Best Portable Camping Toilets for Vans, Cars, and RVs (11 Facts)


Are you looking for the best portable camping toilets for vans, cars, and RVs? Well, look no more. We´ve got you covered.

Camping is a popular hobby for many people. It gives you a chance to leave the hubbub of the world and enjoy the beauty and fresh air of nature.

You can connect with wildlife and forget about technology, work, and your crazy commute. Camping is not the most luxurious vacation option, though.

Luckily, there are ways to bring the comforts of home into nature with you. You can turn a camping trip into a comfortable wilderness retreat.

There are many different kinds of portable camping toilets that will give you added comfort in the woods. Here is the list of the best portable camping toilets out there:

What is a Portable Toilet?

What is a portable toilet? A portable toilet is a toilet that you can bring with you and easily move between locations. Some require equipment to move. An example of those would be the porta-potties you see at many festivals and construction sites.

Those are likely not the options you will take with you while you are camping, though you may come across them at hiking sites.

Other portable toilets are options that are small and easy to clean. They do not require much water, so you will not use all of your water as you camp. They come in a wide variety, so there are plenty of options to help you find what will work best for you.

4 Types of Portable Camping Toilets (Explained)

Knowing the functions of the four main types of portable toilets will help you decide which option is right for your trip. Here are the 4 types of portable camping toilets:

  • Dry flush toilets
  • Folding toilets
  • Bucket toilets
  • Porta Potty

Dry Flush Toilets

Dry flush toilets are popular because, as the name implies, you do not need water to use them. They are self-contained, so they do not have drains or vents.

They do not require any chemicals. This makes them an easy choice if you will not have access to much potable water on your trip.

Dry flush toilets have liner bags that fill the bowl. After you use the toilet, you flush and the liner bag collapses and seals to prevent any leaks, spills, and/or smells.

Depending on the dry flush toilet you use, you may have more or fewer liners per cartridge, but on average, you can expect about 15 to 17 flushes before you will need a new cartridge.

Folding Toilets

Folding toilets are a simple way to give you more comfort while using the commode on the road. They are incredibly portable options because they fold up to a simple design.

Folding toilets are essentially toilet seats on some form of stool or stand. You will need to place a bag under the seat to collect the waste. Then seal up the bag, fold up the toilet, and get back on the road.

folding toilets
Folding toilet

Bucket Toilets

Bucket toilets are not a glamorous option, but they are very practical and very helpful if you need to pack out everything you pack into an area.

Bucket toilets are a bucket with a toilet seat added. They give you added comfort when you need to go, and they will collect all of the waste for you to dispose of later.

In general, bucket toilets are roughly the size of a 5-gallon bucket, so if you plan on packing it in and out, be prepared for the extra weight.

Porta Potty

Porta-potties will give you an experience most like using a regular toilet. Most porta potties use water, so they do flush.

Then they save the wastewater and you will need to dump it later. They are popular for people in RVs that do not come with toilets.

6 Reasons to Use a Portable Toilet

Bringing a portable toilet with you, rather than trying to find a toilet or wandering through the woods to find a secluded place, gives you more ease and comfort.

1. More Options for Disposing of the Waste

Portable toilets give you better options for disposing of waste. When using an RV toilet, you have to dump your black water tank, and this is a process that is stressful for most RV campers.

With a portable toilet, you can store waste in bags or other containers for easier disposal.

You also have the option to pack in/out waste along your trip if you are backpacking and trying to not leave any human waste. This makes portable toilets a great, comfortable option for backpackers and other campers.

2. Use it Where You Want To

Portable toilets let you go whenever you need to. You do not have to wander while trying to find a public toilet. You also can use it in the privacy of your RV or tent, so you do not have to worry about intrusions and strangers.

Portable toilets travel easily, so if you are staying in the middle of nowhere where there are no public toilets, you can have more comfort than is offered by the wilderness.

3. Less Expensive Than Many Other Options

There are so many portable camper toilet options that you do not have to break the bank to have a comfortable toilet on your trip. Folding toilets are small and easy to use. They also do not require fancy bags or cartridges, so they are fairly inexpensive.

