Thetford Porta Potti 365 Toilet Review
Is Thetford’s Offering One of the Best Portable Camping Toilets?
If you’re looking for a family-sized portable camping toilet, the Thetford 365 may be the right one for you. Discover what it has to offer and what you need from a portable toilet.
An innovator in the portable camping toilet space, Thetford’s history dates back to 1960. It was in that year that the company produced its first portable toilet for campers. Since then, it’s honed its models constantly and become a leading name in the industry.
The Thetford Porta Potti 365 Toilet is among the more popular models that it has to offer. In this review, we’re going to take a look at whether the toilet lives up to its billing, as well as tackling a few concerns. We’re also going to tell you what you need to look for when shopping for a portable toilet.
- Offers 57 flushes before you need to empty it.
- Very lightweight, which makes it easy to carry.
- Made using high-quality and durable plastics.
- Comes with a three-year warranty.
- Comes with several features to help you empty it easily.
- May not ship with the chemicals needed (depending on the retailer).
- Its size can make it difficult to transport with other camping gear.
The Bottom Line
The Thetford Porta Potti 365 Toilet is huge, which means you can usually get through a trip without having to empty it. The toilet’s light weight makes it easy to move around and it feels almost like a full-sized toilet.
This may be one of the best portable camping toilets available today.
The Full Review
To test this toilet, we took it out in the wild with us for a three-day camping trip.
We focused on a few key issues that we want to cover here. These include the following:
- Ease of Use
- The Smell
- Other Features
Let’s see how it fares.
Toilet Ease of Use
This is an area where the Thetford Porta Potti 365 really shines.
On a practical level, its size makes it one of the closest portable simulations of a regular toilet that you will find. Taller people won’t find themselves squatting uncomfortably while using it. That said, smaller children may need a little support.
However, it’s the emptying of the toilet that really makes this model stand out.
It comes with a visual indicator for the bottom tank. This tells you when the toilet’s starting to fill up. As a result, you don’t have to crack it open to take a look for yourself. You get to avoid an unpleasant experience as well as ensuring you don’t release any strange odors into your campsite.
Once it reaches capacity, you still don’t have to open the waste tank. Instead, you can take advantage of the emptying spout that Thetford builds into all of its toilets. This releases all of the waste that’s built up inside the bottom tank. Plus, it prevents any nasty splash back. It’s as simple as pressing the vent button after directing the emptying spout into the correct position.
Thetford has also focused on ease of use in their tank construction. The toilet consists of two tanks, which you can clip together using a clasp located at the back. The bottom tank holds the waste while the top tank contains the bowl.
Thetford has also placed the flusher on the back of the tank, which ensures that it doesn’t get in your way during use. You also get a choice of a piston or bellow flusher. Keep in mind that bellow flushers take a little more effort to push down. This may make them less suitable for children or the elderly.
All in all, the Thetford Porta Potti 365 simulates the toilet you have at home well. It’s easy to put together and you don’t even have to open it to empty it. Just keep in mind that its size and your flusher choice may make it slightly more difficult to use for children and the elderly.
Porta Potti Stability
Nobody wants a portable chemical toilet that can’t stay upright when in use.
Thankfully, the Thetford 365 excels in this area. Its cube shape means it’s rarely going to buckle when in use. Unless you’re actively trying to tip it over, you’ll find it stays in place well. This is surprising given the lightweight plastics used in its construction.
Of course, you’ll need flat ground to place it on. However, that’s pretty standard for all portable camping toilets. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t come with any attachments that secure it to the ground. That’s normally not a problem, but it does mean you won’t want to leave it in the open if it gets too windy.
Having said that, there are a couple of accessories available that fix the toilet to the floor and keep it held down. However, you may have to buy these separately.
The Thetford Porta Potti 365 Toilet stands out because it contains practically no metal parts.
Instead, both of the tanks and most of the components use a high-quality plastic. You may think this raises questions about its durability, but we found that the plastics don’t present any problems. The toilet doesn’t buckle under the weight of whoever sits on it. Plus, the use of plastic means it won’t get damaged if left out in the elements,
That’s not to say that it’s indestructible. A heavy impact onto rocks or a similarly hard surface could cause damage. But that shouldn’t be a problem as long as you take care when handling it.
No matter how well a portable chemical toilet works, if it has an overpowering smell you’re not going to want to use it.
Thankfully, this is another area where the Thetford 365 excels. Using a pink deodorising chemical in the top tank does a great job of masking any smells that it might emit. The plastic materials also prevent smells from escaping when the toilet’s not in use.
You would expect such a large toilet to present some portability problems. And that could be the case if you’re traveling in a compact vehicle. It requires a fair amount of room given that it measures 41.4 x 37.9 x 41.9cm. However, you can mitigate this problem if you disconnect the tanks before storing.
