Introduction: How to Build a Modern Outhouse on a Budget

Picture of How to Build a Modern Outhouse on a Budget
I built this 8 by 8 modern outhouse for my property. I dismantled a 1993 25 foot camper and used the toilet, vanity ,sink. shower, and windows from the camper.

Step 1: Building the Floor

Picture of Building the Floor

I studded in a 8 by 8 floor  with pressure treated 2 by 8s and in between the studs i mounted the black water tank from the camper .

Step 2: Floor

Picture of Floor

 Nailing down the 1/2 plywood floor.

Step 3: Walls and Studs

Picture of Walls and Studs

I studded up 8 foot walls , Installed  1 of the 2  doors which came from the camper.

Step 4: Roof

Picture of Roof

I cut  studs for the 5/12 pitch roof. Instead of plywood i used  1 by 6 ship lap boards which you will see on the inside pictures how nice it looks. I used  Cheap black 3 tab shingles.

Step 5: Windows

Picture of Windows

I used 2 of the windows from the camper. 1 on each side of the outhouse.

Step 6:

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Step 7: Shower

Picture of Shower

I installed the shower in the same orientation  as it was in the camper.

Step 8: Closet

Picture of Closet

I made a 2 by 2  foot closet.The double doors are mirrored  from the camper.

Step 9: Ceiling

Picture of Ceiling

Here is the inside of the ceiling with the smooth side down  of the ship lap boards showing.

Step 10: Finished Ceiling

Picture of Finished Ceiling

Heres the view of the finished ceiling with the light and fan  and the door to enter the attic when needed .

Step 11: Finished Windows

Picture of Finished Windows

 Here is the finished window from the inside

Step 12: Toilet

Picture of Toilet

Here is a picture of the    toilet  installed.

Step 13: Vanity

Picture of Vanity

I made the 2 by 4 foot vanity .Bought the counter top  ,and used the sink and drawers and doors from the camper.

Step 14: Inside Walls

Picture of Inside Walls

All the inside walls are made from the ship lap boards

Step 15: Finished

Picture of Finished

All painted and ready to use~!


kebindner (author)2016-02-23

This is the ultimate outhouse! How did you insulate the roof/ceiling so you wouldn't have a condensation problem?
I would also like to know how to find ship lap? We are finishing the inside of our not-so-mini-barn and tried to find ship lap - no luck - lumberyards, big box stores like Lowes and it not popular in the Midwest?

its all insulated between the studs. Ship lap is kinda popular here . Its basically tongue and groove boards but without the grooves . the ends over lap and theres 45s cut on the corners so when u put them together it looks like toungue and groove boards

Thanks Beans! Your outhouse is fantastic...I have fallen hard for ship lap and you can't get it here! We have a metal building/barn that wasn't built correctly and the condensation just drips from the ceiling-we just moved into this place and everything we put in there was ruined. That's why I asked about condensation! We bought a big portable barn and are insulating between the studs and I had wanted to finish the walls with ship lap - no such luck! It's OSB..yuck! The ceiling has vapor barrier but I wonder if we should put insulation up there as well? Your thoughts? Did you insulate the ceiling of your outhouse?

taney.duwe (author)2014-11-06

Amazing creations you have! Great job!!!! Thank you for sharing you knowledge and ideas!

thank you for the compliment .

It is much deserved!!!!! Your frugal abilities & creativity are an asset to anyone wanting to learn how to live minimally. It's a great resource to have and am very thankful you are willing to share!

have you seen the modern outhouse also>>> pretty cool.

