Best Portable camper van toilet

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The Best Portable camper van toilet Options

Looking for the best portable camper van toilet? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with all the essential information you need to find the perfect portable camper van toilet for your outdoor adventures.

Whether you’re a seasoned van-lifer or a newbie to the world of camping, we’ve done the research and handpicked the top options for you. We’ve included cassette, composting, and bagged type van toilets.

I’m even including one you won’t see in other reviews and I must say it’s a clever toilet!

Jill and I have spent the last 5 years traveling in our van and now our self built overland truck. We have used all of the different types of camper van toilets over the years so we have the experience to help you in your quest for the best van toilet.

So, let’s dive in and discover the best portable camper van toilet that combines convenience, functionality, eco-friendliness and portability for your on-the-go needs. Let’s get started!

Do You Even Need A Toilet In A Van?

After many years of living and traveling in a van I think you need some sort of toilet. If you only travel to campgrounds and don’t boondock than perhaps you could get away without a toilet.

But for most folks we recommend having at least a foldable wag bag toilet for those times where you just gotta go. More importantly, having a toilet lessens the chance of making a deposit in an area where you shouldn’t.

3 types of Portable camper van toilets

Let’s start by discussing the different types of portable toilets, cassette, composting, wag bags, and then one more that’s quite unique. These various toilets all have pros and cons associated with them and range from easy installation to more difficult.

Having used all four different types I will give you my honest opinion on them and for what use case they make sense.

1. Cassette Toilets

portable cassette toilet


  • Affordable
  • Portable versions easy to install
  • Easy to move


  • Frequent dumping
  • Slight odor
  • Dumping is a horrible experience

Cassette toilets are characterized by a holding tank that separates from the toilet seat. The toilet has a valve that you open which allows the waste to drop into the holding tank or cassette portion of toilet.

These types of toilets store the urine and stool in the same compartment and usually require an additive for the holding tank. The additive helps with odors and breakdown of the waste.

Cassette toilets come in two varieties. The toilet pictured is the portable option where the entire toilet can easily be moved. This is great if you wanted to set up your restroom outside in a shower tent while camping for example.

The other option is a permanent mount where only the cassette or waste tank is removable. The cassette will often be removed through an exterior compartment door on the camper. This variety offers larger holding tanks so you can go longer between dumps.

For this article I will only be discussing the portable varieties.

How long can you go between dumping? About a week at the most or more if you pee in a bottle when possible.


To dump these portable toilets you separate the holding tank from the toilet which is then carried into a restroom or dump station. They usually have some sort of integrated fold out pipe that you then simply dump the contents into a toilet.

Best For…

Weekend warriors and short trips where you won’t have to be dumping often or publicly.

Our Experience

This is our least favorite option. The dumping experience is pretty awful and will stink up a public bathroom like no other. Be ready to flee the scene! The additive chemicals can mask the odor a bit but even while using the toilet the odor does escape and can stink up a small van pretty quick.

2. Composting Toilets

natures head portable composting toilet


  • Less frequent dumping
  • No odor
  • Great for full-time use


  • Expensive $$$
  • Install is more involved with fan models
  • Not as compact

Portable composting toilets work their magic by separating the liquids from the solids. When urine and stool are combined it makes for a VERY smelly mixture especially if it sits for days or weeks.

Keeping the two separate really helps to keep the odors down. In addition to keeping the yellow and brown separate, composting toilets also have a mix that the stool is covered with. Often this medium is fine wood chips, coconut fiber or even peat moss.

The toilet works by a special shaped bowl that diverts the front half and the urine to a separate container. The back half then has a trap door that opens when you need to go number two and then you rotate the handle to mix your deposit with the coco fiber or whatever you’re using.

Many of the units have a small fan which helps to dry out the solids and prevent any chance of oder escaping. Our composting toilet has no smell associated with it.


The urine tank which is usually a gallon or two will need to be dumped every couple days or so. This is easily done using a toilet or a suitable location out in the woods.

Pro tip: ➡ A lot of us pipe our urine into a larger holding tank. We have a 7 gallon urine tank that we then dump in the woods through a drain valve that comes out under the camper.

