porta potties

Camping Adventure With the Kids: Don’t Forget to Make a List of Essential Bathroom Gear!

Travelling with kids can be somewhat challenging, and at times overwhelming too (there’s no shame in saying it!). How would you explain to a tired and bored child that there’s more road ahead than they think? Singing and playing car games help only until a certain point, so my advice is to work on your nerves and patience.

Also, it’s necessary to be prepared for anything on the road, especially if you’re planing to embark on a camping adventure with the kids and want to make it as safe and carefree as possible. In addition to creating a list of essentials in terms of a first aid kit, shelter, food, clothes, and entertainment, you can’t overlook the importance of basic bathroom essentials.

Nothing can ruin a family trip more than the time when nature calls and you have no toilet and the needed accessories around to take care of hygiene and bathroom etiquette. It’s not always among the priorities, yet when you consider bathroom on the go differs from your home bathroom, things suddenly shift direction.

If you’re on your way with an RV, campervan, or motorhome, one of the main decisions you have to make is whether to get a cassette toilet or opt for a more flexible portable caravan toilet instead. Once you cover this, you can move on to the other essentials, such as the needed hygienic accessories.

Portable Toilet or Cassette Toilet?

Though it comes down to personal choice, and how big of a budget you can work with, each of the options comes with its own pros and cons which may also contribute to the decision-making process. Let’s consider both.

Portable Toilet

portable toilets
Source: kake.com

As the name is self-explanatory, these self-contained toilets are designed to be moved around as you see fit. Thanks to this, the convenient porta potties are also perfect for campers who don’t travel with a vehicle of their own and camp in tents. Instead of bringing children to the bush after dark, you can set your own bathroom where it’s most suitable.

More on the plus side, they’re the perfect solution that offers you plenty of privacy if you don’t feel like sharing the facilities with others at a campsite. Since you can take them anywhere, this gives you more freedom and flexibility with where you want to camp, as you don’t depend on campsite amenities.

What makes them especially practical for parents is that they’re easy to use, and you don’t have to waste precious time teaching your kids how to use them, how to go to the bush or the campsite loo, or worse – how to create a bucket toilet or dig cat holes. I also have to point out that the porta potties are amazingly affordable too, so they won’t put that big of a strain on your budget.

Still, there are some aspects some campers find to be drawbacks, like the need to bring along extra accessories to get rid of odours and germs and keep things fresh. Then there’s also the frequent “waste disposal” factor you might be grossed about as odours can quickly accumulate, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.

The latest designs are made to be ergonomic so you won’t have too much trouble carrying them, and they make it easy to clean and put them back on. Be sure to pick out a design that’s got two separate tanks to make the disposal easier (and less disgusting for you) so you can carry out the waste tank without removing the freshwater holding tank. Rotating spouts are other handy features you’d appreciate paying the extra dollars for.

Also, mind the environment, and pay attention to authorised locations where you can empty the waste. This includes official campsites which tend to be busy, especially in Australia. My advice is to find them as soon as you arrive to be aware of the quickest path and find the most suitable time that would allow you to avoid queues.

Cassette Toilet

Cassette toilet
Source: lichtsinn.com

While I’m not saying the porta potties aren’t comfortable, they don’t provide the homely feel of the cassette toilets which are basically fixed. As their name implies, they’ve got cassettes, or waste tanks, that you’d have to access and empty. Unscrewing the cap of the drain is what it takes to take them out and empty the waste.

Due to their compact size, they’re perfect for smaller motorised homes in which a completely plumbed option isn’t possible. What you may also like is that they don’t get so dirty and smelly like the counterpart I’ve covered because of the sealed cassettes. This further makes them easy to clean and maintain, though you have to look for the designated dumping stations to dispose of the waste properly.

They may require some repairs and spare parts since they’re not the permanent toilet, but the good news is parts are readily available at the specialised camp gear stores, and at affordable prices too. Take the pros and cons into account, and see what better suits your needs as a family. And make sure you choose a toilet that’s fit for the use you intend to put it through – a family of four isn’t the same as, say, a family of ten!

Bathroom Camping Accessories

Once you’ve taken care of the camping caravan toilet purchase, you’d have to focus on the needed accessories. I don’t have to tell you how handy it is to have your own supply of wipes that can serve as anything, from toilet wipes to stain removers. I also don’t have to point out how important it is to do the math on how many toilet paper units you’d require for the duration of the trip.

If none of you has trouble with the intestines, and you normally spend a roll for two-three days each, then calculate the amount with the number of days you intend to stay. For example, I use more TP than my husband and son, so for our week-long camping trip, I brought along four, out of which I used two, and they used the other two. More on the accessories, it’s necessary to bring along toilet tablets or bowl cleaners to get rid of odours and germs but be sure to choose those that are eco-friendly and won’t harm plastics.

And, if you do happen to dispose of the waste at a dump station or at another public place like a restaurant and you want to avoid the stares, I highly recommend getting a carry bag for the tank or portable toilet. You can thank me later!