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Old 02-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #1
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Bathrooms...

I will preface this with I'm a girl and so I know that I don't understand this.

What's the deal with bathrooms in Sportsmobiles? Even though I just bought one I still look at the ads regularly. It seems that it's pretty rare to find one with a built in bathroom. Is it just an issue of space? I realize that this is probably a less important topic for you guys then it is for the gals. I kind of wanted a smaller shower/toilet set up. But looking at mine I can see it's tight for space.

And as a follow up, mine doesn't have one. Recommendations? How do you set up at night? Showers? Do you just use a solar shower bag or is there some trick I'm missing? Is it worth it to have a privy tent?
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:50 AM   #2
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Re: Bathrooms...

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.)
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: Bathrooms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxie
I will preface this with I'm a girl and so I know that I don't understand this.

What's the deal with bathrooms in Sportsmobiles? Even though I just bought one I still look at the ads regularly. It seems that it's pretty rare to find one with a built in bathroom. Is it just an issue of space? I realize that this is probably a less important topic for you guys then it is for the gals. I kind of wanted a smaller shower/toilet set up. But looking at mine I can see it's tight for space.

And as a follow up, mine doesn't have one. Recommendations? How do you set up at night? Showers? Do you just use a solar shower bag or is there some trick I'm missing? Is it worth it to have a privy tent?
I think it's mainly about space vs. comfort vs. convenience. A flush toilet and shower requires a lot of space inside, plus the space for a larger fresh water tank, plus the space for a water heater, plus the space for sewage tanks under the van. This is all space that could be used for living, storage, or ground clearance under the van.

We rely mainly on primitive toilets and solar shower, but also have a porta pottie and do sponge baths too. If we're at an RV park, they usually have indoor bathrooms anyhow.

We used to have a motorhome with full plumbing, and found that it was a lot of work to fill the tanks, dump the tanks, wash out the tanks, winterize, de-winterize, and maintain the equipment vs. the amount of comfort it provided. This is especially true for short trips. If we were taking longer trips or lived in the van, it might be a different equation.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: Bathrooms...

An SMB is a small camper and space is at a premium. How much space do you want ot allocate to something that is used only minutes a day? That is a question all SMB buyers had to answer. And the usual answer is a porta-potty And it is the reason that a toilet/shower in an SMB is small. And then you have deal with the holding tanks.

We have and use a porta-potty. Compared to a built-in toilet, it is very easy to empty, and takes up very little space when not in use. Both my wife and I use it and wouldn't want to give up precious space for built-in toilet/shower.

See the thread about porta-potties:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9021

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: Bathrooms...

Thanks. As I suspected it's about space/utilization/weight.

I'm going to look into the Thetford Curve and a few others that were linked in the other thread.

As an offshoot question since it came up above....other then draining your tanks is there anything else to be done for winterizing?
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:00 PM   #6
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Re: Bathrooms...

Just to show we are all different, we have a 24x48-inch bathroom with shower in our Sprinter and it works great for us and is well worth the space. We camp for weeks or more (planning a 2-month trip to Alaska). It is well worth the space for us. I am 6'2" and it is plenty big enough for me to take a great shower. We have a 40 gallon water tank. Filling it takes 5 or 10 minutes.

Winterizing our rig takes under 30 min. This requires pumping pink anti-freeze liquid out all the faucets, and draining the fresh water tank and water heater. We don't sanitize our fresh water tank. Instead we drink out of gallon water jugs.

Find lots more information about our rig and winterizing it by clicking on Vanessa below.

Hope this helps.

David
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #7
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Re: Bathrooms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamadave
Just to show we are all different, we have a 24x48-inch bathroom with shower in our Sprinter and it works great for us and is well worth the space. We camp for weeks or more (planning a 2-month trip to Alaska). It is well worth the space for us. I am 6'2" and it is plenty big enough for me to take a great shower. We have a 40 gallon water tank. Filling it takes 5 or 10 minutes.

Winterizing our rig takes under 30 min. This requires pumping pink anti-freeze liquid out all the faucets, and draining the fresh water tank and water heater. We don't sanitize our fresh water tank. Instead we drink out of gallon water jugs.

Find lots more information about our rig and winterizing it by clicking on Vanessa below.

Hope this helps.

David


Ditto that.

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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Re: Bathrooms...

We use the SMB porta shower setup (a enclosed curtain which hange from the ceiling and snaps into a Rubbermaid tub). It takes a few minutes to set up or take down, and we are frugal with the water. Id say about 2 gallons per shower. I added a tempering valve to the flat plate heat exchanger, which makes control of the warm water much easier (safer). We also have an outdoor shower setup which we like in the desert, but the internal gets the most use.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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Re: Bathrooms...

Wife reserved veto rights on any SMB that didn't have a BR. We finally found one. Glad we did. It may be un-guy like, but like a lil privacy!
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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Bathrooms...

Ours is was built in 1989 and does not have either a shower or toilet. We currently have a 5 gallon solar shower that we setup. It hangs off the rear tire carrier. We will be getting a Curve sometime this spring. This will make those nighttime runs to the campground restroom a thing of the past. Need to get the drawers shifted around first though.
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