Compare The Best Portable Camping Toilet For RV, Boats and More
Camping is fun, but roughing it has its limits. The good news is that with a camp toilet, you can have a real outdoor experience without sacrificing every basic convenience.
From a complete camping toilet tent to a simple portable potty seat, there’s a style to meet everyone’s needs and budget.
If you’re almost ready to buy, but still aren’t sure which outdoor toilet is right for you, I’ll review everything you need to know right here. Let’s start with a look at seven top models to get you started.
Our Top 7 Best Portable Toilet Picks Reviewed:
#1. Porta Potti Curve Portable Toilet for RV
This camper porta potty is a chemical toilet made for RVs, but it fits almost anywhere. It’s sleek, two-piece design has a small footprint for storage, but a generous 18 inch sitting height when assembled.
Waste capacity is 5.5 gallons, and the top-mounted water tank holds 4 gallons, providing up to 56 flushes. It’s odorless, leak proof and loaded with convenience features like an integrated toilet paper holder, ergonomic carry handle and a waste tank level indicator that tells you when it’s time to empty.
Q: What is the toilet’s weight capacity?
A: 350 lbs.
Q: Can I use regular toilet bowl cleansers to clean it?
A: No. Scouring powder and other harsh toilet bowl cleaners can damage the plastic parts and rubber seals. Thetford’s Aqua-Clean solution is recommended.
Q: Can I use regular toilet paper?
A: Yes, but a safer alternative is quick-dissolving camping toilet paper.
What We Think:
Thetford makes award-winning products, but this is the exception. From the built-in toilet paper holder and 18-inch height to the unique leak proof design that empties like a dream, it’s loaded with features that don’t disappoint. The optional floor attachment kit makes it a great boat porta potty if you have the space for a tall unit and overall, it feels more like a full-size portable commode than a pint-size camping toilet.The let-down is the power flush pump. It has a spotty performance history, no manual back-up, and costs almost as much as the entire toilet.
If you’re on the road with someone who’s physically challenged and need the height, I’ll recommend it despite its shortcomings, but with a pricey part that prone to early failure and a short, one-year warranty, it’s worth looking at other options.
#2. SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet
This portable toilet isn’t as advanced as the Porta Potty Curve, but its simplicity means there’s less to go wrong when you’re miles away from civilization. The height is marginally lower at 16.5 inches and there’s no power-anything, but it has the features you need most including a 5.3-gallon waste tank, a rotating splash-free spout for no-mess dumping, a waste tank level gauge and a two-piece design that breaks down in seconds for easy storage.
Q: Can this be connected to a campground sewer line?
A: No. It has no exterior line connection and must be emptied manually.
Q: Is it stable?
A: It has a stable center of gravity and users report no concerns.
Q: Can I use salt water in the tank?
A: It’s not recommended. Per the manufacturer, salt can cause stains and possible damage.
What We Think:
I like this model because it’s simple. The pictorial use guide on the lid helps those less familiar with camp toilets to use it, and that’s important because it’s not as intuitive to use as more advanced models. The 16.5-inch height is a little short for tall folks, and the seat is too small for completely optimal comfort, but the trade-off is a smaller footprint, lighter carrying weight and shorter stature that make it a better fit for small spaces.What I’m not excited about is the waste tank. It has nooks and crannies that accommodate parts of the assembly system on the outside. That translates into crevices on the inside that are tough to clean, but if you can forgive that, this is a top-notch camping potty.
#3. Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet
If you need a solid chemical toilet on a budget, this is it.
It’s smaller than the SereneLife and the Porta Potti Curve, but it’s manageable and has the most important features for about half the price including a generous 5.3-gallon waste tank and a sealed gate valve to control leaks and odors.
The fresh water tank is smaller at just 2.5 gallons, but its flush system uses less water than most so it’s still large enough for extended use.
Q: What’s the weight capacity?
A: 330 lbs.
Q: Are mounting brackets for the floor or wall available?
A: No, these accessories are not offered.
Q: Is the lid removable?
A: Yes, and when removed, the toilet will fit under a portable commode.
What We Think:
This isn’t the most refined camping porta potty on the market, but does it have to be? If I needed a camper toilet for regular indoor use, I’d choose something a little larger and more homelike, but for weekends at the campground, long rides, or use as a boat porta potty, this may be the best portable toilet if you want big budget features without paying for bells and whistles.One caveat is that the flush is a little weak and double-flushing may be necessary to keep the bowl clean. This isn’t usual for any outdoor toilet, but because the fresh water tank is small, double-flushing means fewer flushes between emptying and more wear on the bellows-style pump.
#4. Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Portable Toilet with Waste Kit
If cleaning liquefied waste out of a traditional camping potty doesn’t appeal to you, this model by Cleanwaste makes getting rid of it a breeze.
Instead of a traditional plastic waste tank, it uses disposable, enzyme-treated bags to collect the goods. When the bag is full, just toss it and go — no messy dumping or rinsing required.
The user-friendly height and large, full-size seat is comfortable for people of all sizes, and the three-legged frame provides exceptional stability. For travel, the entire unit folds up into a briefcase-size box, and it sets up and breaks down in seconds.