Portable toilets are also much less expensive than spending the money to modify a camper that does not come with a toilet to have the added plumbing and toilets necessary.

4. It’s a Great Backup Toilet

Sometimes you need a backup toilet. This could be because the water and/or power are out at your house. Perhaps your toilet or bathroom is under construction and is currently out of order.

If you have a portable toilet, these problems do not have to be a problem.

Portable toilets are great to have around in case anything ever happens to the toilet in your house. You can also use them if you are traveling and have an emergency when there is no access to a toilet.

5. Safety Reasons

Portable toilets let you stay close while still having the comfort of a toilet. You do not have to wander through the woods to find a secluded place to use the bathroom.

You are far less likely to be attacked by an animal if you can use your portable toilet inside your vehicle. You also will not run into any unsavory characters.

Plus, you will not need to wander through the wilderness at night, risking tripping or stumbling through poison ivy in a quest to find a bathroom.

camping toilets

6. Sanitary Conditions Can Be Controlled Inside Your Vehicle

Public toilets can be…horrifying. If you want to have control over the cleanliness of your bathroom, a portable camper toilet gives you that option.

You can control how often the toilet is cleaned. You know who is using it. You have control over what goes into it and how often it is emptied.

This can help keep things cleaner and safer for you and your fellow travelers.

How Much Does a Portable Toilet Cost?

The cost of a portable toilet will depend on which type of portable toilet you buy. Porta potties and dry flush toilets use more technology, so they will be more expensive. Folding toilets and bucket toilets are much more budget-friendly options.

How Much Does a Portable Toilet Cost? Dry flush toilets and porta potties usually cost around 150 dollars. More luxury options that come with higher pressure options or built-in toilet paper holders can cost more, around 300 dollars.

Bucket toilets cost around 15 to 20 dollars, so they are a much less expensive option. Folding toilets cost between 15 and 30 dollars, so they are equally friendly for your wallet.

Keep in mind that while these price ranges are general, there are options available with more amenities. Those amenities will come with an added price.

Best Portable Camping Toilets for Vans, Cars, and RVs

Thetford Porta Potti

The Thetford Porta Potti is a popular option, available on Amazon. It has high ratings and is a practical option.

✔️ This portable toilet has plenty of pros. It has an ergonomic handle that makes it easy for carrying with you. It also is easy to remove the waste from this toilet, because it has a rotating pour-out spout.

✔️ This portable toilet can last for about 50 flushes before you need to empty it, so you will not need to constantly be stopping to unload.

✔️ This particular porta potty can hold four gallons of fresh water and 5.5 gallons of wastewater. It has a large bowl, and it is designed to be comfortable when you use it.

❌ On the downside, if you plan on using this porta-potty while camping, it is heavy to lug in four gallons of freshwater for it.

You also have to use toilet chemicals in the black water tank of this toilet, which adds extra time, hassle, and expense.

❌ While the unit itself is light and easy to carry with you, the plastic is of course lighter and thus more prone to break.

This option also does have several moving parts, with the top, a freshwater tank, a black water tank, and a pour-out spout. This can make the pouring-out process more complicated at times.

Camco and Dometic Portable Travel Toilet

This is another simple to use and popular option for a travel toilet. When empty, it weighs around 11 pounds, so it will not become a burden to bring along with you.

✔️ This portable toilet can hold 5.3 gallons of wastewater, and the waste holding tank is removable for easy cleaning and dumping. The seat on this model is larger than other models, so it is a particularly comfortable option.

✔️ The lid is also removable, so it is an especially easy toilet to clean. The clean water flush option makes this a more luxurious option than a folding toilet or a bucket toilet.

You will need to use chemicals in the waste holding tank, which is an added expense. It also can be difficult to buy appropriate amounts for a tank of this size, so you may end up with lots of leftover storage tank chemicals.

❌ Because the tanks are removable, you have to monitor to make sure that they are well-attached, or they may leak. Some users do report issues with leaks around the holding tank, which is a major con of this particular model.

