The Best Portable Toilets For Camping Tested & Reviewed
The most suitable portable camping toilet will be one that combines comfort, durability and ease of use and maintenance all in one portable package. With a little bit of creative research, you could have a toilet that functions the same on the go as the one you have at home. That is the ultimate goal, even if it seems like a high achievement. With all of the choices on the list, the price won’t be the only thing that holds an interest for potential buyers.
Capacity: 5.3 Gallons
Weight: 11.5 lbs
Intended Environment: General camping / RV camping
What We Like: The system is built with a sliding valve that seals nicely to stop leaks, and keep odors of the content contained where they belong.
What We Don’t: Unfortunately the distance from the seat to the bowl’s bottom isn’t very deep. That is definitely one improvement that would be nice to see. However, this is a compact, portable unit, so it is an understandable sacrifice.
Camco is a name that will be on the list a lot, with their popular brand taking up the bulk of the spots. Quality is their first concern with ease of use coming in as a close second. Most people will be content with the price since it rides on the low end. There won’t be a lot of trouble if price is your main concern with this model.
The brand is really one of the best on the list, and it was mentioned before that they’re on this list multiple times. Worldwide, The brand is respected for its ability to create exceptionally durable and well designed products. The size of the user is going to make a big difference in how comfortable this is to sit on. Because the bowl isn’t deep, some men will have issues when using it in a squatting position.
With a bello-type flush, the actual build quality holds up well over time. A spring loaded release valve would have really added to the overall construction quality, but it’s fine as is. There is no doubt that this is the best on the list, even if the lack of a deep bowl can cause some issues. The most important thing is that it is easy to clean, dump, and set up for any occasion.
Capacity: 5.3 gallon
Weight: 11.7 lbs
Intended Environment: General camping / RV camping
What We Like: The 5.3 gallon holding tank is detachable, which makes emptying and cleaning more convenient. There is also a premium version of this model available, which offer more features and functions.
What We Don’t: The seat is really small for most adults.
Once again Camco makes the list, this time with the 41545. There are subtle differences between this model and the others in their lineup that makes it a prime target for interested buyers. This is an average priced camping toilet, so slightly more than the top toilet on the list. The price is still competitive if you consider getting the premium version.
Camco is reliable, and if for any reason the toilet fails, their customer support is quick. A basic warranty is included that is touted as superior by many fans of the brand. With a high initial weight users will find sitting on it more comfortable since it’s sturdy. On a level surface this is about as comfortable as it gets for camping toilets.
When emptying the toilet, the spring-loaded latch takes out some of the frustration of putting it back together. This little latch also lasts longer than regular latches and won’t break after extended use. Think of the 41545 as an alternative to the other Camco products on the list for buyers that want a strong ABS resin built toilet. It’s the most durable Camco on the list and should last for years without any problems.
Capacity: Permanent RV Fixture
Weight: 11 lbs
Intended Environment: RV camping
What We Like: A really convenient feature, is the fact that this is available in two diefferent models, short and tall. Another thing that seems to go over well, is that this has the look and feel of a household toilet, although much lighter weight.
What We Don’t: Though the water module works exceptionally well most of the time, it can be problematic at times as well.
That feeling of using a toilet away from home puts fear in a lot of users until they see the Theford Aqua-Magic V Toilet. It has the look of a normal toilet and matches the feel of it almost 1:1. The price is between the average and high scale, but is nothing too extraordinary. No matter which model you purchase the price stays the same.
Thetford is a trustworthy company, and they offer a three year warranty out of the box. That should be more than enough to sway buyers that are on the fence about a purchase. Other than some slight differences in height and weight, this is just like sitting on a regular toilet. The seat could use a little fine tuning, but other than that it’s good to go.
Durability is good, but not great due to the built in water module. The price of its convenience comes at lower durability if the water has debris that the toilet can’t handle. Having a camping toilet that flushes is great, yet sometimes better than it sounds. Provided the water system is maintained properly, this could end up being the best camping toilet you ever purchased.
Intended Environment: RV use / General camping
What We Like: The features we really like are the fact that you can flush up to 50 times before the tank needs to be emptied. We also like that the tank is secured well by two side clamps.
What We Don’t: The entire toilet bowl isn’t quite covered with every flush, which can be a hassle sometimes.
The Excelvan Porta Potti won’t win any design awards but pulls out a pretty impressive #4 spot on the list. As one of the most used versions in their lineup, many customers are starting to come around to the usefulness of this model. The price is low, in fact low enough that a lot of buyers might consider this a great backup toilet. For reference the price of two of these is about the same as one of the Thetford 31672 Aqua-Magic V.
