Hosting Requirements: Beginner’s Guide to Toilets on Hipcamp

At Hipcamp, we partner with private landowners and connect them 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 helps you earn extra income for your home expenses, property management, and dream projects.

If you have land you want to share with campers, it’s important to consider where they’ll go to the bathroom. One of the most frequent questions we get from potential and new Hosts is: Do I need to provide a toilet? The answer depends on your land type and county regulations.

To help you figure out the best toilet situation for your property, check out our easy guide below.
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Am I required to have a toilet?

If your land is less than 20 acres, yes, you are required to provide a toilet. Alternatively, if you aren’t able to offer a toilet option right away, you can make your listing RV-only as RVs are self-contained.

If your land is more than 20 acres you are not required to provide a toilet.
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If I have more than 20 acres and I’m not offering a toilet, where do campers go to the bathroom?

If you’re going with the “no toilet” option, it’s important to make this very clear on your listing page so campers’ expectations are accurately set. Here’s how:

  1. In the “Overview” section in listing setup, indicate that a toilet is not available and select how you would like campers to dispose of their waste (you can select “dig a cat hole” or “pack it out.”) Here is what Leave No Trace suggests as best practices.
  2. Write in the “Description” that a toilet is not available, and indicate whether they should pack it out or dig a hole.

Photo by Emma F. at Camp Moonshadow, Michigan.

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I don’t have a toilet right now, but I’d like to add one in the future.

Great! We’ve seen that putting some revenue toward porta-potties or more permanent toilet structures can be a good investment because it will attract more campers in the long run. In some areas, listings with toilets get two times as many bookings as listings without.
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I have less than 20 acres and want to offer tent camping. What cheap toilet options do you recommend to get started?

First, it’s important to research what types of toilets are permitted in your county (or what types of toilets are explicitly not permitted.) You can usually do this on your county’s website. Once you know what kind of toilet you’d like to add, check out some of these options:

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I’m interested in building a more permanent bathroom. What facilities do other Hosts provide?

The most common permanent facilities that Hosts provide include: compost toilets, outhouses, and flush toilets. However, these come in all shapes and sizes and Hosts get pretty creative when it comes to bathrooms. Here’s some inspiration:

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Photo by Emily G. at Finnegan’s Farm, Connecticut.

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Have more questions about adding a toilet to your land? Get in touch with us here. If you’re interested in earning income by hosting our community of Hipcampers, start a listing below!

Hipcamp Staff

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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