some of you don’t need this one explained. I’m talking to the very special club known as “men over 40”.
But it’s not only those of us with aging prostates needing a late night tinkle.
Kids, moms and pretty much everyone needs some middle-of-the-night-relief from time to time and that’s no time to be wandering off across the campground to the public restroom, or out into the woods.
Campervan porta potty feature options
You can always tell how crucial a campervan accessory is by how many brands and types of products are on the market, and campervan toilets are one such accessory.
When it comes time to choose one, perhaps there even too many toilets for campervans.
And that’s what this article is all about: simplifying the process of choosing a toilet that’s just right for you.
So fear not and read on, the Van Sage has got you covered with all the details.
Flushing Portable Campervan Toilets
campervan portable toilets are fully self contained with fresh and waste water tanks. These include cassette style portable toilets.
We’re surprised how well these work and, if you’ve got the space in your van, this is one of our top picks.
Most like home: Designed to provide familiar comfort and a satisfying flush.
- Clean: The waste is contained in a tank, so there’s little or no odor.
- The waste tank fills up and needs to be dumped.
- Mid range in size and price.
Just like it sounds; a disposable bag is attached under the seat that gets tied off and thrown out after use.
Some vanners will add some kitty litter to the bag so they can get a few uses out of a bag.
- Simple: No fancy moving parts or needing to get water. Just use it and throw out the bag.
- Inexpensive options available.
- Often collapsible, easy to fold up and store away. Easy to set up outside the van at the camp site.
Campervan Cassette Toilet
- Cassette refers to a tank section that can be easily removed for emptying and cleaning. Some cassette toilets have a lower section that slides out, other are held on to the upper section of the toilet with clips.
- Some cassette toilets are designed to be removed from outside the van, requiring modification to the van. This allows for the cassette to be cleaned outside the van.
Campervan Composting Toilet
The Cadillac’s of portable campervan toilets. They break down and compost human waste through bacterial activity that results in a very clean, no-odor system.
They cost more than the others but, Cadillac style, Cadillac price.
- There’s a learning curve that includes adding a microbe mix and other sciency stuff, but it’s pretty straightforward and worth the effort.
- A composting campervan toilet sits taller than the other types so if you’ve got a low roof van, you might want to avoid these or plan on using them outside the van in a tent.
Can you use a composting toilet in a campervan?
Yes you can. Please give a listen to our episode of The Campervan Podcast that answers this question.
Bucket portable campervan toilets
- DIY and commercial options available
- Cheapest, simplest
- Typically single use then need to be emptied.
- Least expensive and simplest to use, but not always the most stable.
Privacy tents are a great addition to your portable toilet for outside-the-van privacy.
Check out our Campervan awning tents article, which can also provide the necessary privacy to use your campervan toilet.
Our Portable Campervan Toilet Top Picks
★ VanSage Top Pick. We love this portable campervan toilet for its brilliant design, portability and innovative odor elimination system.
|Two sizes to fit your family and offgrid vanlife needs. The comfortable lid and tank indicator make it a top option among campervan toilets.
|This bare bones campervan portable toilet serves the most basic urge without frills, complexity and does it all at a great price.
★ VanSage Top Pick. Smart design, compact size and easy waste disposal. This campervan toilet takes simplicity to the next level, and at a great price.
★ VanSage Top Pick. The Cadillac of campervan toilets, this product is loved by vanlife travelers for its remarkable ability to break down solid waste into odor-free, easy to dispose of compost.
|The essence of innovative campervan porta potty design, function and all at a reasonable price.
The WolfWise Pop-up privacy tent is made of high-quality material that’s waterproof and durable.
It’s great for a campervan shower.
It’s reliable in windy conditions. The polyester fabric in black and silver coating can protect you from UV rays.
Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to have a private place to change clothes and take a shower.
The mesh roof and window allows good air circulation and it’s equipped with a hanging pouch to store small things like your keys or phone.
No complex assemble since it pops up in seconds. The “T” style door makes it easier to go in and out of the tent.
When opened, the dimension of this tent is 47.24*47.24*78.74. When folded into a flat circle, it’s 25 x 25 inches.
Campervan Porta Potty Recap
You can’t rely on rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and truck stops for your restroom needs.
Public restrooms tend to be dirty. It’s nice to have your own clean toilet, any time you need it.
A flushing cassette toilet is a great choice for comfort and middle of the road price.
For the ultimate in simplicity and lowest cost, consider a bag toilet with a folding frame.
Composting campervan toilets are considered the high end.
Thanks for reading!
Questions or Comments about a campervan portable toilet?
Please leave your questions in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you and we’ll do our best to answer or find a resource for you.