Nobody Talks About What It’s Like to Poop in a Coffee Can

Fewer things. More experiences. #VanLife gives you so much more control over your time and attention so you can focus on a simplified life with maximum adventure. There are some basics, though, that cannot be over simplified. When you have to go, you have to go. So what are your options when you’re on the road? Below are some favorites from our team?

  1. Grocery Stores and Coffee Shops

Just because your home doesn’t have a bathroom doesn’t mean there aren’t bathrooms in your life. Most grocery stores and coffee shops are an easy answer. Our CEO is actually rather fond of the cyclical coffee shop experience, even when he’s not van living. Campsites have designated areas, and there are obvious pit stops you can make along the way that shouldn’t slowdown your road warrior adventuring. 

  1. Gas Stations and Truck Stops

Believe it or not, truck stops, are some of the cleanest places we’ve seen for hearty bathroom breaks and a good shower, in that order. The cost is minimal and you’ll enjoy the total reset. Can’t really say the same for gas stations but you know the drill. 

  1. Installed Toilet

An RV and boating favorite, cassette toilets have between 4.5 to 5.1 gallon capacity, and can come in at more than 40 pounds with a full waste tank. This is a pretty heavy solution given the precious area they can take up as well and is only recommended for the most high-maintenance vanners. 


  1. Removable Toilet

Less permanent and reminiscent of a Home Depot bucket, the Luggable Loo is a cheap option for those longer rides or just in case situations you’re bound to run into. We personally don’t think this is small or efficient enough to be worth the space, but you do you with your poo. Also, these things STINK, literally. Read the description on the cons re: “Not A Tight Seal.” 

  1. The Coffee Can

Our Lead Builder’s favorite method, this is the most ergonomical, economical, and our most favorite “e word,”- efficient. If you have a dog, you already understand the importance of double wrapping with a bag. If you don’t, get a dog and still double wrap your pooping mechanism. Whether you’re “dropping the kids off at the pool” or it’s late at night and ladies, you don’t feel like putting on your clothes and shoes and jackets to go squat outside and then maybe pee on the back of your legs (can we talk about how these funnels don’t work?) give the ol’ coffee can a shot. Whatever your needs, a coffee can and couple of these will get you through those cold nights and gas-stationl-ess drives.



We have never had a toilet in our van. We keep a plastic bag for emergencies, but otherwise we try to use facilities along the road (e.g. stores, gas stations, resting areas). When out in the wilderness, where we prefer to stay, we do it “the primitive way”. That is peeing behind a bush, and for “#2” walking a bit away to dig a hole and just squat over it. For sure, no door to lock so the privacy is not guaranteed. But why bother? I guess most other out there do the same.



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