Where wilderness whispers secrets and stars illuminate the night, a van traveler’s heart yearns for liberation from the ordinary. It’s here, amidst the untamed beauty of nature, that a humble yet indispensable companion emerges— the portable camping toilet for van life. 

A tale of convenience and comfort unfolds, where a throne of tranquility awaits amidst the vast expanse. There are numerous ways to respond to nature’s call in the wonderful outdoors. Multiple solutions are available, ranging from a simple bucket to top-of-the-line portable, flushable toilets.

In this piece, I will discuss some of the best portable camping toilets for vans and why a camping porta potty is ideal for vans, small campers, and even car road trips.

Below is a guide to finding the finest portable camping toilets for campervans, caravans, and tents for your next outdoor camping vacation.

What is a Portable Toilet?

A portable toilet is, as the name suggests, a toilet that can be moved around easily, depending on your needs. 

They are typically small, don’t require too much space, and are usually used as camping toilets when campground toilets aren’t available or when traveling.

Benefits of using a portable camping toilet

Portable camping toilets for vans can be a boon in more ways than one:  


One of the key advantages of using a portable camping toilet in vans is its ease. When camping in places with no nearby lavatory facilities, owning a portable toilet allows campers to answer nature’s call without leaving their campground. 

This is especially handy at night or during stormy weather, when leaving the shelter of the campsite may be inconvenient or uncomfortable.


Portable camping toilets for vans are flexible tools for outdoor enthusiasts since you can use them in a variety of circumstances. They aren’t just for regular vans or campgrounds; you can use them in remote wilderness areas, national parks, RV parks, and even on roads. 

Because of their lightweight design, portable camping toilets are simple to travel with, allowing campers to enjoy the convenience of a toilet wherever they go. 


Another important benefit of using a portable camping toilet in vans is the increased privacy it can deliver. While certain campgrounds or outdoor places may have shared restrooms, they may not provide enough privacy. On the other hand, you can put portable toilets in campervans in a tent or small enclosure where you can use them quickly.


Maintaining adequate hygiene is critical, especially when spending time outdoors. Portable camping toilets in vans help to improve hygiene by offering a dedicated and controlled waste disposal area. 

They usually come with trash bags or tanks that can be shut, which prevents odors and reduces the possibility of contamination. This helps to maintain the camping area clean and decreases the possibility of germs or diseases spreading, which benefits both campers and the surrounding environment.

Peace of Mind

Having a portable camping toilet in your campervan can give you peace of mind, especially if you are new to outdoor pursuits or have certain health issues. It prevents the need to seek public restrooms or be concerned about the availability and cleanliness of facilities in unfamiliar areas. 

This peace of mind lets campers enjoy their outdoor adventure without interruption or concern.

Different types of portable camping toilets

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular portable camping toilets for your van:

Cassette toilets

Cassette toilets have a waste tank that you can empty into a sewer or septic tank. Cassette toilets consist of a toilet bowl coupled with a waste tank. You will typically find these toilets in vans and camping trailers. 

You can disconnect the waste tank when full and dump its contents into a sewer or septic tank. These toilets are easy to use and provide a straightforward disposal solution.

Vault Toilets

Vault toilets are non-flushing toilets that collect waste in a big tank. These are the most basic and inexpensive alternatives to portable toilets for van campers. They are common in rural regions. 

Flush Toilets

Flush toilets are typical on glamping grounds and feature a flushing mechanism to transfer waste away from the toilet bowl. 

These systems require running water and are often found exclusively in regions with existing sewage facilities. 

Composting Toilets

Composting is used in these environmentally friendly toilets to convert waste into fertilizer that can be safely kept outside. Most composting portable toilets for vans are difficult to maintain, but they do not require plumbing or sewage systems. 

Composting toilets use natural processes to break down waste into fertilizer. These toilets are environmentally friendly choices that use biological processes to convert waste into compost or fertilizer. 

Composting toilets usually have different compartments for solid waste and urine. Microbes and other natural agents aid in the decomposition of garbage, eventually converting it to compost. These toilets are odorless, do not require water, and are frequently used in rural camping areas or eco-friendly campgrounds.

  • Batch composting toilet: Uses separate chambers for waste and composting, allowing for controlled decomposition.
  • Continuous composting toilet: Operates with a continuous composting process, gradually converting waste into compost as it is added.
  • Vermicomposting Toilet: Uses worms (vermi) to decompose waste, producing nutrient-rich vermicompost.
  • Self-contained composting toilet: Integrates the composting process within the toilet unit, eliminating the need for external composting chambers.
  • Waterless composting toilet: Functions without water, relying on natural processes like evaporation and composting to manage waste.

Gravity toilets

Gravity toilets work by using gravity to flush waste into a holding tank. Often known as flush toilets, gravity toilets flush waste into a holding tank using the force of gravity. 

A gravity toilet has a water reservoir or a direct water connection. When flushed, a toilet bowl fills with water. The waste is then channeled into a separate tank and dumped at a suitable disposal site.

Tips For Choosing A Portable Camping Toilet

Choosing the best portable camping toilet for van life can be a task, but let me ease it out for you:

Consider The Size Of The Toilet

Portable camping toilets come in various sizes, so choosing a toilet that is the right size for your needs is vital. Contemplate the capacity of a portable toilet for your van, for it’s the vessel that safeguards your experiences. Are you a wanderer of great distances, traveling far and wide? In that case, a larger capacity toilet may suit your ventures, ensuring fewer interruptions for emptying. 

Should your heart yearn for fleeting adventures, where the joy lies in embracing the present, a smaller tank may be your ideal companion—light and nimble, ready to be emptied at the turn of a campfire-lit page.

Consider The Weight Of The Toilet

In the case of portable camping toilets for vans, where adventure beckons, weight becomes a crucial element. For the wanderlust, burdensome loads are but mere anchors. Seek a light toilet that embraces effortless mobility. Let it grant you freedom in the heavy world.

Consider The Features Of The Toilet

Some portable camping toilets for vans have features such as a built-in hand sanitizer dispenser or a night light—Marvel at the solutions devised to combat nature’s odorous reminders. Seek a toilet that tames those unruly scents, weaving enchanting spells of freshness. 

Look for sealing mechanisms, deodorizers, and biodegradable bags, all crafted to tame the invisible forces that tickle your senses. With such clever features, your camping oasis shall be as fragrant as the wildflowers that grace the meadows.


As the curtain falls on this tale of portable camping toilets for campervans, their significance shimmers like stars against an ink-black sky. 

For every intrepid adventurer, they are a symbol of liberation, granting the freedom to immerse oneself in nature’s embrace without forsaking comfort and convenience. So, dear wanderers, heed the call of the wild and embrace the magic of portable camping toilets for van life. 


  • Is a portable toilet worth it for camping?

A portable toilet is a sanctuary of convenience amidst the wild, making camping experiences all the more comfortable.

  • How often do you empty a portable camping toilet?

The frequency of emptying a portable camping toilet depends on its capacity and usage.

  • What do you do with the waste from a portable camping toilet?

Deposit the waste from a portable van toilet into designated disposal locations or a septic tank. 

  • Can I empty a camping toilet at home?

Emptying a camping toilet at home is not advisable due to potential sanitary and environmental concerns.

  • How long can you use a portable toilet?

The usage time of a portable van toilet varies depending on factors such as tank capacity, frequency of use, and the number of users, but typically it can be used for several days to a week before requiring service or emptying.

  • What are the disadvantages of porta potty?

Porta potties, though convenient, may bring the inconvenience of occasional odors in the van and the need for regular maintenance.