Potty Talk - Thetford Porta Potti Review

I am asked one question about our Pop Up Camper over and over.  Does it have a bathroom?   No. Lots of Pop Up Campers don't.  While some pop-ups do, it is not always a feature that everyone loves or uses.

Having a bathroom in our camper was not a deal breaker for us in our decision to purchase one.  Most camping facilities have nice restrooms and showers.  It is one less thing for us to maintain.  I'm okay with all of this.

However, having a convenient potty is nice.  When we remodeled our pop up, we went back and forth on this.  Our little guy is 4 and goes to the restroom often during the night.  Summer bathroom trips are not a big deal really.  But, when camping in cooler weather or rain, it is nice to have a potty nearby.  Let's be honest.  Having a potty nearby is more than nice no matter the conditions.

Keep reading. I'm not going to go into all the gritty details of having a potty inside of our pop up camper.  Bottom line, you can do the math and decide how and if this works for you. It does for us.  I'm going to share the information with you about having a porta potty that might help you make that decision.

We have a Thetford Curve Porta Potty and LOVE it.  Out of the box, it comes with everything you need to set it up for first-time use!

Batteries, deodorizing treatment for the waste tank and clear instructions are included in the box.

First, having a potty for your pop up camper does not require that you have it or keep it in your camper.  It is very easy to purchase something like a GigaTent Pop Up Pod Changing Room to have your potty outdoors.  I know other campers that go with this option for a porta potty.

The Thetford Curve Porta Potti is awesome for quite a few reasons.  First, let's talk about size.  It does matter.  It is tall enough to actually use without being so low to the ground.  But, it is low enough to close up inside of our camper.  It fits perfectly in our space.

Our Porta Potti fits perfectly next to our cabinet inside.  

Also, it holds 4 gallons of fresh water for flushing and 5.5 gallons of waste.  So it will last for a little bit of time before you have to change it out.  This is not our main potty on trips.  But, it works perfectly for emergencies, cold or rainy nights.

Next, this potty is super easy to set up!  Separate the top half from the bottom.  Put in some of the Thetford 03106 Aqua-Kem into the waste tank with a little water.  There is a screw on cap that easily allows the user to pour in and close up so that everything stays contained.

Reconnect the top and bottom.  Now it is time to fill the reserve tank with water.  There is a sealed compartment that you can fill with water using a standard hose.  It will hold 4 gallons, but you don't have to fill it completely.  This is used for flushing.

Reserve tank for clean flushing water.  Seals tight but opens easily to fill.

And there is a battery operated flushing mechanism.  You will need batteries for this.  However, batteries do come with the Thetford Porta Potti.  Just make sure that you have reserve batteries on hand for when you need them.  Just press the blue button to flush after each use.  It is a quiet flush.  So, if it is used during the night, there is not a lot of noise.

Close the cap after installing the batteries.  Press the blue button to flush when in use. 

There is a lever on the side that keeps the bottom sealed from the top.  Move the lever to open and let waste into the bottom tank.  Flush with the battery operated flusher and close the lever.

The grey lever on the side opens the top tank to release waste into the tank below.

To clean, separate the top from the bottom.  I recommend, making sure that the lever has closed the waste tank when separating to clean.  The waste tank has a screw on cap and plastic pipe that swivels to easily dump any waste.  Remove the cap and swivel outward.

Drain the waste into a toilet.  I spray and clean the bottom waste tank with bathroom cleaner and/or a little bleach and rinse.

Drain the clean water tank on the top and reconnect.  It is really simple and fast to clean up.

I would recommend some easy dissolving toilet paper. Thetford 03300 Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue, 2-Ply, 4 Rolls  There is even a toilet paper holder built in that snaps into the side!

The toilet paper holder on the bottom of the potty is a handy feature.

The toilet paper holder is such a great feature!
This porta potty is really well made.   Everything seals well to avoid unsanitary spills.  With a flushing system, it is practical. It is very handy for our family and is perfect for our camping needs.  We just did an overnight trip where the weather turned off below freezing overnight.  It was nice not to have to go outdoors at 4:30 in the morning for a potty trip.

Most campers will have an idea as to whether they would want a potty in their small pop up camper or not.  I know it is tight quarters, but it works for us.  Since there is a lid, it is like it doesn't really exist.   The potty just sits there minding its own business unless someone is using it for their business.

I think it is one of those add ons that is worth the thought and consideration.  I just recommend thinking it through and getting a good one that isn't more of a hassle than it is worth.  The Thetford Curve Porta Potti is worth the extra money.  I cannot stress that enough.

If you are on the fence, purchase a pop-up tent to use it outdoors.  With the right set up, this porta potty is a perfect addition to a family's camping gear.  We love ours and couldn't imagine camping without it!

Do you use a porta potty in your camper?  What kind do you have?  Or do you just completely oppose the idea?  Feel free to add your potty talk and thoughts here!  I'd love to hear some feedback from other campers.

Also, if you are looking for other camping gadgets and gear, check out my page for that.  I have listed everything from outdoor mats to dutch ovens.  I think camping is more fun and lots easier with the right gear.  Happy camping!


  1. Ours has the Thetford cassette toilet and we love it for the reasons you stated. Darkness and bad weather plus for us being older it helps. They really make quality products.

  2. I have a question about port a potties in the camper in bear country. Is it a danger to have it IN the camper when you are in bear country?

    1. 'm not sure about a porta potti in the camper in bear country. I will say that it does not have an odor and everything is contained. I would check with rangers in parks where you are camping that have bears and ask them. Sorry I couldn't be more help on this question. Best wishes in camping!

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