Emergency Car Toilet You Need In Your Vehicle

Emergency Car Toilet You Need In Your Vehicle

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I’m updating this post from 2014. Some people may not realize they may need an emergency toilet in their car or truck. We all do, no matter what age we fall into. Some of us have those #10 cans with food storage in them. After we empty one of those cans that are approximately six inches in diameter and nine inches tall we never should throw them out. Dont’s forget to get some: Poo-Pourri Before-You-go Toilet Spray

If you are like me, I think to myself “I might need this for something”! So I stash them in the pantry or garage. Well, I have read in the newspaper that cars with adults, toddlers, and babies are stranded sometimes for hours on a highway.

This can happen anywhere, anytime. It can be a storm or a car accident. There is no way to drive forward or exit the highway or freeway. Let me tell you why I think every family needs an emergency car toilet.

Emergency Car Toilet You Need In Your Vehicle

Emergency Car Toilet You Need In Your Vehicle

Emergency Car Toilet For The Gorge

There is a section called the gorge between St.George, Utah, and Mesquite, Nevada. The drive is spectacular with the Virgin Mountains and the Black Rock Mountains with the Virgin River running down the middle. We have so many people talk about how beautiful the drive is through that gorge. I literally smile the whole way driving through there looking at the beautiful formations of rock.

There is really only one real drawback to the drive and that’s when there is an accident or a bad storm and the rocks fall on the highway, or it floods the road after torrential rainfall. Here’s the deal with that highway section, there are no, and I mean no, pull-offs. No bushes or turn-around spots. Period. No portable toilets.

Really Bad Rainstorm

Well, a few months ago there was a really bad rainstorm and horrific waterfalls coming off the top of the rock formations. Rocks were sliding and roads were washed away. I’m talking about the main thoroughfare going from California up north to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Truckers were stopped, families on vacation were stopped from traveling back home. Several people could not get to work for almost three to four days because they were stuck/parked on the freeway.

This doesn’t happen often, but it did happen. They had to divert everyone around the debris on the roads that didn’t wash away. They were stranded for 9-10 hours. Maybe more. We only heard what was shown on the TV or in the newspaper.

Here is my other Emergency Toilet for homes.

I have my Emergency Car Kit here, but I am going to add the new shiny #10 can to my car and strap it into place with a bungee cord to keep it from flying around in the car.

Emergency  Car Toilet Contents

You can see I have some moist flushable wipes, known as bum wipes. I have some small packages of Kleenex tissues and some hand sanitizer. They all fit into the #10 can car toilet with a lid.

You’ll want this car toilet, I promise. Marilyn mentioned adding a puppy pee pad to use so we don’t have to use the public restrooms that may be super busy, or not clean enough for human use.

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The puppy pee pads would be awesome. I have now added this size to my emergency car kit to be used in the #10 can along with 4-gallon size garbage bags. After using the #10 can, you can tie up the 4-gallon bag, and it’s ready to put in a garbage can at the next rest stop. 4-gallon Bags and Pop-Up Tent for Privacy and Leaktite 1-Gallon White Plastic Pail or 1 Gallon Metal Paint Can with Lid

I purchased these puppy pads for my car. Small Puppy Pee Pads and these Poo Powder Degradable Gel

Here is another option, TRIP-TIPS Portable Folding Toilet Car (it’s collapsible when not in use). Or consider possibly buying the following products:

Emergency Car Toilet or Extra Diapers

I washed the #10 can and filled it with water to make sure it would not leak. I let it air dry and started gathering the necessary items. Luckily it had zero leaks and I started filling the emergency car toilet with the items needed for an emergency if our car is stalled or the traffic/weather stops us in an unforeseen situation.

You know the guys have it made, they can go behind a bush or pee in a bottle. Well, it’s a bit harder for us chicks. We can get toddlers to pee in a diaper if we have an extra diaper or two in the car. Babies should be okay as long as they have enough diapers in the car. We may want to add a puppy pee pad to the #10 can!

