If you're considering purchasing your first pop up camper, learning if pop up campers have bathrooms (and what type of bathroom) is a primary step. After extensive research, we’ve put together essential information for you about pop up camper bathrooms.
Some pop-up campers do have bathrooms. Depending on the size camper, you have a few options to consider such as:
- Dry bathroom - spaced out area
- Wet bathroom - everything in one area
- Cassette toilet - portable toilet with either a separate shower area or no shower
For pop-ups without bathrooms, many campgrounds have designated, public bathrooms available.
The good news is, you won’t have to resort to digging mini trenches out in the woods if you live the pop up camper lifestyle. To better understand what each bathroom offers, keep reading, as we cover how each type works and how to properly dispose of waste from the toilets.
Pop Up Camper Bathroom Styles
With different bathroom options available, it may seem overwhelming if you don’t understand what each type entails. We’ll go through each pop-up bathroom to answer your questions, so you can carefully consider the best option for you.
Think of a typical bathroom in a home; each element is in its own designated space. The sink is in one place, the shower in another, and the toilet in another. That’s exactly what a dry bathroom entails in a pop up camper. Everything is in its own space in the bathroom.
It’s smaller than a typical bathroom but bigger than the alternative wet bathroom, which we will cover shortly. You will find dry bathrooms added into bigger pop up campers, since most campers are designed with wet bathrooms. The Rockwood Premier would be the closest to a dry bathroom without renovating.
A wet bathroom is the opposite of a dry bathroom because everything is in one location for this style. The toilet and shower space is combined, so the floor is waterproof and has a drain. As the most popular option, owners don’t mind the cramped area because it saves space in the rest of the pop up.
No surface remains dry when the shower is used in a wet bathroom. Every time someone showers, toiletries should be stored elsewhere due to the confined space. The bathroom walls should be wiped down afterward, to prevent bacteria build up.
Both dry and wet bathrooms have cassette toilets, but some owners decide to simply have a cassette toilet as the bathroom option. A cassette toilet is in plain view of the living quarters, but tucked away under a bedside table when not in use. This may not seem ideal, but it is better than braving the outdoors without any toilet.
Although the least favorable option, owners do choose to not have a bathroom in the pop up camper to provide more room for other necessities. This means doing your business outdoors using a carry-out system and digging holes to discard waste.
How Does A Toilet In A Pop Up Camper Work?
It might initially seem intimidating, but using a pop up toilet is not complicated. Start by locating the holding tank, typically under the toilet, and there should also be a door on the back leading to it.
- To get the toilet functioning properly, you must completely fill the flush tank (the top tank). Access the flush tank easily by rotating the spout on top. As you fill, pay attention to a glass tube located on the left-hand side that displays the water level.
- Once the water is approximately half an inch from the top of the glass tube, the tank is full. Drain remaining water in the fill spout by either a drain on the bottom or by rotating the spout so the water can be emptied.
- Now that there is water, look at the whole cassette toilet, from head-on. You should see the obvious toilet seat, a knob to flush (typically to the right), and a knob to open the valve blade (typically to the left).
- Either turn the flushing knob multiple times to fill the toilet with water, or open the valve blade; it is up to your discretion.
- After using the toilet, if you choose to fill the toilet, open the valve blade and flush a few times by turning the flush knob.
- Finish flushing, and close the valve blade. The toilet will have a tank level indicator on the front. Once it turns red, it means that you must empty the tank.
Get every, nitty gritty detail you’ll need to properly use a pop up camper toilet at our blog, “How Do RV Toilets Work?”
How Do You Empty A Pop Up Camper Toilet?
The tank level indicator is red, so it is time to empty your toilet! Locate the dumping grounds at the campground where you are staying, and check for any rules regarding proper waste dumping. Here is how you empty a pop up camper toilet:
- First and foremost, make sure that the valve blade is closed (which should be done after each use anyway). Push the safety cap down, it should be yellow, and pull the tank out by the handle.
- Next, spin the emptying spout roughly 90 degrees and remove the safety cap.
- Hold the tank properly by the handle so that it will be easy to tip forward, but also have access to the vent plunger so that you can depress it to avoid unnecessary spills.
- Carefully, while depressing the vent plunger, empty the tank into the appropriate waste receptacle.
- Finally, clean the tank thoroughly. Take water and run it through the tank at least three times or more for good measure.
How Often Should You Empty A Cassette Toilet?
Emptying a cassette toilet regularly prevents overflow (and a big mess). On average, empty a cassette toilet every two days.
Some owners suggest every one to two days, while others suggest two to three. A two-day routine is the safe bet, but also judge based on how often the toilet is used in one day. If more campers are using the toilet, it will need emptying more often.
Check out this video, for a handy demo on using and emptying a cassette toilet:
Do Cassette Toilets Stink?
A stinky toilet is a common fear of any bathroom. A cassette toilet can stink, so avoid foul smells by adding chemicals to the holding tank to neutralize odors from excreting.
Aqua-Kem is a highly-rated chemical used for cassette toilets.
To add chemicals, remove the holding tank and open the emptying spout. Use the built-in measuring cup (featured on most cassette toilets) to add chemicals. On average, add four ounces. At least make sure to cover the bottom of the tank by starting with four ounces, and going from there.
Picking The Right Pop Up Bathroom Option
Now that you’ve seen pop up camper bathroom options, it’s up to you to decide! But, if none of these options appeal to you - maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Check out our blog, “What Are The Smallest RV’s With A Shower And Toilet?”