What are the most important things to think about when completing a camper conversion? What van life essentials come at the top of the list, the things that the van life influencers on your favourite Van Life Instagram accounts use every day and rely on more than anything?
Sure, there’s solar panels and the good old camper shower, and no modified campervan is complete without the addition of some nifty vanlife cooking accessories.
Van Toilet: Yer or No?
Perhaps the biggest question of all that causes the most controversy between vandwellers is ‘to poo, or not to poo’. So, are campervan toilets really worth the money or hassle of installing.
Some of our off road trucks and monster camper conversions might be able to take on mother nature, but when she comes knocking on your stomach after your morning coffee, there’s no stopping her. If you gotta go, then you gotta go, and the method of choice differs between everyone that we meet.
Best Campervan Toilets On The Market Today
So, wipe that trowel off and stick it back in your bulkhead (that is certainly not a euphemism) as we’re about to tackle the 11 best campervan toilets on the market today.
|Composting Toilet||Expensive purchase|
|Lightweight||Requires 12V power|
All of our top eco campers will be pleased by the inclusion of
For all of you who are new to the idea of a composting toilet, it’s essentially a way of turning your solid waste (that’s poo to me and you) into compost, which can be disposed of in a bin, your garden, or your neighbours garden if you’re bearing a grudge towards them.
The Natures Head toilet (known in the trade as a dry toilet) has a urine dividing system which allows you to quickly and easily dispose of your wee as and when you need to.
Unlike chemical toilets which (you guessed it) use a lot of chemicals,
The Natures Head was originally designed to fit onto boats, making it perfect for this amphibious camper and the CaravanBoat. They’re designed to withstand tough conditions (from the weather and not excessive use!) and bolt down for extra stability. The downside is that you need a 12V power source to power the ventilation fan inside, though this could easily be rectified by hooking the toilet up to a portable solar charger.
At just under £1’000 this is the most expensive throne on out Best Campervan Toilets list, but if you’re planning on living off grid for a long time, then the money that you will save on expensive chemicals and the positive effect you’ll be having on the planet will outweigh the shock of shelling out all that cash.
|No need to install||Uses Chemicals|
|Lightweight||Heavy to empty if left to get full|
|Cheap To Buy||Uses lots of water|
|Seat Isn’t Too Low Down|
|20L Waste Tank, 15L Flush Tank|
Number two on our Best Campervan Toilets list is one that I have been previously acquainted with on many occasions. We bought a Thetford Porta Potti in the early stages of writing our How To Build A Camper e-book, and it has seen us through many a morning constitutional (and some dark times that we’d rather not put into print). As far as toilets go it’s a comfortable one and doesn’t have many elements that could potentially go wrong.
The Thetford Porta Potti 365 has two tanks; one for filling with water to clean the bowl, and another for storing all of your waste inside. The latter compartment has a sliding section that seals and stops any odours from escaping when the toilet is not in use and also acts as the ‘flush’ to send your waste into ‘the abyss’.
Although the Porta Potti Cube is designed to be used with chemicals, you can buy eco-friendly products or environmentally friendly alternatives such as eco washing powder to keep the smells at bay.
The pull out spout makes emptying at any campervan station a breeze, although it could be one of the UK Van Life Hardest Bits if you’re in an area that’s not set up for toilet disposal like out here in mainland Europe. It can get pretty heavy when left to get too full aswell, making it the most unpleasant two man job around.
3. The InstaPrivvy
|Easy to install||Can’t fix inside your camper|
|Light enough to take on hikes|
|Designed For Instant Use|
|Great if your camper has no toilet|
|Pop up structure supports 250lb|
The InstaPrivy might sound like the latest Instagram phenomenon, but’s it actually something much better than that. It’s a pop-up toilet designed for instant use no matter where you are. It fits inside a neat little backpack and can be erected in seconds, which can be handy if you’re have had something dodgy for lunch.
Every InstaPrivy comes with a privacy screen that allows you to sit and look out at your surroundings but doesn’t let any nosey neighbours peek in at you.
It’s made of a durable material too, making this the only toilet on our Best Campervan Toilets list that can give you a comfortable and private experience anytime, anywhere! It’s perfect for road trips, hiking, festivals, off grid living and more, and comes with everything that you need right from the word go. Each kit comes with a privacy shelter, toilet chair, carry bag, hand shovel, waste bag, sanitizer and more.
The InstaPrivy can be erected inside your camper too, simply remove the pop up shelter and then you can use the sturdy toilet to use indoors when you really need to go. You can even combine this with an open slide door and you’re doing your number two with a stunning view.
