It’s fair to say that if you are a complete caravan newbie, toilets are probably the last thing on your mind when you are choosing a caravan. However, it won’t be long into your life as a caravan owner when you realise that some thought and consideration into the smallest room of your caravan and the equipment it has, could save you effort, time and even frustration further down the line.
Most caravans actually come with toilets already installed in the bathroom, so this guide might not be helpful to you at this point. That being said, if you ever need to or want to replace your caravan, but don’t like the toilet – this page will benefit you greatly.
If you’ve ever looked at toilets, you will know only too well how many different brands, models and types of best caravan toilets there are out there.
We will have a look at 6 of the best caravan toilets available on the market right now and why we feel they are among the best. To coincide with that we will also highlight the different types of caravan toilets that are available, looking at the positives and negatives of each.
Best Caravan Toilets (Our Top 10 Choices)
For many people, Thetford is a name that goes hand in hand with hygiene and sanitation while touring and this is with good reason. For over 40 years, the company has been educating caravan owners and those who love to camp out about the subject and has been ensuring it was doing it’s part to make it possible for people to deal with the unmentionables of domestic life while away from home.
This Thetford caravan toilet is one of many sizes of their flagship portable toilet range. Well designed, comfortable enough, easy to carry, clean and store and incredibly hygienic to use. For that modest price tag, you get a flushing toilet, a bottle of Aqua Kem and a bottle of Aqua Rinse.
Domestic is a brand that people no around the world. Their popularity and success is down to the fact that they are known globally for designed and manufacturing innovative and effective solutions to everyday issues and needs. Although the company has been around in some shape or form since 1919, Domestic properly entered into the portable living appliances side of things at the turn of the century.
Their motto ‘Mobile living made easy’ was the driving force of new and creative solutions to hygiene and other everyday concerns. The Domestic 966 Portable Toilet is representative of what makes Domestic stand out – the fact that they make sturdy and effective toilets like this one. It comes with a 19-litre waste tank and a 9.6-litre flush tank and a full size, if a little flimsy, comfortable seat and lid. Thanks to the way the tank has been constructed, you are unlikely to experience leaks.
Next on our list is the Homegrace Portable Toilet Potty, which is another reasonably priced, high-quality appliance suitable for your caravan or motor-home. Made to a high standard and very convenient, this is a toilet that can either be used with chemicals or without them.
It comes with a 20 litres waste container and has a carry handle and a removable lid that makes it easier to empty. The toilet features a double flush system which means it is quicker to flush and uses less water. There is a waste level indicator that makes it easy to see the contents without having to look in the actual tank. Lightweight and durable, this is a great choice.
Elsan is one of the leading manufacturers of chemical toilets and hygiene solutions for caravans, camping and boating; so as you’d expect, the Elsan Bristol Toilet Caravan Toilet is a great representation of their experience and skills that they have been honing since as far back as the earl 20’s.
This is a comfortable portable toilet with an inner container that can be lifted out to make the emptying process even easier. It has a beige lid and burgundy base which elevates it slightly above the sea of other, less sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing portable loos. With a capacity of 20 litres and a robust, full-size seat, this is worth the price tag.
This Palm Springs portable toilet is very much a good choice for your caravan, as it has a reasonable 20 litres capacity, a full-size seat and has been constructed to a high standard using strong materials. With a price point of just under 50 bucks, it is well-positioned on the market.
It comes self-contained and has an on-board carry handle to make it easier to install and to transport. The double-seal around the drain valve prevents nasty odours and leakages and there is an 11 litres fresh water tank and 18 litres waste water tank.
From NRS Healthcare is the perfect addition to any caravan. Reasonably priced, well designed. If you are looking to upgrade your current caravan toilet or need to replace a broken one, this is a great product to consider. It has a very easy to empty waste tank, that is large enough that it doesn’t need to be emptied every single day.
Comfortable, convenient and easily flushed, this also has a modular construction that helps to make it portable.
Different Kinds Of Caravan Toilets
Although our list above is very much focused on portable best caravan toilets, there is such a wide array of different types available that we thought it was a good idea to outline these. We wanted to give you some information on what they are, how they work and their various benefits and downsides.
