DIY Bathroom Installation for a Cargo Trailer

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Image Credit: Ziga Plahutar/iStock/GettyImages

If you have a cargo trailer, you might find yourself wishing it contained a bathroom for the sake of convenience. Though most cargo trailers don't come equipped with this sort of facility, it's possible to install a bathroom in your cargo trailer, provided you have certain tools and possess a general understanding of plumbing and other home improvement skills.


Video of the Day

Cargo Trailer Bathroom Basics

To install a bathroom in your cargo trailer, you'll first need to map out the space. Ideally, the bathroom should be situated in a corner or at the rear of the trailer. You'll also need to create a privacy wall of some kind. This can be accomplished with plywood hung from the floor to near the ceiling around the frame of the space (be sure to leave space for ventilation), but it's easiest to wait until you've installed the sink and toilet to add the plywood walls.

There are many options for adding a toilet and sink to your trailer. You could opt for a camp toilet and a hand sanitizer station or a sink that's fed from a garden hose hooked up to a potable water source just outside the trailer. You can also set your plumbing up to mirror that of an RV so that it will be able to accept water through an RV hose.

If you decide to add a normal toilet and sink, you'll need to install a tank for water. The Tiny House explains that you'll also need a pump to circulate the water and that these pumps can be noisy at times. However, the tank is convenient as it allows you to live off the grid and use your cargo trailer bathroom no matter where you are. Von Slatt recommends that you add a cabinet to your bathroom space for the perfect place to tuck the water tank and other plumbing away.

Installing a Camp Toilet

One of the easiest ways to add a bathroom to your cargo trailer is to install a sink and cabinet and hook the plumbing up such that it can accept water from an RV hose. Then, use a camp toilet that doesn't have an internal waste disposal system to avoid the difficulties associated with flushing a traditional toilet and needing a tank to store the waste (which you would later need to dispose of).

Camp toilets can be purchased from outdoor or sporting goods stores and are freestanding units meant to be dumped and cleaned regularly. You'll need to sanitize them when you do clean them. Camping World explains that you'll also need to be sure that you're disposing of waste in an authorized location, like an RV dump site or sewage connection at a full-service camp site.

To set up a camp toilet, you'll need to situate it across from or next to the sink within the bathroom area. You can choose to mount it to the floor using two screws, but it's made to be freestanding. If you'll ever be using your toilet while the cargo trailer is in motion (which isn't recommended), you'll need to ensure it's securely mounted to the floor. Finally, add a table lamp to your countertop to provide light, and you're ready to use your new bathroom.



Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity.