The Ultimate Guide to Renting Portable Restrooms

The Ultimate Guide to Renting Portable Restrooms

Northern California’s outdoor venues are an embarrassment of riches. Deciding on an available outdoor location for a wedding, graduation party, anniversary celebration, or corporate event is half the battle. But once you’ve found the perfect place that’s large enough to accommodate your number of guests, you have to consider how you will actually provide for their needs. Read our ultimate guide to renting portable restrooms to find out.

Portable Restroom Trailers Are Different Than Porta Potties

If you’ve ever attended an outdoor music festival or art fair or visited a pumpkin patch in the fall, you may have encountered portable restrooms, aka “porta potties,” that are unpleasant at best and disgusting at worst.

But we’re not talking porta potties here—we’re talking about luxury portable restroom trailers. Restroom trailers provide a completely different experience than old-fashioned porta potties. Here are some key differences:

  • Mobile restroom trailers have running water
  • Mobile restroom trailers have porcelain toilets that flush
  • Mobile restroom trailers have counters, sinks, mirrors, and climate control
  • Mobile restroom trailers may even feature wall décor in the form of framed artwork

You can see that the differences between porta potties and luxury portable restroom trailers are significant—they’re completely different experiences.

Once you’ve decided that mobile restrooms are the way to go for your outdoor event, there are several other factors you must consider before making your choice of restrooms to rent.

Can a Truck Get In and Out?

Most outdoor venues that host large events will be prepared for mobile restroom trailers. Confirm that a truck towing your trailer can get in, position the trailer where you want it, remain parked there for service and maintenance if necessary, and get out again without disturbing the beauty of the place.

Walk the grounds with a venue representative to discuss where and how your rental restroom trailers can park. While pavement is best, you can place portable trailers directly on the ground so long as it is firm and level. Some trailers need access to water and electricity, while others come equipped with generators and large capacity tanks for both fresh and wastewater.

Consider where you’ll place your mobile restroom trailers. Is there enough space to separate them from your tents and tables but still place them close enough to be convenient? You’ll want to set them down in a place that’s accessible yet separate from the main event area.

Also, think about what happens if the weather turns on you. The trailer may look great on a bare patch of ground with some mats laid outside, but what happens if it rains? Consider providing a covered path toward the trailer so that guests don’t have to spring through the rain to use the restroom.

Number of Guests

The number of stalls in a restroom trailer unit and the number of trailers you’ll need depend on several factors. The primary factor, of course, is how many guests you’re expecting. A rule of thumb is at least one stall for every 50 to 75 guests.

However, if you’ll be serving food and drinks at an event that will last several hours, you should consider renting trailers that provide twice as many stations. Guests who are having a great time at the bar and buffet are naturally going to use the restrooms more often. They’ll appreciate not having to wait in line!


Will there be children at your event? Parents with babes in arms or toddlers will need a restroom trailer with changing stations and potty adapters for little kids. Ask your restroom trailer rental company if they can provide trailers with these amenities.

Disabled Guests

California requires that restrooms at public venues comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means that any restrooms you decide to rent must be accessible to persons who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, or scooters.

Ramps aren’t enough. The state of California has building codes that specify how high toilets must be, where grab bars must be placed, and how much space must be available for the stall door to open and close. These regulations also require that a person in a wheelchair be able to reach the sinks for hand washing, which means that wheelchair users should be able to roll up to a sink and comfortably fit their chair under the counter.

Accommodating disabilities is a critical aspect of caring for your guests. Think of elderly relatives or disabled employees who need reassurance that they’ll be able to safely use a restroom that accommodates their needs if they attend your event. These guests will be disappointed and angry if you can’t provide that reassurance.

Event Schedule

If you’re sponsoring a 5K run or holding a wedding service followed immediately by a reception at the same location, you could face a situation where everyone wants to use the restroom at the same time. That’s why it’s so important to provide more than the minimum number of restroom stations to avoid lines and keep restroom traffic moving.

Staff and Maintenance

If your guests are having a great time, they’ll want to linger. Wedding receptions that feature dinner and dancing can run from late afternoon to after midnight. Your restrooms will need maintenance and replenishment during that time.

Consider hiring restroom attendants for each trailer you rent. Having someone there to clean, refill soap dispensers, and resupply toilet paper will prevent the embarrassing situation of guests getting stranded without the necessary supplies. Restroom attendants can also clean mirrors, straighten flower arrangements, resupply hand towels, and remind guests not to flush said towels down the toilets, which will clog them.

If a clog does occur or a tank has reached capacity, your restroom trailer rental vendor should have a plan for how to keep things running seamlessly. Having such processes in place will maintain uninterrupted restroom functionality throughout your event.

For Northern California luxury restroom trailer rentals, contact The Lavatory. Our experience and expertise mean we can advise you on the right type of trailers for your needs. Our trailers have between two and nine stations, and our ADA-compliant stations will provide plenty of space for your disabled guests or employees.

We hope this ultimate guide to renting portable restrooms has given you confidence that you can hold an outdoor event while still providing comfortable, clean accommodations for all your guests.

The Ultimate Guide to Renting Portable Restrooms