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Old 02-13-2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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Re: Bathrooms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pritikin
One random guys perspective...

"Shower" and "Bathroom" are entirely different things.

A shower is a difficult thing. It takes up a lot of space and uses a lot of water etc. and everything gets wet anyway. As much as I really like showers I'll probably avoid having one until I'm in some beast of a motorhome/trailer. I've found a careful sponge bath works well enough. Washing my wife's hair on a long trip has been a two person job ("water boy! pour hot water, please!"). And of course in the summer a sun shower works well. The first thing I'll improve in this area will be an outdoor privacy curtain setup followed by water supply.

A bathroom is a private place. A portapotty would be more than sufficient for us; so we don't even carry one. When somebody else is in the van it isn't "private" so when in the wilderness we find a private place outside. We have a stash of 'wag bags' that see infrequent use but are extremely valuable when needed. We have a "pickle jar" that's seen some use when stealth camping in cities. If outside isn't a private place then somebody would have to go take a walk which isn't ideal but we're in a van afterall! shrug. At least we have the option.

(A wag bag in an emptied bucket or shoe bin makes a perfectly fine "porta potty" for the infrequent times we've ever needed it. If this ooks you out then perhaps buying a real porta potty. I find the tradeoff acceptable since I never need to clean anything out -- just toss the bag in the first trash you find.)
I'm in this boat^^^. Now if I had a Sprinter I would have a shower/head combo. Size matters in this issue IMO. Black water tanks take up a fairly large space under the van. If you have room for a porta pottie, don't mind to service it, more power to you and I'd say that is the way to go.

Of all the things that refresh me, a submariners bath is fine in most cases but just a shampoo in itself is refreshing. I can get several hair appointments with a 18 gallon tank. As long as you are conservative with the trigger on the shower wand, you'd be surprised how many full body showers you'll get. Also there is always waterless shampoo which I use a lot.

I have an Espar Hydronic but can also just use the flat plate for showers provided the engine is hot.

I'm not into heavy side sports and a sponge type bath usually supply me enough comfort plus uses a fraction of the water. I have both a rear and side shower wands. In a Ford van you can make a goat yoked shower curtain off the two rear back doors when open. Of course every insect flying around might find their way into the van. I use the side shower port and a pop up privi to shower in when the bugs are out but really the pop up is the way to go 99% of the time.

The pop up shelter also serves as a private head and I too use wag-bags when necessary. Added cat litter helps with oder but I have to admit disposal can be an issue. You need to find a dumpster. Yet generally its easier than dumping a porta pottie and I enjoy not having to dump or clean any portable or marine head. If you have family, dumping a black water tank isn't as bad as having to dump something a group of friends left behind for ya...just a mindset I guess.

I will say, with a guy only having to step outside for most mother nature calls, it's quite simple. YMMV Cold don't stop me but rain is an issue. The pop up is handy except in adverse weather such as high winds. As far has the head, a five gallon bucket can be used and can be stowed in a bag that serves as a holder and garbage bag. I use white water bags lashed to the rear of the vehicle and the bucket serves as a container to hold the unused wag-bags, cat litter, and lid. Much more comfortable than a groover.

At times I carry this one and prefer it:


I also won a backpack canoe head that I've never seen before but there are some similar types out on the market. Guess you could make your own. I stow it inside the van for those late night emergencies
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:07 PM   #12
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Re: Bathrooms...