For the #2 stuff because it isn’t mixed with urine and therefore is not classified as sewage, it can simply be dumped into a plastic bag and disposed of in the trash. The #2 mix will look something like potting soil and has very little odor to it.

Best For…

Full-time travelers or extended trips where less frequent dumping will make your life easier. For the solids I can get several weeks between dumping.

Our Experience

Composting toilets are our favorite option and what we’ve been using for the past few years. We love the length between dumps and appreciate the lack of odor and a much more pleasant dumping experience over a cassette toilet. If you can add a urine holding tank it makes them an even better option.

3. Wag Bag Portable Toilets

wag bag portable toilet


  • Simple and compact
  • Inexpensive
  • Great for emergency use


  • Bags can be expensive
  • Requires setting up
  • Bags are single use

Wag bag toilets are a low-tech and inexpensive(well sort of) option popular amongst van lifers. Designed for occasional use they are the most simple portable camper van toilet.

Consisting of some sort of base and seat, often foldable, that holds a wag bag or plastic bag for making that precious deposit. Wag bags are typically designed for solids only so you’ll need to use a bottle first.

While a simple bucket with toilet seat attachment may be inexpensive, the actual wag bags can cost between $1-2 per use. Often people use a simple garbage bag instead to save a few bucks.

Wag bag systems can vary from a simple bucket to more elaborate folding designs for the ultimate compact toilet.


It doesn’t get much easier than these single use bags. Once you’re finished simply seal up the bag and toss in a trash can.

Best For…

Ideal for emergency use or when space is tight.

Our Experience

We started out using wag bags early on in our van life endeavor and in all honesty they worked fine. I even know some full-time folks that still use them. If money or space are big concerns wag bags may be a good option.

4. Laveo Dry Flush Camper Van Portable Toilet

dry flush portable toilets


  • Innovative automatic bagging system
  • Easy to use
  • No smelly dumping
  • Easy set up
  • AC or battery powered


  • Expensive
  • Bag refills expensive

This thing is just down right unique. It’s a little difficult to explain how it works but I will give it a try.

The toilet consists of a bag that you insert but not just any bag. It’s a special bag, a long bag, that when you flush actually encapsulates your deposit. The bag or cartridge as they call it can handle 15 flushes in a single bag.

Perhaps it’s just best to see it in action, here’s a video below showing how this thing works.

I’ve actually had the chance to give this thing a try and it worked great. Talked a friend into getting one for his backcountry cabin and so far he’s been really happy with it. My only complaint is the initial cost and the bag refill cost.

Best Casette Portable Camper Van Toilets

Now that we have a good understanding of the different types of portable toilets let’s have a look at the best options for each design. Let’s start with the best cassette toilets.

Thetford Porta Potti Camper Van Toilet

portable cassette toilet

Why We Like It

The Thetford Porta Potti line of portable toilets offer the best selection in sizes and capacities.

We like the clean square design which slides in and out easily making for a compact solution.

We used to have their larger 565E oval version which had a 5.5 gallon capacity, battery operated flush, and even had a compartment for toilet paper.

Portable ToiletDimensions
H x W x D inches
Porta Potti 565E17.6 x 15.2 x 17.75.5$150-200 Check Prices
Porta Potti 36516.3 x 15 x 16.85.5$150 Check Prices
Porta Potti 34513 x 15 x16.83.2$100-150 Check Prices
Porta Potti 33512.2 x 13.5 x 152.6$125 Check Prices
got questions?

Overland Camper Build Group

Have questions? Join our Facebook group with fellow builders like yourself. It’s a great place to ask questions and learn from other builders.

Best Composting Portable Camper Van Toilets

We’ve used a lot of different composting toilets and are currently using the Airhead composting toilet. Composting toilets are a relatively simple design consisting of a urine separating bowl, a solids container, and a liquid container.

Some have an agitator in the solids tank to help mix everything together. I think this is important and wouldn’t consider a composting toilet without it. Another important feature is a fan to help draw out moisture and reduce odors.

Airhead Composting Toilet

airhead composting toilet

This is the toilet we are currently using. Like I mentioned earlier we have it piped directly to a holding tank so we are not using their urine tank. Our only complaint is that the agitator in the solids tank doesn’t seem to turn up all the medium.

