Is a port-a-potty worth it?

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by Ratherbecamping, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. Ratherbecamping

    Ratherbecamping Active Member

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    That is a good point. I’m thinking once my boys go through puberty the shoes may need to stay outside. I only have sisters but I can imagine what is in store.
     
  2. Ratherbecamping

    Ratherbecamping Active Member

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    :laugh:
     
  3. Paul Zimmer

    Paul Zimmer Member Silver Supporting Member

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  4. Ratherbecamping

    Ratherbecamping Active Member

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  5. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    You know, I went the other direction. Not wag bags, but more or less the same thing with Double Doodie bags and a Luggable Loo. The LL / bags were effective yes, easy to clean up, mostly, but the lack of ability to flush the waste away gave my wife an ick factor that made them a deal breaker for me...

    Something to consider.

    #1. How frequent is your usage? The more often you use, the more cost effective a flushable toilet will be. WAG bags or Double Doodie bags are actually somewhat costly, while the toilets they work with are dirt cheap. Kind of like inkjet printers and cartridges... If you camp / use the toilet more than say 4 times a year, you should be money ahead with a flushing model. I will break down the money at the bottom of this post.
    #2. Don't forget the cost of tank chemicals. Not anywhere near as expensive as a bag system, but not free either. Camco TST RV toilet treatment, which literally just takes one small "glug" per 5 gallon black tank will last easily 2 years for me and runs $8.00.
    #3. Flushable toilets require fill up of the fresh tank, AND dumping of the black tank. Make sure you have water and sanitary available when you are done and need to clean up.
    #4. Bucket systems do a decent job with the right bags of gelling up waste and containing it, but it is not unheard of to have bags not do their thing, and spring a leak in moving to dispose of waste. Typically happens when someone uses a cheap bag and cat litter approach and overloads it...Bleh...

    So yeah, portable toilet options are plentiful, as are opinions on them. At least in my perspective, all of the options are better than all park public bathrooms from a sanitary perspective, especially considering COVID. And COVID or no, pit / vault type facilities are just a no go for me. I'll dig a hole and squat behind a tree way before I will use a vault toilet.

    UPDATE: I am updating this with the money factor.

    Bucket toilet costs assuming Double Doodie bags.
    5 Gallon Bucket. Free. Or $3.00 at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart etc...
    Reliance Luggable Loo toilet seat lid. $14.95 @ REI, and they seem to be in line with everyone else.
    Double Doodie Bags with Bio Gel. To you know, trap the junk. $17.95 for a half dozen @ REI, who oddly enough was the cheapest I could find. Most are $29.99 for a half dozen bags...

    I am going to use my portable toilet as an example although it was a cheapie, it was chosen for its durability and weight rating since I admit I am quite fat...

    Jaxpety 5 gallon flushable portable toilet. I got mine at Walmart.com and it was $49.99 although they seem to range from there to about $65.00 depending on sale prices etc...
    Camco TST tank deodorant / enzyme to digest the waste etc... 30 packets $16.79 @ Walmart

    In real world use, I get 2 days for 2 people of the bucket, 4 days for 2 people for the flush toilet.

    So I am using literally 30 bags for every package of TST chemical.

    To get the same use out of a bucket as I would the flush toilet, I would have to go through 5 sets of bags.

    So now let's look at the costs.

    5 gallon bucket. $3.00
    Luggable Loo toilet seat / lid for 5 gallon bucket. $14.95
    5 sets of Double Doodie bags. $89.95
    Total cost. $107.90

    Jaxpety 5 gallon flush toilet gray. I just double checked Walmarts price on them and will give that. $59.99
    Now I am going to be lazy and just go with TST drop in tabs to eliminate needing to measure. 30ct at $16.79
    Total cost. $76.78

    Now yes, I am arguing the point of don't pay more than you need to in order to eliminate waste, and yes, you CAN use cheap plastic bags and cat litter. The camping forums are full of horror stories of the results from dealing with the all too easily torn bags and spilled litter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
  6. Mike Madeo

    Mike Madeo New Member

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    Loved the many ideas about Port o Pottys and or Casetter Toilets. So glad I joined Popuportal.com. Thanks! Mike & Nancy
     
  7. Ratherbecamping

    Ratherbecamping Active Member

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    Such good points. I initially thought we would only use it for middle of the night emergencies but I think once we see how convenient it is, we may use it more. It would be nice in the morning, as not having to get everyone dressed to go out would be nice. We haven’t camped as much with the kids as I would like, so still a lot to figure out. We finally got out last summer and I realized how much I missed it.

