Should we pay to pee?

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 20:28
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Hi all. Sitting at Packsaddle Roadhouse early this afternoon having lunch with the wife and kids. Obvious toilet and food stop between Tibooburra and Broken Hill. While we are eating some delicious pies, two rigs pull up. Nice setup with latest Prado and top of range ultimate camper in tow. Out gets about 5-6 of the passengers and its obvious they are looking for a toilet walking all round the outside. They eventually stick a head inside the verandah where we re sitting and ask where are the toilets. You have to go through the shop front into the back says I. Oh I see says the nice lady in all the right camping apparel and the big sunnies. De we have to pay she asks. I think that is what is expected I reply. Well, 3 minutes of discontented discussion about one of hem going back for a purse and how ridiculas that one should have to pay. Eventually they decided to all go but not buy anything as we have everything we need for the trip.
Wife and I had short chat and thought this was pretty bad form. The roadhouse employs nice people, 2 youngsters from the UK on working holidays to help run the roadhouse. One of them was cleaning the toilets while we were there and they were spotless. Surely it's not too much to ask to buy "something" from the shop as contribution to ensuring they keep open or everyone? They do actually suggest it nicely with signage on the toilet doors.
What do you think?
Graeme
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Reply By: kevmac....(WA) - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 20:54

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 20:54
if you are not buying anything at the establishment, then there should not be a grizzle about paying a small fee to use the toilets...............otherwise head up the road and hide behind a tree
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Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 20:58

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 20:58
Don't go to Europe if you're too tight to spend a penny/euro. I think if you patronise the place that ought to suffice, if not you pay. Not easy to administer of course, particularly if there's a large group. Perhaps they could introduce a PeeBuys scheme where you accumulate points? Just a thought.
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Follow Up By: Pathycop - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:05

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:05
I may not have been clear sorry. I was just asking is it acceptable to use the facilities without maybe buying something whilst there even if just a bottle of water so you t least contribute to the provision of the facilities. Although charging specifically to use the toilet would sort out the free loaders!
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:38

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:38
In Europe the roadside Inns have 3 or 4 food outlets on either side of the highway, the cost is about 1 euro for a visit some places have a donation system and some give you a token as part of your meal.

The toilets in these places are of a 4 star standard 24/7, so well worth the price.

Phil
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:02

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:02
My son is as tight as a fish's butt and wouldn't pay in Italy. He found if he walked in and said Bonjourno and kept going then he could get away with it. He did the whole country without paying once. Now it's a family joke if you get a freeby it's called a Bonjourno. It's his only character flaw... :-)
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 20:59

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 20:59
Love it Mike. Amazing how much fun can be had with in-house codes like that. "It's the youth" became a running joke for reasons I won't go into here on a recent visit to Europe. Never failed to bring a smile to our collectives dials.
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:07

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:07
I agree with those ahead of me. Pay or buy something.

Phil
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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:50

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 21:50
If they're too tight to buy something why didn't they just stop on the side of the road?

I'd hate to think they were the type of people that have wee stop and leave their toilet paper on the ground.

I'm always keen to buy a chocolate milk or coffee or or sticker something.

Steve
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Follow Up By: abqaiq - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 02:55

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 02:55
We were at a Hunter Valley vineyard talking to the vintner. He told us about a tour bus load that drank the wine and listened about the wine for a hour used the restrooms then bought one Pepsi and left. Takes all kinds!!

We always buy something if using the facilities, it is only right.

Abqaiq
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:25

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:25
Not making broad sweeping generalisations, however suspect this is also a by-product of the the coastal Highway fast food joints. No-ne really thinks twice about using the facilities as a) they get plenty of trade and probably don't care and b) given the monopoly of the McChucky-King-Chickens on higway stops, you really don't have any other option at times.

People expect the same in more remote places without thinking:

1. water can be short
2. power is quite often coming out of a deisel tank
3. they run on tight margins and are short staffed and
4. any trade keeps them open and there..

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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:39

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:39
Always stop at Packsadde for a Mrs Mac pie or two and a drink.
Lovely roadhouse, lots of character, nice friendly staff.
Clean facilities for patrons!!

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Follow Up By: Pathycop - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:46

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:46
Lol! That's exactly what we had. Agree very clean facilities and lovely young staff. If no one stops to buy something whilst using the toilets the place won't be there when you might need it most!
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:54

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:54
A roadhouse toilet is a private toilet provided for their customers, not a public toilet. Of course they should purchase something for the privilege - or expect to pay a fee. Even for public toilets in some towns you pay. In Alice Springs the servo didn't have one - you have to go into right into town, go upstairs above Woolworths and pay 50 cents. In Kalgoorlie it cost even more - I think it cost about $1 at the shopping centre :O .