Portable caravan toilets normally consist of two parts – a holding tank that sits underneath the seat and flush tank. Although they sound very rustic, modern portable toilets are actually very sophisticated systems or more so than you may have previously thought. Depending on your budget, you may be able to invest in a really nice portable toilet for your caravan that has a plethora of features that help to make it easier to use and maintain. Generally, with these models, a piston pump that is hand-pumped is used to flush.
To use this kind of toilet properly, there are two chemicals that needed. One chemical that liquefies the solid waste and helps to break down toilet paper collected in the holding tank, as well as reduce the odour and gas release. A conditioner is the other chemical used, during the flushing process, to reduce the bacterial build-up around the lubricate seals and bowl.
Benefits and Downsides of Portable Caravan toilets
- Caravan toilets are lightweight and compact and are also
- Incredibly inexpensive
- Do not require plumbing or an electrical current
- Can be stored away inside a cupboard if space is limited or when not in use
- The majority of portable toilets have very low constructions, which may be inconvenient for some people.
Cassette Toilet for Caravans
The portable toilet idea is taken to the next level with the caravan cassette toilet, by separating the holding tank completely from the seat and flush unit. The same chemical treatments are used in this style of toilet to those used in a porta-potty, but unlike it, the cassette has to be built-in. To access the cassette section, you need to go outside your caravan. There are some higher end caravan cassette toilets that come equipped with an electrically-powered flushing system.
Benefits and Downsides
Aside from the waster being stored outside, the benefits of cassette toilets include:
- Electric flushers are often available
- There are some models that even have a seat that can rotate to make it easy to get on and off.
The main downsides of caravan cassette toilets are:
- They are rather expensive
- May be tricky to retrofit into a caravan’s existing bathroom area.
If you are looking to have as little impact on the environment as possible while you are touring in your caravan, a composting toilet is worth considering. As is implied by the name, it transforms bodily fluids and wastes into compost. Although it does rely on evaporation for the composting process to work properly, the only plumbing that is required is ventilation. The compost that you end up with, can be used in your garden. There are vacuum-flusher and electric models available. As it requires very little to no water to function, the composting toilet actually helps with water conservation, meaning you have more to put to other good uses.
Benefits and Downsides
As well as being environmentally friendly, the other benefits of composting toilets include:
- Little to no use of water
- Requires minimal amount of plumbing
- Does not need a holding tank
- More or less completely odourless
- Easier to install cassette toilets
- More lightweight than cassette toilets
- No need to hunt for proper waste locations
As well as the fact that they are taller in design than other types of toilets, making them trickier for small children to use; the major downsides include:
- They are not to everyone’s taste
- They can be expensive
You may not have thought there would be so much to discuss about the best caravan toilets, but there you have it. We hopefully have shown you that there is actually a type of toilet out there to suit everyone. So whether you are looking to replace your current, seen-better-days toilet system or are new to caravans and just trying scope what’s available, you can use our guides to make the best decisions for your travelling home and the people who are going to use it.
How to Empty a Caravan Toilet
There are two main types of caravan toilets: cassette toilet and portable toilet. Though the design is slightly different, how to empty these caravan toilets is pretty much the same. The only difference is that the cassette toilet has its own exterior door for removing the waste tank while the portable caravan toilet must be removed from inside the caravan bathroom.
There are two chemicals that you should use inside caravan toilets. The first one is to dissolve the human waste into a liquid and minimise the odours. The second is to prevent any bacteria from growing inside the waste tank.
Waste tanks may only be emptied into specific human waste disposal points. Each campsite should have one of these points. It is illegal to empty the caravan toilet waste tank anywhere else as this is a biological hazard.
After emptying the caravan toilet tank, spray it clean. Most campsite disposal points have a hose for this specific task. After the tank is hosed clean, add the chemicals as instructed by the manufacturer.
This video is a good visual on how to empty the cassette toilet in your caravan.
Caravan Toilet Fluid and Chemicals
Although it is not something you perhaps want to think about when you are budgeting for that caravan that is going to give you the freedom you need and want, caravan toilets and caravan toilet fluid is something that you are going to have to think about at some point. You, like everyone else on the planet, need to go to the toilet at some point. Even when you are in the middle of nowhere or somewhere rural off the coast of Scotland, Ireland, England or Wales.
