Time to dive into the taboo world of campervan toilets! In this article we're going to explore every option, from a poop trowel to chemical cassette toilets, to a fully-compostable campervan toilet! We will look at the best brands, including the Thetford cassette toilet and Dometic Cassette toilet. We will also look at how to install a campervan toilet cubicle.
I'm Shane, I've been teaching people to convert campervans for many years, I'm the author of The Van Conversion Newsletter, the van conversion instructor at Udemy, and the proud owner of a beautiful self-build campervan called Beans. So let's jump in and learn about campervan toilets!
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To toilet, or not to toilet?
Space in a campervan is a highly valuable commodity. Some things (like showers, toilets, or ovens) can feel a bit 'extra'. And in certain circumstances they can be. But most people are going to need some sort a solution when they desperately need a number 2!
So, who doesn't need a campervan toilet?
If you spend very little time in your van
If you are extremely regular with a stomach of steel
If you only ever stay on campsites
If you have a teeny tiny van and don't have a choice
In my experience, a campervan toilet is nearly as mandatory as a fridge. I spend a lot of time off-grid and have used my chemical cassette toilet countless times.
Let's look at the pros and cons of a campervan toilet cubicle:
Pros of a campervan toilet:
Convenience: No need to faff about when you are urgently looking to do the business. If you have IBS this should not be underestimated
Comfort: A lot more comfortable than a nature squat
Privacy: No need to worry about who might be around
Cons of a campervan toilet:
Space: A campervan toilet cubicle takes up space - that can't be avoided.
Smell: Some types of campervan toilet can let off a chemically smell
Emptying: There is a little bit of effort required in emptying the toilet - though usually minimal
Semi-irrelevant side story: My chemical cassette toilet once overflowed and spilled into the surrounding storage 🙃 #vanlife....
'Non-toilet' campervan toilets
The Trusty Pee Bottle
Ahhh, old faithful. Sometimes a pee bottle can be a life-saver if it's pouring rain in the middle of the night and you really need to go. A Nalgene is a particularly good pee bottle due to the wide top on it.
From what I hear, peeing outdoors can be a little more challenging for girls! Welcome to the stage: SheWee - the ultimate urinating device for individuals of the female persuasion. Go check it out! Pretty nifty device.
The Poop Trowel & Biodegradable Toilet Roll
Did you know that human waste is one of the most harmful excrements of any animal? It is high in pathogenic organisms and heavy metals.
If you are going to go outdoors - you absolutely need to bury it (and the toilet paper)
Unless you are packing out your toilet paper with you, you should also purchase some biodegradable toilet roll. Here's a pack of 24 bamboo toilet rolls!
The Bin Bag
You're in a busy car park, you haven't built a toilet, and beads of sweat are dripping down your forehead as you clench your butt cheeks...
Thank god you have those bin bags!
Sometimes a person's gotta poop in a bag. Just make sure you use the biodegradable ones! (double them up). If have used this technique many times when the chemical cassette toilet isn't setup.
Portable Bucket toilet
On the cheaper and simpler end of campervan toilets is the portable bucket toilet. No frills here - just a bucket with a bin liner that you sit on.
You can get a fold-up version or a normal version.
Truthfully, these types of toilets are actually pretty good! The folding campervan toilet takes up no space and does the job just when you need it.
Chemical Cassette Toilet
With chemical cassette toilets, we enter the realm of 'real' campervan toilets. This is the luxurious stuff!
The chemical cassette toilet was created by Thetford many eons ago. It consists of three parts: the toilet seat, fresh water storage (flushing), and the cassette. The cassette is a removable waste-holding tank that can be emptied in the appropriate location.
Chemical toilet fluid
A chemical cassette toilet contains chemical toilet fluid and water which helps break down your waste.
Chemical toilet fluid can come in fluid or power form.