❌ Others suggest this issue could be caused by cold weather, so if you regularly travel in cold areas, you will need to watch for leakage.

Luggable Loo

The Luggable Loo is a positively-reviewed portable bucket toilet. This particular bucket toilet holds 5 gallons.

✔️ There are plenty of reasons that the Luggable Loo could work for you. It costs just under 20 dollars, so it is great if you are looking for an easy, budget-friendly option.

✔️ The lid snaps on for easy closure. It is also compatible with many portable toilet bags, so you can use those (for an added expense) to save yourself some of the hassles of cleaning out the Luggable Loo.

The Luggable Loo has a handle, so it is easy to transport. There is also a 5-year warranty, which can give you added peace of mind when you are selecting a portable toilet.

❌ This is not as comfortable of an option as many other portable toilets, but it is more affordable. There also may be weight limits associated with the usage of this portable toilet, so you may need to look at the model you want and make sure it will work for you.

❌ Another downside is it is just made of plastic so it is not as sturdy. Plus, if you use plastic bags to line it, there is a larger environmental impact.

Cleanwaste Go Anywhere

✔️ The Cleanwaste Go Anywhere is a folding camping toilet. It folds to the size of a briefcase for easy travel, and it only weighs seven pounds. When unfolded, it is roughly the height of a regular toilet, which will give you added comfort.

✔️ The Cleanwaste Go Anywhere can support up to 500 pounds. This particular toilet is also permitted by the Bureau of Land Management for areas where carrying out waste is required.

This can make it an easy option for those who want to get into the wilderness.

✔️ When you buy the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere, it comes with a starting kit. The kit includes a waste bag, a gelling and deodorizing agent, a disposal bag, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer.

❌ One downside is, this toilet is meant to be used with the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Kit. This is an added expense, and you will need to make sure you have enough kits to last throughout your trip. Using bags every time you use the toilet is also not an environmentally-friendly option.

❌ On top of that, the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere is not the most comfortable portable toilet on the market today, and it costs about 80 dollars. Do not forget that you will have the additional cost of the toilet kits that will need replacing as you go.

Green Elephant Portable Toilet Tent

✔️ This portable toilet tent is a great option for anyone looking to improve their portable toilet. It does not include a toilet, but it can be added to any of these portable toilet options for increased privacy.

✔️ It is 6 feet 10 inches tall, so you have room to change clothes in it if you need to.

✔️ There is plenty of space inside for a portable toilet, so if you want to keep the toilet outside of your vehicle, but still want added privacy and weather protection, this is a fantastic option for you. It comes with tent stakes, so you do not need to worry about it tipping over and/or flying away. It also comes with a rain cover.

❌ This is one of the more expensive options for pop-up tents. Part of that is because it comes with many accessories and areas to hang clothes and/or flashlights.

It is a spacious option, but that does mean that it weighs slightly more than other available options.

Keep in mind that you will have to walk to the pod whenever you want to use it, so there is still a chance to be soaked by rain or encounter an animal when using this portable toilet tent.

Wrappon Waterless Toilet

The Wrappon Waterless Toilet is a toilet that requires no water. It is a particularly sanitary option and it is very easy to use.

✔️ It uses power, so you will need to have a power source for it. Luckily, though, there are several options available for powering it. You can use an 110V AC outlet, the 12V DC socket of a vehicle, or a Lithium-ion battery.

✔️This option is very portable. It will take up the space of an added suitcase.

This toilet is a fantastic option because it will wrap the waste for you. It is incredibly easy to use and to keep sanitary. It also is easy to deodorize, so you can use it in any vehicle comfortable.

The biggest downside to this option is its price tag. It handles most of the work for you, but that comes at a cost of a whopping 989 dollars. This is a better option for someone who will use it regularly and get their money’s worth out of it.

How Much Does It Cost to Empty a Porta Potty?

Porta potties are great for campsites, concerts, and parks. Renting a porta potty is an easy way to make sure that you have enough facilities for any event you have. The cost to rent a porta potty depends on the location and the style of the porta-potty.

