While some camping toilets are the most basic bucket and bag systems, others are much more elaborate and contain a flushable plumbing system. These camping toilets are the Cadillacs of portable toilet options. They offer campers the convenience of something very similar to the toilet they have at home and give them the ability to flush waste into a tank that will help to minimize odors.
The plumbing of a flushable camping toilet works similarly to that of a camping trailer or RV toilet. It consists of a freshwater holding tank and a lower holding tank that stores waste. These toilets flush by pumping water via a piston or bellows pump to move the water through the tanks. Flushable camping toilets vary in size, and their size determines how frequently they need to be emptied. In general, portable flush toilets come in 5-gallon sizes. If you're going to be camping for a long time, you may want to invest in a larger 10-gallon toilet to cut down on the times you'll have to empty it.
The drawback of flushable toilets is that they require more cleaning and maintenance than the more do-it-yourself camping toilet models. They're also less compact and more expensive that other toilet options. On the other hand, the variety of size and height in which these toilets are available, as well as the convenience of flushing rather than emptying a tank or disposing of waste, might be worth it.
On the next page, we'll talk about how to keep your toilet as sanitary as possible.