Oh, yes, Sir, I have! Very much intrigued! I have ideas of my own actually. Just don't want to bore you with them HA HA...however, your postings have given me great ideas. Thank you so much!!!! <3

GyroGearLoose47 (author)2014-07-15

Great going! Great pics, recycling, clear concise instructions. Sometimes I think that so called critics have nary an instructible to their credit. They always have some noble cause. Safety, better ways, etc. If these forlks spent more time making their own ibles, on safety, or whatever their noble cause is, Then I could respect that.

diy_bloke (author)2013-09-15

That is one heck of an outhouse. No one minds a little luxury :-)

Thank you

zowi420 (author)2013-06-20

this is awesome, love all the recycling, i know how hard it is to take one of those trailers apart. i lived without running water in a tiny cabin for a while, and you've got me wondering why i didn't turn the little shed into a luxurious little moon-house. A+!

coolbeansbaby68 (author)zowi4202013-06-20

Why thank you very much

Joe Smania (author)2012-12-28

Keep doing instructables brother, never mind all the critics. They ought to be flaged for negativity in my opinion ..... So anyways, Thanks for sharing what you do with people, it makes the world a better place when we share our ideas or skills.

Thanks again for the support my brother

static (author)2012-11-11

Nice final results. Anyone looking to duplicate the cabin, should think about finding a decent for the price donor RV. Expand the foot print to include a toilet room. and galley kitchen. No cold walk between a warm cabin. and a warm outhouse.

coolbeansbaby68 (author)static2012-11-12

Thanks and yeah i know that feeling all to well!!! lol

coolbeansbaby68 (author)static2012-11-12

Thanks and yeah i know that feeling all to well!!! lol

doon01 (author)2011-02-28

Good job Coolbean - really. But ya know u could have built 4 normal sized OH's w/the materials - yes, you would have need of 3 more doors. But i'm sure yours will accomodate more women leading the rest to wondering what they are doing in there. For conversation sake i added a non working phone in mine so others didn't think that they were going primitive. BTW, neat kitchen too

static (author)doon012012-11-11

Then again not very many outhouses include a shower, sink

coolbeansbaby68 (author)doon012011-03-01

Thanks for the compliment. I was thinking about adding a car stereo in the wall so when your doing your business you could rock out !! hahaha

coolbeansbaby68 (author)doon012011-02-28

Thank you for the comments

camping crazy (author)2012-10-11


It sure is. Its about 25 feet away... So how do you like it ??

I love it thanks for posting

Thank you .. Did you see the deck kitchen?

coolbeansbaby68 (author)2012-04-04

Thank you for all the views and comments everyone .Im getting ready to open up the outhouse for the summer . Im going to post some more pictures very soon .

stormy0314 (author)2012-01-29

Don't you love it when people say, "this is great but". Well it is, but... I lived in Japan for a few years and they had a really good idea and one I would incorporate if that were my outhouse. They had separate urinals for men. Takes much less water to flush, can be cleaned more often to get the splashes, allows, a male at least, to eliminate while the "other room" is being used. It also allows a different way for liquid waste to be recycled without the worry about the various bacterial problems associated with human solid waste. Most urine is almost sterile. With proper treatment it could be used as a good fertilizer. Check out the following

Scientific American states, "Recycling urine as fertilizer could not only make agriculture and wastewater treatment more sustainable in industrialized countries, the researchers say, but also bolster food production and improve sanitation in developing countries."

Plus, I think it would be really cool to have a separate, "men's room". This was a really good "ible.

wagonmaster (author)2011-06-11

Sorry I didnt look at the video until later. Say that the holding tank is down the hill a bit. But on a hot summer day and you being up hill I would put a vent on the back side just to make sure no methan seeps into the structure. You have given be some great ideas.

There are a lot of cheap RV's around and they make a great donor for a project like yours.

The vent tube goes up the wall and out through the roof. I can say this though,after tearing a camper apart i sure wouldn't buy a new one for thousands of dollars . They are built so crappy ...