How Much Does It Cost to Empty a Porta Potty? On average you can expect price between $175 for a standard porta potty to up to $800 for a Deluxe-porta potty.

A standard porta potty will cost around 175 to 275 dollars per day, with prices varying based on weekend usage and location.

A handicap-accessible porta potty will cost around 225 to 300 dollars per day.

Deluxe porta-potties (that include sinks and other features) will cost 400 to 800 dollars per day to rent. Those prices are all for short-term rentals. Renting for longer periods will result in reduced prices.

Type of Porta PottyCost per day (USD)
Standard Porta Potty175 – 275
Handicap-Accessible225 – 300
Deluxe Porta Potty400 – 800

Most rental porta potty prices include the cost of sanitation and cleaning. This will include the process of emptying the porta-potty. If you are using a long-term rental, this service is probably offered weekly. You should confirm with the rental agency about details for your particular rental.

What is a Chemical (Cassette) Camping Toilet?

What is a Chemical Cassette Camping Toilet? A cassette camping toilet is a toilet that is built into a van or camper, but it has a portable black water tank. It is particularly common in class B motorhomes.

Class B motorhomes are roughly the size of a paneled van.

Chemical toilets are popular because they add extra ease to the RV septic system. The portable tanks are easier to maintain, and they are especially easy to empty at dump stations.

The portable tanks can also be dumped in bathrooms, which is great if you need to empty the tank but cannot find a dump station.


How Does a Camping Cassette Toilet Work?

How Does a Camping Cassette Toilet Work? Cassette toilets are self-contained. They do not use pipes to connect to a larger septic system or holding area. Instead, the toilet has holding tanks. One tank holds freshwater, which is used for flushing. The other tank holds “black” water, which is water that contains human waste.

Beyond the holding tanks, a cassette toilet will look very similar to a regular toilet. They have seats, lids, and bowls.

When it is time to empty the black water tank, you can remove the black water tank and separate it from the rest of the toilet. Since these toilets are designed for this, the process is usually quite easy.

Once you have removed the black water tank, you can dump the contents into a public toilet or a dump station.

Most cassette toilets have indicators for when they are almost out of fresh water and/or for when the black water holding tank is almost full.

Caravan Toilet Operation & Preparing Cassette – How does It work? >> Check out the video below:

How to Empty a Cassette Toilet Waste Reservoir

How to Empty a Cassette Toilet Waste Reservoir? Most cassette toilets have an indicator light or marker that will tell you when you need to empty the black water (wastewater) reservoir. When this happens, you will need to find a public bathroom or dump station to dump your wastewater.

Simply remove the black water holding tank from your cassette toilet. It is usually held in place with a latch to make sure that it does not spill while you are on the road. Once you have detached it, find where it opens.

Many cassette toilets have a nozzle that folds out to make the emptying process quick and easy. Others simply have caps that open to allow you to dump the waste. Empty the waste in a collection tank at a dump station, or in a public toilet, flush, and replace the waste reservoir on your toilet.

How to Prep and Dump a Composting Toilet >> Check out the video below:

What is a Portable Composting Toilet?

What is a Portable Composting Toilet? A portable composting toilet is a form of portable toilet that uses no water. Usually, it has tanks to separate liquid and solid waste. The liquid waste can easily be dumped out in a toilet. Separating the liquid and solid waste prevents the waste from turning into sewage.

Then you combine the solid with peat moss or something else organic that will help dry it out and aid the decomposition. Over time, the waste will break down and it can be used as fertilizer. This is a great option for people looking to cut down on waste and find truly eco-friendly ways to camp.

How Does a Portable Composting Toilet Work?

How Does a Portable Composting Toilet Work? Composting toilets recycle human waste and turn it into fertilizer. It is designed to create an environment that will dry out the waste without helping bacteria grow. It is also designed to be safe and sanitary without odor.

Composting toilets have a compartment that combines a peat mixture and human waste. Most units then have a handle that you can turn to aerate the mixture, thus helping dry the waste, without entirely drying out the bacteria.

This extra aeration lets the waste break down quickly. It also helps prevent extra odor from escaping into your living space. Composting toilets also have methods to help preserve some warmth, which is important for the bacteria breaking down the waste.