Excelvan has made a name as a budget brand, and the company always includes features of the leading brands. Their innovation is spot on, with decent customer service should you need to contact them for anything. It’s not the most fun toilet to look at yet remains surprisingly comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. This could be due to the extra weight, or even the seat which doesn’t slide everywhere when you sit on it.
One of the few times you’ll hear a camping toilet is built like a tank is when people describe this model. The phrase fits, and whether intentional or not, this is one of the toughest toilets on the list. With the many brand names on the list it’s nice to have an option for a lower key brand with similar features. The price will bring in the customers and the build quality will make them a fan forever.
Capacity: Permanent RV fixture
Weight: 34.4 lbs
Intended Environment: RV Camping
What We Like: The flushing system works really well, giving full coverage of the bowl. The unit is available in two colors, bone or white.
What We Don’t: Though the entire bowl is covered with each flush, the peddle seems to poorly designed.
Seeing the 42062 Aqua Magic Style II Toilet on the list will come as a surprise to some users. A lot of improvements have been made from the original design, and it really is a force to be reckoned with in the industry. This is a high priced model, and one of the highest priced on the list. Buyers should expect to a home experience with this toilet which has regularly appeared on several top ten lists.
The usual dependable warranty is present and is part of Thetford’s trademark. You’ll have no problems easing into the company ecosystem, and this purchase may turn you into a diehard fan of the company. People won’t have any complaints about how it feels, and it is as comfortable as a camping toilet can get. Some adjustments to the seat for advanced users will put this on a whole different level.
At a whopping 34.4 pounds, even the largest user will find this hard to break. The only questionable part is the peddle, which is prone to breakage over the years. Thetford comes through again with a great camping toilet with few cons. Buyers will get a high end option that is built to handle people of all sizes.
Capacity: 3.2 Gallons
Weight: 10.7 lbs
Intended Environment: General camping
What We Like: There is a level indicator, which allows you to see when it is full. A benefit any way you look at it. The pour out spout rotates to minimize the chance of having a mess when it is time to empty.
What We Don’t: The piston flush system can seem a bit cumbersome.
Going in a completely different direction, the Thetford Porta Potti 320P is a prime example of how to do a camping toilet correctly. If it weren’t for a few quirks here and there, this would have been higher up on the list. It would be fair to say that the price of this toilet is ranges from average to high, so the value is good for what you get. When comparing it to the other products in their lineup it fits in nicely, so is nothing out of the ordinary.
Thetford could very well consider this one of their more unappreciated camping toilets. They are a worldwide leader yet this specific upgraded model doesn’t get as much attention, even if it enjoys the same quality benefits of the other toilets. The comfort level of this toilet is not bad, and is about average. It feels like a plastic toilet through and through, and is not good for long sit downs.
Despite the very plastic feel, the parts are very durable, particularly the removable seat and cover. All of the pieces on the toilet meet the standards that customers would expect from Thetford. A lot of the big parts of the toilet perform up to standard, even if they can be a bit uncomfortable in long sit downs. This still ranks as a very good camping toilet to purchase with a lot of backing from a popular company.
Weight: 9.5 lbs
Intended Environment: RV Camping
What We Like: The single handle flushing system makes flushing easier and more like home. Additionally, this model is built quite tough, standing up well over time.
What We Don’t: The fact that this unit is so lightweight, can often be as much of a hindrance as it can be a benefit.
Continuing with the incredible Aqua-Magic series is the V, and it brings the same home feeling that the other models did. Not only does it look like a toilet, but it also feels and function like the real thing. About average to high priced is where the purchase options sit for this toilet. Comparing it to the rest of the toilets in the series, this is a viable option for the price.
Thetford continues to push the industry with the Aqua-Magic series, a toilet that many competitors have tried to copy. Customers all have their favorites, and V ranks high depending on who you ask. The comfort is hit or miss depending on the location it is put in. Finding a way to temporarily secure it will get around the low weight issues which can make the toilet feel ‘flimsy’.
Even with the low weight there are no durability issues with the toilet. This is surprising, but more so a quality compliment with Thetford and how they build their equipment. With enough time to measure up this model against the others in their lineup, customers may come up with a different decision. The light weight is a benefit for some, and more of a con for others.
Capacity: 2.6 or 5.3 Gallon models available
Weight: 11 lbs
Intended Environment: General camping
What We Like: The fact that there is a choice of different sizes is nice, depending on where you are going with it. The unit is also built with pretty durable material, which seems to stand up to repeated use over time.
What We Don’t: The 2.6 gallon model is really quite small, possibly too small for many adults.
