Preparation is key in any camping trip or van excursion, and at the top of that list of importance is knowing where you’re going to use the restroom. Rest stops, gas stations, or restaurants are fine for normal travel, but when living the van life, you need to find a better solution.
If you’re hunkered down at a good campsite, you’re probably just a stone’s throw from the public restrooms. But what if you don’t have a good spot? What if the restrooms haven’t been cleaned recently and aren’t fit to house your cheeks? What if you just really, really need to go?
The good news is you have options. Many campers and van enthusiasts have opted for portable toilets, which can give you most of the comforts of home — with all of the portability you need and none of the pee-pee or poo-poo dances you want to avoid.
Why Should You Use a Portable Toilet?
So why bring a portable or mobile toilet on your camping excursion? If you have a van or dry camper, you don’t really have the options for a permanent toilet, so a mobile option means you’re not relying on others to provide the facilities (which also means you don’t have to delay your trip looking for a restroom).
More Disposal Options: If you have a van or a dry camper, let’s just assume that dealing with a traditional gravity-flush toilet isn’t something you’re excited about. You have to empty them, you have to make sure you have the proper fluids, and emptying the tank is often difficult or inconvenient.
Convenience: When you gotta go, you gotta go. When you have a portable toilet, you don’t have to wait for a highway exit or take a long walk to a dirty public restroom with screaming children, insects, biohazards, or other nuisances. You just set up your toilet (and a privacy shelter if necessary), and go where you want to go. We recommend a private, secluded area, though. A portable toilet is easily carried around, emptied, and reused, giving you a leg up on convenience.
Mobility: When you choose a dry camper versus an RV, you’re valuing budget over convenience in a lot of ways. For all the conveniences of home an RV has, they’re often bulky and expensive. Utility hookups can be messy, tough to use, and require maintenance. With a mobile toilet, you simply set it up, use it, dump it, and store it. You can take them with you on hikes or excursions and, if you pack them wisely, you’ll hardly know they’re there. That portability is an advantage RVs can’t match.
Types of Mobile Toilets
Dry Flush Toilets
A dry flush toilet doesn’t use any water. This is particularly convenient for times you are camping in a primitive area without utility hookups. Dry flush toilets generally use a bio-gel or powder and have a disposal system involving bags.
Folding toilets, like The PETT® Portable Toilet, fold into smaller, briefcase-like containers, which are great for portability and weight concerns. Your business generally goes into a container of some kind, like The Original WAG BAG®, which makes for quick and easy cleanup.
Just like the name implies, bucket toilets are a dry toilet that is simply made out of a bucket or bucket-type container. You can buy a bucket toilet as a set or even make one yourself, and that DIY capability is probably its main advantage. You can line a bucket toilet with a bag and use sawdust, bio-gel, or another substance to help with cleanup and prevent odors.
The bucket toilet’s main drawback is in cleanup, though. You have to empty a bucket toilet virtually every time you use it, making cleanup less convenient and more time consuming than other portable toilets.
Though traditionally used as a permanent, non-portable option for RV owners, some people are using cassette toilets as portable camping equipment. Cassette toilets have a removable waste tank that can be detached and dumped into a standard RV dump station or, in some cases, into a regular flush toilet (although we certainly urge caution for that kind of endeavor).
With no shortage of options for mobile restrooms, you can certainly find plenty of real options for using the restroom while traveling. Cleanwaste has options that allow you to go with confidence, with super-mobile options like the Pee-Wee® Unisex Urine Bag or the GO Anywhere Portable Toilet® which folds up for easy storage.
Cleanwaste is a leader in portable bathroom options that make the van life a little more relaxing and your needs a little less urgent. Check out their entire line of products and see for yourself how you can up the comfort of your van or camper trips.