Fold-Up Toilet

This one is designed for the elderly or for a person to use after an operation next to their bed. It folds up, I think it would work great for our car if we had to pull over and use it. I would want to use a privacy covering as well. Drive Medical 11148-1 Steel Folding Bedside Commode It would work great for home as an emergency toilet as well.

Joyce’s-Emergency Car Toilet Idea

One suggestion might be to put a few plastic grocery sacks inside. If you have to use the potty, you could line it with the sack, like you do your trash cans at home, and then tie it. That way, you really wouldn’t have to toss your #10 can when you got to your destination. Just an idea.

Desiree’s-Emergency Car Toilet Idea

I have done something similar when my children were small. I lined it with a plastic grocery bag and put a folded paper towel in the bottom to help absorb the liquid. When finished, tie it shut and toss it at the next trash can. It really works well!

Melissa’s-Emergency Car Toilet Idea

Even better than grocery bag liners are large Ziploc bags (with absorbent material inside such as a piece of a Chux pad, cut-up diaper, or sand) also an extra-large Ziploc to put used bags in case multiple uses are needed. You can also use scented dryer sheets to throw on top of *stinky* potty use. CHUX PADS

Also, kitty litter (get the corn cedar variety) is very absorbent, lightweight, environmentally more friendly, and can help mask scents. Kitty Litter

Appyhorsey, great idea! On the boat, we actually have a curtain that velcros on for privacy. Only your head sticks out if you want it to! Something similar for car privacy could be velcro to put around the headrest, or even better use a shower curtain and a couple of ring hooks {like the keyring or binder rings} that could be attached to the headrest posts when needed.

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A waterproof shower curtain can also double as emergency rain protection or be placed on your seats to protect from wet clothes/bathing suits. Shower Curtain

Appyhorsey’s-Emergency Car Toilet Idea

I’ve done this for MANY YEARS. Grocery bags are too cheap and usually leak, anyway. Get the small-sized “garbage bags” instead. You can store them and a roll of toilet paper in the can. It’s also nice to have a big blanket or tarp or something, to “hide behind” if at all possible.

If your car is big enough you can use this IN the car, and cover the windows with something (blankets, towels, etc.). But if your car is too small, you will have to use it outside. (In a big traffic jam, you may be stuck in a center lane and NOWHERE to “get out of sight” of other people.)

If your car is a 4 door, open a front and back door and hang a blanket/tarp. If you only have a 2 door car, I’m not sure what your options are. Ha. Hang the blanket over the door then hold up the other half?

Maybe use this in the trunk with a blanket hanging as a cover? I like the idea of a folded paper towel in the bottom to absorb liquids. Never thought of that.

Cherie-Emergency Car Toilet Idea

I use large plastic coffee containers [ a.k.a. Maxwell House or Folgers]. I also have one with toilet paper in it and one baby wipe container. I carry an inexpensive pop-up tent for privacy.

It’s all together in a vacuum space bag. I also carry kitty litter and small bags in assorted sizes. The small bags can go inside the coffee container with a small amount of kitty litter in the bottom – then the bag can be thrown away leaving the container clean.

The kitty litter in the car toilet also serves as a winter staple in case you get stuck in the snow. The baby wipes will also be used for cleaning headlights or windows in an emergency only since they do leave a film.

Just in case I forget to put my rags and vinegar in the winter supply I write a note to myself and put it on the supply stack. The plastic bags can also be used to cover outside mirrors overnight, used inside your boots, hats, and mittens to keep you warm.

Everything I carry has more than multiple uses. Just thought this might help some people. You can also zip 2 sleeping bags together to make a portable privacy screen.

Kenneth-Truck Idea For Emergency Car Toilet

Well, you ladies seem to have this well thought out. Being a guy I have carried the wipes and toilet paper in my truck forever. I drive a pick up so I carry a 5 gal utility bucket. It holds all sorts of necessary items for emergency stops.

Linda, those nice clothes pins would hold up a travel blanket attached to a partially open window or edge of an open car door and the run-off gutter on most trucks. Whatever it takes, it is much better than a ticket from an LEO for exposure or a nature call in public. Oh, yea I carry orange and strawberry-scented hand sanitizer.

