While not a pleasant subject, I have been wondering how to handle
this necessary problem. I have been used to using the woods itself
while in the back country, and using a carryout ammo can with kitty
litter when camping on fragile Maine islands, but the Ambulance
camper will need a more permanent means of waste disposal since
we will be going places where the nearest bush may be someone's
front yard honeysuckle.
I don't like the idea of holding tanks, but
have the cheap and omnipresent portable loo's been a good way to
go for any of you?
For those of you that do have an onboard
facility, does it ever cause any odor or spill problems in rough
terrain? Has it been worth the space allocation, or would other
less convenient options be better?
ANSWER - I have had a porta
pottie in the Rover for almost 3 years now and really like it. Esp.
at 3AM when there is a freezing rain outside or in the morning when
there are a bunch of guys up and about near my and their Rovers,
my bladder is full and the nearest private location is way in the
heck across the desert. I have found it to be very convenient and
it fits into my philosophy about leaving no trace of my camping
I have the smallest commercial porta-pottie with a built in holding
tank because it fits the space I have available. The main difference
between mine and the larger ones is the size of the built in dump
The little holding tank is good for about four days for one person.
It could last a lot longer if you use it for defecating and relied
mostly upon outside locations for urinating.
Porta-potties depend upon the chemical additive to break down stool,
toilet paper and to eliminate odor. Many of the traditional additives
have a strong smell that masks the odor with another one. There
are new chemicals on the market that pretty much eliminates it.
When not in use, the toilet's dump tank is sealed. No odor can
get out and there is no possibility of spillage. This presents a
problem when you go from a low altitude to a high one. The pressure
differential makes the sides of the toilet bulge a little. This
can be a problem if you stow it in a tight space and need to remove
it from the space to release the pressure.
You can do one of two things, leave the inside top opening slightly
cracked open when making major altitude changes or open the top
seal very slowly when there is positive pressure.
Toilet paper should be single ply because it breaks down faster.
You can get expensive paper packaged for portable toilets but I
suspect that it is just standard single ply.
Personally I would never go on a run without it anymore. I think
the added convenience more than pays for the space it takes up and
the inconvenience of emptying and cleaning it.
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