Campervan bathroom

The Ultimate Guide for Camper Van Toilets

Updated on: June 2024

Struggling to choose the right toilet for your camper van or caravan? You’re not alone! Deciding on the perfect fit can be as tricky as navigating those winding mountain roads. But don’t worry, because we’re here to help steer you in the right direction.

Welcome to “The Ultimate Guide for Camper Van Toilets,” where we’ll break down everything you need to know about portable sanitation solutions. In this blog, we will explore the various types of toilets available and give you the lowdown on choosing the one that’s right for you and your travel needs.

Our journey in the camper van world started just like yours – with questions and a dream. After building our camper van from scratch, we invested many hours into researching every tiny detail, especially the toilets. Having lived and travelled in our van for over two years, we’ve got a treasure trove of insights and tips to share. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let’s get into the nitty-gritty of camper van toilets together – in a fun, friendly, and informative way!

How Do Camper van Toilets Work

Campervan toilets aren’t anything like the toilets in your home – they’re a bit smaller, and you have to be careful what kind of toilet paper you use.

It’s also best to be careful what you put down the toilet because it might get stuck depending on which bathroom you decide.

On campervans, there’s usually one of three different types of toilets:

  • The cassette toilet involves placing a sealed container with waste under the campervan. Once you’re finished using it, seal up the bag and take it to an appropriate disposal area nearby. It can be emptied once every few days, depending on how many people use it and how much they’re putting in!
  • If you’d rather not deal with the campervan toilet, then there is always the option of installing a composting toilet.
  • A bucket toilet is an excellent option for short trips and requires just the basic toilet facilities. All you need to do is empty the bucket every so often, and it’s good as new!

The cassette system is ideal for those planning on spending a bit more time exploring and who don’t want to worry about emptying their waste every day or two. It’s also one of the most expensive options, but that’s because everything is self-contained in one sealed unit.

The bucket system is perfect for shorter trips when you’re not planning on staying somewhere long enough to need a toilet and if your budget doesn’t allow for more than just the basic campervan toilet setup.

The composting toilet has a tank where the waste is stored until you can empty it. It can typically hold several days’ worth of waste before needing to be dumped.

Otherwise, you’ll need to empty it more often, which means making sure you have easy access to an area that will accept the composting toilet’s contents.

Depending on which option you choose, there are different types of toilet paper you can use.
It’s best to stick with the recommended type for each one so that it functions properly and doesn’t cause any issues when you’re trying to dispose of your waste.

It’s also important to remember this: most campgrounds don’t allow anything other than human waste to be disposed of in the toilets.


Can You Poop In A Campervan Toilet

Of course, you can! Not only is it possible, but it’s also actually a lot easier than you might think.

Whether you’ve chosen to go with a bucket, cassette, and composting toilet, we’re here to let you know that, yes, it is possible and relatively easy!

It may take some getting used to if this will be your first time. However, pooping in your van will be no different than doing so at home.

We definitely could not live without our nature’s head composting toilet in our van. It is easy to use, and that is why we love it so much!

Some van toilets are lovely in the fact that they usually have a fan built into them, helping any odours when you finish your business.

This is a massive plus for those of you who are trying to enjoy your road trip and might not want everyone else knowing that you’re pooping! You won’t have this problem with the suitable van toilet.

We like having our composting toilet is how easy it makes dealing with waste on such an extended trip.

It’s something we wish everyone could experience for themselves! It makes it easier to travel, especially if you’re going somewhere where there aren’t many options in terms of restrooms and toilets.

You’ll have the freedom to go whenever you need without worrying about anything else because your toilet is separate.


What is the Best Campervan Toilets

Finding the best portable toilet for your campervan can be difficult. The campervan toilet option depends on what you are looking for and how much space you have to store it. We will take a look at some of the most common campervan toilet options.

Some examples are:

  • composting toilets
  • cassette toilets
  • portable toilet
  • bucket toilets

We will detail each option above and give you all the information you need to make an informed choice.

However, before we do this, it’s important to remember that many people spend months researching and comparing different toilets for them not to work as well as they had planned.

This is why our advice would be to always go with a toilet from a trusted brand that you know you can trust.

This is the best way to ensure that your toilet will be a good investment and not something that ends up being a waste of money or time!


Composting Toilet For Campervan

Composting toilets are the sanitation option for RV toilets and Campervans. A composting toilet is the most cost-effective, ecologically beneficial, and safe method to dispose of your toilet waste in an RV, camper, or motor home.

They are entirely self-contained and can be used in any van that has a twelve-volt system.
The best part of a composting toilet is that it does not use any water to flush waste which means no wasting your freshwater!

There are generally two compartments to separate your liquid waste and solid waste, Making it super easy to empty and clean.

This job usually takes less than five minutes, leaving plenty of time for more van adventures!
We are currently using a nature’s head toilet. It is an excellent option for van life because of the low power requirement, allowing us to have a composting toilet run off our solar and battery power.

It also does require any water, which means we can quickly and safely empty it into a compost pile or outside (we don’t recommend this). The best part of this toilet is that there is no odour, even when you’re emptying the toilet.

