Best campervan and motorhome chemical toilet

What IS a campervan / motorhome Chemical Toilet?!

Campervan and motorhome chemical toilets are a unique type of sanitation solution that are often portable and self-contained. They collect human waste in a holding tank and use specific chemicals to minimize odors. Unlike traditional toilets, they don’t require a connection to a water supply, making them ideal for use in various situations, especially in campervans and motorhomes.

These toilets are characterized by their use of chemical substances that prevent and disinfect the bacterial decomposition processes of urine and feces, ensuring a hygienic environment even when you’re on the move.

Chemical Toilets in your Campervan or Motorhomes

Chemical toilets play a critical role in campervans and motorhomes. They ensure hygiene and comfort during travel by managing waste effectively. The chemicals used in these toilets break down waste matter quickly and eradicate unpleasant smells and gases.

This is particularly important when you’re on the road and don’t have access to traditional sanitation facilities. By providing a clean and odor-free environment, chemical toilets significantly enhance the overall comfort and convenience of your travel experience.

How Do Chemical Toilets Work?

Chemical toilets work on a simple yet effective principle. They consist of two main parts: a toilet seat and a waste holding tank. When you use the toilet, the waste goes into the holding tank. This tank contains chemicals that help to break down the waste and control odors.

The chemicals not only decompose the waste into a more manageable form but also kill bacteria, reducing the risk of disease. Some chemical toilets also have a flush mechanism, which uses either water from a hidden tank or the toilet chemicals themselves. This straightforward yet efficient system makes chemical toilets an essential component of any campervan or motorhome.

Types of campervan and motorhome chemical toilets

Cassette Toilets for campervans and motorhomes

Cassette toilets are a popular type of chemical toilet often found in campervans and motorhomes. They function similarly to portable toilets but are permanently affixed to your vehicle. The toilet is installed over a small, removable waste tank, known as a cassette. Once you’re done using it, the waste moves into this portable waste tank.

The advantage of cassette toilets is their compact size and ease of use.They are also easy to clean and empty, as the waste tank can be detached and emptied at a designated disposal point. However, their capacity is limited, and frequent emptying may be required during long trips.

Composting Toilets for campervans and motorhomes

Composting toilets are a type of dry toilet that treats human waste through a biological process called composting. This process leads to the decomposition of organic matter and turns human waste into compost-like material.

Composting toilets are eco-friendly and require little to no water, making them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious campers. They also eliminate the need for chemical additives. However, they require regular maintenance, and the composting process can take some time. Also, emptying a composting toilet can be a bit more involved than with other types of toilets.

Portable Chemical Toilets for campervans and motorhomes

Portable chemical toilets are a popular choice for many campers due to their convenience and ease of use. These toilets use a chemically treated reservoir located directly below the toilet seat. The chemicals reduce odors and perform partial decomposition of the waste.

Portable chemical toilets are lightweight and compact, making them easy to transport and ideal for use in various settings, including motorhomes, caravans, and boats. However, they require regular emptying and maintenance, and the use of chemicals means you’ll need to ensure you’re disposing of the waste responsibly.

Finding the best Campervan and Motorhome Chemical Toilets

Thetford Porta Potti 145 Portable Toilet – Highly recommended

The Thetford Porta Potti 165 is a popular choice among campervan and motorhome users. Its compact design and high functionality make it a top pick. The Porta Potti 165 is known for its sturdy build, capable of supporting a full human weight without any issues. Users have praised its ease of assembly and the fact that it doesn’t need to be opened for emptying. It simulates the comfort of a home toilet, making it a great option for those seeking familiarity on the road.

Best campervan and motorhome chemical toilet

Thetford 145 Porta Potti Nice and compact

White-Grey, 330 x 383 x 427 mm

It’s worth noting that this is for all intents and purposes the same as the Thetford 365, except it’s smaller in height. This means it can fit into a wider array of spaces, but it also means you’ll have to be emptying it more frequently. This is the one we’ve ended up with because we found the 365 to be just a little big bigger than what we needed (we tried both for size).

Thetford 365 Porta Potti Portable Toilet – Highly recommended

Read our full Thetford 365 Porta potti review to figure out whether it’s right for you (I think you’ll love it!).

The Thetford 365 Portable Toilet is another excellent choice. It’s well-constructed, offering a comfortable sitting height and overall good quality. The Porta Potti 365 has the largest holding tank among portable units, making it ideal for longer trips. Users have also appreciated its easy assembly and the fact that it doesn’t need to be opened for emptying.

