How to Use and Clean a Portable Camping Toilet

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When packing for a camping trip or outfitting your van or camper for a long road trip there are key items on almost everyone’s checklist like a first aid kit. There are other things that may not be a top priority if are camping or traveling but can add a lot of convenience to your trip and give you the freedom to explore more places- one of which is a portable camping toilet.

Having your own portable camping toilet along with you in your camper van makes you more self-sufficient since you are no longer limited to public restrooms or campground facilities. With your own portable camping toilet, you can set up a campsite or use it whenever you need it. Although a portable chemical toilet may look like the one you use at home, there are major differences between the two.

One difference is that the portable chemical toilet is not connected to the sewage system. This means that you take spend extra effort to maintain its cleanliness and functionality. This article will talk about the proper ways how to use and maintain, and how to empty a portable camping toilet.

Keeping your portable camping toilet clean:

Before using the portable toilet

  1. Buy or use the deodorant or disinfectant provided by the manufacturer. Pour a small amount into the waste tank or the toilet base. The deodorant could be liquid or powder, which are both effective in cleaning your toilet. Make sure to re-latch and secure the two tanks together.
  2. Add water to the water tank. Pump water and try to flush at least 2 times so that the deodorant will reach the different areas of the toilet. Then close the water tank. Your toilet is now ready to use.

A packet of deodorant powder or one bottle of liquid disinfectant is enough for forty gallons of wastewater. But since a standard portable toilet only holds 2.6 or 3 gallons of waste, use only a small amount. Also, the chemicals are strong and could be harmful, so keep them out of children’s reach.

Important reminder in using a portable toilet

  1. Use the toilet in a sitting position so as not to create messy splashes.
  2. Biodegradable toilet tissue is recommended for use. However, since you will empty the toilet afterward, other kinds of tissue are okay to use.
  3. Once you are done, pull the lever to open the waste tank. Then pump water again from the water tank to flush the waste. Don’t release too much water so as not to fill the waste tank faster. After one or two flushes, close the waste tank and the seat lid.

Before emptying a portable toilet

Before emptying a portable toilet, you have to know when you need to empty it. The answer is simple; when you see that the waste tank’s content is getting full, or when you no longer have to use the toilet because you are heading home from the trip, you should empty it.

Know where the chemical disposal points near your area are. An RV dumping site will be the most suitable place to get rid of the waste. However, if you cannot find disposal points, your home septic tank will be appropriate.

How to empty a portable toilet

  1. Separate the waste tank from the water tank. Make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer since the designs of portable toilet tanks are different.
  2. Ensure that the part that connects the waste tank and the water tank is sealed or closed. Take it to the area where you will pour out the waste. You may carry the whole toilet, but it will be heavy.
  3. Unscrew the cap on the rear of the waste tank and carefully pour out the waste into the dump area or septic tank. If you have a hose or a tap and bucket, you can use it to flush out the tank and ensure everything is dislodged.
  4. Now thoroughly wash the tank or your whole toilet from top to bottom. If you are going to use it the next day or right away, you should repeat the first steps mentioned above. But, if you are going to store it, you should add about 1/2 cup of water to the disinfectant. Do not neglect to do this for odor and sanitary purposes.

Note: In storing a portable toilet, do not leave the tanks with water for they can freeze during cold weather and damage the toilet.

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