One of Camco’s more portable solutions is still popular among a lot of consumers, with a high satisfaction rate. This is one of the most reliable products in their lineup, and is built for years of use. As one of the lowest priced toilets on the list, a lot of users will consider it a top option when going camping. The larger variant costs a little bit more, with an average price tag attached.
The super popular Camco is of course a giant in the industry and has a lot of positive reviews in their corner. As expected, the 41531 fits their mold of great durability, construction and ease of use. Up to 330 pounds is supported, so all body types will get a good amount of comfort when using this toilet. The larger version is more comfortable, so be wary if you are purchasing the smaller one.
With a tight build and integrated handles, things won’t break on this model anytime soon. It can take a lot of punishment and keep on going without worry of wearing down. No matter which size you choose, this is a bargain wrapped into one of the bestselling camping toilets of all time. Buyers that have never owned a Camco toilet will find a lot of loyalty after this purchase.
Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 9.75 lbs
Intended Environment: General camping
What We Like: This compact unit does have a full size seat, which is one of those things you wouldn’t realize you’d miss until you do. The price is also set at a reasonable amount.
What We Don’t: The flushing action is a bit lacking. Put simply, everything might not always get caught by the water.
As the only product on the list from the company, it makes a really good first impression. The look and feel is more traditional for a camping toilet, with some good size and weight added to it. This is the lowest priced toilet on the list, so that is a pretty big positive for budget shoppers. Make sure to factor in the cost of extra cleaning supplies to make up for the lack of good flush coverage.
Palm Springs Outdoors is a good brand that should serve customers well. They are pretty low key depending on the product, but often get high marks for their smart customer service. It feels and performs like a real toilet, with the full sized seat being the best part. Customers might have a general preference to the size of this toilet rather than some of the others on the list.
For the most part, the exterior is good at protecting against scratches and general damage. The smaller moving parts like latches seem to be a little less durable, but still good anyway. Palm Springs Outdoor could be that alternate option that people are looking for when it comes to camping toilets. The price is right, and the seat is the most comfortable on the list.
Capacity: 5.2 gallons
Weight: 11.5 lbs
Intended Environment: RV use / General camping
What We Like: The portability is improved with the addition of a durable storage/transport bag, which makes it easier to move from place to place.
What We Don’t: This model is a bit small for bigger people.
At the #10 spot is a camping toilet that may come as a huge surprise to many that have owned other brands. Leopard Outdoor has a true black sheep in the game with their portable option, and it may be more popular than you think. A very low price point makes this an attractive option if you’re looking for a camping toilet that is light on the wallet. Just be wary that larger adults will find this toilet too much of a hassle to bother with.
Leopard Outdoor Products is not the first brand people think about when camping toilets are brought into the discussion. There are no signs that their quality is bad, nor their customer support. Larger adults will find this the most uncomfortable camping toilet on the list for sitting on. For everyone else, the comfort is average.
Both the bag and the toilet are built tough, with the former being made of waterproof polyester. Few moving parts in the toilet make it a very sturdy solution for getting rid of waste. The included bag was a nice touch, and coupled with the size makes this the most portable option on the list. There is nowhere that it can’t go, and it does a good job of accommodating small to medium sized adults.
Here Are Some Things To Think About Before Making Your Purchase
There are several factors which you should take a look at before deciding on which brand and model to buy. Here are some points to pay attention too, some are even those that are often over looked.
There are a lot of notable brands on the list, starting with Camco. Build quality is what sets the big brands apart from the smaller brands, which is important since you have to manually empty the contents of portable camping toilets. Poor design can lead to frustration with unhooking the tank, and in worse case scenarios lead to bad odor containment. Top brands on the list have their own in-house system in place to keep things simple, and above all else, make sure that the parts are built for multiple uses. There is no point to purchasing one of these portable toilets if it will break down after only a few uses on a trip.
Should You Shop By Price Alone?
Now this is a debate that can get heated among customers when it comes to camping toilets. Price doesn’t necessarily equate quality with any product, but in the case of portable camping toilets, it usually means better coverage. Coverage as in how much maintenance you have to put into the unit to keep it clean, which can lead to some very interesting circumstances if the toilet will be shared. Prices on the list seem to reflect that small detail, so look at the lower priced toilets as higher maintenance than the more expensive ones. However, coverage doesn’t automatically make one toilet better than the other-just less time consuming to keep clean.
How Comfortable Are They?
Most of the options on the list use regular hard seats, which are nothing special but come in varying degrees of comfort. The comfort level will depend heavily on how big the toilet is and how much it weighs. Balance comes into play when using these toilets, so pay close attention to the dimensions and weight when making a buying decision. And if you know someone that’s good with their hands, there are plenty of minor modifications that can be done to the toilet seat without voiding the warranty. Make sure your model is compatible (and that someone with a little know how is doing it) and you can put a soft seat on your camping toilet. The options are limited based on size and the type of toilet, yet it still provides an incentive to make your portable toilet as comfortable as possible.