Q: Can this be used in winter?
A: Yes. The system uses no water, making it ideal for winter use.
Q: Are the waste bags biodegradable?
A: Yes, but burial isn’t recommended.
Q: Can bags be used more than once?
A: Yes. Each bag contains enough Poo Powder to turn a quart of waste to gel.
If you’re a cold-weather camper, this model will rock your world. It’s basically a big portable potty seat that sets up to the size of a home toilet and uses no water, eliminating worries about freezing in winter. The three legged frame is particularly sturdy on uneven surfaces and makes slippery conditions a little less hazardous.It isn’t, however, the best portable toilet for everyone. The disposable bags are convenient, but expensive. The enzymatic Poo Powder controls odors, but not as effectively as the seals in traditional models. Finally, the large footprint is a plus for outdoor use, but for permanent installation in a camper, it’s big.
What’s the bottom line? If you want a homelike model that tucks away neatly for emergencies or need a waterless model for winters outdoors, this model deserves a long look. For very small spaces, it’s a bust.
#5. Portable Toilet Camping Porta Potty by Zimmer
This camping porta potty is similar in size and function to the Camco.
It’s 16.5 inches high and has a 5.3-gallon waste tank and a 3-gallon fresh water reservoir. A seal valve controls leaks and odors like a champ and at 9.75 pounds; it’s lighter than its competitors and has a slightly smaller footprint.
Special features include a push button flush system and a seat that lifts. It’s small for large persons, but it’s a good fit for boats and other small, enclosed spaces.
Q: Does the waste tank have a level indicator gauge?
A: No, this model is not equipped with that feature.
Q: Do I have to purchase chemicals to use in this toilet?
A: Yes, enzymatic digesters are highly recommended to control waste volume and odor.
Q: Can the waste tank be sealed for short-term storage?
A: Yes, both tanks can be independently sealed.
This toilet will do the job it was intended for competently, but lacks the sturdy feel of similarly priced models. The seat feels like the type of rigid plastic that’s brittle and prone to breakage, and while the push button flush and latches are well-designed for convenience, they feel flimsy and have a reputation for premature failure.If the price were lower to reflect the lesser quality, it could compete with the Camco, but at roughly the same price, it’s just doesn’t make the cut.
#6. Reliance Products Hassock Portable Lightweight Self-Contained Toilet
For a simple solution to on-the-road toilet needs, consider this no-frills portable toilet.
It’s a simple, lightweight plastic barrel with a removable bucket inside and a seat on top. It’s small and fully self-contained, but still user-friendly at 14.7 x 14 inches and features a removable lid with a handy, integrated toilet paper holder.
Use the enzyme tablets of your choice to digest solid waste or use the recommended Doodie Bags for quick, mess-free disposal.
Q: Does the lid seal in odors?
A: Users report excellent odor control with use of absorptive media.
Q: What’s the weight capacity?
A: 250 lbs.
Q: How large is the waste bucket?
A: It’s approximately one gallon.
What We Think:
#7. Reliance Products Luggable Loo Portable 5-Gallon Toilet
The Luggable Loo is just a 5-gallon bucket with a full-size, portable toilet seat that snaps on the top, giving you a sturdy 15.5-inch sitting surface that’s comfortable for most users.
Pop a Double Doodie or any plastic bag inside and use the odor control products of your choice for cheap and easy waste control.
The lid keeps odors in check and cleaning is a breeze.
Q: Is the bucket replaceable?
A: Any regular 5-gallon bucket is compatible.
Q: Does the carry handle work with the seat attached?
Q: Does the lid close tightly enough to control odors?
A: Yes, but use plenty of absorptive media.
What we Think:
No one can argue with an idea this ingenious, but functionally, it’s underwhelming. It’s just a bucket and a portable toilet seat and for the price, it does the job, but more than one user has pointed out that a snap-on seat and pail can be purchased separately for significantly less money.That doesn’t make it a bad value, and the simple design is easy to use and care for, but the 13.5–inch width is narrow for comfort and stability, and the seat cover makes positioning difficult. I don’t dislike the Luggable Loo, but for the price, I’d take a second look at the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere toilet or the Reliance Hassock.
Our Top 3 Best Portable Toilet Picks:
There’s a portable toilet out there for everyone, but after a good review, I’d recommend these:
#1. For best all-around portable toilet: I like the SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet. Its blend of features is the most appropriate for the largest number of people and you’re paying just for what matters.
#2. For the best portable camping toilet: I have two choices — first, the Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet. It’s half the price of the SereneLife and while it’s not as refined, it’s tough and relatively worry-free. For four-season camping, the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere toilet is a must-have. The bags are pricey, but it’s waterless and won’t freeze and the stable, heavy-duty design is perfect for rough, slippery terrain.
#3. For an RV or boat: I also have two picks. If you have the space, the Porta Potti Curve can be attached to floor and it’s feel is so homelike you may never want to return, but I’ll acknowledge that it’s large and isn’t a good choice for a small spaces. For these, it’s back to the Camco Standard. It has enough features for long hauls, but is small enough to fit in tight spaces.