GrapeApe226 (author)2011-05-16

This is great! I am building a shed for a combo pool cabana~dressing room and also be for guests camping in my back yard overnight. I'm going to make it look like an old train station with beds in a tower loft, A/C, fans & small fridge via a RV gauge extension cord when needed and a pot belly stove. The freight room will be the gardening shed. The loading dock will be a shaded banana lounge area. Now I see I'm going to need a "Yard/Mail" house a few feet away. It can look rustic rail road area and house your wonderful idea of an outhouse. I too have an RV I'm about to dismantle and keep the 3 axle Dodge Van chassis (3rd tag axle) for a custom pickup or van in the near future. I can use the entire bathroom set up. I live in So-Cal earthquake country. This would be a great emergency use bathroom if water supplies are cut a few days or weeks. I have a 35,000 gal pool for water and I can dig a septic tank if I have to, if the local waist pickup companies are over burdened. I'm so impressed with your design :)

thank you very much for the compliment

Thank you very much for your compliment. I have the trailer and duel axles ready for a home built utility trailer when i find the time to start it . I was so amazed of how cheap a camper really is. My god the whole body of the trailer is made out of 2x2s and big 1inch staples. Never would i spend that kind of money for something made so cheap.Im pretty proud of the outhouse. Im in the process of making the cart to empty the black water tank so i can get rid of the waste at the waste station down the road from me at the camp site. Thank you for commenting.. Hope to see your instructable when your finished .

wagonmaster (author)2011-06-11

I didn't read all the comments. But what about venting? I have been reading a lot about outhouses. But not for building one. I'm a gardner and I researched using urine for growing vegetables and ran accross several articles about out houses.

In other countries and outback areas where outhouse are used they seperate the urine from the feces. Then use wood ash on the feces, no smell and no flies. Plus
how they vent is critical.

Very nice structure and recycling was major cool.

The ceiling fan is vented out the back above the roof line and so is the vent tube from the waste tank.

coolbeansbaby68 (author)2011-04-15

I am almost done with the wagon with the waste container that i tow with the atv to the septic waste site at the camp ground.

jgain (author)2011-04-14

I don't have any use for this instructable, but I did want to stop and commend you on a job well done. Nice reuse of materials.

coolbeansbaby68 (author)jgain2011-04-15

Thanks for the compliment Jgain

dieterschmied (author)2011-02-27

Why did you build it?
How do you clean out the tank?

Why did you not just build it on the trailer frame and keep the original enclosure so that you could save materials and transport it easily to a clean-out station?

And it could be placed where you need it?

I am considering something like this because the state environment people won't let me use my shed for living without a septic system; this might be a solution.

The setup underneath the outhouse is just like a camper trailer. I use the old fresh water tank from the trailer and made a little trailer with wheels i tow behind my 4 wheeler . There is a camp ground down the road from me who lets me get rid of the waste there .

junebug.tx (author)2011-04-10

Is it connected to sewer or septic? If not, what was your solution for waste?

The setup underneath the outhouse is just like a camper trailer. I use the old fresh water tank from the trailer and made a little trailer with wheels i tow behind my 4 wheeler . There is a camp ground down the road from me who lets me get rid of the waste there .

blemke (author)2011-04-09

This is awesome. We need a out house badly,6 poeple on 7 acres and only 2 bathrooms,we need to build a two man yurt any ideas of how to do this as cheap as possible??

iammiamiman (author)2011-03-19

That sure is a nice crapper!

whatsupbeans (author)2011-03-18

Nice job.Well done making use of your utilitys

Buzzinski (author)2011-03-16

Well done and a great way of reusing something for a new purpose. The only suggestion i would add would be to include a solar panel for water heating. Yes they do work even when it snows, so long as they have a couple of hours of sunlight falling onto them. Maybe even use another one to run a small battery powered LED Light fitting.

Sigh snow. I live in North Queensland Australia and the only snow I see is called Burdekin Snow - it is the ash that falls out of the sky from burning sugar cane fields.

Sharlston Cat (author)2011-03-05

to be honest why carnt you people buy a toliet in ur house

Applications where this would be better than a toilet in a house:
Outdoor garage/workshop addon
(and let's be honest, there are sometimes when you have to quarantine a bathroom. this is perfect for such times)

thank you for your comment

Places like Alaska where it's so cold that it's really hard/expensive to keep pipes from freezing in the winter, many people have outhouses still.

About This Instructable




Bio: Just a normal guy trying to make it in life .Good paying job but mindless sometimes .I enjoy making things in my garage to keep ... More »
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