#VanLife Series: Thetford Porta Potti® Curve Review

Thetford provided a free Porta Potti® Curve to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Quick Background

Thetford Porta Potti Curve

Mad Money Pup checking things out.

Before we jump right into this review, I feel like it’s necessary to give a little background as to why in the world I’m writing a review on a portable toilet.

Well, just in case you missed it or you’re new around here, Mr. MMM and I have recently joined the ranks of #vanlife. Yep, we sold our second car and bought a conversion van to travel the country!

Of course, we won’t be living out of our van permanently, since we have that little 8-year-old Mini Monster that lives with us. But, even though Mini will be in school for the foreseeable future, we’re still planning on making the most of our van life experience.

Unfortunately, van life isn’t just about pictures with breathtaking views. When nature calls, you gotta answer.

So, I reached out to Thetford to ask if they would provide me with the Curve in exchange for an honest review.

And with that, let’s dive right into our review of the Thetford Porta Potti® Curve!

What Is Thetford’s Porta Potti® Curve?

Thetford Porta Potti Curve

Look at that seat height!

For the purposes of this review, I’m going to refer to the product as simply, the Curve. The Curve is a 5-gallon portable toilet that is perfect for use in RVs and vans while traveling. It’s also great to have around if you’re camping, boating, or just need an extra toilet in your home.

We were interested in the Curve because we needed to outfit our ultra cool GMC 2500 Vandura, named Van Halen, with a toilet, for obvious reasons. As mentioned before, #VanLife isn’t all glamorous.

The Curve seems to be the gold standard for portable toilets, so we went with it.

If you’re interested, go ahead and check out Thetford’s website for the Curve.

The Out-Of-Box Experience

The Curve arrived in an appropriately sized cardboard box. After removing the Curve from its box, it was fairly easy to follow the directions to get up and moving.

It comes in two major pieces that snap together with barely any effort. The bottom piece is the waste tank and the top piece is the fresh water tank.

All other components, along with the instruction booklet, were neatly packed inside the bowl.

Instructions And Assembly

Thetford Porta Potti® Curve

Installing batteries for the flush feature.

Before outfitting Van Halen with our Curve, we needed to assemble it and make sure we knew exactly how it worked.

We started by removing the fresh water tank from the waste tank by simply moving a lever and unlocking them from one another. We then proceeded to fill the waste tank with the appropriate amount of water and deodorant. After that, we reconnected the two tanks and filled the fresh water tank with about 4 gallons of water. We also installed the batteries for the flush feature.

And with that, we were finally set to use our Curve! All told, it took about 20 minutes to read the instructions and set it up.

Use And Cleanup

We were smart enough to do a few trials before actually using our Curve for the first time. It probably wasn’t necessary, but it was nice to get a feel for how everything works before we used it for real.

I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that using it was pretty much like using a regular toilet. The battered-powered flush allows water from the fresh water tank to flow into the bowl. If you want to actually flush the bowl into the waste tank you need to open the manual lever and allow gravity to work its magic.

We found it’s best to use the flush button to fill the bowl with some fresh water before use. It really helps with cleanliness and definitely makes you feel right at home.

Thankfully, the Curve comes equipped with a level indicator for both the fresh water tank and the waste tank. When the indicator(s) turn red, it’s time to empty and/or refill. Emptying the tank is fairly straightforward.

First, you need to disconnect the fresh water tank from the waste tank. Then, you use the handles to carry the waste tank to a plumbed toilet for disposal.

Note: The waste tank can hold around 5 gallons, so it can get a little heavy.

Overall Thoughts And Recommendations

Thetford Porta Potti® Curve

Mr. MMM filling the fresh water tank. You can also use a hose for efficiency.

I can think of only one word to describe our overall thoughts – Impressed.

The Curve truly is everything it is advertised to be and I highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a portable toilet.

The Pros:

  • Sleek Design/Hidden Controls
  • Battery-Powered Flush
  • Tight Seals = No Odor
  • Seat Height and Design See Details and Specifications
  • Toilet Paper Holder (Hidden, of course)
  • Holding Tank Level Indicators (Fresh Water Tank & Waste Water Tank)
  • Easy to Assemble, Transport, and Empty
  • Comes with Everything Except for Water and TP

The Cons:

When we started out with our adventure, our Curve fell over in the van, but that was more so due to our stupidity. Of course, it was going to fall over with 5 gallons of water in the upper tank. Not to worry though, we quickly secured our little Curve and were back on our way. And, thankfully, the Curve is completely sealed and leak proof, so no water was lost.

Thetford also sells a hold down kit to avoid this whole issue. We plan to build a little nook for ours to live in the future, but if you don’t have such a nook, you should probably consider the hold down kit.

If I had to suggest any improvements, they would be related to the instruction manual. At times, the print and diagrams seemed a little too small to decipher. It also didn’t specify how much water to use to fill the upper tank. It ended up being self-explanatory, but I would’ve felt better with an amount listed in the booklet to ensure we weren’t under or overfilling it.

Final Thoughts

After using our Curve on one of our first van trips, we can say that it’s a lot like using the bathroom at home. And coming from someone who has a bladder the size of a walnut (at least, that’s the running joke), that’s a glowing review!

Here is a list of stores where you buy a Curve for your travel adventures!

Question for you:

Have you ever gone RVing or traveled in a van? If so, what are your thoughts on a product like the Curve?

4 comments… add one
  • Mrs. Groovy Jan 31, 2018, 10:39 pm

    That looks pretty darn cool! And the reviews at Walmart and Home Depot are good as well. It’s a lot more sanitary than I would expect from a portable unit. We may do some camper travel in 2019 — not sure what exactly that will look like so it’s nice to keep this in mind. Thanks for the review!

    • Mad Money Monster Feb 1, 2018, 8:39 am

      It is a GREAT product! We were unbelievably impressed. 🙂

  • MarLeigh Jan 29, 2018, 7:48 pm

    Wonderful. As I mentioned once before, we have a 16 ft travel trailer that has a flush toilet. So our plan was while traveling, if we needed to, we’d just pull over and use the bathroom. And that’s still the plan when we’re hooked up. But we also decided to have a portable unit in the back of the van when we disconnect from the trailer and we’re driving in unfamiliar areas or stuck in traffic. It’ll be a godsend, especially for me with a lovely chronic illness that doesn’t care where I am or what I’m doing. So I’m thankful for your honest and straightforward review. I’ve looked at the Thetford before and I like the idea of a flushing portable unit. Happy traveling!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 29, 2018, 8:07 pm

      I’m glad you found the review helpful. 🙂

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