PROSCONS

Environmentally friendly (no water or chemicals)

There is little to no odour.

You can dump liquid waste in standard public toilets.

Requires a 12volt connection

Slightly bigger than other campervan toilets

One of the most costly composting toilets for RV and camper owners.

campervan toilet

How to use the nature’s head composting toilet:

The first step in using your van’s composting toilet is to do a little bit of reading. If you decide to go ahead with a nature’s head toilet, you must read the manual first to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Once you have read up on how to use your van’s toilet next step is easy.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the nature’s head toilet from your campervan.
  2. Remove the pee bucket and depose it in a safe area.
  3. Open the composting toilet’s lid to depose your waste in a recyclable plastic bag.
  4. We like to hose out the inside when possible to give to a good clean
  5. Once you have filled it back up about halfway with peat moss or your choice of soil, turn the handle. This will help mix everything.
  6. You are now ready to put it back on the van.

Pro Tips:

  • We add used grounded coffee powder to our composting mix if the soil is too dry.
  • Please do not allow your pee bucket to overflow, or you will have a mess the next time you try to empty it.
  • This next one is not very everyone. We use a separate bin to depose of our toilet paper. This allows us to get up to 4 weeks without needing to change the composting mix.

Cassette Toilet As A Van Toilet

A cassette toilet, sometimes called a cartridge toilet, is one alternative. It isn’t completely portable and, unless you retrofit a SOG kit, you’ll need to use chemicals to hide odours.

However, they are less expensive than composting toilets. Their design eliminates the need to carry a waste tank throughout your living space.

How to Empty Cassette Toilets

The process of emptying a cassette toilet is pretty simple. Open the hatch on the outside of your vehicle and press in on the pressure spots inside.

Campervan Cassette Toilet

Slide-out the pin and remove it, then pull up the lever to unlock it before removing it.
Wheel or carry your cassette tank to the dump station, remove the top of the disposal, swivel the nozzle until it is away from the cassette, and then unscrew. Then depress the pressure release valve to drain any remaining fluid.

It’s also a good idea to clean it once it’s empty.

Once empty, refill the chemicals if needed and replace the cap before rotating it back around.
Slide the cassette back into the car and push the lever down to secure it.

Cassette Toilet Chemicals

You can use a variety of toilet chemicals to clean a chemical toilet. Still, the most popular options are blue or green in the black water tank.

Green is a non- Formaldehyde alternative to Blue, while Blue seems to be the standard colouring.
Some parks and RV dump stations demand that may use only green.

Other options include scents made from natural oils, such as “vanilla bean,” “white musk,” and other fragrant chemicals. These additives for the flush tank make your toilet smell better. They aren’t required, so choose whether or not to use them yourself.

A SOG kit may be used to eliminate the need for chemicals. It converts your cassette toilet so that it functions in a similar way to a composting toilet.

PROSCONS

Excellent choice for a very reasonable price

No installation required

It can be easily mounted to your van for secure travel

It’s light and straightforward to transport from car to car.

Chemicals are required.

It’s not the most fantastic solution for poops.


Porta Potty

The Porta Potty, also known as a Porta Potti Toilet, is perfect for vanlifers on a budget who don’t mind using public restrooms but still want something as an emergency toilet or planning to be off the grid for an extended amount of time.

This portable toilet is similar to a traditional bathroom. You sit on the seat, and your business goes into the toilet bowl.

Then you flush it, and everything gets rinsed down into the holding tank. You’ll need to use a lot of fragrant deodorizers, which breaks down the material into a liquid and prevent it from smelling.

If you ever need to get rid of it, you must take the whole toilet out of your van because there is no permanent plumbing.

The holding tank is then removed from the bowl, the hose is unscrewed, and the contents are poured down the dump drain. Then repeat as needed.

It’s not the most pleasant van toilet alternative, but it isn’t quite as bad as you may have imagined. We recommend wearing gloves and fully enclosed shoes, just in case.

A popular portable camping toilet is the “Thetford” they have many options to choose from based on your requirements and available space. In comparison with the other campervan toilet options, this form of portable campervan toilet is relatively inexpensive.

PROSCONS

The tank is quite large.

Seating that is pleasant to sit on

Pour out the spout

Must be taken outside

It’s not recommended for children or elderly people.


Camping Bucket Toilet DIY

DIY Bucket Toilet

Who it’s suitable for? Vanlifers on a budget who want an inexpensive, low-maintenance toilet.
It’s a very basic bucket with a snap-on lid or creates your own bucket toilet. In the morning, you can empty the bucket and rinse it.

You can also line the bucket with a Double Bag, which contains an absorption powder to neutralize scents or a type of kitty litter. After that, seal up the bag and dispose of it in your usual manner.

PROSCONS

Very inexpensive.

A bit smelly if not properly taken care of.* Noisy when people sit on it or walk by.* Not great for extended stays without taking out the bucket to clean it daily.


We hope this article has been helpful to you and given some insight into the best campervan toilets. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out, and we will be happy to answer them for you! And if anything is still unclear or confusing after reading all of that. We highly recommend nature’s head toilet. It has a reasonable price point for what you get and is easy to use with no assembly required.