Does Height Make A Difference?
With some of the camping toilets on the list touting that their height is bigger than competitors, how big of a difference does it make? Well imagine being over 6’ tall and sitting in a kids chair for 20 minutes. Also imagine someone with a bad back sitting for long periods of time on a smaller toilet that strains their back. Then of course there are the situations where even people under 6’ tall have issues with short toilets for various problems like knee issues, foot issues, and just being a long legged human being. Although sitting on a shorter toilet doesn’t affect everyone, it affects enough people that companies have made it a point to mention whether their camping toilets are above the normal height or not. Make it a point to find out if you’re in the group of people that can’t take sitting on a smaller toilet, and that way you can only look at the taller options on the list. There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting down for long periods of time in a position that does damage to your body.
What Is The Max Supported Weight Of Most Models?
This varies based on the toilet, and can maybe have an average of 300 pounds universal if you want to get a specific number. Lighter toilets don’t necessarily mean it takes less weight, but that more weight will be concentrated in one area and there will be slight balance issues. Some companies are shy about listed their max weight for many reasons, the biggest being that there is no universal answer. Some people put their full weight on a toilet when sitting, while others ‘hover’. There are also some people who lean forward while sitting on the toilet, which in some cases could be worse than going over a weight limit. If possible, securing a camping toilet in one location while you’re out can make a big difference in how well it supports weight. Weight isn’t always going to be spread evenly in one area, so securing it can help that balance out a bit and make it easier for people with unconventional sitting positions to use the toilet.
Can Multiple People Use One Toilet?
Yes, but this is where maintenance and comes into play. Not only do you have to be aware of how to maintain the toilet, but so does everyone else that will be using it. If multiple people will be using the toilet, consider getting a more expensive model on the list with good coverage. Leaving a mess behind for others to clean up is never pleasant, but can be unavoidable if users don’t realize that the toilet needs to be maintained. Portable camping toilets can accommodate a lot of people, and some even go over 50 flushes before they need to be dumped. Never go over the tank limit, and if you don’t have a camping toilet with good coverage, always make sure that easy to reach cleaning supplies is available right where the toilet will be placed. Think of it as a pay it forward moment for anyone using your camping toilet that day.
How Often Should They Be Cleaned?
Beyond the quick wipe downs of the seat after each use, every time you empty the tank you should do a full cleaning. Nothing too in-depth, and it should take no long than 2 minutes. You want to keep bacteria from having a reason to grow, and you also want to keep the smell down to a minimum. There is nothing more unpleasant than using a strange toilet with an odor that can’t be identified. Camping toilets can be as vile as a construction site Porta Potty if they aren’t kept in check regularly. The materials to keep it clean aren’t that expensive, and in many cases can be found in your own household bathroom. With the high capacity tanks in most models, you probably will only have to clean it a couple of times per trip. And if it tends to be in a hot area, wiping the seat of condensation that builds up gets rid of that icky feeling.
Are There Any Health Dangers To Using Camping Toilets?
The only danger to using a camping toilet is if you don’t clean it regularly. Bacteria from feces can become a danger if it gets into an open wound which is why the locks and seals on the tanks are so secure. Even the lowest priced camping toilet on the list has a secure tank that keeps it from spilling. Negligence by not cleaning up the area in and around the toilet can lead to getting sick, just like any house bound toilet. Educate everyone that will be using your portable toilet about keeping the area clean, and there will be no dangers with bacterial infection while using it.
Where Are The Best Places To Put The Toilets?
Always account for leg space, overheard and breathing room. Just because a camping toilet is small and portable doesn’t mean it needs to go into the smallest space possible. An area that has vents or a window is perfect, since you don’t want it in a place where there is no air flow. Lack of air flow will allow smells to amplify and become worse than what they are. You’ll notice this the most when you go into the area where the toilet is and open the door- the smell hits you right in the face. Buyers that plan to put the toilet in a semi-open area will get the best air flow, and possibly the best experience. As long as the location you plan on putting it in has a way for odors to escape and ample leg room, then you can consider it a good spot.
There is enough variety in the list to make it easy to find the best portable camping toilet for your needs. Consumers that need more than one toilet on a budget can purchase two lower priced toilets rather than a single expensive one. Keep your product clean, and make sure that anyone that uses it knows how to empty the tank. Cleaning products should be located near the toilet for all users, so that everyone can chip in to keep your camping toilet in top shape.