Camp Commode(potty) Made for Less Then $10.00




Introduction: Camp Commode(potty) Made for Less Then $10.00

A simple but useful commode for primitive camping conditions. This commode comes apart for easy transport and storage.

Step 1: The Camp Commode and 5 Gallon Bucket

One can use a 5 gallon bucket with this commode or dig a hole off somewhere in the woods.

Step 2: Camp Commode Broken Down in Parts for Transport

Step 3: To Make the Camp Commode

About 10 feet of 1" PVC pipe (est. 1.69)

8 1" elbows (est. .50)

4 1" T connectors (est. .59)

1 cheap toilet lid (about $5.00)

PVC glue

3 screws

Chop saw or hand saw.

Cut pieces

6 - 11 1/2 inches

4 - 6 inches

Glue elbows to each end four(4) 11 1/2 long pieces. Glue T connectors between two(2) 6 inches pieces. Assemble the pieces. The elbow piece goes with a T connector piece to make legs, you should have a square. The 11 1/2 piece join the T connectors together, joining the squares together. Then fasten the lid, either end will work. You have options here with the lid; lid on or off. I attached the seat with screws; I would suggest making pilot holes for the screws, two in the back and one in front, do what you think will work best. I marked the joints that are glued so you will remember that they do not come apart.

I had a bag made to store my camp commode in

Step 4: Bag to Store Camp Commode

2 People Made This Project!


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4 years ago

I liked your camp commode, however, when I cut the pieces to your dimensions, after measuring the bucket, I thought it would just drop together. I had to go back and buy a new length of PVC and recut the pieces to dimensions shown in my "new and improved" Camp Toilet. I made a stronger frame and added 2"X4" cut to over lap each other and trimmed on the 4" side to bring the bucket right up to the raised toilet seat. Higher 18" seat makes it easier for Seniors to stand up. Good job though and I think the collapsible feature is great for storage! Although I did mention to a friend to put the constructed PVC frame in her living room, add a smoked glass table top, and tell people she's into modern art! :-)

New dimensions and other info is shown in the picture below.

About 15 feet of 1"
PVC pipe (est. 2.79 ea 5 ft)

8 1" elbows (est.

4 1" T connectors
(est. $1.22)

1 cheap toilet lid
(about $11.95)

2 ea 14 1/4” long 2” X
4” (scrap pieces - cut to cross over each

and cut the 4” side to adjust bucket up to
seat helping elimination of odors)

PVC glue

3 screws

Chop saw or hand saw.

Cut pieces

8 ea 12 inch pieces of 1” PVC

8 ea 6 inch pieces of 1” PVC

4 - 6 inches

Glue ONLY top and bottom squares with the 3
socket 900 elbows all pointing the open socket the same way!

All other parts should be left free of glue
so the toilet can be broken down.

Problems eliminated: Closed frame both top and bottom & raised
seat height to approx. 18 inches, easy

2” X 4” pieces cut in middle to overlap each other and MAY have to be
cut on 4” side to raise bucket to lid.

Parts and Prices - My
Design (Stronger - More Stable):

New dimensions &
structure due to bucket size and for stability!

1 ea 5 Gallon Bucket $ 2.99

3 ea 5 ft of 1” Schedule
40 PVC pipe $2.79 ea $ 8.37

8 pkg 1” Sched 40 Elbow, 3
Way, 90 Degrees $17.99 (Prime) $ 17.99

4 ea 1” Schedule 40 – T
Connector $1.22 $ 4.88

1 ea Toilet Lid –
Wood $11.95 $ 11.95

1 pkg Oatey 4 fl oz. Cpvc
Cement + Primer $7.20 ea pkg $ 7.20

Approximate Cost $53.38


5 years ago

The prices quoted are waaay out of date. This costs $25+ to make now in the US, and nearly $40 in Australia.


5 years ago

Thanks for this Instructable!

We needed a portable commode for working in a rural area, so I scanned the Instructables and found this one. Tweaked the design a little to our needs and thought I'd pass along the changes for anyone else that likes it. The tweaks were: 1) use an extra screw on the front to mount the seat, 2) swap one of the elbow joints for a 'T' joint under the front seat to add a removable toliet paper roll holder, and 3) adjust some cut lengths to still only use one 10 foot PVC.

Attached photo shows how it looks assembled & unassembled. Figure 1 shows without the toliet paper holder attached, Figure 2 with toliet paper holder attached, and figure 3 shows the basic profile when transported. It can still fit in a 5" x 15" x 17" soft bag or a 5" x 16" x 17" hard-sided enclosure.

Parts list:
(1) 10 foot schedule 40 PVC
(7) 1" elbow joints
(5) 1" 'T' joints
(1) 1" end cap
(4) 1/4" x 2 1/2" screws
(4) 1/4" flat washers
(4) 1/4" lock nuts
(1) toliet seat (see tip below)
PVC primer & cement

Cut 10 foot PVC as follows:
(6) 11 1/2"
(8) 5 1/2"
Remaining 7" will be used for the removable toliet paper holder

Cement same pieces as in original Instructable. For the toliet paper roll holder, cement the end cap to the 7" piece of PVC -- do not cement the toliet paper holder to the 'T' joint under the toliet seat.

1) The toliet seat will determine how heavy a person can be that can safely use the commode. I used a hard/solid plastic toliet seat and it was adequate for people up to at least 250 lbs. We didn't have anyone heavier to test it with at the time, so it might actually accomodate someone heavier than 250 lbs.
2) The commode assembles easily, but may be difficult to take apart. As it gets used over and over the uncemented connections may tighten considerably.

Portable Camp Commode mods (3 photos).jpg

6 years ago

Cut 10' pic in half at store or home, then measure and cut 11 1/2" pieces first. The leftover 4 ft of conduit matched perfectly for my 6" pieces.


Reply 6 years ago

Minus an inch or two on each end piece when cutting last piece.


8 years ago

great idea. beats a forty dollar one. gonna make this.