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Portable Toilets at Campsites

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 7 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Toilet Camping Portable Toilets

One of the most important questions we’re often likely to ask if we’re going to be staying on campsites where we’ve not been before is, “What are the toilet facilities like?” On certain campsites, the toilet facilities will range from state of the art sanitation systems often attached to shower blocks which are just as modern and clean as the toilet you would use at home. Other slightly less salubrious toilets would consist of a non-flush system where you’d simply sit on a conventional toilet but all the waste would be collected in a large sanitation tank beneath you. Or, if you’re wilderness camping, you may need to consider taking a trowel with you to dig a pit which you can use as a toilet. For those who are a little squeamish and are camping off the beaten track, a way around this problem is to buy yourself one of the latest portable toilets that doesn’t depend on a water or drainage system.

How Portable Toilets Work

Portable toilets are comprised of two sections. The upper section looks just like a conventional toilet with a toilet bowl and detachable seat and lid, combined with a flush water tank. You fill the top section with water and add a measure of chemicals to it for the purpose of rinsing and a further measure of chemicals is also added to the lower section in order to break down the waste matter.

Don’t Portable Toilets Smell?

Unlike the large sanitation tanks used to collect waste in toilets without a flush mechanism on some campsites which can omit a foul stench, this doesn’t happen with portable toilets. Basically, after you’ve used the toilet, you pull a handle, usually at the front of the toilet, which opens the sealing plate which separates the upper and lower section of the unit and this allows the waste to drop down into the lower section. At the same time the release of the handle also activates the flush mechanism and once that’s completed the handle is then pushed back which closes the plate between the two sections so that no unpleasant smells can be omitted.

Emptying Portable Toilets

Some models come with a level indicator which is built into the waste tank which lets you know when it needs to be emptied. This is an easy procedure. There will usually be a handle at the back of the toilet which will separate the two sections and then the waste section can then be taken to the nearest emptying point and most campsites will cater for this. There will usually be a vent button which is held in to prevent any unpleasant splashing and then once the tank is emptied, it’s a simple case of adding chemicals to the waste tank once again and then the two sections can be reconnected ready to be used again.There are obviously different models of portable toilet and various sizes too and, whilst they may work a little differently, they’ll all tend to follow similar procedures. The flush mechanism is usually powered by several standard AA batteries.

Portable toilets are obviously an ideal option if you like to know in advance what your toilet options are going to be and they are extremely popular with campers, caravanners and boaters alike.

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Ultimately, there's nothing attractive and endearing about portable toilets, no matter where they are. Fro all that they're not supposed to smell, they often do, especially as emptying day comes near. For women they can feel quite humiliating at times as people don't seem to treat them too well. Wherever possible, choose a campground that has permanent, not portable toilets
Donna - 14-Jun-12 @ 8:38 AM
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