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-   -   First time using the Porta Potty (https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f9/first-time-using-the-porta-potty-19452.html)

BrianW 05-04-2017 07:15 AM

For me, the only time I'd really use it is when stealth camping someplace like Walmart, etc., and particularly for my wife and son. We'd like to take advantage of parking-lot camping more, but the bathroom situation always gives us pause. Otherwise, the good-old cup or dedicated bottle works fine.

daveb 05-04-2017 07:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1der (Post 202366)
A stick??? Sounds like operator error as in failing to: 1. Use enough holding tank additive, and 2. Not enough water when flushing. I guess if PP is only used for #2 that could lead to that type of problem along with too much paper?

Yeah Ray he did mention that. He said he doesn't use RV paper and thought that my be an issue.

jpau00 05-04-2017 08:27 AM

Being a woman and doing mostly stealth camping, the PP is essential. I can remember being much younger and trying to hide behind a cactus in New Mexico to take care of first morning business. Or wandering around San Francisco trying to find somewhere open at 3am to use their facilities because I made the stupid mistake of drinking a large latte late in the evening (sorry, I just can't bring myself to pee in someone's driveway). The PP is much, much preferred.

Econoliner 05-04-2017 09:36 AM

We had a Thetford Curve for a year but it was a constant headache. The flush switch failed on a trip and pumped the fresh water contents all over the back of the van. Thetford wanted over $100 for a switch assembly that might be worth $10 at retail. I rigged up a 9V battery and switch that worked fine. Our trips typically last about a month, but no matter how careful you were, it needed a serious bleach and garden-hose session in the driveway when we’d get home. I won’t tell any stories, but you definitely had to be mindful of pressure changes in the mountains.

My wife is pretty adventurous, but I didn’t want anything to sour her on van camping, so I bit the bullet and got a Natures Head composting toilet. It has been awesome!! We can easily do 30-day trips with no emptying of the lower unit. The liquid container is very easy to deal with. There is absolutely no smell and it has a tiny (quiet) fan that helps the composting process but also creates a little negative pressure at the opening (unless the van is sealed and the Fantastic Fan is going full blast out). It comes with a vinegar spritzing bottle that works great. If we’re in a situation where we’re somewhat confined to the van and someone needs to go back there and get medieval, we have a curtain (and the radio).

I read a good tip on another forum: to extend emptying time, it helps if you make a distinction between “yellow paper” and the other kind. The former can go in a little trash bag while the latter goes in the lower unit. It’s really nice not having chemicals, water and all that weight. We use the coconut coir.

I mounted it in the back of the van where it’s easy to use and clean out. It’s tied through the floor with stainless T-nuts that easily unfasten. It’s the same height as our sleeping platform so it provides a little extra room. Every square inch matters in a van.

1der 05-04-2017 10:02 AM

I looked at the Natures Head units and was really interested. It gets excellent reviews. I think it is s good solution for the right set up. Ultimately for us, the NH requirement for a vent to the outside required drilling another hole, the head cannot be moved from a "stored" position, and more importantly, having a pop top and sleeping above the vent nixed the NH idea.

The manual pump works great on our PP, I was not impressed with the idea of an electric head pump.

Having had boats and been around boats big and small for much of my life, I am VERY familiar with the holding tank aromas, pumping out, treatments, fixing stuff in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Marine toilets are bad but try cleaning/replacing a shower sump pump 500 miles offshore. Our PP has had no odor issues, nothing to replace, super convenient.

Maybe goes without saying - but #1 use is always done sitting regardless of gender.

Econoliner 05-04-2017 10:22 AM

I vented our unit through the floor behind the left-rear wheel. The venting is not really nasty, like residential plumbing or something like that. Sometimes we don't even run the fan. The initial composting is very fast and the fan is primarily used to control moisture level in the coir. It comes with very high-quality flexible vent pipe that might be configurable in a slide-out situation.
Yes, you were wise to get the manual pump on the Thetford! Simple is almost always better.

Fitz 05-04-2017 10:28 AM

I am in total agreement with 1der's comments above. The manual pump PP works great, and cleaning it is no worse than changing a messy diaper. The convenience FAR outweighs the maintenance.

rallypanam 05-04-2017 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fitz (Post 202386)
cleaning it is no worse than changing a messy diaper.

Yeah, that's not really a glowing endorsement.. Made it 46 years without changing a diaper, don't want to start now.

rionapo 05-04-2017 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpau00 (Post 202371)
I can remember being much younger and trying to hide behind a cactus in New Mexico to take care of first morning business.

Cacti require a careful examination of the clearance to the rear. :b1:

Don

1der 05-04-2017 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rallypanam (Post 202397)
Yeah, that's not really a glowing endorsement.. Made it 46 years without changing a diaper, don't want to start now.

And what about Ella?? :)
But when camping she takes care of herself in the woods :d8:


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