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On The Commode Again

Eldo, our original overland home, is a 2004 Jeep Cherokee. We outfitted her, in the limited space available, the best we could. She’s quite comfortable and we really only want for a few other things. One of which is a toilet. We did quite well perfecting our relief skills over the years in all imaginable places in various countries and continents. This in itself is worthy of future writing… There are many mornings and evenings where it would have been nice to have a private toilet handy. Give us enough time, we will figure that one out.

Rado, our North American based home, a fully functional Roadtrek Camper Van, came to us with all the comforts we wanted. Heat, air conditioning, kitchen, indoor table, headroom, and a flush toilet. Our time with her teaches us that a toilet is high on the want list in all future homes.

We bought Yolo, our Australian based home, knowing that she did not have a toilet. However, we were optimistic that we could add one. We researched the subject long before we took possession of her. The idea of a self contained minimal maintenance composting toilet really intrigued us. However the issues of size, expense, and logistics, were ultimately too much to consider. Free room in Yolo is limited and we just couldn’t fit it in. When the time comes to replace Rado’s plumbing, we may have room there to upgrade technology, and are excited about a future project that liberates us from frequent dump station visits.

So, we really only had one realistic option, the portable chemical/cassette toilet route. Surprisingly there are many options to explore here too. Armed with our uncompromising space dimensions and a realistic budget, we visited a BCF Store north of Perth. After narrowing down the toilets that would actually fit in the allotted space, Elizabeth placed them all on the floor and began the ever important “sit test”. We settled on the “Wanderer” basic model with 10 liters of waste capacity. No bells, no whistles, no empty/full gauges, no heated seats. We like simplicity.

10 liters is not much volume. In fact, at best it gives us 3 days range before dumping. Fortunately, so far, Western Australia wisely has dump stations in almost every town and in strategically placed rest areas. The 3 day limit has been acceptable to us. Rarely do we boondock in any one place for longer than that. If we do, it just becomes an item on the to-do list… drive to the nearest dump station and unload. The 10 liter volume is physically easy to carry, dump, and clean. We aren’t sure we would want to handle more weight than that anyway.

Early on we abandoned the fresh water flush feature. It’s inefficient, adds a lot of weight, and fills the waste tank quickly. An occasional disinfecting spray in the bowl keeps things clean. Opening the bowl-tank valve while pooping allows the careful aimer to poop right into the tank without dirtying the bowl. Adding some fabric softener and laundry soap to the waste tank really helps with the clean out. We are in and out of dump stations in minutes… dump, fresh water rinse, disinfection and a quick wipe-down. PeeWee (yes, even our toilet has a name) is good as new, stored out of the way, and ready for action.