Best campervan and motorhome chemical toilet

Thetford 365 Porta Potti A popular choice

White-Grey, 414 x 383 x 427 mm

Outdoor Revolution Big Loo Portable Toilet Bucket

The Outdoor Revolution Big Loo Portable Toilet Bucket is a no-fuss solution for those nighttime trips. It’s a sturdy, lightweight, and durable accessory that’s environmentally friendly. Despite its simple design, users have found it to be robust and comfortable. However, some users have noted that the seat and lid can be a bit tricky to remove.

Best campervan and motorhome chemical toilet

Outdoor Revolution Big Loo Great value

Created from Heavy Duty Plastic Removable Lid for Hygiene Robust Carry Handle

Blue Diamond Eco-Friendly Composting Toilet

The Blue Diamond Eco-Friendly Composting Toilet is an excellent choice for those seeking an environmentally friendly option. This self-composting toilet requires zero water, zero chemicals, and produces zero pollutants. It has two separate compartments for liquids and solids, making it a truly portable composting toilet. Users have praised its robust build and comfort, although some have mentioned that the seat could be more comfortable.

Dometic 972 Portable Toilet

The Dometic 972 Portable Toilet is a compact and user-friendly option. Its hardy unit can stand up to the rigors of travel, and its size makes it perfect for smaller vehicles and tents. Users have praised its powerful flush, which doesn’t require constant pumping or batteries. The Dometic 972 is a lightweight toilet that’s perfect for smaller vehicles and tents due to its unique space-saving design.

Best campervan and motorhome chemical toilet

DOMETIC 972 Portable Toilet Great value

Lightweight, compact and space-saving portable toilet. Splash-free emptying with the extra long pivoting discharge spout

Which chemicals should you use for your chemical toilet?

Fenwick’s Top & Tail Toilet Fluid

Fenwick’s Top & Tail Toilet Fluid is a green, formaldehyde-free solution designed for both top and bottom tanks. This fluid is praised for its effectiveness in maintaining a clean and fully functional toilet in your caravan or motorhome. However, some users have expressed dissatisfaction with its performance, stating it’s the worst toilet fluid they’ve encountered in their years of caravanning. Despite the mixed reviews, Fenwick’s Top & Tail Toilet Fluid remains a popular choice due to its environmentally friendly formulation.

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Pro-Kleen Caravan Toilet Chemicals

Pro-Kleen Caravan Toilet Chemicals offer a unique organic formula that’s free from harsh chemicals. This solution uses new green technology to remove odours and break down waste, making it better for you and the environment. Users appreciate the dual functionality of the product, with the blue solution for the waste tank and the pink for a fragrant flush. However, it’s worth noting that reviews are varied, with some users finding the product less effective than traditional chemicals.

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Dirtbusters Toilet Chemical

Dirtbusters Toilet Chemical is an all-in-one solution for your caravan or motorhome toilet needs. This organic formula is designed to naturally break down waste and neutralise odours. It’s a powerful and fast-acting solution that’s free from harsh chemical smells. Users have praised its effectiveness and the fact that it’s environmentally friendly. However, as with any product, experiences may vary, and it’s always a good idea to try a product out for yourself to see if it meets your specific needs.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Chemical Toilet


When it comes to choosing a chemical toilet for your campervan or motorhome, size is a crucial factor. The size of the toilet you choose should be in line with the available space in your vehicle. A toilet that’s too large can take up valuable space, making your living area feel cramped. On the other hand, a toilet that’s too small might not provide the comfort and functionality you need. Therefore, it’s essential to measure the space where you plan to install the toilet and choose a model that fits perfectly.

Ease of Use

The ease of use is another significant factor to consider. A chemical toilet should be easy to use, clean, and maintain. Look for a model with a straightforward design and clear instructions. The process of emptying the waste tank should be simple and mess-free. Additionally, the toilet should be easy to assemble and disassemble, especially if you plan to move it around frequently. Remember, a toilet that’s difficult to use can turn your camping trip into a stressful experience.

Waste Capacity

Waste capacity is a critical factor to consider when choosing a chemical toilet. The capacity you need depends on the number of people using the toilet and the length of your trip. If you’re traveling alone or with a partner for a weekend, a smaller capacity might be sufficient. However, for larger groups or longer trips, you’ll need a toilet with a larger waste tank. Keep in mind that a larger waste tank means the toilet will be heavier to empty, but you’ll need to do it less frequently.


