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Best Portable Toilets of 2023

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Whether you live in a camper van, a small RV, or just want to have a nice place to poop while tent camping, a portable camping toilet is essential!

But what’s the best portable toilet? Which one should you buy, and why? Composting toilet or chemical toilet? What about a DIY solution?

We answer all these questions and more in this guide to portable toilets! Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

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DIY Portable Toilets

Let’s face it, if you don’t have to take a dump, you don’t really need a portable toilet.

Guys are able to go wherever and, thanks to the SheWee, girls can too!

But, there are times when you really need to go and you just want to take a load off while you do. 

If you’re feeling crafty, you could make your own portable toilet out of a bucket, a lawn chair, or attach a makeshift porta potty to the back of your camper, like in the image below:

portable toilet

How to Make a Portable Toilet

All you need to make a portable toilet is a good bucket, a plastic bag, and a pool noodle (for comfort).

Check out this video by The King of Random to see how to make your own porta-potty:

Don’t have time to watch the video right now? 

Not a problem! Here’s what you need:

5-gallon bucket, Pool noodle, Garbage bags, Toilet paper

Tug the handle off of the bucket on one side (and bend it with pliers to get it on and off easier). This is where you’ll put your toilet paper – if you’d rather carry your toilet paper, you can skip this step.

You’ll need to use a drill to make new holes for the handle, as the toilet paper roll is thick and won’t be able to fit with the pre-punctured holes. 

Next, you’ll need to line the 5-gallon bucket with a trash bag. Then, grab your pool noodle, cut off a 3′ piece, and carefully slice it on the side (to open the noodle).

Place the sliced pool noodle on the makeshift portable toilet and you’re good to go!

As long as there isn’t any waste in the bucket, you can use this as a storage unit while traveling, too!

Bucket Toilets

If you don’t want to make your own, you’re able to purchase pre-made bucket toilets.

The good thing about these are they come, well, made for you! The downfall is they can be pricey. 

Though, when you think about it, you’ll probably spend the same amount on a pre-made one as you would to make a DIY one.

Here’s an example of a pre-made portable toilet:

Chemical (Cassette) Camping Toilets

Cassette toilets are pretty much like the toilets you have in your home – you flush your waste down the drain!

Well, they’re almost like the toilets you have at home. The only difference is you have to clean out your waste at the end of the day.

But, they’re able to fit inside a camper van and are perfect for camping, hiking, and long road trips!

Let’s briefly talk about camping cassette toilets and how they work.

How Does A Camping Cassette Toilet Work?

To understand how a camping cassette toilet works, you need to know what comes with it:

  • Fresh water holding tank
  • Water pump
  • A detachable waste tank

So, how do you use it? 

Before anything, you have to fill the fresh water holding tank with water and fill the waste tank with some toilet disinfectant. 

After that, you can go about your business and flush your waste! Clean it when you’re finished (or after a few uses) and you’re done.

One of the best things about these portable toilets is that there’s little to no smell after using them (which is a plus if you forget to empty them before a long drive).

How To Empty A Cassette Toilet Waste Reservoir

Simply detach the waste tank from the toilet and pour the waste into a proper waste area (you can also pour the waste into an actual porta potty).

Wash with soap and water and latch it back onto the toilet when you’re finished!

Best Chemical Toilets

If you want a chemical toilet, I recommend:

Portable Composting Toilets

Composting toilets are an environmentally friendly way to use the bathroom while on the road.

These portable toilets are made with no chemicals, they’re lightweight, and they’re known to smell better than a regular toilet (weird, right?).

How Does A Portable Composting Toilet Work?

One of the coolest things about composting toilets is there are two “trap doors”. One is for liquid (your pee), whereas the other is for solids (poop).

Because of this, you don’t get that nasty smell (you know, the one you smell inside a porta potty).

And, any smell that you would get is blown out of the toilet thanks to a small fan! 

So, how do you properly use one of these portable toilets?

When you just have to pee, all you need to do is sit down and aim for the two holes near the front end (trust me, it’s easier than it sounds – that’s where your pee will naturally fall).

When you have to poop, there’s a lever on the side of the toilet that opens a sort of “trap door” to, well, trap your poop! Just make sure you close it when you’re finished.

One more thing – you’ll need to purchase coconut fiber or peet moss (this is what your poop will fall into and helps it break down into compost!

Our Biggest Tip: After you’ve gone, it’s a good idea to use some water and vinegar to clean the toilet (you can dump it down the pee holes).

For a more in-depth look at what to expect from a composting toilet, check out this video from Gone With the Wynns:

How To Dump A Composting Toilet

Before I explain anything, hear me out…

With a composting toilet, you never need to worry about emptying your black tank again.

Just let that sink in for a minute. 

Okay, let’s continue.

To dump your pee, pull out the liquid tank and find a place to empty it.

You can dump it virtually anywhere, too! Down the shower drain, inside of a porta potty, or down into a real toilet! 

Once you’ve emptied your liquid, rinse with a bit of water (you only need enough to cover the bottom), give it a swirl, and dump that too! Place the liquid tank into its rightful place and wash your hands.

Dumping your poop is fairly simple to do, too!

All you need to do is unlatch the top of the toilet (the seat) and slide it off of the bracket. Remove the liquid tank, place a garbage bag (or compost bag) over the waste tank, turn it upside down, and give it a good shake.

Refill your waste tank and reattach the top of the toilet (don’t forget to put the liquid tank back in, too).

Gone With the Wynns has an incredibly informative video on this, too! Check it out:

Best Composting Toilets

Ready to get a composting toilet? Here’s our favorite:

In Other Words…

Using the bathroom in the wild doesn’t have to be dirty. You don’t have to dig a hole in the middle of the woods to do your business anymore!

Have you ever used a portable toilet? Which is your favorite method? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget the toilet paper!

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