When my family toured Europe quite some years ago, fuel outlets were just that - not shops as well, and public toilets were often 'not nice'. Travelling shorter distances than in Australia, we always saved room in the fuel tank for at least ten litres for when we 'needed to go'. They didn't always have one for the public, but in these cases always showed us to theirs - often a French style out the back of the garage, or in one case, upstairs to their own in the dwelling attached to the fuel outlet.

Mh

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:59

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:59
unfortunatly the cost at those places isnt related to service.

ahh how can i put this .....

it stops locals living in there

at kalgoorlie its a short walk to judds pub for a free tinkle from that pay dunny
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:02

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:02
Same reason in Alice, and why the servos and shops don't have them or keep them locked.

I don't feel right using one at a pub for the same reason - it is there for customers and I would not be patronising the pub services.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:24

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:24
"we always saved room in the fuel tank for at least ten litres for when we 'needed to go'"

Thought you were going in a whole different direction with that!
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:35

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:35
LOL

Now there's a thought - a p-powered car :O

Any inventors here?

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 00:46

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 00:46
So does that mean a BP employs a whole hive and gives them all the beer they can drink??? (;-))

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: jacent - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 09:44

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 09:44
Kalgoorlie public toilets cost 20c for non concession and 15c for pensioners, this payment is not paying for cleaning or anything but deters the native Aussies from hanging in and around the toilets so the ladies have somewhere safe to go.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 09:59

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 09:59
Thanks Jacent. I thought we paid a whole lot more than 20 cents as it seemed a lot to pay. That was in 2007. 20 cents is nothing really - with inflation probably cheaper than the old British "Spend a penny" - where it took a penny in the slot to open the door. Tough if you didn't have any change :O.

Mh

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 11:48

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 11:48
Morning Mother Hen

I believe that since the formation of the EU it is no longer politically correct to say " spend a penny" whilst referring to ones ablutions.

The correct terminology is to "euronate" LOL

Have a great one

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 16:47

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 16:47
Motherhen posted:

Now there's a thought - a p-powered car :O

Oh dear, Motherhen what have you started?? :-)
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Reply By: get outmore - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:54

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:54
obviosly your all kids if you dont remember the days where to use the dunnys in department stores there was a lady who would charge 2c for the dunnys. later it got changed so the only charge was for the ladys - mens was free
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 12:03

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 12:03
Yes! your quite right GOM.

I also remember the man in the elevator at BOANS in Perth would even drive the elevator up to the floor with the toilet on.

The loo lady sat behind a small counter and would scowl at my mum when she left us (boys) outside while she went to the loo.

BTW - if I pull into a servo and need to go - happy to buy something or pay for the privilege. If I'm in the bush happy to go behind a tree.

Cheers

Anthony
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Reply By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:05

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:05
Hi

Wouldn't worry about it to much - they probably contribute to the economy overall as much and possibly more than most others. I would suggest people get on with their holiday and stop judging people they encounter on the way. You'll have a much better time. My suggestion - have a laugh and continue on.

By the way - if any one out there is busting for a leak - give me a ring - you can use my dunny for free and I will ask nothing for it :)

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Longtooth (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:20

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:20
The whole world is my dunny:)
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Follow Up By: Pathycop - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:22

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 23:22
Thanks for the reply explorer. I am not worrying about it at all I'm sure thy do contribute to the economy more than most others. I am getting on with my wonderful holiday with my beautiful family and was not passing judgement on anyone I'm still having a good time and can't imagine having a better one. Thanks for the suggestion. We did have a laugh and have moved on.
My post was merely a conversation point regarding an interesting conundrum I observed whilst on my holiday and wondered what other people's thoughts were about doing what we can to keep these remote service centres running. Sort of conversation you might have around the camp fire. Isnt this what a forum is about? Now we all know your thoughts but If you see no value in a particular forum conversation then exercise your right not to join in and move onto the next thread with your same "stop whinging" whinging.
Thanks again
Graeme
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 00:57

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 00:57
Hello again

Fair enough - I get your point...and good to see you classified your post as a "whinge" based on my rigorous, previously commented on standards :)

Anyway..all evens out

Not that long ago we had people "conversing" (AKA "whinging" depending on subject matter/target audience/take on life) about over priced/bogus coffees at roadhouses - now we have a thread about some people sneaking a free pee in at a roadhouse. I wonder how many free pees make up for one overpriced coffee? :) I think I may have paid for my own private toilet at some roadhouses as I, more often than not, don't use the free "toilet bonus". Wonder if I could sell my credits on eBay :)

I think we would all be more interested in a blog on your trip.

