Camping Toilets or Just Travel Toilet
Ever ask yourself while camping or driving down the interstate this question – where is the bathroom?
Let’s face it, when it comes to camping or outdoor gear there are a lot of necessary and unnecessary items on the market. Couple years ago, I did a complete 180 on the topic of owning a camp toilet.
My friend Kyle at Shaggy Outdoors asked me to look into camping toilets and write a review for his blog. Unbeknownst to him I had started using a portable toilet on my outdoor adventures and here is a brief story of why I changed after so many years.
I lived out West for most of my life and spent a fair amount of my time in the outdoors on public land in Arizona, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho. As a man it was easy to just find a tree in the back of camp to use as a blocker and relieve myself. On many elk and deer hunts those downed logs were beneficial to take care of my business. But that leads me to my new home state of Wisconsin and my turn around a couple years ago. Moving to the Midwest I found my old ways not as practical. This is when the light bulb started flickering and camping toilets were on my mind.
Early into my first outing I trekked out to fly fish in my new home state. Immediately, I found that while the waters and access to lakes and rivers were available to the public these waterways were typically on private land. I was not on public land anymore and now homes are within yards of where I am fishing. Sneaking behind an owner’s apple tree as he is feeding the cows wasn’t very comfortable. Not to mention my wife and son started joining on these fishing adventures and they were not comfortable doing their business behind a tree.
Here were my options for restroom breaks in Wisconsin while fishing with the family:
- Option 1 – stop fishing and head into a small town in the vicinity or
- Option 2 – start hauling around a portable toilet in the truck
Our choice was to purchase a portable toilet. When buying my first toilet I considered several options. Here is my review of five options that fall from least expensive to pricey depending on your budget and needs. I considered all these options for my purchase and I believe one of these will do the job for you.
But WAIT – I have a bonus for you, keep reading to the end as I provide a good option for privacy while using that portable toilet on those long drives and family camping trips.
Top Portable Toilets Review
When searching for portable toilets you have a few options. The simplest designs use a trash bag or biodegradable bag and the more upscale design options are self-enclosed, dual tank toilets that are flushable. Below is a list of different types and styles of portable toilets starting from the minimalist to the more elaborate.
The TexSport Portable toilet is a heavy duty, tubular stool with a toilet seat attached to the top. Just place a plastic bag on the inside and discard appropriately after use. This is one of the least expensive options at under $30 in the US. Very basic design but it does the job.
- supports up to 225 lbs max
- light and compact
- Dimensions: 16-1/2″H x 13″ Dia.
- Weight: 3.75 lbs
The Reliance Luggable Loo Portable toilet incorporates the plastic bag method in option 1 above but has a toilet seat with lid attached to the top of a 5 gallon bucket. For those needing a little more ground support and those wanting to tie up a bag and keep it out of sight this is a great option. Reliance Luggable Loo Portable Toilet is priced reasonable at less than $50.
- Holds 5 gallons
- Dimensions: 8″ x 14.57″H x 13.39″
- Weight: 3.00 lbs.
- Best if used with Reliance standard Double doodle bag
The Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Portable toilet takes it up a notch. This unit is a more compact style with a stable tripod design that holds a standard-sized toilet seat with folding legs that lock in both the open and closed positions. When traveling legs can be folded up and the lid can be closed to about the size of a standard briefcase. The Cleanwaste also sells an accessories kit that includes biodegradable bags and powder to break down waste in bag when used at the same location for multiple days. This option is middle of the road pricing at less than $85.
- supports up to 500 lbs max
- light and compact
- Dimensions: 19″ x 14″H x 5″
- Weight: 7 lbs
Reliance once again makes my list of portable outdoor camping toilets. This is a much more advanced model and works for the most particular camping partners. This Bucket Style Portable Toilet falls in the upper price range but less than $100. Bucket Style toilets are self-contained units with an upper compartment that holds water for flushing and a lower level for the waste. This unit works best when combining the water with biodegradable enzyme liquids.
- supports up to 325 lbs max
- tank 2.5 gallon capacity
- Dimensions: 5″ L x 16″W x 17″ H
- Weight: 12 lbs.
- Dometic Portable Toilet (writers’ choice) **
Dometic comes in at the top of my price list for portable toilets. At less than $130 for the 2.6 gallon tank and $140 for the 5 gallon tank this is a great option. This portable toilet has a full-size seat, has a prismatic tank level indicator to monitor the tank levels, and has bracket to secure to the floor.
- Available in 2.6 or 5 gallon capacity
- Dimensions: 5″ x 15.5″H x 12.5″ (2.6 gal model)
- Weight: 12 lbs.
- High-Strength ABS construction
- Push button flush
BONUS – Get a TENT for Your Toilet
As I mentioned before our portable toilet has become one of our “go to” pieces of outdoor equipment, most importantly when traveling with the family. I opted for the flushable model a couple years back and have even added another layer to our setup, the GigaTent Pop Up Privacy Shelter. This is a pop-up tent for your bathroom privacy. It unfolds in seconds and fits right over the toilet with plenty of room for you and the toilet. With a zipper door my wife and son can open it right up and walk right in, how they like their privacy.
As a final thought, relating to the current state of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I can see this item benefitting any type of road traveler as well. For example, with limited travel occurring nationwide, more and more people might be inclined to take trips closer to home via the roadways. If and when the time arises for a pit stop, some people may be reluctant to take the risk using a rest area or public restroom; but with a portable toilet and privacy blind you can just pull off the next exit, set it up in seconds and go to the bathroom, completely risk free.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can you poop in a portable toilet?
Yes, but wait – do you need water to flush or a bag? Depending on the toilet you own – you will want to make sure you have poop bag attached to the toilet to collect your waste. If you have a flushing toilet place a little water in the top before you do your business, then let it fly. Flush the toilet when your done.
- Where do I dump my portable toilet?
Dispose of the waste in proper dump stations or waste disposal locations. If near a campgrounds they should have a accessible location to dump your waste. If not, you can wait and dump back at home or wash out in a outdoor location appropriate for the waste. If you use a bag, please don’t flush it down the toilet. This will only cause more problems. Toss it in the garbage.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Texsport, Official Brand Website
Reliance, Official Brand Website
Cleanwaste, Official Brand Website
Dometic, Official Brand Website
Gigatent, Offical Brand Website