Can You Use Toilet Paper in a Camping Toilet?

Roughing it in nature calls for some concessions on comfort, but going totally TP-less just feels wrong. As you outfit your camper or trailer with a portable toilet for your upcoming adventures, you likely wonder – can I put toilet paper in my camping potty? The good news is yes, you can use TP. However, special considerations apply to keep things flowing smoothly and protect the environment.

Standard plushy toilet paper we use at home may clog valves or cause other issues in compact camping toilets. The key is choosing an eco-friendly, rapid-dissolving TP designed for portable potties. With some education on the best products and practices, you can gear up with a camping toilet system that allows the small luxury of toilet paper without hassle.

Let’s talk about smart toilet paper options, usage tips and proper disposal methods. In no time, you’ll become a pro at trouble-free TP in the wild so you can focus on all the ways to soak up nature once your bathroom basics are covered!

Why Standard TP Causes Clogs and Problems

The thick, plush toilet paper we use at home seems like a sensible choice to toss in the portable potty for camping trips or festivals. However, standard TP can create a slew of headaches:

  • Slow to dissolve and prone to clogging valves
  • Doesn’t break down quickly in composting toilets
  • Contains inks, dyes and chemicals unsuitable for outdoor disposal

Toilet paper not designed for portable toilets can bind up systems or degrade slowly when composting, creating maintenance issues. Harsh dyes and bleach further disrupt the composting process. Clearly, another TP solution is needed.

Meet Your New Best Friend – Rapid-Dissolving TP

Specially engineered rapid-dissolving TP offers the functionality you need on the go without the drawbacks of household paper. Two types suit portable potties:

Disintegrating – Breaks down into small pieces when wet

Dissolvable – Solubles completely into a paper pulp when wet

Both options quickly break down inside camping toilet systems and in nature once discarded properly. This prevents clogs and minimizes long-term environmental impact.

Other Key Features of TP for Camping Toilets

Beyond dissolving abilities, look for these ideal toilet paper characteristics:

  • Biodegradable – Decomposes through natural processes within months
  • Unbleached/Dye-Free – Uses no harsh chemical treatments
  • Septic Safe – Won’t disrupt biological processes in waste systems
  • Single-Ply – Reduces bulk and breaks down faster

Prioritize leading brands designed specifically for portable toilets. Avoid makeshift substitutions prone to issues.

Disposal Depends on Your Camp Toilet Type

Toilet paper disposal varies based on your camping toilet system:

Composting Toilet

  • Deposit used TP directly into main tank/drum
  • TP breaks down with other waste during composting

Cassette/Portable Toilet

  • Flush TP along with provided biodegradable liners
  • Seal cassettes to transport waste to proper receptacles

Bucket Toilet Setup

  • Place used TP in provided bags along with waste
  • Discard sealed bags in trash receptacles, not nature

Never attempt to bury used TP or dispose of it directly on the land, as it can be harmful to the environment and create risks of contamination.

Stock up on Portable Potty TP

Having ample TP prevents any scrambling on trips. Choose from available options:

  • Bulk Rolls – Economical for frequent campers
  • Mini Rolls – Convenient; bring extras as backup
  • Pre-portioned Packets – Ideal for adding to hiking daypacks

Factor about 1-2 rolls per 3-4 days of camping. Store extra rolls in your vehicle and resupply as needed.

Dos and Don’ts for Smooth TP Camping

Once you’ve stocked the right toilet paper for your portable potty, proper usage ensures everything flows smoothly throughout your camping adventures. Keep these dos and don’ts in mind:

Do Follow All Manufacturer Guidelines

Review full instructions for your specific camping toilet. Follow any capacity limits, maintenance direction or troubleshooting tips. Never overfill disposal receptacles.

Do Employ a “If It’s Yellow, Let it Mellow” Approach

For urine only, sometimes you can skip TP and save flushing/capacity. But use TP for any bowel movements to avoid odor issues.

Don’t Use More Than Needed

Use just enough TP to get the job done – about half the amount you’d use at home. Conserve water and space in disposal tanks.

Don’t Flush Any Other Items

Toss only human waste and rapid-dissolving TP in portable toilets. Items like disinfecting wipes, feminine products and paper towels cause major clogs.

Don’t Ignore Warning Signs

If toilet starts filling slowly or making odd gurgling noises, stop use. Troubleshoot clogs immediately to avoid worse damage.

Do Pack Extra TP

Having surplus TP is better than running out! Resupply before tanks run completely dry.

With some adjustments from home use, plus avoiding common mistakes, your camping toilet setup will keep your trip clean, comfortable and free of hassles.

Picking the Best Portable Toilet TP for Camping

With all the portable toilet paper options on shelves, how do you know what’s best? Use these tips for choosing TP that fits your camping style and potty setup:

Match Strength to Toilet Type

Light-Duty – For occasional weekend outings using RV/trailer toilets

Medium-Duty – For frequent campers using cassette portable toilets

Heavy-Duty – For full-time RV or off-grid tiny home use

Pick TP strength suited for your projected level of use and toilet capacity.

