Aside from the heater, the port-a-potty is the most prized feature of our van. I've dreamed about peeing comfortably inside a warm vehicle for a long time. Ladies, just think: no more putting on shoes by headlamp, crawling out of the bed of a truck or tent, braving the bitter cold, finding a level or downward slope of terrain, bearing your booty in the cold, hoping you don't splash your pajamas, or pondering whether you really want to drink more water so you can avoid all that trouble. I've tried everything from gatorade bottles to female urinary directors, and peeing at night while camping just sucks.

First off: everything in this post is contingent upon one golden rule.

Peeing only, no pooing.

It's remarkably easy to clean and doesn't stink--dispel the stereotype of old, stinky RVs from the 70s. Unless, of course, you break the golden rule.

The port-a-potty is located under the main cabinet area. Pull it out with its cover and you have a footrest for the bench.

port-a-potty vanlife camper van

Uncover and voila, you have a potty.
port-a-potty vanlife camper van

Order of operations:

  1. Pull the grey tab out to open the hole between the top and bottom half.
  2. Open the lid. If you mix up 1 & 2, and you traveled to a higher elevation (say, Tahoe), you'll get backsplash from the altitude change on the water pressure.
  3. Pee.
  4. Pump the flusher in the upper left a couple times to wash it down.
  5. Close it up.

port-a-potty vanlife camper van

It's time to clean when either (a) the indicator starts turning red or (b) it's been about a week. To clean, the port-a-potty comes apart into 2 parts. The bottom is easily carry-able. Take the bottom to an RV dump station or any regular toilet and pour the contents out from the big grey spout. It's really not bad when you have only pee mixed with deodorizer.

port-a-potty vanlife camper van Each time, clean the top bowl with bleach and a brush like you normally do at home, fill the top with more fresh water, and drop a deodorizing tablet in the bottom.

Walex porta-pak

Walex Porta-Pak (also available at most Wal-Marts)

Thetford port-a-potty
Thetford porta-potti (this size will last 2 people about 5 days of peeing on the road)