Next, you can remove the compartment with the mixture. You can remove the fertilizer from the compartment and use it to fertilize whatever you wish.

COMPOSTING TOILETS 101: Separett Review & How To Empty It >> Check out the video below:

How to Dump a Composting Toilet

How to Dump a Composting Toilet? Composting toilets turn human waste into fertilizer. It is much easier to empty than the black water tank on other portable toilets, and the waste smells much better. The waste will be stored separately. Liquid waste will be stored in a different container than solid waste.

Liquid waste should be emptied at a dumping station. It can also be dumped in a public toilet. No matter where you empty the liquid waste, you should be sure that it is away from any waterways and storm sewers.

To dump the solid waste, you can add it to a compost pile. The compost itself will still need to keep developing and breaking down until it is formally compost. Add the solid waste (and peat mixture) to a compost pile or a trash receptacle.

Portable Travel Toilet for Camping and Hiking

Portable travel toilets can make hiking and camping easier and more luxurious. They come in several varieties, including some that use water for flushing, some that do not use any water at all, bucket toilets, and folding toilets.

When using a portable toilet for hiking or camping, you need to consider if you are staying somewhere where you have to take everything in and out with you. Those locations will work best with bucket toilets or folding toilets with bags to collect the waste.

Remember that many of these toilets will need chemicals to help treat the waste. You will also need to bring potable water if you are using a toilet that requires water to flush.

Take note that some of these toilets can be dumped in any toilet, whereas others need to be dumped in specific dump station locations.

Reliance Luggable Loo Portable Toilet: What You Need to Know

The Luggable Loo is a bucket toilet. It can hold up to five gallons of waste. It is compatible with many other brands of plastic bags, which can make disposing of the waste easier.

The lid snaps shut. This can protect you from splashes and leaks as you travel. If your Luggable Loo tips over, as long as the lid is properly attached, you should be safe. Remember that the lid is detachable, so if you remove it, you will want to re-attach it carefully to prevent spills.

The seat has a 400-pound weight capacity. Putting more weight onto the seat can damage the bucket and/or the seat of the Luggable Loo.

The seat can fit onto other 5-gallon buckets in some circumstances, so if something happens to the bucket, you are not out of luck. This is also a very popular budget-friendly option.

Portable Camping Toilet Tent

Portable camping toilet tents are perfect for giving you extra privacy while you use your portable toilet. The tents are taller than most camping tents, so there is room for you to stand up after using the toilet.

The tents obscure the view of anyone passing by so you can use your toilet in privacy. At night, if you plan to use a bright light, be aware that some shadows may show. However, those shadows will not be very precise due to the thick tent surrounding.

Many portable camping toilet tents will also offer protection from the weather, so you can avoid getting soaked while you do your business.

Portable Toilets for Indoor Use

Portable toilets are safe for indoor use. Remember, though, that folding toilets and other waterless options may not be the best at preventing odor.

When using your portable toilet inside, you will need to regularly clean it and sanitize it to keep everything clean and fresh.

Portable Toilet for the Elderly

Portable toilets are great for elderly people who live on their own and struggle to make it to the bathroom safely. You will need to check regularly and offer assistance to make sure it is cleaned and emptied.

A portable toilet that uses water is a better option for the elderly because they are more sanitary, and closer to a regular house toilet.

Small Portable Camping Toilet

Portable camping toilets are great for adding a little more comfort to your stay in nature. They are also great to have as a backup in case anything happens to the toilet in your house.

Many of the smallest portable options are less luxurious, but that does not mean you cannot find a great portable toilet that fits your needs.

Folding toilets are the easiest portable toilets to transport. They are essentially a stool with a toilet seat. You attach a garbage bag or bucket to collect the waste to be properly disposed of.

There are foldable options that will collapse to the size of a briefcase, so you can easily store them in your home, tent, or RV without sacrificing weight and space for gear.

Folding toilets cost around 20 dollars. If you are looking for a more luxurious option, there are slightly larger (but still compact) flushable toilets on the market for about 50 to 75 dollars.