Fin

For discretion, while using an emergency toilet outside, I recommend buying a cheap plastic rain poncho. When it’s worn it should come down low enough to cover what’s going on and allows your hands to be free inside the poncho too. Rain Poncho

Jan

Having spent 14 years as a ‘crime scene tech,’ I had to carry “new paint cans /lids’ for “evidence collection”. So when at a ‘scene’ in an outdoor area, away from any facilities, I used a paint can (1 gal size) with a small trash bag in it. I drove a closed-in van so no problems. Happened more than once.

Final Word

I hope you think about making an emergency car toilet for your car. You never know when you might need one. Please keep prepping, we must. May God Bless this world, Linda

FEMA.gov Federal Emergency Management Agency

Survival Food Storage by Linda

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68 Comments

  1. Linda, you are a GENIUS. I suffer with anxiety at times, and being stuck on the highway with no way to get off sometimes brings it on. I have thought about things I could use for a potty, but this is a GREAT idea. I’m going to make one for myself today. Funny that you’re using the #10 cans, because I’m using two of mine today to fill with freshly ground wheat and ground corn.

    One suggestion might be to put a few plastic grocery sacks inside. If you have to use the potty, you could line it with the sack, like you do your trash cans at home, and then tie it. That way, you really wouldn’t have to toss your can when you got to your destination. Just an idea.

  2. I have done something similiar when my children were small. I lined it with a plastic grocery bag and put a folded paper towel in the bottom to help absorb the liquid. When finished, tie it shut and toss at the next trash can. I really worked well!

  3. Even better than grocery bag liners….large ziploc bags (with absorbant material inside such as a piece of a chux pad, cut up diaper, or sand) also an extra large ziploc to put used bags in case multiple uses are needed. And scented dryer sheets to throw on top of *stinky* potty use…..

    1. Also, kitty litter (particulary the corn cedar variety) is very absorbant, light weight, enviromentally more friendly and can help mask scents

  4. I use the large plastic coffee containers [ a.k.a. Maxwell house or Folgers]. I also have one with toilet paper in it and one baby wipe container. I carry an inexpensive pop up tent for privacy. It’s all together in a vac spacebag.

      1. What about a “Lady J”? It is a plastic spout for ladies. I carry one in my car.

        1. Hi Stephanie, I need to update that post. I wrote that back in 2014. Great comment and reminder about all the options that are out there now. Thank you, Linda

  5. I also carry kitty litter and small bags in assorted sizes. The small bags can go inside the coffee container with a small amount of kitty litter in the bottom – then the bag can be thrown away leaving the container clean.
    The kitty litter also serves as a winter staple incase you get stuck in the snow. The baby wipes will also be used for headlights or windows in an emergency only since they do leave a film. [Just incase I forget to put my rags and vinegar in the winter supply ]. The plastic bags can also be used to cover outside mirrors overnight, used inside your boots,hats and mittens to keep you warm. Everything I carry has more than multiple uses.
    Just thought this might help some people. You can also zip 2 sleeping bags together to make a portable privacy screen.

      1. I am a little worried about hitting the can, so maybe placing a puppy potty sheet under the can. This would help protect your car from OH NO accidents.

  6. Well you ladies seem to have this well thought out. Being a guy I have carried the wipes and toilet paper in my truck for ever. I drive a pick up so I carry a 5 gal utility bucket. It holds all sorts of necessary items for emergency stops. Linda those nice clothes pins would hold up a travel blanket attached to a partially open window or edge of an open car door and the run off gutter on most trucks. What ever it takes it is much better then a ticket from a LEO for exposure or a nature call in public. Oh yea I carry orange and strawberry scented hand sanitizer.

  7. Timely! I’ve been wondering what I can do today for my preparation activity and I happened to have a #10 can I just washed out sitting by the sink! Now I know what my little project for the day will be! Thanks!