Have a good one.

Cheers
Greg

PS: Only taking the piss and unlike you, I have paid to do it :)
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 08:08

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 08:08
Hi Greg

What a great topic!!!! Ha

I don't think that there was any whinging. Rather just a chat about a conundrum that some feel. Especially when you have to ask for the key. No way a whinge mate. I don't think anyone here is tight or selfish. Just a topic. Ours is not the place to judge etc.

Have a good one

Phil
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Follow Up By: Pathycop - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 08:47

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 08:47
Wow! Thanks for dropping by again explorer and for sharing your obvious superior intellect and financial standing. ;):)
When I do buy my membership is there a box I tick to obtain such superior attitude or do i get it for free once I have imposed my personal standards on the rest of the unwashed non paying contributors? ;)
Seems people must enjoy a "whinge" on this forum as this thread has more than twice the number of posts than any other ;)
PS: I like being able to use the smileys to lessen the blow ;) or is that just an intellectual way of using sarcasm, I have much to learn.
Thanks
Graeme
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 11:35

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 11:35
Hi Graeme

No worries, glad to help :) :)

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 16:56

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 16:56
Hello Phil

Sorry for delayed response, didn't actually state it was a whinge myself, that was a self assessment by the OP, which I went along with. I am just often surprised by the subject matter some people choose to comment on. No big deal, takes all kinds and this is why most of my comments were suppose to be light hearted (hence use of :) though they appear to have been misinterpreted/misunderstood - not sure the last tirade was warranted - maybe it was? Superior intellect and financial standing? I don't think so. My comment related to being a paid up member was a joke.

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 00:40

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 00:40
I would have thought that anyone with a good business head on their shoulders would have facted the cleaning/ cost of running the toilets into their variables, so the people who buy there are actually paying for the facilities, therefore, if someone comes in and doesn't buy the cost is already covered anyway, if they charge that person it's a kind of double dipping, if that makes sense.
Now before anyone jumps on me, I've got no problems with buying/ paying for the use of ablutions, we are the first to buy before using any facilities and if there were two facilities side by side, one at a cost, the other free, I would be using the one at a cost as I could just about guarantee it would be much cleaner than the freebie..... It's just the way I see it....
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D


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Reply By: Member - LG__ - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 01:21

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 01:21
If I am buying something in the shop, I feel the price to use the facility is probably already factored in... and I can use the inside toilet which is meticulously maintained.

If I am passing through and don't need to purchase anything...a donation could be asked for in the form of a money tin on the door to the outside dunny... or some such. Said donation could be earmarked for the RFDS who will rescue you when gastro bites :-)

I don't recall ever paying to pee in Kalgoorlie but it is over 2 decades since I've been there. Glad to be forewarned!

More recently I paid to use a public toilet at a train station in Perth, and again to use a public toilet near the family law courts... Langley Park perhaps?
So it isn't just remote area roadhouses that might expect you to pay.

It's time to store lots of 20c pieces in the ash tray for parking meters and toilets!
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Reply By: Member - silvwayne - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 06:45

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 06:45
I think it is good manners to buy something if you use the toilets. I always stopped at Packsaddle when I used to shear in the Tibooburra area. Always friendly and clean and good food. Friends of mine used to have the pub at Milparinka before the public toilets where built. There biggest gripe was the not the freeloaders using the toilet, but the ones who flogged the toilet paper as well. Used to happen regularly and not just one roll.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 23:17

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 23:17
Perhaps that is why the pub closed ??

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Reply By: Tim - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 07:06

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 07:06
If anyone has been through Barringun there is another example of this. 130km from Bourke and about the same to Cunnumulla. Old Mary (80 in the shade) got sick of "free-sh1tters" (her words not mine) and has now put a sign up that her toilet is only for customers. So many people stop, walk over the road, read the sign and turn around and walk back to their rigs and drive away. The coke might cost you $2 but the conversation you have with Mary is priceless. People are obviously too busy and or too tight.
Tim
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Follow Up By: The Bunyip - Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 14:40

