Are you tired of having to rush miles from your camping site just so you can use the bathroom? Could you use a toilet for your small boat when you’re out on the lake fishing? These portable toilet reviews will help you select the perfect option for your boat, RV, or that little corner of your workshop. You don’t have to hold it, why wait when it is time to go? Find a great portable toilet today.
Our Top-Rated Picks
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These are currently the best overall products in this category.
|Porta Potti||Camco Standard|
Click for Price
|Our Rating: 4.3||Our Rating: 4.3|
|Market Popularity: High||Market Popularity: High|
|Aqua Magic||Serene Life|
|Our Rating: 4.3||Our Rating: 4.6|
|Market Popularity: High||Market Popularity: Medium|
- Hold Down Kit
If you want to experience the ultimate in luxury from the portable toilet category, then this model is your best option. The White Thetford from Porta Potti offers a versatility that most other models are unable to match in this category. It is well-suited for use whether you travel in a boat, a van, or an RV. You can use it while camping, in some healthcare situations (goodbye bed pan!), or for your off-the-grid living needs.
What is so nice about the White Thetford is that it offers a slim, sleek design without compromising on the look and feel that you would get at home. The seat height that is incorporated into this design makes the unit easy to use, while the large bowel size and battery flushing mechanism allow you to enjoy a hands-free experience when you need to use the bathroom somewhere.
From a sanitation standpoint, the White Thetford is odorless. It doesn’t leak if you follow the instructions of the manufacturer when installing and using this product. It also offers a pour-out spout that allows you to empty the wastewater tank without dealing with the issue of back splashing.
We would highly recommend the optional hold-down kit which comes with this model to secure your unit to the floor. If you need to go while on the road, this feature will prevent wobbling or slippage that could create an uncomfortable or messy situation while traveling.
You will receive a small supply of waste digestion and deodorant inside of the box, giving you enough product to handle four complete uses and refills of the 5-gallon container. You can also use the waste cap as a measuring cup to ensure that you’re using the right amount of waste dissolver liquid.
The automatic flush feature does provide a potential element of confusion that some users may find bothersome when using the White Thetford. When you activate the mechanism, then it will only rinse out the tank. It does not actually open the valve to drop the waste particles into the holding tank.
You need to use the rinse feature with this model to ensure proper waste disposal. If you have liquid waste to remove, then close the seat. This process will then allow you to open the waste valve, and then press the rinse button. You may need to perform that action twice for solid waste particles, especially if there was not any water in the bowl.
If there was one place for improvement, it would be where the toilet paper holder is located, which is on the bottom right of the unit. If someone were to miss the bowl while standing up, there is an excellent chance that your TP will end up with some streaks of yellow.
Otherwise, we found the White Thetford from Porta Potti to be a practical mobile toilet that does an excellent job of meeting your bathroom needs. It will serve you well in a wide variety of applications. Click here to compare prices on Amazon and find the best deal on the Porta Potti White Thetford.
Best for Camping
- 5.3 gal capacity
- Bellow flush
- Minimal Water
- Seal Issues
If you are looking for a large capacity travel toilet that is exceptionally affordable, then the Canco Standard Portable Travel Toilet is going to be one of the best investments that you make this year. The manufacturer provides a standard design with a comfortable square seat that allows you to have a bathroom available whether you are camping, using your boat, or traveling with your RV.
It offers a 5.3-gallon holding tank which is detachable with the unit’s design, making it a lot easier to take care of your wastewater compared to models with a similar design. The Canco Standard offers a bellow-type flush that can handle repetitive use thanks to the sturdiness of its design. This feature is complemented by the side latches built into the structure of the unit which secure the holding tank.
This model features a 2.5-gallon flush tank in addition to the holding tank to ensure that you can go to the bathroom without difficulty during your travels. Although the seat width is just 13 inches, you will still feel like there is plenty of room when you sit on the unit for the first time. When you combine this design element with the rest of the unit, you will find it to be an easy way to have more bathroom access when you are out and about each day.
On the bottom portion of the waste tank, you will also find a sliding gate valve on the Camco Standard which allows you to create an odor-resistant, water-tight seal. This design elements also makes it very easy to take care of your maintenance chores when handling this unit. It is one of the easiest emptying units that we have found available on the market today.
