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The Thetford Porta Potti 565e is the flagship model of the Porta Potti series made by Thetford and is one of the most premium portable toilets on the market. It has all the bells and whistles available on it and makes for a premium camping experience or a great way to have a full-featured toilet anywhere you go.
This toilet offers a few features that none of the other offerings do. While all of the Porta Potti series toilets are great products, this one is a step above the rest. If you are looking for something that doesn’t feel like a portable toilet and more closely resembles the one you use in your home, the 565e may be the one for you.
I have owned the Thetford Porta Potti 365 toilet for a few years and it has always served me well in my van. However, I recently had some issues that were covered under warranty with it and Thetford was kind enough to upgrade me to the 565e model.
Having used this toilet now on a few trips, I would like to give you my view on whether this is a good purchase and worth the extra price you’ll pay.
Features & Build Quality
In keeping with all the portable toilet models that Thetford offers, this one is made from high-quality plastic. You know you are getting a quality product with the feel of the product and parts on it. I have used and reviewed other toilets that aren’t at the same level of quality as Thetford Porta Potti’s are known for.
Let’s look at some of the best features of the Porta Potti 565e.
|Large toilet size||Height 17.6″, Width 15.2″, Depth 17.7″|
|Large capacity||4-gallon freshwater, 5.5-gallon wastewater, 56 average flushes|
|Electric flush||Love it or hate it, it makes easy work of flushing the toilet (more on this later).|
|Integrated toilet paper holder||This makes a handy place to store your toilet paper.|
|Fresh and waste water gauge||Know where you are with capacities at a glance with multiple gauges.|
|Carry handles||Two carry handles make it easy to carry from place to place.|
|Mountable||Keep it sturdy in your RV or moving vehicle with the optional floor bracket.|
|Larger comfortable toilet seat||While not quite as comfortable as a home toilet, it’s the best I have seen on the market on a portable toilet.|
These features are above and beyond what you generally find on portable toilets making it an upgraded version in most cases. Some of the more common features that it has and you can expect on any portable toilet include:
- Small and portable
- Swiveling, no-splash waste holding tank dumping spout.
- Seal between fresh and wastewater tanks so it doesn’t smell.
In my experience, these types of toilets don’t smell if maintained and used properly. The seal works great and if used with proper chemicals, you’ll never have to worry about these types of toilets smelling up your living space.
Using The Thetford Porta Potti 565e
Just like most of these types of portable toilets, the 565e works much like the toilet you have sitting in your home bathroom. The only difference is that you’ll have to manually fill the water bowl and the waste process is not completely out of sight and mind like in a normal plumbing system.
When using this toilet, you’ll first fill the bowl with water using the electric button. Once the water is at the level you prefer, it’s time to do your business.
Once finished, you will then pull the blade handle on the side of the toilet allowing you to flush everything down into the waste holding tank. Once it has all been flushed, the blade handle can be pushed back into its closed position. This will allow the waste holding tank to be sealed off and out of sight until it’s time to dump it out.
Dumping The Toilet
Once you are in a location where you can dump the tank, you can remove the sealed waste tank and dump it into an approved dumping area. Dumping is made easy with the rotating pour spout. You can aim it where you need it to go and dump it out with no splashing or mess.
Although not quite the hands-off experience you may be used to in your home, it makes a great solution in a mobile living arrangement.
Some toilets don’t have this type of swivel spout on them and only have an opening directly on the waste tank. These are messier to dump in my experience and you have to be a little more careful.
Large Comfortable Seat
If you are looking for a toilet with more of a standard size seat, the 565e will do the trick. It’s about as close to a standard-sized seat as you will find in a portable toilet As you can see in the picture below, the seat has a wide surface area making it more comfortable than smaller seats on the market.
The comfortable size of the seat is a welcoming experience, especially for larger or even average-sized adults. Anything less will likely feel a little small for most people.
Large Seat Opening
Besides the seat itself being comfortable, Thetford has also been generous with the seat opening. The seat opening on this toilet measures in at approximately 7 3/4″ wide x 11″ deep. This is larger than what you will often find in portable toilet options.
Some of the popular toilets on the market have a smaller opening than what this toilet has. In my experience, Thetford has made their toilet seat openings larger to accommodate adults. This makes it a comfortable option if you require a larger seat opening. It just feels better sitting on this than it does on one of the smaller options.
As an example, the Dometic toilet that I recently reviewed has a smaller opening, making it feel too small for an adult to use on a regular basis.
