Choosing The Best Camping Portable Toilets

by frugalrvers

Nature calls at the most inconvenient times, which is why an outdoor enthusiast should never leave home without a portable toilet for camping, hiking, off roading and more!

Spending time in the great outdoors alone or with family...there is nothing like the peace and tranquility that comes from getting away from it all. Whether you are taking a drive, hiking, having a picnic "off the beaten path" or overnight camping, portable toilets need to be packed in your vehicle, right next to the cooler (well...maybe not RIGHT next to it), for those times when nature calls!

Finding The Best Portable Toilet For Your Trip

Let's be honest - we may not enjoy talking about the topic of portable toilets as a general rule, but whether we live in an urban or rural setting, are outdoorsy folks or city slickers, I think it is safe to assume we have one thing in common - we have all shared that panicked feeling that arises when we can't find a restroom! So let's jump in and have this discussion once and for all, so we can be better prepared next time.

My husband and I are fortunate to live just a few miles away from beautiful Glacier National Park in Montana.Though we can never be sure about the weather when we're planning an outing (it can snow in June), we can always count on this fact - nature always calls when there is no outhouse in sight! In addition, no matter where you set up camp, it is not a fun trek to the outhouse in the middle of the night...and this is especially true in grizzly bear country, where we reside.

All happy campers know that wise "potty planning" is essential for a successful outing. However, it can be overwhelming trying to sort through the vast number of commodes available today, in addition to researching performance quality. There are portable potties available these days to suit virtually every need! Choosing the wrong toilet in haste can lead to a very unhappy camper...and we all know HASTE MAKES WASTE (could not resist the pun, our apologies).

We do believe you would rather spend your valuable time planning your trip instead of learning about a portable Robin and Jim to the rescue! We rv full time and have plenty of we constructed this article to help you find the right commode for your outing, quickly and easily. We've also listed some of the best potties and their accessories, to help you purchase with ease.

One little toilet paper tip: no matter which toilet you choose, if you aren't using a garbage bag for contents, throw toilet paper in a ziplock bag for clean, easy disposal.

All In One Toilet System Combo

Privacy Shelter and Commode In One Set

For most of us, a small investment in an affordable portable toilet or privacy shelter will suit our needs just fine. But look at this fancy potty set...amazing! You can carry a complete bathroom with you wherever you travel. This is a deluxe combination for those who want to treat themselves. Below you can check out the many options that won't strain your budget in any way...

PONDER YOUR POTTY - Important Considerations

After this segment, you will find a quick-start guide to quickly help you decide which type of toilet is best suited for your needs. Before going further, however, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind prior to adding a commode to your list of camping accessories:

  • If you are tall or have bad knees, you want to be sure to purchase a taller toilet. Some commodes sit very low or are less sturdy.

  • Be sure that the item you choose is designed to hold your weight.

  • For women, there is a whole line of affordable, portable female urinals...perfect for hiking, camping, avoiding sitting in public restrooms and many more uses.

  • Though strong waste bags are available, keep in mind that they can leak or get pierced, which can result in a mess. This is especially true if you decide to use a regular trash for leaks!

  • If traveling with small children, be sure to choose a commode that takes their size and needs into consideration. For the toddlers, it is best to bring their own port-a-potty along.

  • Privacy can be tricky in a more populated setting - we highly recommend investing in a privacy shelter, but if you choose to use your tent, be sure it is spacious enough where you can sit comfortably.

  • Depending on the type of trip you have planned, sometimes you might need a few different varieties of portable toilets/products to be the best prepared.

Portable Toilets Just For Women!!

Today, women have portable toilet options when hiking, camping or simply on the go. Don't let the fear of nature calling at the wrong time interrupt your plans anymore!

A Quick-Start Guide To Choosing The Best Portable Camping Toilet

Select The Right Camping Equipment For Your Outing

So lets start by narrowing down your search. Review the summaries of the various styles below to assist you in finding the right type of toilet for your outing. Once you have chosen the correct style to suit your needs, you can just click on the link to take you to the appropriate segment.

COLLAPSIBLE TOILETS are a good choice when:

  • PORTABILITY is your primary goal.

  • Your vehicle has limited space for all of your camping equipment.

  • You plan to do a lot of hiking and driving "off the beaten path."

  • You will have access to a trash receptacle (you won't need to store or haul waste bags).

  • You plan to make a cathole pit toilet (these are great to set up over a pit toilet).

  • You will have a level surface to place the toilet (most collapsible toilets have legs, not a flat base).


  • EASE OF USE is your primary goal.

  • Your vehicle is not limited on space for all of your camping gear.

  • You prefer to leave the toilet in one place during your trip (your tent, rv, privacy shelter).

  • You will need to haul your waste to a trash receptacle or outhouse.

  • You want an affordable product that does not require purchasing a lot of "extras"

PORTABLE, DELUXE STYLE TOILETS are a good choice when:

  • SIMILARITY TO A REGULAR TOILET is your primary goal.

  • Your vehicle is not limited on space for all of your camping gear.

  • You prefer to leave the toilet in one place during your trip (your tent, rv, privacy shelter).

  • You like the idea of setting up a commode and then not having to worry about doing anything more such as dumping waste or bags, setting up bags before each use, etc.

  • When full, someone will be able to lift the toilet without trouble.

  • Maintaining and cleaning/disinfecting your investment after your trip is not bothersome to you.

  • You are looking to add a toilet to your RV or camper without spending a fortune.


COLLAPSIBLE Portable Camping Toilets

Collapsible camping toilets are the perfect solution for portability. They fold down to a more manageable size than other rigid toilet models. If you plan to be on the move, they can easily store in the trunk of your vehicle or behind a back seat. They are a great addition to a pit toilet, if you will be in a remote outdoor environment.

To be so portable, you will lose some conveniences found in other toilets. Though some models are taller than others, they don't tend to sit as high as the bucket or flush style toilets. Due to the leg design, vs. a flat base, they cannot be propped up to sit higher and can be unstable on uneven ground.

The examples below are very highly rated for strength and durability. They all offer their own collection bag and waste kits (sold separately), though over time some thrifty campers find ways to use their own bags and products for economical purposes.

Reliance Fold-To-Go Portable Toilet

When space is your concern, rely on the Reliance Fold-To-Go. This collapsible portable toilet folds down to just 5 inches and weighs only 4.5 lbs. It has an integrated handle, m...

Reliance Tri-To-Go Camping Chair/Portable Toilet by Reliance

Camping or backpacking toilet; Lightweight and folds into a small bag; Designed to use double doodie bags; Weight capacity of 300 lbs; Length: 4.50 Width: 4.50 Height: 24.00, We...

Stansport Portable Folding Toilet

Our Portable Toilet goes anywhere. Folds compactly for storage and portability. Seat is a molded plastic and legs are heavy duty tubular steel. Plastic bags are easily disposed ...



Self-contained, bucket style toilets are the perfect solution if you are looking for something easy to use. You can use them with or without bags, though bags are recommended for an easier clean-up. Their flat-bottomed surface makes them sturdy, even on uneven ground. Made of plastic and being self-contained, there won't be any unwelcome surprises from a leaking bag. They tend to be taller and can be set up even higher on a safe, flat surface. Contents can be hauled with ease. Affordable and quick, this style is very popular with the outdoor enthusiast.

We've used this style quite often, without bags, for liquids only. Collecting toilet paper in a separate bag makes dumping contents in an outhouse (or in the deep woods) a breeze. Easily rinse out with a little water and you're good to go. We spray with Lysol after each use and have found this very clean, odor free and simple.

If you use bags, you will be limited in how much weight they can hold. Therefore, if you do not have a trash receptacle or outhouse to dump the contents, the bag will risk breaking with multiple use. Some people recommend putting cat litter at the bottom of the bag, to help absorption. The toilet is not collapsible, so be sure you have room for it among your other camping equipment.

Reliance Products Hassock Portable Lightweight Self-Contained Toilet (colors may vary)

Hassock Portable Toilet features a lightweight design and is self-contained. It has a contoured seat for "at-home" comfort. There is a removable inner bucket for quick and easy ...