It’s a great accessory if you have a large camper or a tiny trailer in tow, and it will give you that added security and comfort when doing what we humans do best; sitting and watching the world go by.
|Portable and weatherproof||Uses waste management sachets|
|Lightweight||Have to buy extra liners and sachets|
|Strong Steel Axis|
|Pops up in seconds|
Sometimes the ‘need for bowel speed’ might take you at any moment, which is why having an emergency toilet on hand can be a great idea. The next throne on out Best Campervan Toilets list is one that can be used both in your rolling tiny house and outside in the wilderness, but it’s not for the faint hearted.
The Bivvy loo is a fold up toilet that can be zipped up and carried from place to place. It’s small and compact when not in use and supports weights of up to 150KG thanks to an integrated steel axis. There aren’t many toilets out there that have a steel axis in them!
The Bivvy Loo is designed as both an emergency loo and for use on sporadic camping trips or festivals, and the fact that it uses bio-degradable wipes will help to reduce the amount of toilet paper and wet wipes that you see spoiling picturesque sights on your travels. It comes with multiple waste management sachets that can each turn 2
Unfortunately, this toilet makes use of liners that you will have to replace when used up, which isn’t a very eco-friendly option, and there’s no mention of the gel turning solid waste into a manageable gel either. I don’t think you’d get away with throwing these in a park bin, but they would be a great alternative for outdoor pooping if you don’t have a dedicated space in your van.
If you’re after a no nonsense approach to doing your business, then the Outdoor Revolution Big Loo could well be the answer. Perhaps the most simple of our Best Campervan Toilets, it has provided many a weak-bladdered camper with sweet relief in the middle of the night.
Billed as a portable toilet, the Big Loo does it exactly what it says on the tin. It has a seat for you to sit on while reading the paper or playing Candy Crush (other iPhone games are also great for playing on the loo too), and comes apart easily for cleaning.
The handle gives you the option of carrying your plastic throne to a better location for a ‘poo with a view’, and at 40cm high you won’t feel like you’ve broken into a Hobbit Hole to use their toilet without permission.
The downside to this toilet is that no matter how many fancy words you use or light-hearted praise you associate with it, you’re still essentially pooping into a bucket. There’s no special seal to compartmentalize your waste, and in hot climates, I can imagine this thing hitting ten on the pong-o-meter very quickly. Emptying this would be incredibly difficult, especially if you’ve been using it on a long camping holiday.
If you’re a weekend warrior in a Mini Camper, then this could be the one, but if you have a larger vehicle, then the next product on our Best Campervan Toilets list might be more suitable.
6. Dometic 970
|Push Button Flush System||A More Expensive Option|
|Tank Level Indicator|
|Elongated Spout For Emptying|
|18.9 max waste tank|
The Dometic 970 series toilets are great for smaller sized vehicles such as the classic Volkswagen Bus Camper and larger vehicles like the Wildcamp Citroen Camper. The ABS construction makes them incredibly strong and durable, and you can choose between a 9.8L or 18.9L waste tank.
The 970 range of campervan toilets have a tank level indicator on them to let you know when you’re approaching ‘tipping point’.
No, we’re not talking about the popular daytime television show where contestants can win lots of money, we’re talking about avoiding a campervan disaster that can leave you crawling about on the floor with kitchen roll crying ‘why me’ over and over again. The push button flush is also a nice touch to add that Luxury RV feel into any camper. Living in a van never felt so fancy!
The biggest downside to this toilet is that you have to fork out a little extra money compared to the majority of the products on the list, but for the extra features that you’re getting you might well think that it’s worth it. This toilet does use chemicals, but as aforementioned, there are eco-friendly alternatives available for those fans of eco campervans.
7. Vango Throne
|Best Named Product||Small Waste Tank|
|Perfect For Weekend |
|Sitting Low Down|
|One Piece Construction |
|3-Way Piston Flush|
The Vango Throne wins the best
Billed as a perfect way to enjoy a home comfort while enjoying alternative living outdoors, this ergonomically designed portable toilet can hold up to 200KG’s of weight and provides you with a perfect place to wap out your Kindle and finish the last chapter of that book you’ve been reading.
The Vango Throne comes with a storage bag if you don’t want everyone knowing that you’re carrying a toilet around with you, but for those of us who are living the van life full-time then it’s a relatively low
It’s also one of the cleanliest toilets that I’ve ever seen, with a piston pump that activates a 3-way flush to make sure every part of the bowl is clean after use. The Throne is double sealed to prevent odours from sneaking out like smelly ghosts, and you can pour your waste away without the fear of the dreaded ‘splashback’ by depressing the air pressure inside the tank at the touch of a button!
