What Is a Vault Toilet and How It Works?

Having toilets outdoor is very necessary as it can save you from having to come home for a toilet. And the vault toilet is one of the most popular outdoor toilets out there. Don’t know what a vault toilet is?

This guide will provide you with an answer.

What is a Vault Toilet?

This is the kind of toilet one often sees in parks and camping grounds. Just as the name suggests, the toilet has a large tank installed in the ground. The tank acts as a vault to store waste of up to a thousand gallons and more.

Made in the open, it still provides some privacy as it has a roof and doors. These toilets are usually made in areas where water is not available. The toilet is made of plastic and concrete material and is portable.

How Do Vault Toilets Work?

Vault toilets have storage tanks built underground to store the waste. Some often have vents connected to it to let out the odor.

A dry toilet outdoors has similar usage to the toilets at home. They are offered in a commode system, where you can sit, and a pipe connected will take the waste to the tank.

Advantages of Vault Toilets

Let us take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages that these vault toilets come with. Here are some of the advantages of vault toilets.


The vault toilets are comfortable as they provide a safe and enclosed space for a person using it – allowing privacy to the user.


Easy maintenance is a key feature of vault toilets. As like other types of toilets it do not need to be cleaned every day, once a week or once every two weeks will get the job done. But be sure to be regular, to prevent overflowing of waste and odor.


Vault toilets are cost-friendly and easy to install. It is made of a material that makes it durable. Moreover, they are dry toilets and cut down on the cost of water supply.


One of the best features of these is portability. You can move it and place it where needed. After an easy installation, they are ready to be used.


The biggest advantage is convenience. With the ease of portability and the function of a dry toilet, you can place it where needed. They save you the time and energy to go back home and make toilets readily available for use in camping grounds, parks, and even roadsides.

Additional Features

For the ease of users, some vault toilets have lights installed to help you in the dark. Some even have sanitizers and disinfectants to be used and after use. This ensures hygiene.

Disadvantages of Vault Toilets

There are some cons associated with vault toilets, which can be manageable. Let’s get to know them.


A major drawback of vault toilets is the presence of odor. This problem can be a concern when there is low or no wind, and there will be the formation of odor clouds. And this can be more severe during winter.

Visual Distress

Sometimes due to blockages, the waste level can rise up, and you can see the waste when you look down. This can cause visual distress and an unpleasant feeling.


This can be a serious concern as there might be an accumulation of germs and bacteria which might be carried by the flies. These flies can carry the germs, and the odor can be unhygienic.


Maintenance can be difficult as it needs to be done regularly. Blockages in the pipes can cause severe problems, and only plastic vault toilets are portable.

What Is a Pit Toilet?

Similar to vault toilets, pit toilets are seen outdoors and are dry toilets. However, pit toilets have almost no privacy. People stand on top of the hole or squat on the toilet to use it.

One major difference is that pit toilets have a hole dug into the ground and needs to be covered with dirt and soil before moving the toilet.

Vault Toilet vs. Pit Toilet

The first concern with a toilet is sanitation, and comparing the two, vault toilets are more sanitary as they need to be maintained. At the same time, pit toilets do not need maintenance but are not sanitary as the waste is not removed.

And the odor is a common problem for both toilets. However, privacy can be an issue in pit toilets as there are no doors. On the other hand, vault toilets are more private.

Pit toilets are easily portable and cheap to construct, whereas vault toilets can be moved but only the plastic ones.

Final Words

Now that you know what a vault toilet is and how to use it, you can make an informed decision between a vault toilet and a pit toilet.

Hello, I'm Jon C. Brown, an expert in the field of toilets. With over 15 years of experience in this industry, a significant portion of my life has been devoted to crafting high-quality toilets and bathrooms. Consequently, I've received countless inquiries about the toilet and bathroom industries. That's why, I've launched this website to provide top-notch solutions for all your toilet and bathroom related needs.

Leave a Comment