How To Choose A Portable Toilet For Camping

Author: Your RV Good Guide   Date Posted: 15 January 2023


Many campervan owners would consider a portable toilet to be a must-have. Having your own camper toilet means you don’t have to worry about finding public loos as you travel. And you won’t have to trek across the campsite in the middle of the night to use the less-than-desirable ablutions block! But even if you stay at holiday parks with good bathroom facilities, it’s convenient to have your own onboard toilet.

If you’re planning a campervan conversion and you’re looking for motorhome bathroom ideas, a portable camper toilet could be a good option. They’re also ideal for those who travel with a pop-top camper or other RV that doesn’t have a fixed toilet.

In this blog, we’ll flush out a few answers to common questions such as:

  • How do I choose a camping toilet?
  • What's the best portable toilet for a campervan?
  • Is a camping toilet worth it?
  • What are the different types of portable toilets?

We’ll also talk through some of the benefits of having a portable toilet, and some of the factors to consider when buying one.


What is a portable camping toilet? 

A portable campervan toilet usually has an attached waste tank and freshwater tank, with a toilet seat and bowl. Because they’re nice and compact, portable toilets can easily be stored within your motorhome or vehicle. They can also be transported easily from one place to another. If you are camping in remote locations without access to a toilet, a portable camping toilet might be a good choice for you.


Portable toilets and freedom camping 

Freedom camping in New Zealand is very popular among motorhome and campervan travellers. It's the perfect way to spend a few days in-between stays at caravan parks, campgrounds or holiday parks in popular destinations. When freedom camping, you generally won’t have access to facilities such as clean drinking water, toilets, or waste disposal facilities. Hence the requirement to have them onboard.

Note, under new rules outlined in the Self-Contained Vehicles Bill, only self-contained vehicles with fixed toilets will be able to stay on public land which is restricted to certified self-contained vehicles only. Campers with portable toilets will only be allowed to freedom camp at sites designated by the local council or on conservation land open to vehicles with portable toilets.


How does a flushable portable toilet work? 

Portable flushable toilets have three main parts:

  • Bowl
  • Freshwater tank
  • Wastewater (holding) tank

Consisting of two separate sections, an upper fresh flush water tank and a lower, sealed waste holding tank, flushing portable toilets are operated either by a foot pump or hand pump. Some use a piston pump while others are operated with an electric pump.

To empty your waste tank, it’s a simple matter of detaching the holding tank section and tipping it into a toilet or disposing of the waste at a dump station.


How to choose the best portable toilet for camping? 

When deciding on which is the best portable toilet for your campervan, you’ll need to take a few factors into consideration:


What is your budget? 

Portable toilets can start at around $130 for a basic non-flushing model such as the Camec 10L Portable Toilet. If you are looking for a portable camping toilet but have a strict budget or don’t go camping often, this model is a good option.

You could pay up to $450 for an electric model with all the bells and whistles, such as the Thetford Porta Potti 565E. If you are a frequent camper with a higher budget, the Porta Potti electric flush model could be better suited to your needs.


What is your style of camping? 

If you prefer staying at commercial campgrounds and campervan parks, then there will likely be toilet facilities available to you. If that’s the case, you may decide you don’t need a toilet onboard. Some campers prefer this option and would rather not deal with having to empty and clean their own toilet.

However, if you want the comfort and convenience of using your own bathroom facilities, then a portable motorhome toilet is a great option. It’s especially handy if you’re travelling with children who need regular toilet stops. It also means you don’t have to worry about leaving your motorhome to use the bathroom during the night. If you prefer to camp at approved DOC sites or at campsites where no bathroom facilities are available, a portable toilet is an ideal solution.


How much space do you have?

One of the benefits of a portable toilet is that they are fairly compact. That makes them ideal for use in motorhomes or caravans. Depending on the tank size and functionality, they can vary in size a fair bit. However, if you are super tight on space, you might prefer a portable campervan toilet that is on the smaller side or able to fold down.


How many people will be using it? 

Another deciding factor that will help determine which is the best motorhome toilet for you is the number of people using it. If it’s just you and perhaps one other, you can get away with a smaller tank size than if you’re travelling in a group or family. At RV Super Centre, we have portable camping toilets with holding tanks ranging from 10L to 21L in capacity.


What are the benefits of getting a portable toilet? 

There are many benefits to a portable campervan toilet, such as convenience, cleanliness and more. Here are a few of the biggest advantages:

  • It is a handy option if you need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. So much safer than heading outside in the dark, especially if it’s raining!
  • It makes life easier when you have little children who need to desperately use the bathroom when you’re driving in the middle of nowhere!
  • You don’t have to share toilets with strangers and are in control of the cleanliness aspect.
  • It gives you peace of mind that you can use it at any time.
  • Portable toilets use minimal water. For example, the Camec Portable Toilet with 10L holding tank uses 12L of fresh water which will last for 40 flushes.
  • They are very affordable, with prices starting at just $130, there’s no excuse to be without one!
  • Because they’re portable, they can also be used at home as a second toilet if needed, or for potty training.


What are the different types of portable toilets at RV Super Centre 

At RV Super Centre we stock a wide range of portable toilets. Let’s take a look at a few of our popular models:


Thetford Porta Pottis 

The Porta Potti 145, 12L portable toilet and Porta Potti 165, 21L portable toilet are both hermetically sealed so no unpleasant smells can escape! Cleaning is also made super easy thanks to the detachable toilet seats. These affordable, compact toilets are also comfortable, practical, and durable.

The Porta Potti 565P, 21L piston flush portable toilet includes an easy-to-use manual piston pump. It includes two separate sections, an upper flush water tank and a lower, sealed waste holding tank. It also includes an integrated toilet roll holder and flush water level indicator.

Looking stylish in tones of granite and featuring an electric flush system, the Porta Potti 565E with Electric Flush 21L is perfect looking for those wanting a little luxury during their campervan travels. This model is comfortable for all ages thanks to its homelike toilet shape and higher seating. This portable toilet has an integrated control panel for the electric pump, flush-water level indicator and level indicator display for the waste-holding tank.


Camec Portable Toilets 

The Camec 10L Portable Toilet and Camec 20L Portable Toilet each feature a 12L freshwater tank that lasts for 40 flushes. Cleaning is made super easy with the detachable holding tank that features a large discharge opening. These compact and lightweight toilets are easy to store and made from high-strength durable polyethylene material.



The Challenger 10L Portable Toilet is sturdy with a smooth and easy-to-clean surface. It is equipped with a removable seat and cover for easy cleaning, 10L freshwater tank and an injection piston pump for flushing the toilet.


Ready to find the best portable camping toilet? 

We hope this blog has helped clarify your understanding of portable campervan toilets. You’ll find a great range of flushable and non-flushing portable toilets at your local RV Super Centre. We also have a wide selection of fixed toilets, toilet and cassette parts, hygiene products, and other RV supplies and motorhome accessories.

Still not sure which is the best portable toilet for your campervan? Our friendly, experienced staff are always on hand to help. Check out our great range online or at your nearest RV Super Centre one-stop-shop.

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up