While toilet habits are rarely a topic that anyone wants to discuss, if you are planning an RV trip or an extended camping trip it is something that needs to be addressed.
One of the best solutions is a chemical toilet. They are fairly inexpensive overall and they are portable and easy to use.
If you want to purchase a chemical toilet, look no further. We have chosen and reviewed 5 of the best chemical toilets to purchase, so you do not have to.
In addition to this, we have included an extensive buyer’s guide detailing everything you need to look for.
We have talked you through how to use and empty a chemical toilet and have even answered many frequently asked questions you may have.
In a Hurry?
Here is our top choice for the best chemical toilet: Camco 41541 Portable Travel Toilet
The Camco is reasonably priced and features everything you need in a chemical toilet. It is available in two different sizes and it is fairly lightweight making it easy to transport and empty when full.
The sealing seat valve closes off the holding tank to prevent odors. There is a side latch to keep the two parts of the toilet securely in place and attached. The tank is easy to remove and quickly reattaches after emptying.
It features a carry handle, to allow you to move it with ease. Overall it is a comfortable and inexpensive option.
OUR TOP PICK
The Camco 41541 is our top choice for the best chemical toilet. It is available in two different capacities depending on the size you need - 2.6 and 5.3 gallons.
It is easy to transport with its carry handle. Its full dimensions are 15.5 x 14 x 16 inches meaning it is fairly compact overall.
The waste tank detaches easily and has a cap to prevent any spillages. It uses a bellow flush and it is made from durable and strong materials.
The sealed gate valve helps to prevent any odors from escaping from the tank and keeps the waste tank covered.
It is fairly compact and will suit the majority of RVs. It is worth noting that some users have found that the seat is fairly small, which may be inconvenient for some.
- The toilet helps to prevent leaks as there is a sealable cap
- It features a handle which allows you to transport the toilet easily
- The sealed gate valve helps to prevent odors from escaping the toilet
- As the toilet is relatively compact the toilet seat is reasonably small
The SereneLife Portable Toilet is versatile and can be used in many different scenarios, such as camping and RVing. When looking at the cost, it is reasonably priced and good value for the money.
The full dimensions of this toilet are - 16.5 x 14.6 x 16.9 inches. It is a fairly compact toilet overall and would be suitable for smaller RV’s. It is fairly shallow in comparison to other portable toilets, which is worth keeping in mind.
The SereneLife toilet weighs a total of 11.25 pounds and is easy to carry and transport. It features a 5.3-gallon waste tank which is a good size, especially if you are planning to be off-grid.
It can be flushed around 50 times before it needs to be emptied. The toilet is easy to empty because it has a splash-free rotating pour spout. The toilet also comes with a carry case for easy transportation.
It has a double-sealed waste valve to prevent spillages. It is made with high-density polyethylene which is durable and long-lasting. It features a piston-style flush, and it is easy to set up.
- The toilet can be flushed around 50 times before needing to be emptied
- Made from high-density polyethylene which is durable and long-lasting
- Compact and great for smaller RV spaces
- It is a fairly shallow toilet, which may be an issue for those that are taller
The Palm Springs Recreation Toilet features a full-size seat that is sturdy and comfortable.
Its matte finish helps to prevent and hide any scratches and wear. This is the second most expensive toilet featured.
The weight of this toilet is slightly heavier than some other toilets featured at 12.1 pounds, but it is still lightweight overall.
It is made from durable HDPE that is long-lasting. The freshwater holding tank is 3 gallons, and the waste tank is 5 gallons, which is a good size.
The tank is leakproof and easy to empty when full, featuring a carry handle. Both sections of the toilet connect securely together with ease.
The drain valve is double sealed to prevent leaks, and the flush is a pushdown button. It is heavy duty and stops odors from escaping. It arrives assembled, which is great.
- Full-size seat for maximum comfort
- Made from durable and long-lasting HDPE
- The drain valve is double sealed to help prevent any leaks
- The toilet is one of the heavier models featured, though it is still reasonably lightweight overall
The Thetford 92860 Porta Potti is one of the most compact toilets we have featured, which is great if you are lacking in space.
Weighing only 8 pounds, it is extremely portable and lightweight. Its full dimensions are 13.54 x 12.13 x 15.12 inches.
The carry handle featured is ergonomic and the rotating pour spout enables you to empty the Porta Potti with ease.