Now it all depends on the type of caravan you have (as some smaller tourers, like teardrop-style caravans, have little to no room for an actual bathroom and usually have a portable toilet, if they even have one), and whether you want to just use the caravan site toilets and leave your humble abode on wheels a clean place. However, there will still come that time of night, when it is cold, dark and you are half asleep when you will be regretting the decision to not think more about how you are going to maintain your caravan’s toilet. Trust us on that. So even if it is a plan B, you still need to have a plan B.
What does this all mean? Well, we need to talk about caravan toilets and toilet chemicals. There are various fluids out there, so if you are looking for the best chemical toilet fluid, you might find it a little confusing and overwhelming. Particularly if you are not familiar with them in the first place. That’s where we come in. At Caravan Helper, we want to make your life a little easier for you by helping you to understand more about chemical toilets and the fluids you can use to keep them clean and a whole variety of other things.
More About Chemical Toilets
Chemical toilets are the kind of toilets you will find in a caravan that is designed to function in a similar way to a standard toilet you’d find in your home. They are comprised of a bowl that sits below the top section, the bowl collects the waste matter, while the top section stores the water for flushing.
Generally, the waste matter is removed by hand once it has been flushed to a special area in the tourer, rather than being flushed into an internal piping system. There are two main types of caravan toilet that you are most likely to come across, internal cassette models and porta potti models. Many caravaners prefer porta potties as an easier to use solution for dealing with the unmentionables.
What is an Internal Cassette Toilet?
More permanent than the porta-potty design described below, the internal cassette-style of toilet is fixed and actually installed into the bathroom area. It is very similar to a traditional toilet, with the only difference being the fact that the waste tank is accessible from the caravan’s exterior. Toilets of this kind require the help of special toilet chemicals and fluids to break the waste matter down and water in the tank to ensure it flushes with clean water to avoid a build-up of dirt and grime.
What is a Porta Potti Toilet?
Porta Pottis are freshwater portable toilets that flush and need no drainage system or main water system connections. This is why they are favoured by many caravanners. The amount of fresh water used is normally equal to the amount of waste water, but both areas are kept completely separate.
You will find that almost all Porta Potti toilets have integrated pour-out spouts that swivel and feature a button to release the pressure. This is to make sure that when you need to empty it, there are no splashes. The tank that holds waste usually comes with a very easy to open system that means it can be emptied easily, while there is also an indicator that lets you know when it needs to be emptied.
Caravan Toilet Paper
Perhaps not a topic you spend too much time thinking about but this could make a difference on your next caravan trip: switching to caravan toilet paper.
Chemical toilets, like the one in your caravan, need to be emptied manually. This is not a fun cleaning job but one that you want to do as swiftly as possible.
Too much and too thick toilet paper is one of the main reasons why a chemical toilet gets clogged. Prevent this issue and make cleaning your caravan toilet easier and quicker by using toilet specifically for chemical toilets.
Caravan toilet paper is thinner and dissolves faster, especially when toilet chemicals are added. This means that you won’t have to empty the caravan toilet as often.
Here are the best toilet paper options for caravans. Yes, they cost a little more than your typical supermarket toilet paper but it’s a small price to pay for more comfort and cleanliness.
This four-pack is a great budget option. Each roll is far longer than standard toilet rolls with 400 sheets per roll. The Elsan Blue Rolls feel soft but don’t rip easily. The material is designed for chemical toilets and cassette toilet systems so you can be assured that it dissolves quickly.
Fiamma produces 2-ply soft toilet paper specifically for portable toilets so it will work perfectly for your caravan’s toilet, as well. The material does not even need chemicals as it is designed to dissolve quickly in water. This six-pack has 300 sheets per roll.
Thetford is the most famous caravan toilet paper brand. They promise the most soluble toilet paper that will prevent your caravan toilet from clogging. Apparently, they deliver on that promise because the brand has been awarded the Nordic Swan.
Order the Thetford Aqua Soft as part of an Amazon add-on so that you don’t have to pay for delivery.