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Old 05-02-2017, 09:48 AM   #1
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First time using the Porta Potty

So, after five years of lugging it around in a cabinet, I used my Porta Potty in my SMB for the first time this weekend.

It just felt wrong.

Emptying it was an experience, too (liquid only, thankfully). I had one or two "note to self: don't do that again" moments.

It was convenient, though. Most of the time when we are traveling it's my wife, me and our 12-year-old son. The only place we could use it in our van layout is pretty exposed, so we haven't used it.

Not sure if I'll keep carrying it around or not, or only bring it when I'm solo camping.

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Old 05-02-2017, 10:02 AM   #2
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Well, at least you didn't have to bring a stick with you to make room in the box like say on an 18 day river trip and you start running out of sh*t cans. Not good when you're hung over.

I don't really like using mine either. PIA really but good to have along. We more often use wag bags and a bucket with a seat.

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Old 05-02-2017, 11:03 AM   #3
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We use ours quite a bit (please hold the snarky comments).

Our walk through layout puts it at the far rear passenger corner with a nice view out the back windows, which are pop outs for that fresh air feeling, and tinted for a bit of privacy and sun protection for those special parts. It all works pretty well. It is even usable at 70 mph on the highway (use the window shade if truckers are around)

Since I am the designated PP manager, and we go on six week van trips, I (we) have learned a lot and have user rules:

1. It is there for convenience, so if an alternative depository is readily available, use the out of van facility (minimizes the PP Manager's efforts)

2. If #2 is the calling, then use a Happy Bowl liners (may not catch it all but it will catch far more than not using one), deodorizing drops (crazy what two or three drops will accomplish), and PLEASE disclose what is brewing and about to happen so the other person(s) can prepare and go out for a walk. Also, open some windows and use the Deodorizing spray (in addition to the drops), if needed. The bowl is to be left super clean, nobody else cleans up anybodyelse's stuff.

#3 If we are going through elevation changes - leave the blade valve just ever so slightly unlatched a bit to allow for air pressure changes.

For the PP manager:
Always use good quality and and quantity additive in the holding tank, do not short change this. Make sure to always carry a new bottle as back up. Make sure there is enough water added to the holding tank to cover the bottom to begin with, as well as enough water in the upper supply tank.

Make sure the PP is secured so it does not tip over while driving. It is never a good thing to hear a sound, look at each with the "What was that?" look, look in the rear view mirror and realize the PP is over on its side and loose. I have had it happen. FORTUNATELY, nothing has ever leaked out, but it is a high stress inducing moment.

Emptying the holding tank - Any bathroom will do, but if the tank is really full, it is going to be heavy and it is not going to be pleasant (btw - picking up steaming mushy dog (big or small, but bigger is worse) poop isn't pleasant for me either, I put them on about the same par). It is really good if there is fresh water available to do a couple of rinse outs before adding the Holding tank additive to the now empty tank. If not, then just make sure there is enough extra water from somewhere to add to the holding tank and additive. Having a dedicated one gallon jug for PP water transfer needs is handy. Trying to add water to a PP directly from a drinking fountain is NOT going to go over well with anyone, and is not even good for my own mental health.

Hand gel and disinfecting wipes are really nice supplies to have on hand.

We love ours and consider an essential piece of van equipment.

Okay, need to go pack up some swivel bases for the rest of you. Maybe a swivel base for the PP, hmmmmmmmm.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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We use ours sparingly, only when necessary. But at those times it's very helpful.

It's not enjoyable emptying that bad boy.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:53 AM   #5
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We have an older one that was given to us by my girlfriends grandma. It is probably 20 years old and brand new. I'm not sure if I want to go through the trouble of learning how to clean it.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:10 PM   #6
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We use ours every time we go camping and even when just on road trips. Like 1der, ours is always accessible, so my wife can use it while at speed on the highway if the need arises. That's a pretty rare occasion, but it does happen. When we're on a weekend camping trip, we are able to use the PP exclusively without filling it up. We use the Curve by Thetford, and love it. It's a nice height and holds a lot of 'stuff' (5 gallons). Since it's in the rear compartment and can be easily partitioned off, we are able to use it in perfect privacy. If that weren't the case, I'm guessing we wouldn't be using it anywhere near as often.

Cleaning the Thetford is really easy, and I have an RV dump station near my house which just adds to the convenience. I've had to empty it in the toilet at home before, and I'll never do that again. We use Thetford AquaKem deodorizer (the whole bottle, not just half) and it works awesome at keeping the holding tank really clean and smell-free.

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Old 05-02-2017, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by capnkurt View Post
We use ours every time we go camping and even when just on road trips. Like 1der, ours is always accessible, so my wife can use it while at speed on the highway if the need arises. That's a pretty rare occasion, but it does happen.
Wow. Wouldn't it be better to pull over first?

I just can't imagine getting into a wreck while doing you know what.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:47 PM   #8
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We dig holes if camping in the outback. But at night in campgrounds, we use dedicated yellow Nalgene bottles for #1. You need to rinse them well after dumping or the odor gets bad. 30 years ago, we didn't need to use anything at night. Ah, the young old days.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve_382 View Post
... 30 years ago, we didn't need to use anything at night. Ah, the young old days.
Ain't that the truth.

For #1, I found these TravelJohns invaluable. There are a few gymnastics involved to use them properly in a teardrop trailer, so using them in an SMB should be a piece of cake.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:27 PM   #10
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We use ours on all trips. And yes I am the PP person. Have never had issues with it and the place of choice to empty it is in an outhouse vault. With age we are using it much more (middle of the night) and I now prefer to empty it when it is 3/4 full rather then having to carry a full one. I like it and my wife considers it a must have. Our van layout puts it in a dedicated bathroom space at the back of the van with a curtain door.

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