Smooth Flushing System
The flushing system on the 565e is a simple process and of course, made easier with the electric flush. The first step in flushing the toilet is to pump water into the bowl. You simply push the electric flush button and water will flow into the bowl.
Once you have relieved yourself and are ready to release the waste into the holding tank, the blade handle on the side can be opened to allow the water to go down into the holding tank.
Many toilets have this same system but the blade handle is usually located in the front of the toilet. Your legs are in the way of this so you will usually have to stand up to flush. This toilet allows you to accomplish this while still sitting down if you wish.
This works perfectly for my solution and where my toilet is located but some people may experience an issue with not enough space on the sides. In this case, one of the front flushing models may work better.
Many toilets on the market have a gauge on the waste tank to let you know when it is full. However, the Thetford 565e goes one step further and also has a gauge for the freshwater tank. This is a much-appreciated addition and helps to ensure you don’t run dry when least expected.
In my Thetford 365, I had to guess when it was close to empty and sometimes it would run low to a point where air started sputtering out when you work the pump. A gauge is nice to have so you can have a quick visual of how much water you have left at any given time.
This is a nice addition to this toilet that most don’t offer.
Nice Modern Look
Like most of the Thetford toilets, they have created a nice modern look that goes well in a camper without creating an eyesore. With its neutral color, it’s easy to include this toilet into any decor so that it blends in well.
Integrated Toilet Paper Holder is a Nice Touch
One of the handiest features for me is the toilet paper holder. Before having this, my toilet paper got placed all over the van. I never knew where it would be when I needed it. Since I had nowhere to keep it in my toilet area, it usually ended up in a cabinet and out of the way just when I needed it the most.
With the 565e, the toilet paper is always tucked away in its dedicated toilet paper holder. I can simply reach down on the right-hand side of the toilet and grab some paper at any time. This gives me a much better experience and helps me keep things neatly into place at all times which is very important when traveling in a small van.
It’s one of the most expensive portable toilets on the market. While the quality is great and it’s definitely worth the asking price, if you are seeking a more affordable option, there are other toilets out there that may work better for you.
Electric Flush With No Backup
I like the electric flush on this model but I would prefer a manual pump flush. They do have a manual pump version of this toilet available but it seems to be only available to the European market.
It would be nice if the 565e had a backup manual pump option. It should include something like this in case you are out camping and your batteries die or the electric parts just stop working. If this were to happen on your camping trip, you would have no way of getting water into the bowl other than pouring it in manually from another source. As far as being able to pump water from the freshwater tank into the toilet bowl, you’d be out of luck.
I would prefer the manual version so I wouldn’t have to fuss with the batteries. The electric pump holds 6 AA batteries (which the toilet comes with). I’m not sure how long these last as they have been working well for me so far. You could use rechargeable batteries to save yourself from being completely dead in the water if you are out boondocking.
The Electric Flush Pump is Loud
When you push the pump button, it makes an electric pumping noise that is louder than the manual version. With the manual pump I had on my 365 model, I could pump harder or softer depending on what I needed. The softer you pump it the quieter it is. If you are up in the middle of the night and someone else is sleeping, you can pump it softly and barely even hear it.
With the electric flush, there is only one speed of flushing: wide open! When you push the button, it’s the same sound each time. It’s also the same amount of gushing water coming out each time which you could control better with the manual pump. If you pump the manual pump harder, it pushes the water out harder allowing you to clean the bowl better.
Thetford 565e vs 565p
The 565e is the electric flush version whereas the 565p is the manual pump version. Both are the same toilets but utilize a different flushing system. As mentioned above the electric flush can have its downfalls especially if the batteries die while you are out in the middle of nowhere. While the 565p isn’t as fancy with its electric flush, it gives you a way to flush the toilet without being concerned with batteries.
It would be great if they could combine these two toilets, making one toilet that has both types of flush systems. Electric as the main way but a manual pump as a backup. This would perhaps make the ultimate portable toilet.
The Thetford Porta Potti 565e is definitely the toilet to have if you want to experience the top-of-the-line quality no matter where you are. There are many models on the market but the 565e has proven to be among the best ones. If you have the space for a larger portable toilet and you have the extra money to spend on one, I would suggest this toilet over some of the smaller ones you might find.
With the Thetford 565e, you’ll have access to a convenient and comfortable toilet experience no matter where life takes you or how far you travel.