Price is always an important consideration when purchasing any product, and chemical toilets are no exception. The cost of chemical toilets can vary widely depending on the brand, model, and features. While it might be tempting to go for the cheapest option, it’s important to consider the quality and durability of the toilet. A more expensive model might be more cost-effective in the long run if it’s durable and requires less maintenance. Remember, it’s not always about finding the cheapest option, but rather the one that offers the best value for your money.

How to Maintain and Clean Your Chemical Toilet

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your chemical toilet in good working condition. After each use, make sure to rinse the bowl with water and a mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the toilet’s seals and moving parts. It’s also important to clean the waste tank regularly. After emptying the tank, rinse it out with water and a toilet cleaner designed for chemical toilets. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the cleaner. Regular cleaning not only keeps your toilet fresh and hygienic but also extends its lifespan.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning your chemical toilet is a task that should be performed periodically, depending on how often you use it. This involves a more thorough cleaning of the toilet bowl and waste tank. Start by emptying the waste tank and rinsing it out with water. Then, fill the tank with a mixture of warm water and a toilet cleaner. Let the solution sit in the tank for a few hours or overnight, then empty and rinse the tank thoroughly. For the toilet bowl, use a toilet brush and a mild cleaner to scrub away any stains or deposits. Rinse well and wipe dry.

Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance can ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your chemical toilet. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always use the right chemicals: Using the wrong chemicals can damage your toilet and cause unpleasant odors. Always use products designed for chemical toilets.
  • Check the seals: The seals in your toilet ensure that it’s watertight. Check them regularly for signs of wear and replace them if necessary.
  • Lubricate moving parts: The moving parts of your toilet, like the flush mechanism, should be lubricated periodically to keep them working smoothly.
  • Store properly: If you’re not using your toilet for a while, make sure to empty and clean it thoroughly before storing it. Store it in a dry place to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Regular inspection: Regularly inspect your toilet for any signs of damage or wear. Early detection can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.


Choosing the right chemical toilet for your campervan or motorhome can significantly enhance your travel experience. From understanding what chemical toilets are and how they work, to exploring different types and top picks, we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve also delved into the best chemicals to use and factors to consider when making your choice. Remember, size, ease of use, waste capacity, and price are all crucial considerations. Regular cleaning and maintenance can ensure your chosen toilet’s longevity and effectiveness. With the right knowledge and care, your chemical toilet can provide you with comfort and hygiene wherever your travels take you. Happy camping!

What are the environmental impacts of using a chemical toilet in a campervan or motorhome?

Chemical toilets, especially those that use harsh chemicals, can have environmental impacts. The waste from these toilets, when not disposed of properly, can contaminate water sources and harm wildlife. However, many modern chemical toilets use environmentally friendly solutions that break down waste into harmless substances. It’s crucial to use these eco-friendly options and dispose of waste at designated dump stations to minimize environmental impact.

Can I use a regular household cleaner to clean my chemical toilet?

It’s not recommended to use regular household cleaners to clean your chemical toilet. These cleaners can be too harsh and damage the seals and moving parts of the toilet. Instead, use cleaners specifically designed for chemical toilets. These cleaners are formulated to be safe for the toilet materials and effective in cleaning and sanitizing.

How often should I empty my chemical toilet?

The frequency of emptying your chemical toilet depends on its usage and waste capacity. As a general rule, it’s best to empty the toilet when it’s about two-thirds full. This prevents overfilling, which can lead to spills and odors. If you’re using the toilet frequently, you might need to empty it every 2-3 days.

Can I use a chemical toilet in winter?

Yes, you can use a chemical toilet in winter, but there are a few things to consider. In freezing temperatures, the chemicals and waste in the toilet can freeze, making it difficult to empty and clean. Some chemical toilet manufacturers offer special additives that prevent freezing, which can be a good option for winter camping.

Are there alternatives to chemical toilets for campervans and motorhomes?

Yes, there are alternatives to chemical toilets. Composting toilets are a popular option. They use natural processes to break down waste into compost, which is more environmentally friendly. However, they require more maintenance and can be more expensive. Portable camping toilets are another option. They’re simple and lightweight, but they don’t offer the same level of comfort and convenience as a built-in chemical or composting toilet.

Joe Tannorella

Joe Tannorella

Joe grew up wanting to live the van life. In 2020 he and his wife bought their first VW Transporter campervan (called Vinnie) and have been enjoying it ever since. Together they write about their experiences of van life and provide useful information, reviews, and more via their writing on Camperbrain.


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