You gotta admit, having a toilet on your pontoon would probably be the ultimate addition to bring your boat to the next level. It’s unfortunate that pontoon boats don’t usually come with plumbing and bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t DIY a cost-effective loo for your vessel.
There are lots of ingenious boat owners out there who have showed us that nothing is impossible as long as you exercise a little creativity. And in this guide, we’re showing you how you can install a perfectly functional private toilet on your boat with a pontoon boat toilet enclosure and a nifty porta potty
How to Set Up a Portable Bathroom in a Pontoon
Portable toilets have been around for decades, and there are literally hundreds of choices designed for RVs, camping, and many other outdoor applications. These also make them suitable for use on a pontoon, especially because they don’t really need to be hooked to a plumbing line to properly work.
Setting up a portable bathroom on your pontoon will require two main components. That is the portable toilet itself and the enclosure to go with it. Once you have those two elements down, it’s all a matter of finding the right area on your pontoon. You can also choose from a range of bathroom accessories to make the entire experience a little more similar to what you would have at home.
Keep in mind that your on-board bathroom can’t be set-up when you’re underway. Strong winds and movement can cause both toilet and enclosure to topple over and cause accidents, injuries, or damages to you, your passengers, or your vessel. So make sure that when you’re choosing a portable toilet and an enclosure, you take time to consider how easy it is to set up and take down.
The Best Portable Toilets for a Pontoon
This top-of-the-line portable toilet features an impressive size that’s close to what you would find at home. It comes with a 5.3 gallon holding tank for waste material, together with a 2.5 gallon water reservoir. The flush tank is held shut by a small door that’s released with the lever for easy flushing. On the other end, the holding tank is sealed off with a secure valve that prevents foul odors from exiting the compartment.
The holding tank itself removes by way of side latches that keep it secure to the toilet bowl. For cleaning and maintenance, simply unlatch the holding tank to detach it from the rest of the toilet. A cap on the rear of the holding tank lets you empty out the contents without getting too close and personal with the remnants of yesterday’s lunch. After that, it’s all a matter of rinsing out the interior and reattaching it to the bowl.
A close contender is the PLAYBERG Portable Travel Toilet. This lightweight design incorporates a standard toilet silhouette that comes with a waste pail under the seat. This bucket catches waste material and collects it for later disposal, and easily fits 8-gallon waste bags for even easier clean up and reduced mess.
The seat itself comes with a toilet paper roll holder off to one side, eliminating the need for the added accessory. It’s also about the same size as a standard household toilet, providing impressive comfort and ergonomic functionality that can sustain user weights of up to 300 pounds.
Designed for more rugged performance, the Dometic 301097606 Portable Toilet uses ultra tough ABS construction that’s intended to withstand use in harsh, outdoor environments. The smooth, clean exterior minimizes nooks and crannies where dirt, grime, and waste might hide, allowing easier clean-up and maintenance with no need for added tools and cleaning solutions.
Equipped with a full-sized seat, this choice also boasts push-button flush functionality that efficiently clears the contents of the bowl. For even easier use, the toilet also comes with a tank level indicator that tells you how close to full your holding tank is. And because it comes in a small, space-saving design, the portable toilet also makes a good choice for more cramped pontoon floor areas.
This durable personal toilet comes with a full-sized seat and a low profile, making it ideal for both kids and adults. The compact silhouette works to minimize the amount of space the toilet takes up, letting you maximize your recreational space while still having a toilet on board. But what really makes it impressive is that it comes with a 3-gallon water reservoir.
The large capacity lets you flush more vigorously and completely, washing away waste material from the bowl. Plus, the large capacity also means that you can flush between 50 to 70 times before you need to refill the reservoir. The holding tank itself can carry about 5 gallons of waste. Foul odors and waste are kept from spilling out of the tank by way of a secure slide valve that seals the tank shut until it’s time to empty.
Made with odor resistant material, this portable toilet is especially efficient at preventing foul odors from sticking around. The standard sized silhouette means you can sit comfortably for extended periods of use without having to deal with ergonomic issues. It also comes with a large 5.3 gallon holding tank that seals in smells and hold substantial waste to extend the amount of time between emptying.
Because maintenance and clean-up have to be the biggest issues when it comes to using a portable toilet, this design incorporates a no-splash rotating spout that lets you empty the waste contents without having to worry about making a mess. It also comes with a convenient carrying case so you can store it securely when your boat is underway.
What About Toilet Enclosures?
Sure, having a toilet on board is great. But what about privacy? Since no one wants to do their business with the whole lake as their audience, it goes without question that your portable toilet should sit inside an enclosure. Now these are pretty easy to find, and they seem to serve the same purpose. But there are some distinctions that make each one unique.
Pop Up Tents
Also called privacy tents, collapsible changing room tents, or pop-up shower tents, these tents use a wire frame covered with water repellent material like polyester. They quite literally pop up and provide just enough room for a standard toilet. Typically equipped with a zippered panel for a door, some choices also incorporate ventilation windows up top for a more comfortable experience.
