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Old 05-06-2012, 11:09 AM   #1
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Porta-Potty

Over the years, I've had several forum members ask/comment about porta-potties. Most of the comments were negative and some refused to use one.

We use ours regularly and have never had issues, so I thought I would share our procedures and let everyone chime in with different experiences.

First, it is wonderful to have some facility inside and not have to go out when it is cold or rainy or in the middle of the night. So we started using it with some reservations at first.

The most important lesson we learned is to slowly vent the P-P before you use it. If you change elevation you may find an explosion when you flush, and you really don't want to be sitting there when that happens. I slowly vent it before I open the lid. Do it every time and you won't forget the one time that you should have done it. My P-P will vent the storage compartment if you pull the drain handle ~1/2" out before fully opening it. You can hear the whooosh of air venting from the temperature change either during the day (vent pressure out) or over a cool night (letting air in).

After some experimentation, we found a toilet treatment/deodorant that works for us. TST, available from Camping World:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/pr ... iquid/2352

You may find other products that work as well. Make sure whatever you use is safe for septic systems.

Water rinse after every use. Ours has an electric flush and after 8 years of use the batteries still do the job. Sometimes you need to wipe up residue that doesn't rinse away cleanly.

The worst part was and is always remembering not to put TP in it. A radical change from civilization, or normal practice for many parts of the world. That said, we use it and a 'trash' bag for paper.

I never let it get full. The dang thing is tooooo heavy when full. I try to dump it at no more than 1/2 full. With the swiveling drain tube on our P-P it has been no problem to dump it. Make sure you hold down the vent valve (button) when you dump to prevent GLUG GLUG GLUG and big splashes. A slow start will make the drain much neater.

A couple of hints. When solids are in the tank, let the P-P sit for awhile (better yet, drive for a few hours to stir it up) so they can liquify. A thick liquid dumps much better than liquid and chunks, cause after the liquid is gone there is nothing to push the chunks out. Rinse the tank thoroughly, 2-3 or more times. Shake it up, turn it upside down, etc. when rinsing to get all surfaces as clean as you can.

Never let the P-P go more than a week without emptying it. After awhile, the treatments are no longer effective and you may get odors that will linger and defy your best attempts to eradicate them. Even if it has only been used once or twice, clean it thoroughly before storage.

Before you start using your P-P it is a good idea to practice emptying it. Fill it as full as you want with plain water, empty. Repeat but vary the use of the vent valve (button) and speed you use to dump and find a method that you are comfortable with.

Then, get out there and go camping and enjoy it!

Mike
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: Porta-Potty

Aaaight Mike! Well done on the description... particularly like the one about how the "chunks" won't come out after the fluid is gone! And all jokes aside, 1/2 full is, in fact, too full 'cause they really are heavy.

Now for a tangential hijack: I KNOW Y'ALL ALL GOT SOME SMART-@SS REMARKS ABOUT THIS SUBJECT... I'm bettin' Mike wants to hear each and every one of them.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #3
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Re: Porta-Potty

OK, I'll kick off with this little poem. It is a riff on some ol' folk rhyme from childhood days.

The night was dark
The sky was blue
down the trail a Sportsmobile flew

I loved my wife
thought I'd never quit her
'til she got splashed by the flyin' shitter

How'd y'all like that one?
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: Porta-Potty

Quote:
Originally Posted by twogone

How'd y'all like that one?
That one needs to be made into a SMB Forum sticker. I'd proudly place it front and center on my groover.

If you and Christine ever experience the "flying shitter" fail, I hope she runs up to you and gives you a big hug. You deserve it!


You crack me up!
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #5
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Re: Porta-Potty

In days of old,
when men were bold,
and toilets were not invented,
They'd lay their load
in the middle of the road
and walk away contented.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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Re: Porta-Potty

I'm not sure Mike was planning to hear all this crap
I sure hope anybody who has a porta potty doesn't have "for a good time go to sportsmobileforum.com" scratched on the vans wall!
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:45 PM   #7
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Re: Porta-Potty

lol on the poems...

my experience with a porta potti....

i have a thetford 465 with electric (battery) flush...greatest invention in the history of man i say...

been going strong for almost a year...never an issue

i full time boon dock in my van so i use my thetford daily unless at work or elsewhere...

i use thetford campa chem deodorizer and whatever tp i can get thats septic safe...

i empty about 2x per week...typically tuesday/friday....full or not (usually its full)...

i remove the top part and carry the bottom part (there is a built in handle) into the facilities at work to empty it (yes you must hit the vent valve)...its heavy but not terribly so...bout the same as a car battery it seems...

i never have an issue with tp or chunks or anything getting stuck...it all seems to come out pretty easily....i suppose its because i empty it 2x per week...and lots of it is liquid (??)

i have mine stored under the bed in a compartment built for that purpose...one gripe i have is that its somewhat hard to pull out to use when its more than half full...i thought of making some kind of sled with a rope handle and those furniture moving nylon discs on the bottom to make things easier but havent gotten around to it...

i find that if i keep the bowl really clean, the flush is more effective at moving things along...

the 465 holds about 4 gallons of flush water and 5.5 gallons of waste...

odd as it sounds...its one of those purchases that make me feel like it got my moneys worth and then some...good job thetford...

really, the biggest issue with it is getting into my office bathroom when no one is around..fortunately, its just about always the case...
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:06 PM   #8
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Re: Porta-Potty

Yes, and we really like and use our Pak-a-Potti 6000. It has a 3.2 gal. fresh water tank and 6.1 gal. black water tank. Has a manual pump. We also try to empty it when it is partly full. Completely full at 6.1 gallons means a full waste tank weighs in at over 48 pounds. TP goes into the toilet and we have not seen any problems with that. We do use the Aqua-Kem Toss-Ins. No mess no fuss but cost more.

The plastic bellows manual pump had to be replaced (cracked at one of folds) at the ~6 year point.

If we are at dump station I will give the black water tank a rinse. If at an outhouse just dump it and put it back in service.

My wife considers it a requirement and I find it very convenient.

Our first home brew I it was stowed in a compartment that also served as part of the bed platform. I big middle of the night mistake, had to tear a corner of the bed apart to get at it if needed. Our present dedicated bathroom solves that problem.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #9
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Re: Porta-Potty

Wilson sports a Thetford 135
small
easy to clean
bellows pump

when full of waste,
seperate and "loaded" portion
is the size of a briefcase but square
easy to dump

use some blue goop from Ricks Trailer

no clogs
no smell

CAN over fill....
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:57 PM   #10
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Re: Porta-Potty

I love not dealing with the porta potty at all after a few nasty experiences on boats and when nature is not handy enough, I use 'Poo-packs' or whatever they are called . Double plastic bag with a gelling/deodorizing chemical that neutralizes the contents. Drop the bag into the dry toilet, drape the bag over the seat and get to work. As long as you are comfortable squishing air out of the bag and then wrapping the two bags up when done, it is foolproof. Just throw the bag in the trash or if you are worried, a dedicated air tight container works. I use a PVC tube with a screw top for kayak trips. Never get's clogged, uses no power, never needs emptying and makes no mess. Even comes with TP and wipes in every pack.

IMHO it is one of the great advances of the modern world. Beats flush toilets every time.
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