Portable Camper Toilets FAQs

Let’s close out this page about portable camper toilets with answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions about them!

Do Portable Camping Toilets Smell?

Do Portable Camping Toilets Smell? Yes, some portable camping toilets will smell. It depends on which model you use and how often you clean it. Most portable toilets that flush are less prone to smell. However, some include these for the black water tanks or bags and they will stop the smell from permeating into your tent or camper.

You can also check to see if your model of toilet comes with a deodorizing liquid or powder to add to the waste.

How Do I Stop My Camping Toilet from Smelling?

How Do I Stop My Camping Toilet from Smelling? There are several things you can do to prevent smells from your portable toilet. Make sure to keep the lid down and the black water tank closed. Always be sure to keep your toilet clean.

You may want to bring wipes or a cleaner that you can use throughout your trip. You can also buy deodorizers for camping toilets that will prevent the smell caused by the waste.

How Much Waste Can a Portable Toilet Hold?

Different models of portable toilets have varying sizes of wastewater storage. You can check the specifications for your particular model.

So, how Much Waste Can a Portable Toilet Hold? In general, though, portable toilets can hold between 3 and 5 gallons of waste. If you are using a folding toilet or a bucket toilet, it will hold as much waste as the bag or bucket can safely hold.

How Often Do You Empty a Camping Toilet?

How Often Do You Empty a Camping Toilet? In general, you can expect to need to empty your camping toilet every 2 to 3 days. However, it will depend on how often you use it and for what kind of waste. Some people do not use camping toilets for solid waste. If you do this, you will not need to empty your toilet as often.

If your toilet has an indicator level to show when it is almost full, always empty before you reach that point.

Can You Throw Human Waste in the Garbage?

Can You Throw Human Waste in the Garbage? No, it is not safe to throw human waste in the garbage without any precautionary steps or treatments. This can also be illegal in some places.

You can buy chemicals to add to waste that will render it inert, and then it is often safe. You can also look for proper sewage disposal locations near you.

What Do You Do With Toilet Paper?

What Do You Do With Toilet Paper? Most campers using portable toilets opt to throw toilet paper in the garbage. You can bag it in a plastic bag to avoid contamination and/or smells from affecting the rest of your environment.

Some portable toilets will allow you to flush toilet paper, but this can make them harder to clean.

What is the Blue Liquid in Porta Potties?

What is the Blue Liquid in Porta Potties? The blue liquid in porta-potties is a deodorizer. It also contains a disinfectant. It helps keep the environment in the porta-potty more sanitary. It can also help porta-potties last longer without smelling terrible. 

Can You Use Cat Litter for Camping Toilets?

Can You Use Cat Litter for Camping Toilets? Yes, cat litter is safe to use in camping toilets without water like folding toilets and bucket toilets. It will help absorb liquid and prevent some of the smells that can come with these toilets.

Are Bears Attracted to Portable Toilets?

Are Bears Attracted to Portable Toilets? No, in general, bears are not attracted to the smell of portable toilets. This is a relief for many who camp in the woods. Bears are much more likely to be attracted to the smell of food or garbage than portable toilets.

Is Throwing Away Dirty Diapers Illegal?

Is Throwing Away Dirty Diapers Illegal? No, it is not illegal to throw away dirty diapers. However, when disposing of dirty diapers, you should carefully wrap them in plastic, particularly if you are using public garbage.

Biodegradable doggy bags are a great option for this.

Why Do Humans Have to Wipe but Dogs Do Not?

Why Do Humans Have to Wipe but Dogs Do Not? The main reason humans have to wipe but dogs do not is the way we walk. Anatomically, humans walk upright while dogs walk on four legs. This means the position of the excretion is closer to the thighs and buttocks and sandwiched between them in humans, whereas it is more separate in dogs.


Portable camping toilets are perfect for anyone looking for more comfort while camping. They are easy to use and generally inexpensive.

There are plenty of ways to help control the smell, so you can enjoy the comfort of a toilet without the smell of a porta-potty filling your tent or camper.


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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