Drop Down Curtains
These attach to a bimini top and drop down like a shower curtain to create an enclosed space. The challenge with drop down curtains is that they can’t be installed just anywhere. And when there are strong winds, there’s always the risk of them blowing up and around, exposing whoever’s sitting on the toilet.
The Best Toilet Enclosures for a Pontoon
This spacious tent provides a roomy interior perfect for keeping a larger toilet. For a little added interior breathability, the enclosure features a mesh top and a zippered window that lets air breeze through to moderate odors and keep you cool. The material itself uses waterproof polyester that’s stretched across a sturdy steel frame. Together, these components work to protect against up to 60% of UV rays.
Without a base panel, this pop-up tent is much easier to clean and maintain, eliminating the need to scrub and wipe any spills. It also comes with a side pocket on the inside of the design, providing space for pieces of tissue, your phone, and other essentials that you might need.
As the only viable drop down curtain enclosure on our list, this choice provides maximum privacy with its heavy duty material that leverages gravity to prevent strong winds from exposing who’s inside. What’s particularly impressive about the choice is that it offers a much larger interior than your average pop-up tent, making it ideal if you expect bigger passengers on your boat.
The design secures to your bimini top by way of four secure velcro straps. Over the front, a heavy-duty zipper provides access to the interior and privacy to the user inside. Available in a range of colors to match your boat, this drop down enclosure proves to be one of the easiest to set up and take down, letting you stow away your toilet room in record time.
Designed specifically for bathroom functions, the Your Choice Privacy Tent comes with a range of features that eliminate the need for added accessories. Complete with a breathable mesh top panel and a zippered window, this privacy enclosure also comes with a number of loops and straps that can hold clothes, toilet paper, and other essentials.
Complete with a large zippered door, the tent also touts two interior pockets that can hold your smart phone, reading materials, and other personal effects while you get to work. The durable material provides protection against UV rays, and boasts impressive performance against the elements for lasting functionality.
This ultra roomy design is one of the biggest pontoon boat porta potty enclosure tents on the market, perfect for boat owners who get a little claustrophobic sitting in a tent that’s too cramped. The tent features Teflon coated fabric that’s intended to resist both moisture and odors, ideal for use with pontoon boat toilets. And if you were particular about getting spills on your pontoon floors, this tent comes with a base panel that keeps waste and residue off of your deck.
Inside the tent is an array of compartments and straps to hold your items and essentials. Inside pockets hold your phone or tablet, while a rope provides a place to hold a towels and clothes, among others. An internal hook also offers a secure spot for your bag. And unlike other pop up tents, this choice features a full mesh top that offers maximum ventilation and breathability.
KingCamp’s Pop-Up Tent features a unique opening panel that’s great for keeping the toilet exposed when the bathroom isn’t in use. The ultra strong, durable, and thick polyester material comes with a 450mm waterproof rating, protecting your tent from splashes of water and reducing the risk of mold, mildew, and moisture damage.
The instant pop-up design is incredibly easy to set up with no tools required. Taking it down is just as quick, allowing effortless pack-up so you can get underway in no time. Inside, the tent features a mesh storage pocket, a side mesh window for increased airflow, and a PocketWEIGHT feature on the outside that lets you use weights to prevent the tent from toppling over in the presence of wind.
What About Other Accessories?
Once you have your pontoon boat portable toilet and your enclosure, you’re pretty much set. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Some accessories and add-ons can further improve your bathroom experience either by providing better comfort or by easing the maintenance and clean-up process.
1. Deodorizer Drop-Ins
Used to eliminate foul odors, deodorizer drop-ins work to neutralize the smell of waste material. These come in a range of scent options and sit in the holding tank to do its job. While they’re not essential, they can be pretty helpful especially if you want to make sure your boat is free from odors for the duration of the trip.
We recommend getting some Walex Porta-Pak Deodorizer Drop-Ins.
2. Portable Toilet Replacement Bags
Portable toilets that use a waste pail design can take a waste bag to ease the entire cleaning process. Just lay it over the pail to collect waste material, and all you need to do is tie up the bag and replace it once it’s full - no need to take out, empty, and rinse the pail itself.
It's always handy to have Portable Toilet Replacement Bags by Green Elephant on your pontoon.
3. Toilet Paper Holder
Want to go the extra mile? While you could just take a roll of toilet paper with you when you step into the portable bathroom space, there’s no reason you can’t have a toilet paper holder. Some design use a sleek metal frame that’s great for storage and decorative appeal.
We like the TomCare Toilet Paper Holder.
4. Portable Sink
On the topic of taking it up a notch, a portable sink makes for a great addition to your overall bathroom set up. These ingenious inventions work just like a standard sink, and they also use a flexible hose that directs waste water away for problem-free use and maintenance.
Just Like Home Sweet Home
You’ve probably already thought to yourself that a private toilet is the only remaining thing your pontoon needs to really feel like home. And with these ingenious hacks, there’s no need to daydream. A pontoon boat toilet enclosure paired with a porta potty can make for a fully functional private toilet, giving you added comfort and convenience even when you’re out on the lake. So go ahead and explore your options, and say goodbye to communal boating toilets for good.