Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

Hosting Requirements: Beginner’s Guide to Camping Toilets on Hipcamp

At Hipcamp, we connect private landowners with people looking for unique places to stay, camp, and get outside. Hosting on Hipcamp provides an opportunity to share your land with our community of nature lovers and earn extra income for your home expenses, property management, and dream projects.

To share your land with campers, it’s important to consider where they’ll go to the bathroom. One of the most common questions we get from potential Hosts: Do I need to provide a toilet? We’ve got answers. To help you figure out the best toilet situation for your property, check out our simple guide below..

Am I required to have a toilet?

All campsites listed on Hipcamp must have access to a toilet, whether provided by the Host or the Hipcamper. If the Host provides a toilet, it must be onsite with unrestricted access to Hipcampers. (Hosts offering sites with provided accommodations must provide a contracted portable toilet, a rustic toilet, or an advanced toilet. Basic transportable camp toilets do not suffice for Hosts providing accommodations.) If you’re unable to provide a toilet onsite, you have a few options.

  1. Hosts can require that Hipcampers bring their own camp toilet. (See Tier A)
  2. Hosts can make their sites available to self-contained RV campers only. (See Tier B)

If you go with either of these options, it’s important to set expectations and make this very clear to Hicampers in your toilet details and site descriptions. In your site details, indicate that a toilet is not available, meaning Hipcampers are required to be self-contained or bring their own. Read more about “pack it out” requirements from Leave No Trace.

What kind of toilet should I provide?

Introducing Hipcamp Toilet Tiers! All Hosts must provide at least one toilet from the below tiers to Hipcampers. Hosts providing sleeping accommodations must provide at least one toilet from Tier B thorugh Tier E, as Tier A is prohibited in these circumstances.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Rob W. at The Field of Dreams, BC
Tier A: Primitive Camp Toilet

Host or Hipcamper provides basic transportable camp toilet and associated supplies for the collection and containment of human excreta. Hipcampers are responsible for properly depositing collected excreta in onsite composting bins, onsite trash receptacles, or offsite trash receptacles, according to Host instructions.

Hipcamp recommendations
Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Erinn H. at When Pigs Fly Farm & Gardens, Washington
Tier B. Self-contained Recreational Vehicle (RV, campervan, van)

RV Hipcampers are instructed to provide their own toilet associated with their vehicle. Hipcampers are responsible for proper off-site disposal unless Host provides disposal or is required to take responsibility for disposal by their jurisdiction.

Photo by Emma F. at Camp Moonshadow, Michigan.
Tier C. Contracted Portable Toilet

Host provides portable toilet(s), and maintains service contract. Hosts shall arrange the number of toilets and frequency of servicing in a manner that maintains safe and sanitary conditions and provides ample toileting capacity.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Rob W. at Shawl Farm Organics, BC
Tier D. Rustic Toilet Facility

Host provides enclosed structure equipped with at least one toilet. Host provides cleaning and servicing of commode and interior. Host is responsible for proper processing or disposal of excreta.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Brian K. at Croesus Canyon Camps, Texas
Tier E. Advanced Toilet Facility

Host provides enclosed structure equipped with at least one toilet. Host provides cleaning and servicing of commode and interior. Host is responsible for disposal and processing of excreta. Structure provides safe and sanitary hand-washing amenities.

Why should I get a toilet?

Toilets benefit everyone! Putting some revenue toward toilet structures can be a good investment because they attract more campers in the long run.

  • More bookings: Hipcamp sites with toilets see 2 times the occupancy of those without one. Hosts who offer high-quality toilet amenities earn more bookings at higher rates!
  • A better experience: Quality toilets improve Hipcamper experiences. Toilets are our second-most-used filter, with 10% of all searchers wanting toilet access.
  • Care for your land: Most people use the toilet 5 times a day. Implementing appropriate toilet systems protects Hosts’ land and our natural resources.

What toilet facilities do other Hosts provide?

The most common permanent facilities Hosts provide include compost toilets, outhouses, and flush toilets, typically falling in Tier A, D, or E. These come in all shapes and sizes, with many Hosts getting pretty creative when it comes to bathrooms. Here’s some inspiration:

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Rob W. at Camping Historic Kilson Trestle, BC


What else is required?

Hipcamp maintains a set of Toilet Standards all Hosts are required to meet. Review them here. Important highlights include:

  • Feces, toilet paper, or hygiene products shall not be left on bare ground or with light cover.
  • Toilet structures shall not disturb or negatively impact sensitive habitat or water resources.
  • Hipcampers must have a means of containing excreta.
  • Hosts must maintain an accurate toilet checklist to confirm compliance, comfort, and safety, and provide it to Hipcamp upon request. View the checklist here.
  • Hosts shall review, adjust and self-certify their toilet system annually.

Have more questions about adding a toilet to your land? Check out the full Hipcamp toilet policy below, or get in touch with our team here.

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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