Thursday, 15 January 2015

Potti Mouthed Talk

The question about whether I'm freezing my girlie nadders off living in a motorhome is undoubtedly the most popular one that I get asked.  Second on the list comes a cluster of inter-related queries about my toileting arrangements.    Now I've solved the stuck paper problem  emptying the porta potti is very easy indeed.  It's a smelly job but simple.  The cassette is housed underneath the bowl itself in a little cupboard outside the van.  It's unclipped and  carried to the disposal point.  A screw top lid is opened and the whole thing tipped up whilst I look the other way.  I  rinse it out and put a tiny bit of water back in the tank. Then I add the chemicals.  Blue Bio is my toilet fluid of choice partly because its bottle incorporates a nifty measuring device.  A couple of shots go in the tank and one in the flush compartment.  That's then topped up with water and then we're done. The whole job takes less than five minutes.  Even so it's one of those chores that reminds me of the preciousness of water.  It becomes blatantly obvious when you carry every drop that you use.

Lou's porta-potti etiquette has come on a long way since last summer.  Guests have to be 'trained'. The flush mechanism, turning a knob to open a trap and then pushing the button seems to perplex a fair few.  I've ended up with a bowlful of blue water on a number of occasions.   And an overflowing tank that was not a breeze to deal with!  I have to remember not to be a grumpy-grumps when this type of thing happens.  It's a different regime that's not quite as simple as pushing a cistern handle.

A number of keenly thrifty types think I should be using the campsite loos in preference but I disagree.  Klaus the Knaus is my compact little home and being able to 'powder my nose' without a long trek normalises living here.  Some motorhomers, mind you, have other views.  We met a family on holiday who never used theirs.  Liquids went into plastic bottles and were tipped in hedgerows. And get this!  Whenever they passed solids, a phrase that instantly conjures up visions of Royston Vasey. they lined the bowl with a carrier bag and then disposed of the 'brown fish' in the nearest bin. When Louis was invited to use their facilities he scurried back to our own van.  I didn't blame him one little bit!  It's an idea I might adapt when wild camping and mains supplies aren't close to hand.  It'll enable me to stay off grid longer.  But as for it being a permanent arrangement.  Well, there's a big fat resounding no from both me and my boy!

6 comments:

  1. I agree with you about using your own facilities, perhaps you could direct visitors to the site ones. I used to camp every year and actively encouraged visitors to go to the block, it was just easier than explaining several times. Off grid camping is a whole different kettle of fish and it is a requirement in many places that you remove all your waste when you leave.

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    1. Yes they normally do go to the block but if they're staying the night or its wet and windy I banish them. Would not contemplate binning waste myself. Had other ideas around saving it to flush down a conventional loo once back in civilisation or doing that thing burying it with a trowel like I've done when wilderness hiking. Won't be giving it too much thought until the need to do this arises! x

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  2. There's a whole new world of etiquette here! Jx

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  3. There are other uses for Porta Pottis than simply camping. When my father was terminally ill, the only loo was upstairs but he just couldn't manage the stairs. It looked as if he would have to spend his last months in his bedroom, simply because of proximity to the bathroom. We adapted the downstairs rooms so that he could live downstairs and bought a Porta Potti for his use. Ok it was a bit of a pain to empty, but it meant that he could live a normal-ish life. As he got weaker we moved the PP closer to him, until it was next to his bed - but he didn't have to go through the indignity of bed pans and was able to die in his own home. Provided that there is someone available to empty it, a Porta Potti can also be really useful for the old/infirm.

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    1. Ah yes! I'm an occupational therapist and think I might have issued a few in my time from the equipment store for similar purposes.

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