How to Make a Sturdy but Lightweight Camping Toilet

How to Make a Sturdy but Lightweight Camping Toilet


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Required Items

You will need a 5 gallon bucket, a toilet seat, some plastic epoxy to join the PVC pipe sections together and a plastic liner for inside the makeshift toilet.  You also need three screws and a hand saw.  You will also need 10 feet of PVC pipe that can be cut into the following dimensions:

Eight 1 inch diameter elbow joints

Four 1 inch “T” connector pieces

Six pieces of 11 ½ inch pipe that is an inch in diameter

Eight 6 inch sections of pipe that are an inch in diameter

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Preparing the Sections

You want to assemble the pieces into sections so they can be dismantled and transported while taking up minimal space.  To do this, it is important that you do not glue the sections together once they have been completed.  However, you can make and glue the entire frame together if you prefer.

The first step is to cut the PVC pipe into the sections that are listed above.  Then, take two elbow connectors and attach them to each end of the 11 ½ inch pipe segments.  You should end up with four pipes with two connectors each.  Glue the connectors to the pipes, and make sure they are all facing the same direction.  These will serve as the top and bottom portion of the frame later.

The next step is to attach a “T” connector between two pieces of 6 inch long sections.  Glue the pieces to the connector.  You will have four sets when finished.  Leave the two remaining pieces of 11 ½ inch pipe alone and set everything aside.

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Attaching the Toilet Lid

Take two of the longer sections and place them on a hard surface so the open ends of each elbow are facing down.  You want to place the toilet seat on top of these pipes.  Attach two screws to the back edge of the seat and screw into the pipe beneath.  Place the screws about four inches apart in order to maximize weight distribution across the frame later.  The next step is to take a single screw and attach it to the pipe that is beneath the front of the toilet seat.  Center the hole so that it goes through the middle of the seat.  Make sure that you lift the lid so that you don’t accidentally screw it into the seat and pipe as well.

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Assembling the Toilet

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Take the remaining two 11 ½ pieces of pipe and fit them into the T connectors on the sections you made in the previous step.  One will go in the front and the other will be in the back.  Then, attach the segments with the T connectors and cross beams to the four open holes in the elbow joints.  You should now have a box that is secure and sturdy.  Just make sure that the segment with the attached toilet seat is on top.

All you need to do now is line the 5 gallon bucket with some plastic and insert in the center of the frame.  Center it so that the hole in the toilet seat rests above the inside of the bucket.  That’s it.  You can now use the toilet and replace the liner as needed.  To disassemble, simply pull the sections apart and store.

See how this simple project can make going to the bathroom a lot easier out in the field.  It is sturdy, affordable and very easy to build.  Best of all, it will allow you to set it on various terrain without worrying about it tipping over while in use.  Feel free to make the toilet frame taller if desired, and remember that you can glue everything together if you prefer to keep the unit intact.

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