RV Camping Essentials: Your Guide to Choosing a Portable Toilet
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RV Camping Essentials: Your Guide to Choosing a Portable Toilet

portable camping toilet
Source: mashable.com

Camping can be an amazing experience for everyone. Propping up the tent and settling down by the lake is awesome, but have you thought about doing it with an RV?

This is a better option for many reasons. It gives you the opportunity to travel and change locations as often as you want without having to pack and unpack at every station. You can enjoy your stay without sleeping on the ground, feeling uncomfortable and sweating or feeling cold. It’s also a safer option when a storm comes along, as it will keep you warm and dry. Instead of paying the full hotel price to be settled by a waterfront, you can park at a camp resort or at the park for a significantly lower price.

But in order for your stay to feel comfortable, you need to prepare properly. Besides having the standard essential camping equipment, you should also think about going to the loo. Luckily, with an RV, you have the option to consider the range of portable RV toilets.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Porta-Potty

Buying a caravan toilet is not as simple as it seems. There are a few things you need to take into consideration before you go shopping. It’s best to make a list and check out everything you need for the toilet.

Flushing or Not?

This decision depends on the number of people that are going camping and how much money you want to spend. A regular non-flushing bucket will cost less than a flushing one. If there are just 2 people travelling and only for a couple of days there’s no need to buy a flushing toilet. But, if the group is larger, 5-6 people for example, and they’re going camping for 2 weeks, you should consider the flushing option because you’ll need something more substantial.


There are different toilet sizes, and again, it depends on the length of the journey and the number of people. A small family will need a 10l one. But a bigger group requires a 20l tank to fit all the waste without any issues.


You have the ability to place these portable toilets anywhere you want. For example, if you have small children, you can use them inside the RV. Adults can use it inside as well if they have a privacy screen or some kind of blanket to drape over and separate it from the rest of the rooms.

If you’re using it outside, combine it with a stand-alone toilet tent you can also use as a shower tent, and have complete privacy. You don’t necessarily have to place these portable toilets next to the RV, but you don’t want to go far in the middle of the night.

What About Disposal?

Before going camping, make sure that the places you’ll visit will have a disposal point. You would have to empty it at some point and you can’t just dump it in the forest along the way. Pull out the tank, take the cap off and dispose of the contents in specially designed places. Most of these places have a washing station for you to clean the tank.

Types of Toilets

Bucket Style

portable bucket camping toilet
Source: sprintervanusa.com

This is the basic type of portable toilet. They’re practical because they don’t take up much space. Their simple design, a bucket with a seat and lid, lets you use it as a storage as well (when you’re not using it of course). Compared to the flushing type, this one is lighter so you can carry it with ease. Another good thing is their price. They’re budget-friendly and won’t cost you a fortune.

It’s probably best to use it as an emergency, night-time loo because it’s not ideal for solid waste. This is due to the fact that it’s not sealed. If you tip it over by accident, there will be a big mess that needs vigorous cleaning. Some people use cat litter or chemicals inside to tone down the smell. When you empty it at a specific spot, make sure your mouth is closed in case of a splashback.

Flushing Toilet

These types of toilets are bulkier than bucket-style ones, so make sure you have enough space to transport them with you. They come in many different sizes and their price may vary depending on the size and function. They’re very stable so there’s less chance that you’ll knock them over and spill the contents. They’re easy to dispose of, but in case you don’t have anywhere to dispose of them, you can safely transport them to your home. They’re sturdy and will keep the RV or the car clean. If you’re using the right chemicals, you can be sure there won’t be any smells. Just be careful about the type of toilet paper you use, because it can get clogged.

What Chemicals to Use?

It may be scary or confusing for some people about what chemicals to use in their portable RV toilets but the truth is, it’s not that complicated. Basically, there are 2 types of chemicals with blue and pink colours that do the job. The blue one is used for the waste tank. It has 3 main functions:

  • Break down the waste;
  • Keep odour under control;
  • Reduce the build-up of gasses.

This is a chemical that you can’t forget when you’re going camping. It liquefies the waste and makes disposal and cleaning much easier.

The pink chemical is there to deodorise and keep the bowl clean after you use it. You pour it into the flush-water tank and it also lubricates the unit’s bottom seals. You don’t have to use the same brand chemicals necessarily, but it’s recommendable.

You can pre-mix them in the water before putting them in the bowls for your convenience. You can find these chemicals in both liquid and tablet forms.

What About Toilet Paper?

special toilet paper for portable camping toilet
Source: thecrazyoutdoormama.com

It doesn’t matter which chemicals and which toilet design you’ll use as long as you have the proper toilet paper. Avoid using the regular one because it can clog the toilet, make a mess and even damage the unit. This specialised toilet paper doesn’t contain chemicals, dyes or fragrances. It dissolves quickly and avoids clogs, making the loo safer to use and much cleaner.

In Summary

A portable RV toilet is truly a must-have for every camper that stays out in the open for a longer time. It provides comfort and gives them a sense of security. It may seem strange at the beginning but when you get used to it, it’ll be much easier.

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