You will also receive TST Orange drop-in samples in the box that can help you to take care of the initial maintenance needs for the unit.
Although there are numerous positives to consider with this unit, it is also important to note that it offers a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds. If you attempt to use it over that capacity or set heavy items on top of it, then the integrity of the seals can be compromised.
We found that this model was designed to be useful in most situations, offering comfort where it may be uncomfortable to go to the bathroom otherwise. We would recommend having some protective disposable gloves available when working with this unit, but otherwise we found the Canco Standard to be a convenient, affordable option that will reduce the restroom emergencies you sometimes experience when traveling. Click here to compare prices on Amazon and find the best deal on the Camco Standard Portable.
Best for RV
- Taller Seating
- Single Pedal
- Textured Lid
If you are looking for a product which has plenty of different use options, then this is the model you are going to want to take a closer look at today. Although the Aqua-Magic V is designed to work in recreational vehicles, we believe that a little creativity can help this product work almost anywhere that you may need to have an extra bathroom.
This model offers the classic style that you would expect from a standard household bathroom. The look and feel of the product are similar to what you would use if you were at home. It also comes with a taller design for easier seating or a low-height model for those tight spaces you may have. We found that this toilet, when correctly installed, will work almost anywhere thanks to its durable design that resists scuffs and other marks.
It features a single-pedal system for flushing that reduces the need to pull levers of handles to place waste particles into the holding tank. When you press it halfway, then you can add water to the bowl. Then engage the mechanism all of the way to receive a flush that covers 100% of the bowl. You will not believe how effective this design is at creating a clean bowl for each user to use after going to the bathroom!
Despite all of the conveniences that are available with this portable model, you will discover that it is extremely lightweight. It weighs less than 10 pounds, which means you can take the Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet anywhere with you. The unit is easy to install and service as well. We found the instructions to be complete and thorough.
The one issue we did experience when using this design from Aqua-Magic is that the water consumption levels tend to be a little high when compared to other models. If you have a hand sprayer available in your RV or shop, then it helps to spray down the bowl before going to the bathroom. If you use this technique, then you can potentially reduce the number of times that you need to clean the unit without sacrificing the overall cleanliness it provides.
You’ll receive everything in the box that you need to begin the installation process right away. That includes the gasket seal for the toilet and the chemicals for the holding tank. It will then drain directly into the RV tank, which then allows you to connect it to a sewer line or other servicing facility.
If you love to travel and don’t have a camper van or recreational vehicle which offers a bathroom, then you will enjoy this portable toilet. You can connect it to other tanks on your property as well if you prefer. Although it isn’t as easy to use as a 100% portable unit, we found that the value offered with the Aqua-Magic V is something that cannot be ignored. Click here to compare prices on Amazon and find the best deal on the Aqua Magic.
Best for Boating
- Easy Empty
- Carrying Case
- Bowl Size
One of the most significant struggles that owners have with their portable toilet is knowing when they need to service the unit. Many models fail to offer any type of indication that your basin is becoming full, which means you are left to your own devices to determine when servicing becomes necessary. With the SereneLife Outdoor, that issue is resolved thanks to the incorporated toilet level indicator.
That is only one of multiple features that are nice to see when taking a look at this portable model from SereneLife. It offers a 5.3-gallon tank which will hold plenty of wastewater for you, reducing the overall number of servicing chores you need to perform thanks to its bigger size. This model empties exceptionally fast as well through its splash-free pour spout that rotates. You will discover that the number of odors which reach your nose thanks to this design are significantly reduced.
We also appreciate the fact that you can go to the bathroom in comfort anywhere thanks to the easy-carry design which is available with the SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet. Whether you’re on a camping trip in the backwoods or traveling with your family in an RV, this product gets the job done.
It will even work well on a boat thanks to the fact that it requires zero external water or power connections.
We did find that the level indicator is somewhat deceiving with regards to easy cleaning. If you wait until it is completely red (which indicates a change is necessary), then you will find it difficult to empty the wastewater without splashing it everywhere. It is much easier to take care of this issue when the tank is about 75% full instead. You will also want to use an agent that will break down the waste in the holding tank to maximize the potential of this unit.