  8. Add a silicone funnel to the kit. I found some at IKEA and on Amazon that are shaped very much like the “You Go Girl” product which allows you to stand up and go without removing clothing.
    As for containers, I got a free bucket from the home improvement store that normally holds their cut-to-length chain. It is square, very sturdy and smaller than a 5 gal. bucket. It holds basic car emergency supplies until needed for alternative purposes. I make my own waste bags by inserting a 13 gal. black-out trash bag inside a 2 gallon zip-lock bag with the extra length to be folded over your container’s edges. Add clumping cat litter and (optional) a spoonful of gel granules. Gel granules are sold for camping toilets, and also as a soil additive when gardening. The trash bag is knotted shut and sealed within the zip-lock bag for disposal.

  9. Ran into this problem myself a few years ago…stuck on a freeway for 3 hours in a snow storm due to several accidents. The extra large McDonald’s soda cup with a lid worked quite well in the front seat of my truck with the seat pushed back all the way. Just opened the door and dumped in on the snowy freeway in the mountains, put the lid on it and pitched it in the trash at the next stop. My daughter was mortified, but I certainly felt better! Your lid looks much more substantial – where do you find those?

    1. Hi Susan, you were stuck on the freeway for three hours….wow! The can I use is a food storage can that comes with a lid. It’s called a #10 can. Its like the size of the old coffee cans like Folgers when they were in metal cans. The lid is very tight. Yay! This is why I try to remind people to keep their cars above half full with gas. Three hours…yikes! Glad you had a McDonalds cup! Blessings Linda

  10. For discretion while using an emergency toilet outside I recommend buying a cheap plastic rain poncho. When it’s worn it should come down low enough to cover what’s going on and allows your hands to be free inside the poncho too.

  11. Wife thought I was crazy for keeping a toilet can in my truck until she needed it when we spent 12 hours on the interstate standing still, It also contained a candle stove and food packed all in one can

  12. Having spent 14 yrs as a ‘crime scene tech’, I had to carry “new paint cans /lids’ for “evidence collection”. So… when at a ‘scene’ in an out door area, away from any facilities, I used a paint can (1 gal size) with a small trash bag in it. I drove a closed in van so no problems. Happened more than once.

  13. Another possible item to include: a women’s portable ‘urinal’.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Velishy-Female-Urinal-Funnel-Camping/dp/B019381AXK/ref=sr_1_124?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1471457882&sr=1-124&keywords=womens+urinal

    I bought something similar to the one at the link and left it in the shower for the women in our family to practice with (hope that ‘practice in shower’ part is not too gross to share?). I figured better to get comfortable with using it ahead of NEEDING to use it.

  14. Here is an option that is made for women and girls but works for young boys as well. Stores under the seat in a van and most cars. Perfect in an emergency, but great for road trips. Saves me time on the road not having to stop once an hour for potty breaks. https://roadtrippotty.com The name says it all, “Road Trip Potty”!

  15. Linda,

    We’ve used a large bowl, TP, alcohol wipes (for final cleanup after wiping yourself clean), hand sanitizer and a garbage bag (to hold the mess after we clean out the bowl with the alcohol wipes) for years. We also have a poncho we can use for privacy alongside the road. Haven’t had to use it often but it’s a godsend when needed. Oh, we still carry a small bag of kitty litter (from when we lived in CO–useful for getting unstuck) that we sprinkle into the garbage bag as a deodorizer until it can be properly disposed of.

    So many good ideas in your posts.

    1. Hi Ray, thank you for your kind words, my friend! Oh, the kitty litter when we are stuck in the snow is awesome! You know it only takes ONE time when you are stuck on the side of the road for whatever reason, you know you need a portable toilet next time. The bowl idea is perfect! Love it, Linda

  16. I have done home health care in rural areas for many years. I use 1 or 2 large golf umbrellas as a privacy screen.

  17. A timely article as I just came across my old steel bedpan I used to carry in my minivan! I had a tin can and tissue but then came across this bedpan at a thrift. At that time I had kidney stones so needed to drink gallons of water/cranberry juice. I travel rural areas for my job so public toilets few/far between. Oh, the bedpan, with a chux underneath, worked great in my backseat. Eventually, I got better so just kept the can but I’m thinking I might put this under my truck back seat again! There’s a space in the middle that is quite short but think the bedpan will fit perfectly. I’ve always felt uncomfortable squatting between doors or trying to get the can under me just perfect. (I think it’d be hard to use one of the plastic bedpans, just sayin’). A peepoo can of some kind should be part of everybody’s car kit. Thanks for this reminder!

