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How do you go to the toilet in a campervan? All you need to know about toilets in your van

Have you ever wondered about the toilet situation when it comes to campervans? Don’t let the lack of a ‘proper’ toilet put you off – these days the loos are actually quite nice!

Keep reading to find out about the all-important details, like whether you’ll need to pack some air freshener, how much water you’ll need to flush it, and how to empty it when you’re all done.

All of our vans have a toilet included, so no late-night trips stumbling about outside.

In the smaller vans (such as the Trouvaille Actif), we have portaloos under the seat and our new medium wheelbase van has a sit-down toilet - just like you get at home.


How do the portaloos work?

In our Short Wheelbase vans a portaloo is provided. These are stored underneath the seats and can slide out to be used either inside or wherever else you like. They’re very simple to use which is handy for the kids.

And don’t worry about night-time, as when the seat is converted into a bed there is still room for the loo in the van.

If you’ve used a portaloo before you may have an idea, but basically you’ll open the lid and pull out the front lever. The loo is then ready to use with a comfy seat to sit on. 

Once you’ve done your business you simply pump the flush, which pumps the fluid around to flush. Then you pull the lever back in which seals the loo shut to stop any smells and then that's it! You can pop it back away under the seat.

Take a look inside the Trouvaille Actif with a walk-through of how to use the portaloo from Richard:


How do you empty the portaloo?

The toilet may appear small but it can hold quite a lot. Eventually, you will need to empty it though, so that’s going to be a messy, smelly process, isn’t it?! 

No, you don’t need to hold your nose too tight thankfully. 

To empty the toilet you turn it around and pull the lever at the back to detach the bottom where the waste is stored. You can then carry this section to the waste point to dispose of the inside there. You just spin around the pipe, pop off the cap, tip it out and give it a swirl around to clear it all out. Done!

It’s small so not too heavy – and it even has a handle if you’re walking a little further from the van.

How about the electric flush toilets in the Medium Wheelbase vans?

Our new medium wheelbase van (the Trouvaille Classique MWB) will have a sit-down toilet so will offer you a very similar loo experience as you get at home.

The Thetford electric flush toilet is fully fitted and sits against the wall either in a shower tray or on its own. This toilet is sturdier than a portaloo with a deeper bowl. But it functions similarly with a lever at the front to seal against any smells. 

The electric flush toilet has a button to flush, but there is still the option of a pump flush instead if you prefer.


The bowl actually spins so you can turn it if you need more space. Very handy! 

How do you empty the electric flush toilet? 

The back of the toilet is flush with the wall so can be accessed either at the back of a van or the outside of a van. Inside the back is a cartridge system. All you do is pull the lever, slide the cartridge out, and then, much like the portaloo, you take that section to the waste point to dispose of the contents.

To open the cartridge you spin the lever, empty it out, give it a swirl out, and that's it. You then pop it back into your van. 

Both toilets have a similar disposal system, the main difference being the new bigger ones are fixed in place and the portaloo option is portable 

Interested in one of our vans?

Find out more about our van range here, and of course, if you have any questions or anything you'd like to discuss, do get in touch.

If you're still learning more about campervan life, these articles will be helpful too:


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