Last updated: August 10, 2021

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You probably know the feeling when you are out and about and suddenly have to go to the toilet. Especially when hiking, it can be an unpleasant feeling. A camping toilet can be your saviour in this case. You can do your business comfortably and easily and then continue your hike without worrying.

Our large camping toilet test 2021 will help you find the best camping toilet for you. We have compared chemical toilets and dry toilets and summarised the advantages and disadvantages of each type. We want to make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




The most important facts

  • Camping toilets are a must for campers as well as for travellers who are often on the road with their motorhome or caravan.
  • A distinction is made between chemical toilets and dry toilets. The former, especially the electrically operated models, offer a great deal of comfort. The latter, on the other hand, are particularly convincing due to their low prices, easy cleaning and environmental compatibility.
  • Before buying your mobile toilet, be clear about what your requirements are. Our list of the most important purchase criteria can help you.

The best Camping Toilet: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a portable toilet

When is it worth buying a camping toilet?

A camping toilet has many uses. You probably know a portable toilet in the form of a porta-potty at big events or parties. But if you are having a party in your garden or allotment, you certainly don't want to set up a porta-potty there.

Campingtoilette

A camping toilet is very practical. Even when you are out in nature, you can use it hygienically. Source: pilens / 123rf.com

A mobile toilet, for example a cassette toilet, is ideal for this. You can use it both outdoors and indoors, which will certainly please you and your guests, especially in winter.

But such a toilet is also a must for campers and travellers on the road in a motorhome. A cassette or solid fuel toilet can be found in every motorhome.

And a camping toilet is also an ideal purchase for campers who travel with a tent or without a professional camper van. You can easily stow it in the boot and save yourself a long search for the toilet. If you generally like camping or prefer to travel with a caravan, you may also be interested in products such as an espresso maker or a mini oven, so that you can also make breakfast coffee with rolls in your caravan or camper.
A portable toilet is perfect for you if you want to remain as independent as possible while travelling or camping and are looking for more comfort.

How much does a camping toilet cost?

Camping toilets come in several price ranges. Again, it depends on what you want to use it for. If it is only intended for an emergency on a car trip, a cheaper alternative will suffice. But if it is planned for regular use, you should go for something of higher quality.

Simply constructed dry toilets or bucket toilets are available from around ten euros. However, you should not expect too much for this price. Often you can buy a collection bag for the "big business". However, this does not guarantee safe and odour-free transport.

Chemical toilets are available from around 50 euros. For the most expensive units, you have to budget up to 150 euros. However, these toilets also offer sufficient comfort and are very easy to use, especially when emptying and cleaning.

Type price range
Dry toilet from about € 10
Chemical toilet about € 50-150

Is it possible to rent a mobile toilet?

Generally speaking, there are some providers who rent out mobile toilets. So if you only need them for a one-off occasion, it makes sense to consider this alternative and compare the providers.

You usually pay for disinfection, rent, final cleaning and, if necessary, delivery and removal. This brings you to about 150 euros, which can of course vary from provider to provider.

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A mobile toilet can also be rented. However, if you're not organising a big event and are only going on holiday, this doesn't really make sense. For 150 euros, you can already get top-of-the-range camping toilets.

Decision: What types of camping toilets are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two categories of camping toilets. Chemical toilets and non-chemical toilets, each of which is different:

Chemical toilets:

  • Cassette toilets
  • Solid fuel toilets

Non-chemical toilets:

  • Dry toilets
  • Composting toilets

Of course, it depends on where exactly you want to use your portable toilet and what is important to you. Therefore, we will now explain how the individual models work and what the advantages and disadvantages are.

How does a cassette toilet work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The cassette toilet is the most popular variant among the mobile toilets because it does not need any connection and is therefore very practical. The use of flushing and chemical substances also makes it very hygienic. It is often permanently installed in motorhomes, but you can also use it as a mobile toilet.

This toilet has two different tanks, the waste water tank and the fresh water tank. You have to fill both tanks with the respective liquid.

These chemical sanitary liquids inhibit germ formation, disinfect, neutralise odours and decompose faeces. In addition, they usually have a siphon system that also has an odour-inhibiting effect, as it prevents gases from escaping from the toilet.