You’ll receive between 40 to 50 flushes between servicing needs.
As for the seat, we found it to be a little small for the average person. You’ll receive about 9 inches in full diameter when using it, which is admittedly standard for most portable designs. There are fewer ergonomic features incorporated into the design, which is why it feels a little more uncomfortable than other models in this category.
The SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet is a strong product made of durable materials that will help you to create a bathroom space wherever you decide to travel. It is lightweight, convenient with its carrying case, and will help you to create a comfortable place to go when you need to use the bathroom. It may cost a little more than some of the other products, but it is still worth the investment. Click here to compare prices on Amazon and find the best deal on the SereneLife Outdoor.
How to Find the Right Model for Me
The best portable toilet serves one purpose: to give you a convenient place to use the bathroom when there are no other practical options.
I can remember as a kid traveling across the United States with my grandparents. It used to take forever in those days because the maximum speed limit was 55 mph.
I was four years old, maybe five, and I can remember needing to go to the bathroom urgently. When I asked my grandpa if he could stop, he just handed me an empty coffee can. “There’s your portable toilet,” he said.
Today, there are better options than bottles and cans. The best models replicate the experience you receive in the bathroom at home when you’re away from home.
You can find options meant for the backcountry, portable toilets for the backyard, and even models that work well in camper vans and RVs. Each option provides a sanitary way to dispose of the waste too, reducing the risk of exposure no matter where you happen to be.
Advantages of Owning a Portable Toilet
The primary advantage is that you have a place to go to the bathroom when there isn’t another option. Some of the models in this category are essentially a 5-gallon bucket with a seat for a lid, but that is better than nothing when you’re about to perform the adult version of the potty dance.
Another benefit to consider with the modern designs is that it is lightweight and portable. You can pack most of these models with your other travel essentials to take them almost anywhere.
Some brands even include a screen or tent that you can pop-up around to create some extra privacy. Then you are given sanitary options that help you to pack out what you left behind to preserve the environment.
A final advantage involves the drainage and cleaning of these units. With chemicals and additives that can break down the solid particles, you can place the liquid into a black water receptacle without risking exposure or odor issue while working.
The primary disadvantage to consider is the odor that some can emit. You will want to look for a model which offers a dual basin to minimize this issue.
Another way that you can proactively prevent odor with this technology is to look at the strength of the seals. Watch for models with extended warranties on this specific item to indicate which ones are better than the rest.
Cleaning is another significant disadvantage to consider. Even with hands-off draining options, you must still open the compartment to completely remove the waste unless there is a sanitary bag included with the design. If you fail to properly maintain your unit, then the odors tend to “eat” into the materials and linger over time.
A final consideration involves comfort. Although today’s portable toilets do an excellent job of replicating the traditional bathroom experience, you will discover that using this product outdoors where privacy can be limited is sometimes challenging.
Trying to use a portable toilet while in a vehicle can also be an inconvenience for some.
What Are the Chemicals Used?
When you own a portable toilet, then it becomes your responsibility to manage the waste that gets left behind. There is no plumbing or sewer line to simply flush your business away. Many of the models that you will find in this category today require that you use chemicals or a natural product which will help to break down the solid particles which are present in the wastewater.
If you are using a chemical design, then you will see a reservoir located directly below the seat. This design makes it possible for the unit to reduce odors while performing a partial disinfection of the solid particles that get flushed.
Before using, it is essential that you check on the availability of chemicals in the unit. Most models offer a “T”-shaped handle which allow you to view the current contents. If you see liquid or powder in there, then it is ready to be used. If there are not any chemicals present, then you will need to add them according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
If you did not receive any instructions regarding this process, then here are some generic steps for you to follow.
- Separate the top and bottom of the toilet by unlatching the sections where indicated. Most models offer clips that are on the right and left sides. Lift the top section away from the bottom, and then set it aside.
- Now you will need to open the waste reservoir. You can do this by pulling the handle which is located in the center part of the front base. This movement will cause the sliding door to open, revealing the waste reservoir in the base.
- This step is where you will add the chemical disinfectant to your product. Do not add chemicals to a basin unless the manufacturer includes this requirement as part of the care and maintenance of your product.