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 14:40
Tim,
Spot on. We were in Barringun travelling north in Oct last year. I saw the sign too but as a family we'd already decided icy-poles to cool down were in order.
Having read the various responses, it made me realise without giving much thought previously, that I can't remember ever stopping at a roadhouse without buying something, be it a can of drink, a bag of chips or just something for us to nibble on.
Like most travellers we take the majority of our food & nibblies with us where possible. So this forum has made me realise I'd already been helping the "local economy".
Most importantly though, often the people you meet on ther way at the various stops are often the reasons why some of us often go back. To simply use the toilets & leave, you may miss something worthwhile.
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Reply By: jo b1 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 08:35

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 08:35
We were greeted by unfreindly staff there last year but appreciated the situation...had a slash...bought a beer and had our picnic lunch up the road.
J
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Reply By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 10:26

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 10:26
just using the toilets.. I wish that all the free loadersever did .. haha
We have peoplepull up, grab all their lunch gear out ofthecar and set up at the tables on the front verandah, then use the toilets, and if we're lucky, they may buy an icy pole..
Then there's the lovely onesthat set up camp in the driveway outside the gates, was one last night actually.
I hope my spotlight didn't accidently wake them..

Cheers
Al
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 10:27

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 10:27
bloody broken space bar ..
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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 19:26

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 19:26
One thing I don't think anyone touched on; we're lucky that most of our toilets, public or not, are actually useable. A lot of toilets in Europe are unusable and you'd be very lucky to find paper in the traps. I know we come across occasional vandalism etc but nothing compared with a lot of other countries. A small donation or purchase is a small price to pay.
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Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 20:25

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 at 20:25
One of the caravan parks we use to stay at when we were kids in the 1970's charged 5 cents to use the showers I think it was a deterent for the local beach goers these days they have swipe cards for guests which is a lot better.
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Follow Up By: The Bunyip - Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 14:43

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 14:43
The Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park maybe??
I remember those days vividly.
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Reply By: Member - Magic (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 15:38

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 15:38
Hi Pathycop

I agree with your sentiment, that these places need support and it would be courteous to pay or purchase, however, I do have an issue with your generalisations.

I own an Ultimate, and probably wear what you refer to "all the right camping apparel" and definitely wear big sunnies.

Does that somehow have an effect on my behaviour?

I'm sure there have been similar instances of this kind of attitude from all sorts of passers-by. I'm not sure I like the tone of your message.

Just saying!
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Reply By: Member - Magic (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 15:43

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 15:43
Hi Pathycop
I agree with your message, that these places need the support of the travelling public, and it would be courteous to either pay or purchase something if you’re using the facilities.

I do, however, have an issue with your generalisations.

I own an Ultimate, and I probably wear what you refer to as “all the right camping apparel” and I definitely wear big sunnies.

Does that somehow have an effect on my behaviour?

I’m sure there has been similar attitudes displayed by all types of passers-by.
I think there might have been better ways to get your message across.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Magic (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 15:46

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 15:46
Hi Pathycop
I agree with your message, that these places need the support of the travelling public, and it would be courteous to either pay or purchase something if you’re using the facilities.

I do, however, have an issue with your generalisations.

I own an Ultimate, and I probably wear what you refer to as “all the right camping apparel” and I definitely wear big sunnies.

Does that somehow have an effect on my behaviour?

I’m sure there has been similar attitudes displayed by all types of passers-by.
I think there might have been better ways to get your message across.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Magic (VIC) - Friday, Apr 19, 2013 at 07:32

Friday, Apr 19, 2013 at 07:32
Oops!!! Feel so strongly about it that I posted my reply three times.

Sorry.

J.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Apr 19, 2013 at 19:29

Friday, Apr 19, 2013 at 19:29
Oh well that's one way of getting your poit accross
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Apr 19, 2013 at 19:30

Friday, Apr 19, 2013 at 19:30
change that to 'point'
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Reply By: DavidJC - Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 22:41

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 at 22:41
I recently bought an Ultimate camper - not quite top of the range - but I don't think I have all the right camping apparel and my sunglasses are ballistic rather than big.

I agree that roadhouses are an important part of outback travel and it would be difficult to get around without the convenience of a roadhouse when it's time to fill up. However, I don't see the need to stop at every roadhouse and/or buy something I don't need when I do stop at a roadhouse.

I recently bought diesel at Kingoonya for $1.60 per litre. A little closer to civilisation, the Glendambo roadhouses were charging $1.75 per litre. Such blatant profiteering didn't really inspire me to spend my hard earned money but I did buy a couple of things I didn't really need - and I didn't use the toilet.

I'm not sure why anyone would stop at a roadhouse just to use the toilet but I'm also not sure how paying to use the toilet will make the difference to a roadhouse's viability.

Cheers

David
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