Looking for portable camping toilets may seem like it might be ‘straight forward’, until you go online and see all the variations out there to choose from. Some toilets flush, while others are little more than a bucket to hold in the waste until you can dispose of it.
Before you even start shopping, it’s a great idea to know what types of camping toilets are available so that you can make the choice that best fits your needs and purposes. Here are the main types of toilets you’ll find in the camping aisle:
Folding Camping Toilets
These toilets also are pretty simple, but they come with a few different features. One of the advantages of a folding toilet over a bucket toilet is that they’re often lighter-weight and more compact when folded up, and they’re normally higher at the seat, too, which makes them great for taller people and users with bad knees.
Folding toilets are also relatively inexpensive, and they’re meant to be used with special waste disposal bags. A very important factor to consider with these types of portable camping toilets is definitely the types of waste receptacles you should use with them.
Some come with fancy systems that use chemicals in a bag attached to the bottom of the toilet to solidify liquids into gels and to kill nasty smells for easier, more sanitary disposal of waste.
These are just what they sound like – buckets with toilet lids. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily all the same, though. In fact, there’s quite a bit of variation in this category.
Some of these toilets are literally just a regular five gallon bucket, and some companies even sell simple toilet seats that snap onto a five gallon bucket you can pick up at a hardware store. Others, though, are built a little sturdier and may include both a seat and a lid, which makes it easier to seal in smells.
The benefit of portable bucket toilets designed for camping is the fact they’re low-priced and easy to use. You don’t have to dig a hole, and the toilet seat is at a comfortable height for most users.
You can use a waste bag inside with them for the ultimate ease of cleaning, or you can just lug the whole thing to a proper waste receptacle when you’re through using it or it’s getting a bit too full. Regardless, this is one of the simplest, cheapest ways to get a portable camping toilet.
Portable Flush Toilets
Now these are generally the most complex and expensive types of camping toilets, however they will probably be worth your while if you would like a few of the modern benefits of a home toilet.
Basically, these toilets have fresh water and waste water tanks. After you use them, you flush, and the fresh water is used to automatically rinse the bowl, moving the waste to the waste tank where it is stored until you can properly dispose of it.
While these may be a little harder to maintain, they do make your campground smell nicer, since they have seals to lock in odors and splashes. The best of these toilets can be very pricey, but these portable camping toilets may also keep going for a long time.
Keep in mind that a full toilet can be quite heavy, and make sure you choose your size based on the size of your group and how often you want to empty the waste receptacle!
Finding The Best Camping Toilets for You
Now that you understand the basic types of portable camping toilets available, the next step is finding the actual model that is best for you – the one that best meets your needs and still falls within your budget.
There are a number of different brands on the market, such as Coleman, Thetford, Reliance, StanSport, TexSport, TravelJohn, and more. Some are higher quality than others and prices generally vary accordingly.