Advantages
  • No odour formation
  • No direct contact with faeces
  • No connections necessary
  • Easy transport
  • Uncomplicated cleaning
Disadvantages
  • High purchase costs
  • Environmentally harmful

The filling quantity depends on the model, of course, but there is usually an indicator on the toilet. The Enders chemical toilet, for example, is designed for about 50 toilet trips.

Cleaning and emptying are usually relatively simple. All you have to do is detach the waste water tank and empty it into a household toilet or a designated disposal station. Afterwards, simple water is sufficient for cleaning. You should not use any other cleaning agents, as they may react with the sanitary liquids.

How does a solid-tank toilet work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Like the cassette toilet, the solid tank toilet is a chemical toilet and follows the same principle. The differences are that the tank of this toilet is fixed and that there is often only a combination liquid. This preparation does not decompose the faeces but binds them into a solid.

For odour control, solid tank toilets often use internal or external ventilation systems.

Advantages
  • No direct contact with faeces
  • No connections necessary
  • Uncomplicated cleaning
Disadvantages
  • High initial costs
  • Environmentally harmful
  • Odour formation if no ventilation available

As with the cassette toilet, the advantages are that you don't need a water, electricity or sewage connection. You have no direct contact with the excreta and this toilet has low odour if ventilation is installed.

To empty the toilet, you cannot disconnect the tank, but place or hold the toilet in or over the disposal point and wait until everything has drained out. You dispose of the bound faeces in an appropriate place.

How do dry and composting toilets work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

A dry toilet is characterised by the fact that you use it without water and usually without chemicals. The faeces are stored in a large container. A better-known variant is the "outhouse".

When the toilet tank is full, you have to empty it manually. Some models have a small fan to provide the necessary freshness. With some dry toilets, the so-called composting toilets, the excrement is composted right in the container.

Advantages
  • Partly no emptying required
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Partly low purchase costs
Disadvantages
  • Contact with faeces
  • Only to be used outdoors
  • Odour

If it is a composting toilet, no emptying is required, but the collected material must be moved again and again to reduce odours.

However, with both composting and dry toilets, you cannot avoid unpleasant odours, so you can only use them outdoors. In addition, you are often in close contact with the faeces. Therefore, this model is less practical and is rarely used.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate camping toilets

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate mobile toilets. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain model is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Type of toilet
  • Size / weight
  • Size of waste water and fresh water tank
  • Flushing system
  • Level indicator
  • Ease of cleaning

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Type of toilet

As you already know from the previous sections, you can distinguish between chemical and dry toilets. Nevertheless, we would like to go into detail about which type is best for you, as this decision is probably the most important in the whole buying process.

If you only need the portable toilet for occasional emergencies, such as a long car journey, a simple dry toilet is perfectly adequate. This is often available in combination with toilet bags that catch larger business.

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However, if you want to use the toilet regularly, for example on camping holidays or in the garden shed, you should consider a chemical toilet. This is usually more hygienic, less smelly and more comfortable.

The type of toilet is the purchase criterion you should look at most closely. The differences between chemical toilets and dry toilets are not insignificant.

Size / weight

This decision also depends on where you want to use your camping toilet. For example, if you want to use it permanently in a camper van, you should pay close attention to the dimensions. If you often have to transport the portable toilet, you should also pay attention to the weight.

There are smaller and larger models of both dry and chemical toilets. In general, you should allow for a height and width of between 40 and 50 cm for both types. A practical dry toilet for on the go is the foldable version from Highlands.

Chemical toilets are much heavier than dry toilets because they consist of two water tanks. There are also lighter and heavier chemical toilets. However, you have to weigh up whether you prefer a lighter toilet or one with more capacity.

The average empty weight is four kilograms, but don't forget that there are also a few litres of liquid.

Size of the wastewater and freshwater tanks

Chemical toilets have both tanks, dry toilets have only one wastewater tank. Again, you have to weigh up how important size and weight are to you. Nevertheless, the tank should have a certain volume so that you do not have to empty it all the time.

With chemical toilets, you have to fill both the wastewater and freshwater tanks with a sanitary liquid designed for this purpose. The size of the tanks varies depending on the model, but is always around ten to 15 litres, whereby the flush water tank is usually larger than the waste tank.

Most chemical toilets are designed for 40 to 50 loo cycles. When deciding on the size and weight of the waste-holding tank, you should bear in mind that you will also have to empty it, so it should not be too heavy.