As with all of the loos on our Best Campervan Toilets list, there are a couple of downsides, the biggest being that it’s actually quite a low-down toilet to reach. If you’re a big camper and don’t want to turn the light on in the middle of the night for fear of properly waking up, then you might easily forget how low down the seat is and receive a nasty shock when you end up sprawled in heap. The waste tank is also quite small compared to some of the other models, which
|Corrosion Resistant||Small Fresh Water Tank|
|Flushable Toilet||Not great for larger families living |
|50+ flushes before filling|
|Double Sealed to prevent odours|
Is there anything more serene than having a clean and empty system? The next product — the Serene Life Portable Toilet — on our Best Campervan Toilets list would say that there isn’t! The Serene Life Portable toilet comes equipped with many of the other features of the toilets above and packages them all together in the same unit.
Like the Vango Throne, this loo also has a three-way flush system that you can use to thoroughly clean your bowl after every use, but unlike the Throne, this toilet is much bigger and has a bigger waste tank. Perfect for everything from weekend trips to the seaside to a long term off grid adventure, the Serene Life toilet is the perfect companion for anyone who has put their ‘long drop’ digging days behind them.
The corrosion resistant material and rugged design of the Serene Life toilet
The bad news is that the Serene Life has a smaller fresh
|Integral Macerator||Requires 12V supply|
|Push button electric flush|
|Looks like a real toilet|
|Built in back flow prevention|
|No need to hand pump|
Now it’s time for another flash looking flusher with the arrival of the Jabsco Electric Toilet. This marks the second 12V powered loo on our Best Campervan Toilets list, making it the perfect partner for anyone travelling in a van or cruising in a boat while living off the grid.
This toilet could well be the first on our list that looks like an actual toilet, giving you that sense of being a king or queen on your own regular throne when it’s time to empty your burden (I don’t know how many different phrases I can use for this, but I’m going to try and throw a few more in before the article is finished).
This electric powered toilet has a simple ‘push flush’ system operated by an easy to use button. It’s made of china like your normal toilet, and it has an enamel seat designed for comfort when sitting down.
If you class the toilet as the most comfortable and though provoking seat in the house, then you’re probably going to want to consider fitting one of these Jabsco electric loos in your camper. The internal macerator allows you to pump waste up to 3.5m in height, giving you the option of having your waste disposal chute higher if you’re a taller camper that doesn’t like to stoop.
The downside to this toilet is that it does need to be hooked up to an electric supply. The 12V power needed is no problem if you have a good battery set up, but when in use, it draws 24amps from your batteries. Considering my lights draw one amp when turned on, this seems like a lot just to push your poop up a chute.
If you’re considering adding or replacing your toilet in an
|Large Waste Outlet||Doesn’t attach to floor of camper|
|No Electric Power Required|
|Slide Valve Locks In Odours|
We’re heading back to basics with the next loo on our Best Campervan Toilets list, and focusing on a design that we’ve seen a couple of times in our list so far.
If how you’re going to poop when it’s raining keeps you awake at night, then this Outwell toilet will calm your nerves and be your constant companion through thick and thin (you can work that one out for yourself).
This Outwell toilet has a 20L waste tank which is perfect for any long stints at your favourite van life travel spots, leaving you to concentrate on your adventures instead of worrying about whether your toilet is going to overflow. The built-in handle and detachable holding tank make emptying in alotted campervan spots a breeze, and the side latches make this one of the easiest loos on our Best Campervan Toilets list to take apart and put back together again.
The downside to this toilet is that you have to use chemicals, but by now you know what to do if you’re looking for an eco-friendly approach to the cheap stuff you can get in your local budget supermarket.
You can’t attach this toilet to the floor of your camper, but if it’s in a dedicated space where it can’t slide around then you should be fine.
11. Build Your Own Composting Loo!
|Build your own design||You’ll have to make your |
|Custom made to measure||You might make it wrong|
|Simplify the process||You could end up making a |
|Keep costs down||You might spend lots of |
money in the process
The last poop house in our Best Campervan Toilets list might be a little bit of a surprise, but it’s an option that man cheap camper lovers opt for when building their rolling affordable tiny homes. The table above might be a little confusing having just read that last sentence, but it really depends on your level of building expertise and brain power when it comes to designing.
Making your own composting toilet can be a cheap alternative to some of the more expensive brands on the market, and there are plenty of plans out there on the internet that can give you a good starting point. Van Life Ideas recently made one on their Instagram channel using simple household jugs and buckets to collect different waste, and the end result was very impressive.
Using wood shavings, saw dust, or a coconut rind can help to break down your poop and keep it nice and odour free. If you separate off your waste, your urine can go straight onto the flower bed for the plants, and your sawdust/poop mixture can go straight into a compost bin or compost heap to be used for any gardening you might have planned in the future.
As I’ve already said, you need to be confident in making items before taking this task on as the chances are that you’ll have to get creative.