Do It Yourself RV has featured several ways you can use an inexpensive 5-gallon bucket while camping. However, the 5-gallon bucket is one of those handy items that should be part of every RV packing list.
1. Portable toilet kit
For campers who don’t have the luxury of an RV toilet, there’s no need to fork over $50 to $100 for a portable potty. A 5-gallon bucket can easily be turned into a “business bucket” for those times when the campground toilet seems just too far away.
Grant Thompson, “The King of Random” on YouTube built a self-contained bucket toilet with a handy toilet paper holder for just a few bucks. A pool noodle serves as a soft spot to sit and waste is captured with a plastic bag. The watertight lid can be used to cover up any offenses. In addition, watch how Thompson creates an entire bathroom kit with a few other supplies.
2. Fishing tackle box & seat
RVing and fishing go together like peanut butter and bananas. Most fishing enthusiasts know how to use a 5-gallon bucket to hold their prized catch, but you can also use the same bucket as a tackle box and stool.
Instructables has a step-by-step guide on how to make a fishing bucket and seat from a square bucket and a gardening pad. The inside of the bucket holds tackle gear and lures and the top lid is padded for a nice creekside seat.
3. Tiny bathtub & foot tub
No matter how hard we try to avoid it, dogs and kids get dirty while camping. A 5-gallon bucket can be turned into a self-contained, albeit tiny bathtub for washing babies, toddlers and small pets.
Keep tear-free soap, shampoo, and towels inside the bucket when not in use. In addition, you can use the same bucket to wash off dirty feet after a hike.
4. Trash can & compactor
One of the most basic (and overlooked) ways to use a 5-gallon bucket is for both an indoor and outdoor garbage can. Buckets can easily slip into a larger RV kitchen or underneath a smaller RV or picnic table.
Use a garbage bag for easy cleanup and keep the lid on to deter flies. Furthermore, use two buckets to create a low-cost trash compactor.
5. Mood lighting
Spread some soft light around your campsite with a simple mood light. This project will require a white 5-gallon bucket that is semi-translucent. For this project you can use either a lightbulb connected to a 120 extension cord, solar string lights or solar yard lights.
To keep it simple, stick with a few solar lights, place them inside the bucket, and hang it from a tree or shelter. You can also make several light buckets to illuminate the ground around your campsite.