Carrying the toilet is a completely different story. Without any chemicals inside, the toilet weighs just 3.7kg. That means that any able-bodied adult should find it easy to carry.
There’s also a handle that extends out of the waste tank. This means you can carry it separately from the top tank if you’ve pre-filled it with chemicals before traveling.
The handle also gives you some separation from the waste tank while carrying. Anyone who’s gotten splashed with toilet chemicals before will appreciate this feature.
This is one of the best portable camping toilets when it comes to capacity.
The Thetford 365’s waste tank can hold 21 litres before it needs emptying. That amounts to about 57 flushes, which is more than enough to cover most short camping trips.
Newer Thetford 365 models come with an integrated lock cover over the clasp that joins the two tanks together. This prevents you from accidentally unclasping the toilet when carrying it or when it’s in use.
This portable chemical toilet also comes with a three-year warranty. This speaks volumes about Thetford’s confidence in its durability.
Finally, it’s possible to purchase spare parts for this toilet. This offers some peace of mind for those who worry about their toilet breaking down while they’re camping. Plus, it means you may not have to shell out for a new toilet if something goes wrong.
5 Points On How to Choose the Right Portable Toilet:
Of course, the Thetford 365 is just one of many portable camping toilets that you can choose from. You’ll likely want to compare several models, which means you need to know how to choose the right portable toilet.
This buyer’s guide covers some of the key features of portable camping toilets. It also offers information about what you’ll need to keep your toilet in good working condition.
Keep it in mind when making your choice so you can avoid disappointment.
1. The Flusher
You’ll usually get a choice between automatic and manual flushers when choosing a portable toilet.
Automatic flushers tend to work electronically and usually just require the press of a button. This makes them easy to use, but it does open the toilet up to issues. If something happens with the electronics, you may end up being unable to flush.
Manual flushers require a little more effort. However, many would argue that they’re more reliable than automatic flushers.
You typically get a choice between a piston and bellow flushers when choosing a manual toilet.
Bellows require you to push down with some force to flush. This isn’t a problem for most, but may present issues for young children or the elderly. These flushers also have a habit of breaking as a result of people using more force than they need to flush.
Piston flushers require you to pull a piston up, rather than push down on the toilet. This makes them easier to use.
2. Tank Indicators
A tank indicator lets you see how close the toilet is to filling up. Some may provide a measurement, whereas others flash a colour, usually red, to tell you the tank needs emptying.
It’s important to note that not all portable chemical toilets come with these indicators. If that’s the case, you’ll have to open the waste tank to manually inspect it. This isn’t the most pleasant experience so it’s usually best to choose a toilet that has a tank indicator.
3. Spare Parts
Ideally, your portable toilet won’t require much maintenance. It should be sturdy enough to deal with repeated use.
However, it will eventually start to wear down. In particular, the parts that see repeated use, such as the flusher, will undergo wear and tear.
Being able to buy replacement parts can be a huge money saver in these instances. You can replace the component rather than buying a new toilet.
Unfortunately, not all portable camping toilets have spare parts available. If this is the case, make sure you choose a model that offers a long guarantee.
4. The Chemicals
There are two types of chemicals that you’ll need for your toilet – pink and blue/green.
The pink chemicals go into the water that’s used to flush the toilet. They help to keep the bowl clean as they get rid of deposits when you flush. Usually, these chemicals come perfumed, which masks any unpleasant odours the toilet might produce. They also help to keep the toilet’s seals lubricated, which ensures they don’t break down through constant use.
You need blue/green cassette toilet chemicals for the waste tank. They break down whatever waste ends up in the tank, which prevents the build-up of noxious gases. This also helps to control the smell issue.
It’s also important to check these chemicals for formaldehyde. This is a toxic chemical that can cause damage to the environment. You will need to take care when emptying the toilet to ensure you don’t cause any damage. Thankfully, there are chemicals available that don’t contain formaldehyde.
You may need to buy your chemicals separately before you start using your toilet.
5. Toilet Paper
You’ll want to avoid using thick or luxury toilet paper with your chemical toilet. The padding in these papers makes them difficult to break down.
The Final Word
The Thetford Porta Potti 365 Toilet may be the gold standard against which we measure all other portable camping toilets. Its large size makes it comfortable to use, plus its light weight makes it easy to transport.
However, it’s the various features related to waste disposal that make it stand out. You never have to deal with any waste manually thanks to the vent button and emptying spout.
It also has very few negatives. Just make sure you choose a piston flusher if young children or the elderly will use the toilet.
All what’s left is to buy the toilet for your next camping trip. Check Thetford and their products at Tentworld and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.