Reliance Products Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet

Luggable Loo Portable Toilet is the most economically priced portable toilet. It is a bucket style with a traditional snap-on, hinged seat and cover. It has a 5 gallon (20 liter...

Emergency Zone Honey Bucket Style Toilet Complete Set with Liner and Chemicals

You never know when you will need this. The comlete set includes: 1 removable toilet seat, 1 red 5--Gallon bucket, 1 biohazard bag, 5 toilet liners, 5 toilet chemical packs, 1 r...



If having a toilet that functions like the one at home is what you are looking for, there is no question that this is the style of portable toilet you will want. You will not have to work with setting up bags, disposing of bags, etc. These are perfect in a stationary setting, like an RV, motorhome, tent or privacy shelter. They are an affordable solution to a pop up camper or smaller travel trailer that does not come equipped with a toilet. As long as they can fit into your vehicle, they are an excellent choice. They are sturdy and can also be placed on a safe, raised surface to accommodate those who have trouble with their knees.

You will need to be prepared to lift the toilet, which can get quite heavy, at the end of your trip (unless you are in an area where you can empty it more frequently, to keep the weight down). In addition, be prepared to clean and disinfect your investment when you return home from your journey.

Also, you will want to purchase a deodorizer that breaks down waste and toilet paper, so do plan on having to buy some "extras" to protect your investment!

Earthtec ETEC Non-Stick Sanitary Portable Toilet Bowl, 50 Flush, 5 gal

Earthtec's 5 Gallon Portable toilet is the premier toilet for any outdoor recreational activity. The air tight and lightweight design is made from polyethylene and built to with...

Thetford 92360 Porta Potti 550E Curve Portable Toilet

Porta Potti is the world's leading brand of portable toilet. Whether you're on the road, at home or on the water, you're never without a toilet with Porta Potti . Sanitary, odor...

GHP 5 Gallon / 20L Greenish Gray Portable Flush Travel Outdoor Camping Hiking Toilet

Portable toilet with 5gallon /20l holding tank, which is of comfort, convenience and environmental protection, has an innovative product design and robust abs quality (good dime...


Some Extra Handy Items When Camping Without An Outhouse Nearby

There are a few other items you might want to add to your supply list, when spending time outdoors without a restroom nearby. Disposable urinals and privacy tents are wonderful additions to any nature outing.

Travel John's disposable urinal is perfect anytime, anywhere - as it can obviously be used for emergencies even if in an urban setting. They make them for adults and children, so bring them camping or just keep them in your car.

A privacy shelter is such a great investment if you go camping. Not only can you put your portable camping toilet inside, you can also change clothes while standing up, which many small tents make nearly impossible.

Final Words - Portable Camping Toilets

Essential Camping Gear Equipment For A Happy Camper

We certainly hope we have assisted you in finding the right camping toilet for your next outing, quickly and easily. We sincerely doubt that most people desire to spend a large part of planning their camping trip reviewing toilets. Choosing the right toilet for your temporary trip or permanent RV toilet (collapsible, bucket style or deluxe flushing toilet), as you can see, can take a lot of time and thought.

Even if you camp by an outhouse, these commodes come in handy in the middle of the night (especially with children!) and are always with us on a back country driving trip where there are no rest areas for miles. We hope you will be pleased with your choice...and we hope you will think of us the next time nature calls, underneath the stars...

Now just grab some hot dogs, S'mores ingredients and some roasting sticks and you are good to go!


HAPPY CAMPING and Best Wishes,

Jim & Robin

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Updated: 05/09/2018, frugalrvers
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frugalrvers on 03/22/2016

Great frugal idea, Zubair...thanks for sharing! You can also line the bucket with a garbage bag so there isn't a mess.

Zubair Ahmed on 03/22/2016


You can make these portable bucket toilets yourself. All it take is a hard 5 gallon bucket that is used in construction sites. Take a pool noodle or a pipe insulation. You will have to cut the pool noodle length wise. Put this on top of the bucket.

Fill the bucket with some absorption material like torn newspapers so it soaks up the liquid. This makes it easy for disposable. Your portable toilet is ready :)

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