Consider Septic Safe If Needed

For RVs dumping at RV parks, look for TP safe for septic systems to protect infrastructure.

Determine Your Preferred Texture

Do you prefer a sturdier paper or softer, more papery feel? Lightly textured or smooth? Test different TP textures to find your camping comfort zone.

Compare Disintegrating vs. Dissolving

Both break down well, but dissolving TP leaves no remnants. Disintegrating options work if you don’t mind small flecks.

Buy Name Brands Made for Portables

Trust leading brands like Caboo, Thetford, RV & Marine, or Camco rather than no-name knockoffs.

Don’t settle for subpar TP. The right match keeps your portable potty humming smoothly all trip long.

Disposing of Used Camping Toilet Paper

Toileting in the wilderness requires careful disposal of used toilet paper. Follow these steps based on your camping toilet setup:

Composting Toilet

  • Deposit used TP directly into main tank/drum
  • Do not put into separate receptacles
  • Let TP decompose along with other waste

Cassette-Style Portable Toilet

  • Flush TP along with provided biodegradable liners
  • Do not overfill liner or add other trash
  • Seal cassette shut and transport to designated disposal sites

Bucket Camping Toilet

  • Place used TP into provided waste bags
  • Do not attempt to bury or burn used toilet paper
  • Seal bags fully shut and pack out to trash/landfill receptacles

Pit Privy Outhouse

  • Toss used TP into privy hole – do NOT attempt to burn TP
  • Avoid excessive TP use to extend privy lifespan

Never attempt to bury or burn used toilet paper, as it can harm the environment and wildlife if not disposed of properly. Following correct disposal practices makes the outdoors safe for everyone to enjoy.

Eco-Friendly TP Options for Camping “Off the Grid”

For avid off-grid campers and preppers, choose toilet paper that goes the extra mile in environmental responsibility:

Unprocessed/Unpapered Options

  • Leaves, smooth rocks – go truly old-school!
  • Modern reusable cloth TP

Bamboo TP

  • Bamboo grows rapidly without chemicals.
  • Often extra soft and durable

Recycled TP

  • Look for 100% post-consumer recycled content
  • Uses fewer trees and energy in production

Tree-Free TP

  • Made from sustainable materials like sugar cane or hemp
  • Farmed crops regenerate quickly

With some adjustment, off-grid living can still include minor comforts like TP with the lightest-touch choices.

Toilet Paper Troubleshooting for Camping Trips

Occasional issues can arise with TP use in camping toilets. Try these troubleshooting tips if problems pop up:


  • Use a plunging stick to break up TP clumps
  • Provide extra water/liquids to help dissolve TP
  • Don’t put anything besides waste and TP in toilet

Lingering TP Pieces

  • Switch to a fully dissolving TP without flecks
  • Use less TP overall per use
  • Let added liquids help break down TP remnants

Foul Odors

  • Treat toilet with enzymes to reduce odors
  • Empty receptacle more frequently
  • Switch to double-bag system for solid waste

Leaking Valves/Pipes

  • Ensure toilet gaskets and seals are intact
  • Check hoses and valves for cracks allowing leaks
  • Wipe excess TP flecks off seals when emptying

Don’t let occasional hiccups spoil your portable potty experience. With some attention and maintenance, you’ll be back comfortably answering nature’s call in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Toilet Paper in Camping Toilets

How much toilet paper should I bring camping?

Plan for about 1-2 rolls per person for every 2-3 days of camping. It’s better to have extras than run out!

Can I use flushable wipes in a portable toilet?

No, you should never flush flushable wipes or other solid items besides waste and rapid-dissolving TP. They can easily clog valves and pipes.

Is it ok to use RV toilet paper in a composting toilet?

Yes, RV toilet paper designed for portables will breakdown well during the composting process. Just avoid scented or bleached varieties.

Do all national/state parks allow RV toilet paper to be put in their toilet systems?

Most parks accommodate biodegradable RV toilet paper in their sanitation stations. But always check with the park directly before dumping waste.

Can I reuse toilet paper while camping to cut down on waste?

No, reusing soiled toilet paper poses major health risks. Sustainability has limits! Dispose of all used TP properly.


While most household toilet paper wreaks havoc on camping toilets, the right rapid-dissolving TP lets you comfortably use the bathroom off the grid. Choosing septic-safe, biodegradable options made specifically for portables prevents clogs and minimizes environmental impact when disposed of properly.

With the abundance of TP designed for RVs, pop-up campers and portable potties, there’s no need to rough it without this essential convenience. Learn maintenance routines to keep your camping toilet humming smoothly all season. Here’s to smart sanitation wherever adventure takes you!

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