Shower / toilet tent

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:04
ThreadID: 104187 Views:10669 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
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The good lady has agreed to do some freee camping and wondering on the best options for toilet and shower tents. We have a Jimmy Thunderbox toilet and a 12V Primus shower as well as a canvas bag type shower.
Looking for different options for tents. Don't mind paying the money for quality as my opinion is buy it once, buy it well.
Is it better to buy a double or two singles. Have been looking at the Oztrail. Are the pop up ones ok or better to go for something more substantial.
Looking at using it about 4 trips per year with a 3 month trip coming up this time next year.
We are camping in tents, towing a lockable trailer with our 11 YO.
First free camp trip will be to Menindee lakes in November.
Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: philw - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:36

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:36
We have used the pop up version and it is fine but I have just purchased the Oztrail because it looks like a better candidate in the longevity stakes. The Oztrail might also be a better option if the wind picks up. Make sure that you peg out all the guy ropes.
AnswerID: 517652

Follow Up By: phantom - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 22:01

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 22:01
Thanks Phil,
Was tending to go for this sort of Oxtrail unit as we really want a set up for all climates so something we can set of for a week or so in heavy weather.
Cheers & Beers
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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:43

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:43
One of the key ingredients to the shower tent is to have a waterproof floor membrane. Without this you will be showering with your feet in mud.

I have a thick vinyl floor (Bunnings) which is exactly the same size as the base of the Oztrail shower tent. However the vinyl on its own will become very slippery with water and soap, so you need to have something like a rubber door mat to provide grip.

We have a Thetford Porta-Potti so we do not need a separate tent for the toilet and the shower as both are not used at the same time. We put the Porta-Potti in to our camping trailer or tent of a night as an en-suite. (Happy wife - happy life)

The instant pop-up tents are great, as long as you learn to fold them up properly. They are a piece of cake to fold up once you know how; there are many videos on YouTube showing you how. The quicker the better; don't mess around with more expensive options.

Be careful of the Jimmy Thunderbox in sandy terrain as when you sit on it, it will sink in the sand and tip over; I went close to a disaster when this happened to me.

Good luck.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Follow Up By: Teraa - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:55

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:55
There is a double pop up with 2 compartments no worse in folding but little harder to put up but my favorite gives you somewhere dry to put your clothes in the shower. Has all the bells and whistles - hanger for your shower head etc... Definitely go along with a floor tile.
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Follow Up By: phantom - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:57

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 21:57
Thanks Rob,
Having a mental picture of you in the thunderbox in sand. LOL.
Will be setting these up right near our tents as a sort of ensuite and definitely agree with the happy wife theory.
How is the Thetford? This is also an option for us.
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Follow Up By: phantom - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 22:05

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 22:05
Hi Teraa,
Will most likely use a rubber mat with 30 odd mm holes in the shower tent. Like the idea of a place to put your clothes.
What brand are you talking about? Or do you have a link?

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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 23:27

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 23:27
The pop-up type will not suport your canvas shower tent (or for that matter the black plastic bag types.) You need one of the more substantial tents for this. We only use a single tent and get away with that OK.
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 10:23

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 10:23
We originally bought a single and after a few trips bought a double. The double is so much better. We also have a Thetford and a Jimmy’s. We have been on the road for 5 months so far on our current trip (camper trailer) and had never had to get the Thetford out. (There was only one place where we were going to stay did the rules require a self contained toilet, but for other reasons we decide not to stay there anyway.) We have decided that we will not be taking it with us on any more of our trips. Remember with the Jimmy’s you can dig a hole or use a bucket. In both instances we use an environmental bag (obviously when using a hole we cut a hole in the bottom of the bag.) When using a bucket we then dig a deep hole nearby to bury it. Kevin
AnswerID: 517673

Reply By: Derek Jones - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 10:31

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 10:31
Whichever way you go with a pop-up tent make sure you get some decent pegs that suit the ground you'll be erecting your tent on.

I find the standard issue 'sub-standard'
AnswerID: 517674

Follow Up By: phantom - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:51

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:51
Hi Derek,
We always take a range of spare pegs. Was caught out once trying to get pegs in at Kings Canyon. 2 hours in total to set up the tent. Very shallow rock base there. Now, we could set up on Uluru LOL.