It features a lid latch and has a simple design overall. The pump used is a bellows, and there is a deodorant sample included to keep the toilet smelling clean and fresh.
The sealed valve stops odors from escaping the holding tank and it is an easy toilet to clean. The only downside is that some users may find the toilet fairly small to use.
- Weighing only 8 pounds the toilet is extremely lightweight and portable
- Ergonomic handle for easy transportation
- Sealed valve helps to prevent smells from escaping the holding tank
- As this toilet is so compact, some users may find it more awkward to use
The Porta Potti 92306 is the most expensive chemical toilet featured. When looking at its weight, it is slightly heavier in comparison to the other toilets at 13.45 pounds.
However, it is fairly lightweight and compact overall. The full dimensions are 18.39 x 15.75 x 17.83 inches.
The toilet is versatile and can be used anywhere from RV trips to camping. The Porta Potti looks more similar to a toilet in comparison to other chemical toilets due to its shape.
It is easy to use and clean overall. It is made from polypropylene, which is particularly durable.
The ergonomic handle makes the toilet easy to carry, and the integrated toilet paper holder is particularly useful. There is also a tank level indicator to notify you of when the toilet needs to be emptied.
It is an odorless and leak-proof chemical toilet that uses a seated valve to stop odors from escaping when not in use.
The pour spout is rotating to allow for easy and splash-free emptying. A hold-down kit can be purchased to secure the toilet to your RV floor.
- Rotating pour spout for splash-free and easy emptying
- Tank level indicator to notify you of when the toilet needs to be emptied
- Resembles the look of a home toilet
- The toilet is slightly larger in comparison to the other toilets featured
Best Chemical Toilets Buying Guide
Before you purchase a chemical toilet, there are some things that you will need to take into consideration.
The price of the portable chemical toilet is important. Chemical toilets can range from being reasonably priced to being rather expensive.
When choosing a chemical toilet, you will want to purchase one that is within your price range. You will also need to factor in the costs of cleaning products and chemicals too.
As all chemical toilets are slightly different in size and capacity, you will want to choose the best one for your scenario.
If you are purchasing a chemical toilet for a small RV, you will not want to choose one that is too big.
If you have a large family, you may want to consider purchasing one with a larger capacity that will not need to be emptied as often.
If children are going to be using the toilet, you may want to choose one that is lower to the ground. If taller men are using the toilet, you may want it to be higher.
You will also want to factor in how long you will be intending to use the toilet as this can affect the capacity size you choose.
If you are planning a long trip that will involve being off-grid, a larger capacity would be better. If you are taking short trips, a smaller toilet would be more suitable.
Dimensions of the toilet
Not only should you check the dimensions of the toilet, but you will need to measure the space you have for the toilet too.
The last thing you want to happen is to purchase a toilet only for it not to fit! You will also need to factor in enough room for installation and removal of the black waste tank.
Portability of the toilet
While the toilet is unlikely to be moved after it has been installed, you will need to remove the black waste tank to empty it.
Given this, it should be portable and easy to carry.
The installation process is important to consider. If you are looking to install the chemical toilet yourself, you will want to ensure that it is easy enough to install.
You will want to ensure that the instructions are easy to understand and follow. If the chemical toilet requires professional installation, you will need to factor this into the overall cost.
Quality of the materials used
When purchasing a chemical toilet, it must be made from good quality materials. You will want to ensure that the materials are long-lasting and strong.
It is important to check the overall weight capacity to ensure it is suitable for the people that will be using it.
How easy is the toilet to clean?
One important question to ask is whether or not the chemical toilet is easy to clean.
This is important as you will want to make sure that it empties well and does not withhold any black waste. It is worth looking over the cleaning instructions before purchasing.
The exterior of the toilet and the seat should be easy to clean and sanitize. We have covered how to empty a chemical toilet in more detail in the frequently asked questions section.
You will also need to factor in how hygienic it is. Some chemical toilets may be more hygienic than others. You will want to choose a toilet that does not leak or is odorous.
Ideally, the chemical toilet you purchase should have a waste-tank indicator.
While you can purchase one without, it will be more difficult to monitor when the waste tank is full.
The waste tank indicator is an easy way of judging whether or not it needs to be changed.
Type of pouring spout
The type of spout your chemical toilet may not seem overly important to you at first, but this is particularly important when it comes to emptying the waste tank. You will want this job to be as easy as possible.