Dry toilets only have a waste water tank or collection tank. Since you have to empty it more often than with a chemical toilet due to the faster formation of odours, the size of the tank is not too important. So when buying a dry toilet, pay more attention to how much storage space you have available.
Especially if you are going away with several people who will all be using the same toilet, you should attach some importance to the size of the waste water or fresh water tank.

Flushing system

This point of course only applies to chemical toilets, as dry toilets do not have a flushing system. Generally speaking, there are two systems. The bellows pump and the piston pump. Both pumps belong to the displacement pumps and are operated manually.

Camping_toilette

A positive displacement pump transports liquids by building up pressure and preventing them from flowing back again.

More widespread and popular is the piston pump, as it is much stronger and with so-called dosing pumps you can precisely determine the volume of liquid. Some models also have an electric piston pump, such as the Porta Potti EXCELLENCE. These devices are more convenient, but are also considered more fragile overall.

Level indicator

Such an indicator makes it much easier to use camping toilets. In most cases, this is a small indicator that uses colours to show when you need to empty your toilet. This prevents faeces from overflowing.

So if you don't want to count every time you go to the toilet and don't always want to think about whether you need to empty your camping toilet again, you should buy a model with such an indicator. This can also be very helpful if you use the toilet with your children on a camping holiday, as otherwise you are sure to lose track of the number of times you have used the toilet.

Ease of cleaning

When the camping holiday or garden party comes to an end, it's time to clean the appliance. If you don't have the time and don't want to go through the hassle of cleaning, make sure you choose a model that is quick and easy to clean.

However, you should still make sure to clean it thoroughly, as a camping toilet can last a very long time if you take good care of it.

In general, cleaning a dry toilet is much easier and time-saving, as you only have to clean one container and some models use toilet bags that prevent direct contact between the toilet and faeces.

When cleaning a chemical toilet, it is important that you only use lukewarm water and a cloth. Otherwise, reactions with the sanitary liquids may occur. For stubborn dirt or urine scale, you can also use a highly diluted vinegar solution.

lappen_reinigung_campingtoilette

When cleaning chemical toilets, it is sufficient or even better to clean the toilet with lukewarm water and a cloth. Source: congerdesign / pixabay.com

However, you should never do this too often, as the vinegar could damage the valve seal. You can also use a toilet brush from time to time. Depending on the size of the toilet, a flush brush may be more suitable.

Type Ease of cleaning
Dry toilet Very easy
Chemical toilet Easy

In general, you should be careful when cleaning your camping toilet and clean it regularly. This prevents heavy soiling that would require aggressive cleaning and damage the toilet.

Trivia: Interesting facts about camping toilets

Are there biological alternatives to chemical toilets?

Yes, more and more biological sanitary liquids are being developed that are free of formaldehyde.

These additives work only with natural microorganisms that break down excreta in a purely biological way and counteract the formation of odours. They are therefore in no way inferior to chemical additives.

This means you can empty your camping toilet into the sewage system or a public toilet without hesitation and help protect the environment. One example is the "Ensan Green" from Enders.

Which toilet paper is best for use with camping toilets?

Now you are probably wondering whether you can use the normal toilet paper from your bathroom. Of course, there are different opinions on this subject, but we generally advise against it if you have a chemical toilet.

As already mentioned, the faeces are decomposed here. However, if the toilet paper does not dissolve properly, it can interfere with all the processes in the toilet, clog the toilet and you end up with the trouble.

Of course, water-soluble toilet paper is a bit more expensive than regular household paper. Four rolls are available from Papernet for around two euros. But it's definitely worth buying, as it won't clog your mobile toilet.

However, if you only use a simple dry toilet or bucket toilet, you can of course use the normal toilet paper, as nothing dissolves here anyway and you empty everything manually.

Where did the toilet actually originate and what else is worth knowing?

The first latrines were found in Mesopotamia around 2800 BC. The Romans already had latrines with an intriguing water system. The first water closet was then invented in 1596 and the first German toilet was probably installed at Schloss Homburg in 1820.

Today, there are worldwide differences when it comes to our toilets. In western countries, we mainly use low-flush and flat-flush toilets. In Asia and the Arab countries in particular, squat toilets are found. In the Middle East, women are often forbidden to use public toilets.

In 2001, the World Toilet Organisation was founded, which campaigns for more hygiene in the "quiet lavatory" and created the World Toilet Day.

Image source: pixabay.com / TheoRivierenlaan

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