Best Camping Toilet Buyer’s Guide
Portable toilets aren’t new, but some of the technology and features are fairly advanced and it’s important to learn more about them before buying. Ultimately, the right camper toilet will bring you years of convenient travel, but the wrong model will bring disappointment and frustration. Before making a decision, here’s what you need to know.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Portable Camping Toilet
Camping toilets are not composting toilets, and waste must be disposed of properly — not put on your vegetable garden. Toilets contain waste in one of two ways — in permanent, drainable reservoirs or in disposable bags. Both types require use of absorptive media, deodorants or enzymatic digesters to control odor effectively. Before buying, it pays to know if a toilet is compatible only with expensive proprietary products or if you can safely substitute generic items. Always check with campgrounds in advance about waste disposal policies.
Capacity: Waste disposal is a chore and the less you have to do it, the better. For camping toilets that use water, the fresh water reservoir determines how often you’ll have to empty the tank. Large waste tanks are nice, but without water to flush, extra capacity is less useful. Average water-using toilets provide 50 to 70 flushes between fills. For two people, that could last a week, but for four, it’s just a few days. Models that use bags are limited only by the supply you have handy.
Set-up: Most portable toilets are simple to set up, but models that use water require a fresh supply and a few extra steps to make ready. Prefilled tanks can usually be carried for quicker initial set-up, but that adds to their total carrying weight. Since moving parts are the ones that take the most abuse on any type of toilet, look for sturdy components.
Size and Portability: The space for your portable toilet should be measured for height, depth and width. In general, size and capacity are equal, but models that use bags require no permanent reservoir and typically break down to a smaller size for transport.
For portability, look for strong handles that are easy to hold and consider the weight of a toilet both full and empty. At eight pounds per gallon, water can add more than 40 pounds of weight to what seems like a lightweight portable toilet.
Privacy Options: Privacy options for portable toilets are limited, but a good solution is a camping toilet tent. This is a pop-up tent that resembles a camp shower and is made to accommodate both a toilet and a user at full standing height. Tents can be purchased separately or as part of some all-inclusive toilet kits.
Ease of Cleaning: Toilets with bags are the easiest to clean, but always use thick, puncture-resistant varieties as well as the recommended media to control spills if a bag tears. Water-use models are relatively easy to clean and most utilize a swing away drainage pipe to help you better angle discharge into a toilet, but if easy cleaning is a top priority, avoid tanks with deep nooks and crannies that collect waste and are hard to scrub out.
Stability: A toilet’s weight and dimensions determine its stability. Opt for models with a wide base and a seat that’s generous enough to fit the largest person in your group. Tall, narrow models tend to tip, especially when empty, and models with full water tanks on top and empty tanks below are also susceptible. A comfortable seat height helps users retain their balance on most models, but only if the base is equally as large or larger.
Types of Portable Toilets
There are three types of portable toilets: chemical, bag and composting, but as designs evolve, the lines between the three get blurry, so it helps to look at individual features.
- Chemical Toilets: Chemical toilets use enzymatic digesters that liquefy waste. This controls odors and lets you store waste without having to empty your tank daily. Water-use toilets use chemicals regularly, and while they can be omitted in a pinch, waste reservoirs fill much faster without them, and plastic components may retain odors even after cleaning.
- Bag Toilets: Bag toilets use disposable bags to contain waste. Chemicals are usually added to solidify liquid waste, giving you more use per bag and preventing messy spills if a bag tears, but not all bags are compatible with every chemical and it’s important to know which are safe before applying them.
- Composting Toilets: A portable composting toilet uses no water and only natural media to encourage the natural breakdown of waste via microorganisms. Composting toilets are portable and often used for small homes or camps without plumbing, but the average models costs well over a thousand dollars and unless being on the road is a way of life, a portable composting toilet is both cost-prohibitive and impractical for routine family camping.
Common Portable Toilet Problems
- Odors: If odors from a camping toilet are out of control, check the waste level. If it’s full, odors are likely to be more noticeable. Next, check for cracks in the housing and ensure all parts are correctly assembled. Finally, check your odor control products. Was the recommended amount used? Is it the right product for your type of toilet? If odor persists after these potential causes have been addressed, empty and disassemble the unit for a vigorous cleaning and consider using additional deodorants.
- Cleaning: Cleaning portable toilets isn’t hard, but regular household chemicals can damage both the plastic components and seals. Use only products recommended by the manufacturer. If dried waste gets stuck in small crevices inside your waste tank, fill it to the brim with cleanser and water. Let it sit long enough to soften any crusty deposits, and then rinse thoroughly.
- Stability: Instability is the result of uneven weight distribution. If a toilet tips when its fresh water reservoir is full and the lower waste tank is empty, try putting only half a load of water in the top tank until there are enough contents below to offset it. Ensure the base of your toilet is large enough for the persons using it and that it’s set up on level ground.
Our Final Thoughts:
Like with home toilets, what makes a portable camping toilet great is largely a matter of personal preference. For a good fit, consider how each model best meets your needs and take measurements carefully before you buy if space is an issue. Then gather the crew and plan your next outing, knowing it will be a safer and more comfortable trip.