Ideally, you will want to choose a toilet with a good pouring spout, the best type will have a rotating spout that you can move to the best angle for the removal of waste.
If the pouring spout cannot be moved and is in an awkward place, emptying the waste tank can be more difficult and this is when spillages can occur.
When purchasing some chemical tanks, you may notice that they are labeled as eco-friendly, this is something that you will need to be aware of.
As these types of portable toilets contain chemicals, they are often not environmentally friendly. This is why it is so important that you empty the black waste in the correct places.
Even if the toilet is labeled as eco-friendly, you should not empty waste anywhere other than the designated areas.
How To Use A Chemical Toilet
In addition to the features that you will need to look for when purchasing a chemical toilet, you must know how to use one too.
While the majority of chemical toilets will come with an instruction manual, it is important to have some insight into how they work before purchasing.
This will help you to decide whether or not you want to purchase a chemical toilet. Here are some instructions below:
Before you use a chemical toilet, you will need to ensure that it is all set up correctly. The first step to setting up a chemical toilet after installation is to add water.
While the amount of water will vary depending on the type of toilet you purchase, the majority use a similar process.
You will need to take the tank out of the toilet and unscrew the cap. You will want to add around ¾ tank full of water, though this amount will vary depending on the model you choose.
Once you are satisfied with the amount of water added, you can screw the cap back on and place it back into the toilet.
Adding Chemicals to the toilet
As this is a chemical toilet, it is important that you purchase the right chemicals and that you are using them correctly.
These chemicals are typically labeled as chemical toilet chemicals, and you will need to take and read the labels thoroughly before using them.
The number of chemicals you will need to add will depend on the overall capacity of your toilet.
Typically for everyone three gallons of waste, you will need to like 1/10 of the number of chemicals from the packet or bottle. This is a rough estimate and will vary, however.
If the chemicals have not already been added to the water, you will need to do this manually. These directions of how to do this will change slightly, depending on the model you own.
You will need to open the black waste tank and add the chemicals directly to the water in the same way that you added the water to the tank. After you have added both the chemicals and water, the toilet is ready to use.
When you are handling the chemicals always ensure that you are doing this safely and you are using the correct PPE.
Flushing the toilet
While flushing the toilet will seem like a simple task, it is worth keeping in mind that there are a handful of different flushing types that can be used.
The type of flush will vary depending on the model of chemical toilet you own. Here are the most common types of chemical toilet flushes and how to use them:
Chemical toilets with a push-button will also feature a piston pump. It is the piston pump that is triggered when you push down the button.
It builds up pressure when pressed, which is released when you stop pushing the button. The water is then flushed from a nozzle to the black water tank.
The piston flush involves pulling the water pump upwards, this pulls water away from the tank and up to the bowl, which will flush the waste away.
This is not the most common type of pump used with chemical toilets.
This is by far one of the most common flush types found on chemical toilets.
All you need to do with this type of flush is to press it down or up and release water into the toilet bowl from the nozzle.
If you have purchased a more expensive chemical toilet, it may feature a battery-operated flush.
These are the easiest types of flush to use and once you press the button, the toilet does all of the work for you.
Emptying the toilet safely and in the correct place
Emptying a chemical toilet can seem like a daunting task. However, once you have got the hang of it, it is fairly easy to do.
In this section, we will be talking you through this briefly. We have also covered this topic in more detail in our frequently asked questions section.
Before you empty the toilet, you will want to ensure that you are using the correct PPE. As this is not the most pleasant of jobs, we would recommend that you use gloves and possibly a facemask. You will also want to wear a pair of old shoes that cover your feet, just in case there are any spillages.
To empty the tank you will need to carefully remove it from the rest of the toilet. The top section will come away from the bottom section which is holding all of the black water.
You will need to empty the waste where it is appropriate to do so, using black water stations, a septic tank, or down a flushable toilet, these are the only safe places where you should empty the tank.
You will need to remove the valve before doing so. Once emptied, you will need to rinse the tank and replace the cap.
Before you add the tank back to the toilet remember to add the chemicals and water as stated above before using the toilet again. When it is all securely in place it is safe to use again. While this is not a pleasant job, it is fairly quick and easy to do.
General Toilet Upkeep
Part of using a Chemical toilet is ensuring that you are taking care of its general upkeep. You will want to regularly ensure that the toilet is not clogged and is operating in a way that it should.