  18. Good idea. I’ll put one on these in the car.
    Check out “pee pockets”. Just type it into your search. Quite handy. You can stand and go.

    1. I will put the coffee can as recommended in the car. BUT…..
      Ugh! I hate, hate, hate a bed pan. Don’t like to use it in a hospital or any place else?. I would rather squat by a tree, in an open ditch, out in an open stadium than use a bed pan. Well, maybe not an open stadium. No, no, no!
      I do have strong feelings on this.

      1. Hi Mary, oh my gosh, the bedpan! I think we all have bad memories about those! BEST comment ever! The stadium would probably be a no, no! LOL! Love this comment, it made my day! Linda

  19. I might have to invest in one of these. The only drawback of switching to an electric car is that I no longer have an excuse to stop at gas stations and use the restroom! If only electric charging stations had a little potty built in, to put us on equal footing with gas car drivers.

    Speaking of which, I remember a car commercial from when I was a kid. It shows a group of friends on a road trip. One of them nervously asks the driver if she plans to stop for gas anytime soon. The driver replies, “well, my [make of car] is so fuel-efficient, we won’t need to stop for another six hours!” Much to the discomfort of the passenger, who clearly has to “go”.

    (I’m on a tear through all your bathroom-related articles. Aside from them having lots of useful information, they appeal to my sense of humor, which is not much different than a twelve-year-old boy’s.)

      1. I remember being very worried for that lady when I saw the commercial as a kid. My dad had to reassure me, “When the commercial is over, she gets out and goes pee.”

  20. I’n a State Patrol officer, so I spend a lot of time in my car by the side of the highway. I have a bottle for pee, and a bag-and-bucket system for poo.

    I pulled a young man over for speeding once. When asked why he was going so fast, he replied frankly that he had diarrhea and was trying to get to a bathroom in time. The nearest bathroom was quite a ways away, and I didn’t want him continuing to speed after I let him go, so I let him use my bucket.

    He was very thankful and didn’t even complain about the ticket I gave him.

      1. Linda, he sure was! I heard a lot of “whews” and “ahhs” and an “oh thank God” from the back of my vehicle while he was in there.

        As for why I chose to still give him the ticket… as I told him afterward, if you mess your pants it’s not pleasant, but it affects only you, and at the end of the day you clean yourself up and move on. But if you hit someone because you were speeding to a bathroom, that affects a lot more people, in a much more permanent and serious way. So it’s best to go the speed limit, even if you really gotta go.

        We were about thirty miles from the next rest area. Even at the speed he was going, I doubt he’d have made it.

    1. HAHAHAHA! Oh, Anna, that story was so funny! I bust out laughing! Poor guy. I bet he was real embarrassed, but also real glad you at least had a bucket. Lol. Better that than his boxers.

  21. I remodeled a vintage camper and decided to take the bathroom out and make an area big enough for a full sized comfy bed. In the place of the bathroom (we always camp where there’s a bath house) just in case of nighttime emergencies, I bought a bucket, and attached a real toilet seat, (bought at Walmart). I buy cheap packs of depends underwear at thrift stores and cut each one into about 3 pieces. I like my bucket with a trashbag, add a piece of the depends on the bottom and then another trashbag and another depends and so on, layering about 6-8 layers. If we use it, we pull the top bag out and tie it up and then there’s already one there for the next time. All of the liquid soaks into the depends. For #2 also, you are able to immediately remove and tie up and dispose it outside in the big trash can. I made this when I had a newborn and my husband was able to go straight to the bathhouse when he woke up and I was stuck in the camper with a sleeping baby and standing with my legs crossed until he got back. Hope this gave you some tips for your story.

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