What are the different types of portable toilet systems
for camping, under the bed in a caravan, rv, camper van
or camper trailer?
So you are off camping in an area where there are no
public or pit toilets and looking for options of the
various portable toilets available.
There are portable toilets such as Nature Bio-Toilet
that comprise simply of a seat, with legs, from which
hangs a plastic bag to collect the waste.
Or there are the pail or drum like portable toilet such
as the Hassock Portable Toilet or the Coleman Non-Flush
Portable Toilet which houses a bucket which you remove to
dispose of the waste.
The Porta Pottyor SaniPottie
Because these toilets are compact, lightweight and easy
to use, the portable toilet is often used in caravans,
motorhomes, campervans, boats and camper trailers. The
porta potty is simple to transport and really can be
placed anywhere. It is small enough to pull out from
under your caravan or trailer bed and slides neatly away
again when not in use.
A flushing portable toilet consists of two sections.
The upper section is a combined flush water tank and
toilet bowl with detachable seat and cover. The lower
section is the waste holding tank. These two parts are
easy to attach and detach using a lever at the rear of
the toilet. In this way, the waste holding tank can be
simply and hygienically emptied and cleaned. Most porta
potty type toilets are equipped with a level indicator.
In this way you are warned in good time that the waste
holding tank must be emptied.
Portable toilets come in various shapes and sizes as
well as tank holding capacity. If you are after a
portable toilet to fit under the bed of a caravan or
travel trailer then measure the space or hatch before
you go shopping so you purchase one that will fit.
Another thing to bear in mind when choosing is the
waste or holding tank section can be quite heavy when
full and you may need to carry it some distance to empty
For easy emptying of a portable toilet look for one that
has a permanently mounted pouring spout and a push
button air release valve for quick clean tank
now have the Electra Magic Recirculating Toilet which is
self contained, push button quiet flushing portable
toilet which they state uses very little water and can
be hooked up to a remote tank for extra capacity.
Thetford also have a top of the line 465E portable
toilet with a battery powered flush button and sealed
valve to keep odours in the holding tank. Flush or
fresh water tank capacity is 18 Litres (4 gallon) and
the waste holding tank capacity is 25 Litres (5.5
gallon). Thetford also have the 585 Electric Porta
Potti with an easy push button electric flush.
Some brand names of portable toilets are Thetford Porta
Potti, SeaLand’s SaniPottie, Coleman Portable Toilet,
Fiamma Bi-Pots, Century Portable Toilet, Dometic Sani
Porti, Visa Potty, Companion Eziloo and Primus Deluxe
Portable toilets for camping and for your RV are
available from RV outlets, camping stores, online
camping distributors and eBay.
Do I need
to use special toilet paper in a toilet/cassette toilet?
Simple test -
Place a couple of
sheets of the paper you wish to test in a screw top jar
half filled with water. Replace the lid and shake
vigorously for 30 seconds. If the paper seems to
fall apart then it is suitable for your portable toilet.
Fast dissolving, clog resistance biodegradable toilet
paper is also available for RV and Marine portable
Burying toilet waste
If you need to go to the toilet in the bush or bury
toilet waste (faeces) you should do so at least 100m
away from creeks, lakes, walking tracks and campsites.
The hole should be at least 15cm (6 inches) deep or
more. There is a human bacterial parasite, Giardia,
that can live in mountain streams contaminated by faecal
waste which can cause chronic diarrhoea and other
conditions so please bury well away from any waterway.
Believe it or not, Dr Kerry Bridle has done a study of
the breakdown of ‘poo’ buried near walking trails in the
state of Tasmania. Her studies showed it takes longer
for the faeces to break down in colder climates and it
broke down more efficiently where urine had been mixed
in. Her studies showed toilet paper had not broken down
even after 12 months so, if possible, any toilet paper
should be burnt and ladies, tampons should be taken out
with you as they do not break down.
Can I empty my porta potti / toilet cassette in septic
Before disposing of the toilet waste ensure the
chemicals you have used can be deposited in septic
toilets, recirculating toilets and holding tank models.
Read the label on the product carefully.
What chemicals should I use for my porta potti /
portable toilet ?
to consider when assessing many of the different
chemicals available for your portable toilet are -
Does the chemical chosen
suppress unpleasant smells;
promote the breakdown of solids and toilet paper;
protect moving parts and extend the life span of
your portable toilet / porta potti;
Some regional towns have CMCA/ KEA sponsored ‘dump’
points however if your toilet cassette or ‘black water’
waste contains formaldehyde it should not be disposed of
in those facilities as it can de-nature the waste
breakdown. There is also considerable cost for local
shire councils to remedy the problem as they often lack
the availability of sufficient water to dilute the waste