Other than that we love it. It has a relatively normal residential like toilet seat and the exhaust fan works great and is very quiet. Best of all, absolutely no odor.

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

portable composting toilet

Nature’s Head is another very popular composting toilet option. Similar design and function as the Airhead above.

The one difference is that the toilet seat is fixed and can not be lifted. I prefer to be able to lift the seat when standing and using the toilet.

Other than the seat being fixed it’s a very well made toilet and we have tons of friends using them.

Cuddy Composting Toilet

cuddy composting toilet

In doing my research for this article I came across the Cuddy portable composting toilet. While I have not had the chance to check it out it does look like a good unit.

I like the shape and size of it, much smaller than your typical composting toilet. It has the agitator and even an internal fan that circulates through a charcoal air filter.

I would definitely take a good look at this one if space is a priority. They even make a smaller version called the Cuddy lite and the reviews I read were all good.

Best Wag Bag Portable Camper Van Toilets

If you are reluctant to get a full-blown toilet for your camper van there’s no reason to not have one of the following systems on hand for that unplanned roadside emergency.

Now there’s no need to overcomplicate this with elaborate seats and such although I will show you them. You’re simply doing your business in a bag so any $5 bucket will do or you could even just squat. Let’s start with having a look at some of the bags available.

Wag Bag Options

toilet bags

Starting with the most basic option we have these compostable toilet bags. Nothing fancy here just a simple bag. These will get the job done and run you just under a buck per bag.

Check Prices
disposable toilet bag

Another bag option but with the addition of some absorbent material to soak up liquids and help with odor control. These are a better option if you intend to leave the bucket set up all day while out camping for example.

They are also a thicker bag but come in at twice the price at around $2 per bag.

Check Prices
wag bags

The king of wag bags are the CleanWaste Go Anywhere bags. I have in fact used these and can vouch for how well they work.

Inside each kit you’ll find hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and a disposal bag with their powder gelling agent. Once finished you put everything into a tough outer ziplock bag. Very clean and nice system. Expect to pay almost $3 per bag.

Wag Bag Portable Toilets and Buckets

Let’s have a look at some sitting receptacles to use with your bags. You can keep it simple or go for one of the folding toilet seats which we have used in the past.

portable bag toilet

We used this kit early on and really liked it. It’s stable and folds up to almost nothing. You can store a couple bags inside with it folded up. A little pricey but worth it.

portable folding toilet for camper van

Similar design to the one above but for a lower price. It doesn’t pack up quite as small and still looks like a toilet when packed which some people might not like

toilet seat bucket

To keep it really simple just grab yourself a 5 gallon bucket, some bags, and throw on this toilet seat cover.

Final Thoughts On Portable Camper Van Toilets

When it comes to portable camper van toilets, there is a wide range of options available to suit everyone’s unique needs. From compact and lightweight options for emergency use to more elaborate composting toilets for full-time use, there is a portable toilet out there for everyone.

Having used just about all of them over the years I can honestly say there’s a use case for all of them. Be honest about what your needs are and level up your van life game by having the comfort and reassurance of a toilet. Happy travels everyone!

What is the best portable toilet for van?

The best toilet for a van depends on how you plan to use it. For occasional or emergency use a bag toilet is ideal. For full-time use most people prefer composting toilets. And for something in between a cassette toilet is a great option.

Can you put a portable toilet in a van?

Putting a portable toilet in a van is easy and lots of people do it. We recommend and use the Thetford Porta Potti series of toilets. They have a variety of sizes and capacities to fit almost any camper van.

Do composting toilets smell?

Composting toilets that have a fan have the least amount of odor of any portable toilet. We have been using ours for years and are happy to report we have no odors.

august wheeler author bio

Hello! My name is August, and I’m a devoted traveler and travel blogger living full-time on the road. I made the decision to leave my 9-to-5 job and pursue a nomadic lifestyle, and it’s been an incredible journey. My passion for experiencing new cultures is what drives me, and I aim to motivate others to embark on their own adventures through my stories, photos, and advice. When I’m not discovering the wonders of the world, I indulge in skiing, mountain biking, and savoring the unique flavors of different places.

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