You will want to check that it is all secure and that it will not tip over. You should also check for any potential damage to the toilet or flush.
In addition to this, you will want to keep the toilet in a well-ventilated area to help the removal of any odors, and you will want to regularly sanitize the seat, flush, and the areas surrounding the toilet too.
How to know when the toilet needs to be emptied
As we have mentioned in our buyer’s guide, the best way to know when a chemical toilet needs to be emptied is by checking the waste tank indicator. If your toilet does not have this, you will need to check the waste tank manually.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how long it will take before your toilet will need to be emptied as this will rely on many different things such as, the overall capacity of the toilet, the frequency of use, and how many people are using the toilet.
If the toilet seems full but the tank is not, there may be a blockage in the waste valve that you will need to remove before using the toilet.
Frequently Asked Questions
To conclude, we have also answered some frequently asked questions that you may have about portable chemical toilets.
How do you empty a chemical toilet?
Emptying a chemical toilet does not have to be difficult. Before you empty the chemical toilet, you will need to ensure that you are emptying it in a place that allows this and where it is safe to do so.
The holding tank is the section of your chemical toilet that holds all of the septic toilet waste. It is this part that you will need to empty.
To empty the tank it will need to be removed from the main body of your chemical toilet. Before doing this, we do recommend that you use PPE such as gloves, for hygiene purposes.
As all models of chemical toilets are different, the holding tank may have different ways of being removed. Given this, we would recommend that you double-check your manufacturer’s guide or user manual to ensure that you are removing the cassette correctly.
After you have removed the tank you will need to carry it carefully to a suitable place to empty it.
As the tank can be quite heavy, you must take your time with this step. The majority of tanks will come with a screw cap to place over the pouring cap, however, which is useful.
When you are ready to empty the waste, remove the cap and pour the contents away. This part is not particularly pleasant, but it will not take too long to do so.
It is important to carry out this step carefully to avoid any spillages. While some disposal locations will have a hose you can use to remove the waste, not all do.
Once the tank is empty. Add a small amount of water to the tank, give it a quick shake, and then empty once again, this will help to remove all of the black waste.
Can you use normal toilet paper in a chemical toilet?
For all intents and purposes, yes, you can use regular toilet paper in your chemical toilet.
However, it is not always recommended, especially if you will be using the toilet for a longer period, or there are a handful of you using the toilet.
Ideally, you will want to use toilet paper that will break down quickly. This will help to prevent the toilet from clogging and filling up as quickly.
There are few different options you can choose from, such as quick-dissolving toilet paper that is made for this purpose, or cheap and thinner toilet paper.
Do chemical toilets smell?
One of the biggest benefits of a chemical toilet is its typical lack of smell.
As they feature a chemical reservoir, the smell from the black waste is not typically noticeable and this helps to take away the odor. The chemicals will help to remove any odors.
If the toilet is blocked or is not working correctly, there is the potential for the chemical toilet to start smelling.
We would recommend that you keep the area where your chemical toilet is situated ventilated to help remove any potential odors.
To help prevent any smells from occurring we recommend emptying the toilet often and purchasing one with a sealed valve.
What are the advantages of chemical toilets?
While some people are put off by chemical toilets, there are many advantages to them. To begin with, they are great for use if you are traveling.
They are easy to transport and portable chemical toilets are not overly large and cumbersome.
They are fairly easy to clean and use. Given that it contains chemicals, they do not tend to smell and they are comfortable to use.
Overall, they are convenient and they are great for use in an RV if you are traveling and are on the go.
Which is mostly used in chemical toilet?
As the name suggests chemical toilets contain chemicals that are mixed with the black waste and keep the toilet sanitary. However, you may be wondering what chemicals are used.
While many different types of chemicals can be used, typically the majority of chemical toilets use biocides. These biocides help to prevent bacterial growth. In addition to this, nitrate-based formulations are often used.
In addition to this, many chemical toilets have a fragrance to help mask any potential smells. They may also feature a blue dye. While this blue dye technically does not do anything, it masks the color of the black waste, which can be off-putting.
Can you empty a chemical toilet into a normal toilet?
If you cannot black a black waste emptying site and there is nowhere else that is safe for you to empty the chemical toilet cassette, empty the chemical toilet black waste in a normal toilet.
You will need to take much care in doing so, but it is possible. As regular toilets are linked to the sewage system it is safe to do this.