    We have an Easter weekend trip planned (weather permitting, could be 70 or snowing!) so maybe I’ll see how we feel after that. We do have a little potty for my 3 year old, but we made my 5 yr old use it last summer in a pinch and it was quite a scene. It turns out there’s quite a difference in size in just those 2 years! :laugh:[LOL]
     
  8. Ratherbecamping

    Ratherbecamping Active Member

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    Welcome!
     
  9. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    We wonder why when we take a bag of trash to the dumpster we can smell it before we are close to it?.
    Maybe it is becuse of bags of poop tossed in there when its 90-100 degrees out.
    A good porta potty that uses water and some chemicals is not that much money.
    There is a reason why campgrounds require self contained toilets.
    Our state parks requires them for that exact reason.
    The first thing the head of the state parks told me was....
    We dont want people pooping in a bag and tossing it in the trash.
    Now those were covid time rules so idk if they still apply.
    But i am glad i have my porta potty and even as things open back up i will use it vs the nasty campground bathrooms and pit toilets during this covid camping frenzy.
    To each their own...but crapping in a bag and tossing it in the trash would never be a option for me.
     
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  10. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    A very good question, snobby people, that's who. In my opinion.
     
  11. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    We have an old bucket the same size, it once held pickles from the school where I used to work, and the top part was from mills fleet farm.
     
  12. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    Definitely!
     
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  13. Paul Zimmer

    Paul Zimmer Member Silver Supporting Member

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    We wonder why when we take a bag of trash to the dumpster we can smell it before we are close to it?.

    What you're smelling is not wag bags full of deodorizing agents and closed tight in a special heavy-duty ziploc. What you're smelling is hundreds of bags of dog doo in loose single-layer plastic bags, dirty diapers wrapped in nothing at all, and spoiled food.

    I'm not complaining about dogs or dog owners, babies or baby owners, food or food eaters. I'm just pointing out that wag bags, even in the rare case when they contain #2, are not a very relevant source of the bad smells emanating from a campground dumpster...
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  14. Paul Zimmer

    Paul Zimmer Member Silver Supporting Member

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    For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the wag bag system (I used the term generically for all powder-and-bag setups).

    We use a 5-gal bucket with a snap-on lid as a toilet. Until COVID, we had switched from the commercial bags to a make-your-own setup. We used the commercial white liners (Reliant, I think), "Poo Powder" (available in bulk) and 2-gal ziplocs. I've never tried the kitty litter because (until the pup), we've mostly been camping in a pop-top camper van (PleasureWay Traverse), and there isn't space in there for a small can of cat food, never mind a bag of kitty litter.

    The downside of the make-your-own approach is that the smell of urine (sorry, but this isn't a thread for the faint-of-nose) eventually gets through even the commercial white bags and pervades the bucket. Not a problem until you get home, but it does indicate that, in a less fully-enclosed toilet setup, this could be a problem.

    The exingencies of COVID have forced us to use the wag bag setup full-time, so we switched back to commercial bags. Much nicer overall. I think I might make the change permanent.
     
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  15. Paul Zimmer

    Paul Zimmer Member Silver Supporting Member

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    To clarify, the urine doesn't go INTO the bucket. The ziploc goes in the bottom, the liner goes into the ziploc and then around the rim of the bucket, then the lid snaps on to hold everything in place. You can even decorate the bucket with contact paper to make it look all pretty!

    Of course, then the bucket is less useful for putting out the campfire (one of the reasons I went to the bucket system)...
     
  16. Paul Zimmer

    Paul Zimmer Member Silver Supporting Member

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    By the way, commercial wag bags are what backpackers use to "pack it out", so odor control is VERY good with the high-end commercial bags.
     
  17. Ratherbecamping

    Ratherbecamping Active Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  18. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    There is more to this community than toilets, but toilets are pretty high up there. :)
     
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  19. Othelzer

    Othelzer New Member

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    I got a westlake to king sized beds the kitchen table folds down to another. Just me and the wife. But the bigger unit has a cartridge toilet wet shower. I downsized from a 19' santa rosa that was nearly 7 thousand pounds and I took my service truck to haul it.
    Slim that down to 2200 lbs the shower is a plus .
    We are older and the diabeaties makes pee if you smell the water fishing. The hike to publicly rest rooms is abysmal.
    Too many lake campers at isabella or silverwood to play hide and go pee.

    The cartridge toilet also came in handy with family over. A pop up with a potty is the back up you need for all life's emergencys.

    March of 2020 I got the covid at a vetrans break fast . I weathered the whole illness in my pop up. No one else got sick. I had showers and toilet all to myself, and wool blankets.

    I haven't slept alone in 30 years, it was ok for a change, no cold feet, grizzly bear snores. Woke up to sound of my geese .
    And my kittens could sneak in no problem. That means ferrets, racoons and skunks can too. You hAve been warned
     
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  20. Westcoast

    Westcoast Active Member

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    No first. You will not have to crawl over
     
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