How Does A Camping Toilet Work?

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Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by acechapman

Campers now have the option to either take their portable toilets to unserviced campgrounds or dry campgrounds without having to worry about finding a spot to set up a tent. You need to understand and learn how does a camping toilet work as well as how to empty them.

These toilets are lightweight and easy to transport in RVs or motorhomes. Camping toilets require less water to flush and human waste is not left behind, making them a great travel option.

They must be maintained in an environmentally friendly manner. If the waste is not properly disposed of, the plastic materials in the porta-potty can then be damaged or cause damage to the environment.

What is a Camping Toilet?

There are four basic components of a portable toilet:

  1. Toilet seat
  2. Flush
  3. A holding tank, or waste tank
  4. A pressure system

A portable camping toilet is just like a regular home toilet. It has a flush mechanism and a toilet seat. The waste from a porta potty goes to a tank or holding tank, instead of the sewer.

A hidden water tank holds the water and chemical needed for flushing. The flush system is connected to a pump which creates pressure. Thus, allowing water to flow through a pipe to the toilet pen.

The portable holding tank holds the toilet seat. It stores all your flushed water, waste, and other toilet chemicals that you’ll need to empty yourself.

how does a camping toilet work

Before using the portable toilet

Before you use the portable toilet, make sure that the water tank is secured and the waste tank is also secured.

To disinfect your porta-potty, you can use deodorant. They can be purchased or provided by manufacturers. These powerful deodorants can be used to clean your toilet. They come in powder and liquid forms. Each bottle can clean approximately 40 gallons.

You will need to place a small amount of chemical in the waste tank.

Then, pour water into the tank and flush the toilet to activate the deodorant. Be sure that the chemical gets to every corner of your porta-potty. Close the water tank and you can use the toilet.

Important Reminders about Portable Toilet Use

  • A portable toilet will hold between 3 and 4 gallons. Don’t fill your waste tank with too much water.
  • You should only use a small amount of deodorant powder/liquid sanitizer depending on the size of your waste tank. One bottle of deodorant powder may last for many years.
  • Avoid dirty splashes by placing the toilet at a sitting or 90-degree angle.
  • To dispose of used toilet paper, use trash bags.
  • Children should be careful with chemicals as they can cause severe damage and are also very powerful.
  • The water tank should be empty if the camping toilet is not used for a prolonged period of time. The water tank could freeze, causing damage to the toilet tank. Anti-freeze is recommended for cold weather.

Before emptying a portable toilet

The bacteria and germs in human waste cannot be completely disinfected with deodorant or toilet cleaners. You should not empty your portable toilet onto a ground or water surface.

It is also important to know when you should empty your porta potty. You should empty your waste tank as soon as it is full. It is important to empty the tank as frequently as possible. Otherwise, you will be carrying waste around everywhere.

You can also empty your waste tank at a nearby septic tank. An RV dumping station can also be used to dispose of the waste.

How do you empty a camping toilet?

Close the Valve

Before you empty the porta-potty, close the valve. You will end up with a lot of poop water otherwise.

If you’re part of the group, let them know in advance that they won’t be able to use the toilet for at least 20-30 minutes.

Take Cassette Out Of Your RV

For emptying the cassette toilet, wear some gloves. The holding tank is located outside your motorhome. Then, open the lock and pull the cassette out of the tank. You should find a handle on the cassette to easily grab the waste tank. Instructions for removing the cassette from your motorhome tank holding window are also provided.

At the Chemical Disposal Point, empty the Cassette

Look for the WC sign at the chemical disposal point. You will see the drain that allows you to empty the waste tank.

Place the cassette on the drain and empty it. Place the cassette on the drain, and then press the ventilation button.

Keep the ventilation button pressed until the cassette is empty.

Clean the Empty Cassette

Once the cassette is empty, you can take it to the nearest water source. To flush out any waste, pump water through the tube attached to the cassette. To get rid of any remaining waste, close the tube and give the cassette a shake.

Then empty the cassette and go through the process again 2 to 3 more times to get rid of all the waste.

Restock Chemicals & Return Cassette

You will need to add deodorant and sanitary additives before you return the cassette to your motorhome tank.

You can add water to the cassette. They prevent the cassette from smelling and don’t allow for any buildup at the bottom. These chemicals can be dangerous and should not be given to children or animals.

Eco-friendly sanitary products do not cause toxicity to the environment. Look at the ingredients and choose products that don’t contain formaldehyde.

After stocking up on all essentials, clean and put the cassette back in the motorhome compartment. Lock the window and secure the tank.

You are now ready to start using the cassette again.


how does a camping toilet work

How do you know when a Cassette Toilet is full?

This is a flush button that turns red when the tank has reached its maximum capacity. Other models of cassette toilets come with a water holding tank that is sized according to the waste tank. The water holding tank holds the water the waste tank can hold. After flushing, you will know if the water tank is empty and you need to empty the cassette.

You should clean your cassette at least once every two days, even if it isn’t used as often.

Can you use toilet paper in a cassette toilet?

The toilet paper can get stuck at the bottom and build up in the waste tank. These can lead to odors, bacteria growth, and a disgusting cleaning process. You should not flush the toilet paper in the cassette.

Additionally, the toilet paper will take up extra space in the waste tank if it is flushed into the tank. Toss them in an empty poly bag, and then dispose of the cassette waste at a disposal point.

Special cassette toilet paper can be used that is easily broken down by the water. They can be flushed down with water and won’t cause any clogging.

How can I stop my portable toilet from smelling?

To keep your porta-potty smelling fresh, you can use deodorants or cleaning tablets. These will help to control the overpowering odor. To get rid of the unpleasant smell, you can drop a tablet or liquid deodorant into the water tank.

Regularly empty and clean your campsite toilet. Hygiene is key to keeping your motorhome and travel van toilets clean.

To eliminate bad odors from your van, you can make an air diffuser or buy an air freshener.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, you enjoyed reading about how does a camping toilet work. When camping in areas without toilets, portable camping toilets can be very handy. These toilets are particularly useful for nighttime camping when it is difficult to walk outside to the nearest public bathroom.

You can choose to purchase one of the four types of porta potties depending on your preferences and needs. While flushable and compostable portable toilets can be more expensive, collapsible toilets and bucket toilets can be easily afforded.

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