We try to always be by/use restrooms whether on the road or camping. Still the porta potti is great for an alternative to filthy public bathrooms, emergencies, boondocking and that first pee in the morning. The most important thing is probably that it fits, as in tucks away in the SMB and the thetford is nicer (my opinion) to not have to bag out your waste (e.g. the bucket sh*tters) because often when there is not even a pit toilet, there is also not trash service.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:05 AM   #13
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Re: Bathrooms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
We try to always be by/use restrooms whether on the road or camping. Still the porta potti is great for an alternative to filthy public bathrooms, emergencies, boondocking and that first pee in the morning. The most important thing is probably that it fits, as in tucks away in the SMB and the thetford is nicer (my opinion) to not have to bag out your waste (e.g. the bucket sh*tters) because often when there is not even a pit toilet, there is also not trash service.
When you get to be of a "certain" age, especially if you are male, onboard facilities take on a slightly different urgency at night! I would hate to be stumbling around in the dark outside 3 or 4 times a night, and my wife probably would frown on my whizzing out the door...!
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:48 PM   #14
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Re: Bathrooms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chromisdesigns
my wife probably would frown on my whizzing out the door...!
I know mine does!
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:33 AM   #15
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Re: Bathrooms...

Yes, even though years ago I was heavy into backpacking, comfort comes into play with almost everything revolving around my SMB as age creeps in on me. Stepping outside to whiz by a tree hasen't hit been a problem yet, but crawling out of the bunk to stand in rain several times at night isn't the most wonderful thing in the world Having to walk to a campground head is even worse. Add beers into the picture I did get razzed by a couple of guys when I set up my Privi tent but it is worth having IMO.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:21 PM   #16
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Bathrooms...

Solar shower for us if we're at all remote and the sun's out. They get plenty hot and the water is on the ground. We have a water heater but have yet to shower with it. For daily use, it wastes too much water getting to the sink. May be on our mistakes list when I get around to it.

Portapotty, OTOH, is worth it. The boss poo-poohed the idea--guess who used it first. We have no storage for it but it's a great Ottoman and just right for sitting at the sink or stove.


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Old 02-16-2013, 10:52 PM   #17
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Re: Bathrooms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rionapo
We have a water heater but have yet to shower with it. For daily use, it wastes too much water getting to the sink. May be on our mistakes list when I get around to it.
Yup, seeing all that water go to waste was an issue for me but I now have an outlet next to the flat plate and it is a new game. Still with the rear wand I was able to get several showers out of it.
Washing dishes takes very little water for the most part and I bring potable water to drink and cook with so what else is the on board tank for? I actually use very little water from the tank. Sometimes I back up to the fire and use the rear wand to put it out. Other than that it's a shower water container.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:04 AM   #18
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Re: Bathrooms...

Jaxie -- Take a look at Wish41's SMB that is for sale and his gallery. He has an interesting shower/tub setup right behind the drivers seat which is a good alternative to consider versus a full cabinet. It looks like this configuration allows the drivers seat to swivel. There is a curtain for privacy and you could probably store a porta potty there.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:38 AM   #19
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Re: Bathrooms...

I'll add a slightly different perspective since so many of us camper van types do so many different things with them. Some of us are hardcore, multi-day off road/off grid types so setting up a shower or bathroom in the middle of nowhere is not a big deal. then there are others (like us) who are 2WD and mostly just enjoy the mobility and simplicity of a smaller rig.
We have a porta-potty and since we got used to it, I will NEVER have a travelling vehicle again without one. Our kids are small and it has been a life saver many times. No lines, no filthy restrooms. Do your business (small business) and keep rolling/sightseeing/whatever. Even when the kids are grown this will still benefit us. We don't have a shower and wouldn't want to compromise space or haul water like many above have stated. What we do is typically find a shower every 3rd night or so in a motel, sponge bath in between, and find places where we can 'sort of' bathe in between like a swim in a river or lake, or maybe a dip in a pool. We mostly take longer trips in the warmer months, so this works out fine for us. It's really just about careful planning. We have not suffered too badly yet doing it this way.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #20
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Re: Bathrooms...

I suppose my posting is to offer a little balance to all the good information and good opinions. We elected to not have a PP mostly because we felt it was not needed. Having spent 10 years camping off a motorcycle before our SMB, we became quite accustomed to doing without. There always seemed to be a restroom somewhere we could use and the thought of having a PP in our SMB seemed a bit off putting. Certainly there is convenience but so far we're doing just fine and like not having to deal with storage, cleaning, etc.
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