How do you go to the bathroom when camping? That’s a popular question when I talk to family and friends about our camping adventures. Through our many years of tent camping with kids and now enjoying a Livin’ Lite Quicksilver pop up trailer, I can tell you that having a portable toilet in the camper or shower tent just outside the camper has been a game changer — especially with our little girl.
Our pop up camper toilet setup
If you’ve camped with kids before you know that getting up between hours of 3am and 7am to take them potty is no fun. 40 degrees outside, dark, and sometimes wet in bear territory. Yikes.
That’s where the portable toilet comes in handy. A Thetford Porta Potti is amongst the most popular options. We personally have used the Camco 41541 for about four trips and have no complaints besides being somewhat bulky. Lucky for us it’s short enough to stay in the camper when we’re traveling and or not camping.
Only Number 1
This toilet is for midnight and early morning pee only. I really don’t want to deal with poop, but if my daughter has to go and the restrooms aren’t nearby — what am I going to do? But that’s extremely rare as both of my kids usually have a good routine.
We’ve drilled it into the kids that we only use this for overnight bathroom sessions. We lasted 4 days at Lake Jennings a few months ago without having to dump it. The kids rarely used it, although it saved us about 3 – 5am trips to the bathroom!
Portable toilet cleanup and disposal
If there is a camp bathroom or RV waste area near the campsite I dispose of our waste there. Bring a separate water bottle with you. First, dump the waste carefully into the toilet. Add some clean water back to your waste container, seal it up, swish it around, dispose again. Do this a few times until you feel it’s clean enough for the drive home. I usually get home and repeat this process with some Lysol cleaner and store the toilet in the camper.
We still poop in the camp bathrooms or in the wilderness using the murphy method. EVERY CAMPER SHOULD KNOW THE MURPHY METHOD.
Using a portable toilet takes a bit of work but it’s worth it for our family. If I’m solo camping or don’t have the kids, my wife and I will just use the campsite bathrooms or use the murphy method. We also use a more simple camp toilet setup when tent camping. I’ve written about it here.
What bathroom toilet setup do you have when camping in your tent or pop up camper?
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