Separation Toilet, Dry Toilet, Composting Toilet, Cassette Toilet, Porta Potti, Bucket Toilet, Urinella or just poo in the woods? There are lots of ways to go number one or number two while traveling in a Campervan!
Camping and toilets go together like bed and breakfast – there’s no way around it. With an individual DIY Campervan there’s no „right“ or „wrong” when it comes to the decision of which toilet to use because everybody, as always, has different preferences.
Dry- / Separation- / Composting Toilet
As the name says, a dry toilet works without water and chemicals. You separate number one from number two with a separator so they go in separate containers. This way, there are no lasting bad smells, because they come from the mixture 😉 The urine container has to be emptied every other day, either in a regular toilet or at disposal facilities. The bag from the feces tank has to be emptied only at rare times but it can simply be disposed in the organic or general waste trash or the compost.
- No need of freshwater because no flush
- No need of chemicals
- No smells
- Long intervals for emptying
- Simple disposal
- You have to carry some sort of covering material to deprive the last bit of liquid from number two, e.g. sawdust, bark mulch or coffee grounds
- It’s going to get hard to separate when you get the stomach flu…
The Cassette Toilet is a camper classic! The pee as well as the poo are flushed away into a container to which you add a sanitary or chemical substance. The substance prevents smell to form. At the same time it is disinfecting and the content as well as the toilet paper are decomposed faster. The additional sanitary products are available as liquids, powder or tablets. By now there are eco-friendly and bio-degradable alternatives available, too, so you don’t necessarily have to use aggressive chemicals. To empty the tank it can be removed from the outside and then emptied at a disposal facility before the tank has to be cleaned and put back in.
- No bad smells (except the smell of the additional sanitary product)
- Space-saving installation
- Use of freshwater
- You have to carry the additional substances
- Disposal only at dedicated disposal facilities
The small and mobile alternative to the build-in Cassette Toilet is the Porta Potti. Depending on the duration or destination of your trip you can choose to bring it or leave it at home. But note that usually a mobile toilet is not separated from the living area so there is a lack of privacy and you might have to deal with inevitable noises and smells – if you travel as a couple (or with several people) in a rather small van, just be aware of this.
Bucket toilet / „Outhouse“
The simplest toilet is the bucket toilet – but a bag in a bucket and you have a toilet. There are also foldable dry toilets on the market. They are available in different designs or you might want a special footstool-rack to which you simply add a bag – a mobile „outhouse“. Additional supplies are toilet seats or sanitary tents which you can also use to privately shower. The bags can be disposed just like diapers, in the trash.
- Space- saving
- Lack of privacy
Loo and Poo in the woods
Urinella makes it possible for women to pee standing up! The funnel takes the urine in from the big hole and leads it away from the body. It’s available as disposable version or made of plastics for multiple uses. Urinella can be used for hygienic reasons (to avoid contact with a dirty toilet) or to comfortably pee standing up without risking to dirty your clothes or denude in public. It’s a great solution for number one on the road 😉
For an inevitable number two in the woods or in nature you should know this: You would think it’s natural to leave feces out in the wild, because animals do it, too, but it’s not that easy. Human feces contain bacteria, viruses, germs or generally saying, everything that the human body does not need, can not digest and wants do get rid off as soon as possible – this has no business in the woods! But if there’s no way around it:
- Far away from trails and sources of water
- Dig deep, if the ground is too hard to dig deep enough, there is no way around taking everything with you, so bring an extra „ bag“
- Don’t leave used (toilet-) paper, take it with you