- Now you can replace the top half onto the reservoir base on the bottom. Make sure that the clips on the side of the unit are firmly closed. Even if they are only partially open, it will create a higher risk for a leak during your next flush.
- Add water according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the unit or what you see on the chemical agent. Then close the waste reservoir by pushing the handle back into place.
Keep in mind that this information is for general purposes only. We cannot be held responsible for any damages or injuries that occur if you attempt to follow the above steps on a unit which requires a different procedure.
How Many and How Much Chemical Should I Use?
Most of the chemicals which are available for the modern portables come in prepackaged containers. You don’t need to worry about how much to add to the unit because everything is already portioned specifically for your needs.
If you decide to purchase your chemicals in bulk as a way to save some cash, then estimation will usually be enough to create positive results. Look at the overall amount of wastewater fluid that the container says it can treat. Then divide that amount by the size of your basin.
Let’s say that you are using a 5.3-gallon portable unit, but the chemicals that you purchased to care for the product treat 100 gallons in total. You would need to divide the number of treatable gallons by the size of your tank to generate a solution that you can use. In this situation, you would want to add about 1/18th of your chemicals during a service.
How do you calculate 1/18th of a container? Let’s say that your chemicals are a total weight of 70 ounces. You would want to divide that overall number by the fraction that you have. In this example, we would take 70 divided by 18 to generate a result that is 3.89. That means we would want to use 3.89 ounces of chemicals to ensure everything is properly sanitized.
You can find measuring containers that will allow you to achieve this precise number online or through any kitchen supply store. A best-guess will usually be enough, but make sure that you are not under-estimating too severely as that could lead to bacterial growth in your basin. It is usually better to be a little over rather than a little under.
Care and Maintenance
The best way to care for the modern moveable toilet is to include a plastic liner in its basin before using the product for the first time. You can find these products online or at your preferred camping or sporting goods retailer.
Make sure that you change the liner periodically for the best possible results. High-grade plastic is odor-resistant, but it can still give you a foul smell if you don’t change it during the regular cleaning process.
If any solid particles escape the basin liner for any reason, then a thorough cleaning of the portable toilet is required. Make sure to follow all black or gray water rules that are in place for your location when taking on this task.
You can also cover the bottom of your liner with kitty litter after placing it in your toilet basin to eliminate some odors as well. If you choose this option, then you will want to swap out the plastic every time you need to empty the container.
Can I Use Toilet Paper?
One of the most important questions that many are afraid to ask when using a portable model is if they can use toilet paper when they need to go to the bathroom. The answer is either “yes” or “no” depending on the type of TP that is available.
If you have 2-ply or 3-ply toilet paper at home that you want to pack along for the road with your portable unit, then that is not necessarily the best decision. Although the TP will break up over time, the chemical agents in your basin will not help it to dissolve quickly. The added bulk of the paper will cause you to have frequent servicing because it will fill up the container quickly.
You will want to use a specific toilet paper that is recommended for use in marine or RV sewage holding tanks. This TP option may only be a 1-ply product, but it also dissolves rapidly in the chemical agents used to disinfect the solid waste particles. You will notice a substantial reduction of bulk in your tank if you use this option over the previous one.
It can take some time to adjust to a 1-ply tissue. Using a small portion can leave behind a mess on your hands with inferior brands. That is why the best toilet paper and the best portable toilets are a winning combination that you’ll want to consider using today!
How Much Do Portable Toilets Cost?
If you don’t want to have something fancy when it is time to go to the bathroom away from home, then you can grab a portable lavatory for roughly $20. That’ll get you a 5-gallon bucket, an ergonomic seat, and a few plastic liners that will help you to dispose of the waste.
When you want something more modern, such as a chemical design, then you can expect to pay up to $200 for that privilege. Composting designs which offer portability for RVs and camper vans may run upwards of $1,000 if you purchase the best available model today.
The best portable toilets make it possible to create a bathroom wherever you happen to be. Whether you travel in an RV or plan to hike into the backcountry, you will discover that one of these models makes it a lot easier to manage your restroom requirements. Choose the product which best meets your needs today, and then enjoy the next adventure!