The 7 Best Van Life Toilets: What Do You Use?

Dee | Lady Bugout
by Dee | Lady Bugout

Previously, we discussed how to choose the best toilet for van life and I shared seven methods I've used myself. This time, I'm asking other nomadic people in schoolies, vans, cars, and tents, to get their take on the best van life toilet. Let's see what other options are out there.

Camping toilet

1. Camping toilet 

You can use a little camping toilet and sustainable but biodegradable compostable bags. It's part of a bag system. The bag just goes in, you close the lid, and you do your business. The bags can be tossed. They don't need to stay or smell in your space. You lose absolutely no space vs. having a fixed toilet. 

You can leave the bags in the little trash cans, usually where you would leave dog waste. Because these bags are compostable and just waste, it's thinking the same thing as throwing out baby poop, dog poop, the same type of deal.

For pee, there is a little funnel, and people go with their favorite method, which is a Gatorade bottle. 

2. Composting toilet

Other van life folks have a composting toilet with a separator; you have a number two area and a number one area.

You see like the little separator, and you think, oh, this is perfect. Number one will always land perfectly in number one, and number two will always land perfectly in number two, which doesn't always happen. Sometimes, especially if you're a lady, things are a little harder to aim at. So it can be a little bit of an adjustment. 

Pee pot for van life

3. Pee pot

Many van life campers pee in a pot. They don't use it for cooking. They dump it out outside. Wherever it's dirt outside, it's fine. For pooping, they use a shovel. You dig a six-inch hole, and then you get some compostable toilet paper and then cover it up. That's what hikers do. Like backpackers who hike across the United States. 

4. Chemical toilet

There is another super simple toilet solution. Last year, whenever one of the campers we talked to was traveling, they noticed that some places said you couldn't travel without a chemical toilet. They bought the generic $70 Thetford toilet, which fits right under a bed. 

It does work really well. It doesn't smell, and it's super simple. 

Cassette toilet for van life

5. Cassette toilet

This is a cassette toilet with a cover. It just has a pull nozzle. You pull that, and your business goes down in the holding tank. Press the little pump back there, and it rinses the tank out. 

You can also put a little bit of additive in the holding tank so it doesn't smell. When it's ready to be emptied, there are two latches on the side. Undo the latch, lift the tank up, and then take it to a toilet or a bathroom, or dump station.

Cleanwaste toilet

6. Cleanwaste

There is another option called a Cleanwaste It has a little carry case. The legs fold in, and when they're folded in, it's compact. You just put the trash bag in the opening. You put the lid down, and that holds it in place. Then you put in your cat litter or your horse pellets or whatever you want, and that's it. 

A net underneath holds the bag in when it's full. Whenever you go to a service station to either get a cold drink or to gas up, just take it, tie it up and dispose of it in the trash can just like you would a diaper. You don't have to worry about having to have water to flush it. You don't have to worry about the big cassette and walking into a place through maybe a restaurant, McDonald's, or something and then dumping it in the toilet. 

Many people do not want a black tank because of the potential smell, but also the idea of having to empty it and find a dumping site. 

Nature's Head composting toilet

7. Nature's Head composting toilet

Other van life campers use Nature's Head and store it in a hideaway. They didn't want to sacrifice their countertop space, so they made it a little bit hidden. There's a shower up top too. 

This is a composting toilet, and it's a fully self-contained composting toilet. You don't need to flush it. Essentially, you do your business by flipping open the latch for number two, and then it goes through the holes for the urine tank for number one.

All you do after is stir it up, and it's got a fan in there that draws air in on this side, and then it exhausts it out and through the bottom of the van on the other side. The smell is pretty minimal.

Van life toilets

Everyone has to go, and as we've seen, there are many options for van life toilets. What do you use as a toilet when traveling in your van? Let us know in the comments below.

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