Bathroom on Wheels

interior shower on Flagstaff 228 popup camper

Many people won’t go camping without a shower and toilet inside the camper. Here are the pros and cons of including a bathroom inside your popup camper.

My wife initially insisted on having both a toilet and shower inside our popup.  Happy wife, happy life – right? I honored her request, but it turns out, she was wrong :)


interior shower on Flagstaff 228 popup camper

As I predicted, we’ve never used the shower. You simply can’t bring enough water to take an effective shower, let alone more than one. My popup has the largest fresh water tank capacity offered by the manufacturer at 20 gallons. Most people use about 25 gallons per shower.

We’ve never even used the shower to do a quick washing of the feet, and have never used the outdoor shower either. I’m always trying to conserve water for drinking use, especially on longer trips.

Water Heater

Most popup camper showers come with a water heater also installed. I sometimes appreciate this feature, although other times I wish I could use that space for storage or do without the weight of the water heater itself, let alone 6 gallons of water when full. This is another consideration when looking at a shower option.

interior view of water heater on a popup camper

Here’s the inside view of the water heater, which is wrapped in Styrofoam for efficiency. I’ve got my bypass valves shut to disable the use of the water heater in the picture above, since it was taken after I winterized the camper.

hot water heater in popup camper

And here’s the outside of the water heater for servicing and water draining (including for winterization).


interior toilet on popup camper

Our popup camper has a combination shower / toilet setup.

Thetford Cassette toilet removal

Cassette toilet means you empty the waste by removing a cassette from the exterior side of the camper, as shown above.

That said, we’ve never used the toilet either. The idea of sleeping that close to human waste hasn’t been attractive.

I have considered using it to camp in desert locations like Moab, where all human waste must be carried out, not buried in the ground. In other words, where I have no other choice. Because of this, I purchased an extra cassette for my toilet system – meaning I can take the “clean” version with me when a bathroom is not needed. You might consider this option or a port-a-pottie setup that could be brought only when needed.

Keep in mind that most toilet options also carry water weight with them, another consideration for evaluation.

Thetford Casesette Toilet - water filling pipe

The Thetford model is filled by swiveling out a pipe and pouring in the water which will be used during a flush.

Thetford Cassette toilet water drain

A small tube stands upright when in use and indicates when the water level is full. You pull this tube out to train the water from the system.

The entire process is described in detail on Thetford’s website at 


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