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Reply By: Member - flashcher - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 12:33

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 12:33
We have a pop up, single en-suite tent. It has a hole in the side with a cover that velcors over - we use this to feed the coleman shower head through and to stick our hand through to turn the coleman on and off. It doesn't have a floor however we use one of the handy tubs to stand in and can then re- use the water if need be to wash down the car, van etc.
We also use a port a potti and leave it inside even when showering, with the lid closed it comes in handy to put soap, shampoo etc on.
The only down fall we have found is it also has a hole in the top with the Velcro cover and rain will pool/drip through here, we just bought a cheap tarp and put over it.
AnswerID: 517676

Reply By: outback epicurean - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 13:35

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 13:35

We graduated from a hanging solar type shower to an OzTrail tent with a small primus 12 volt pump in a bucket of hot water. Heat up the water in a couple of kettles, put into a 10 litre bucket, 50:50 hot and cold is about right. Chuck the pump in and then use the hand held shower while standing in a larger 20 l softer bucket. That way your feet get a good soaking, there is not mud everywhere and you can dispose of the water as you need. We find 10 l of warm water is plenty for 2 people top have a good shower.

No tent is strong enough to support the hanging type shower which are PITA as the outlet is too low and awkward to hang up and use.

AnswerID: 517678

Reply By: yarda - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 15:58

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 15:58
G'day Rob,
I purchased the Outback Canvas shower tent to use with my jimmys thunder box and my 12v shower kit.

It is a very sturdy canvas tent with 2 poles and a spreader bar, sets up in about a minute with 4 pegs at the base. Free standing with no ropes. Comes in a sturdy generous bag with heavy pegs.
I think I've had it about 8 years and it's great, has withstood some big storms too, which is handy. Only downside is it has 2 open triangles at the top - great for ventilation but if raining with a cross wind you can get a little damp on the throne.

Cheers Brad.
AnswerID: 517681

Reply By: phantom - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:45

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:45
Thanks everyone for your feedback, I appreciate the knowledge shared.
Will most likely go with a heavier type tent and stay with the thunderbox and 12V shower.
Bucket in the botttom is a good idea. Does anyone make a collapsable bucket large enough for the bottom, similar to the canvas water bowls you can get for dogs?
Agree that you need something on the floor to keep feet clean.
Happy camps

AnswerID: 517694

Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 21:49

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 21:49
Hi Phantom.
Something else you may consider. I had thought about making my own pump up shower by using a good quality pump up spray unit and making up a shower head. In the US there are lots of these availible some even with wetsuit type material so they heat up like a solar shower and act as insulation to keep the water warmer if you have to boil a kettle etc. After lots of searches found one here for sale on the net even though it had to come from the uk to the seller. Made by hozelock which is a brand i knew to be good quality and comes with a shower head and 2meter hose. I made my own wet suit cover for the container. Fill it pump up and shower anywhere and also good for washing reels etc. For $53 wasnt worth making my own and anyshower tent will do as there is nothing to hang up.
Cheers graeme
AnswerID: 517702

Reply By: Member - Ossiejs (Qld) - Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 02:03

Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 02:03
Hey Rob,
Can confirm other responses. Recently bought from Tentworld Brisbane an Oztrail pop-up ensuite. Nice large size - 120cm x 120cm, and 210cm high. On special, and 40% off at the time. Floor is easily removeable, and I use a couple of light Foam Floor Mats inside and outside the tent to keep tootsies clean. Supercheap and most camping suppliers should have the mats. And as suggested, have a range of pegs for various ground types likely to be expected. Pegs supplied might be useful for lawns, but not for sand, or hard ground.
This site has a helpful video, useful to learn how to collapse the tent quickly and easily, though I had to practice a couple of times to perfect it. It seems almost impossible until one work out the technique. BCF site also has a useful video.

This tent is not designed to carry the weight of a full canvas or solar shower. I use the 12v primus shower, sitting in half a bucket of warmed water.

And, it's your call really on whether you buy a single or double unit. Size. Weight. Convenience. Time in one location. As long as the dunny paper is kept dry!

Enjoy your trips. Might see you by a billabong one day.

John (ossiejs)
AnswerID: 517793

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 10:14

Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 10:14
Hi Phantom,
We have just moved to using a pop-up shower/toilet tent. We got an Oztrail - one of the cheaper models, and as a first tent I'm glad we went that way. According to its label it has fiibreglass/steel strips which are enclosed in a sleeve to make the whole thing rigid, though not very strong when erected - certainly not strong enough to support a shower bag full of water. The upside is that the frame is soft enough to make folding fairly easy and with a fair bit of practice we can now fold it up quickly. But in the process of practising we have almost worn through the fabric sleeve at the top of the tent, so before long either repairs or a replacement tent will be necessary - so Im pleased we didn't invest too much initially until we got the hang of the whole system. We have assisted others to fold an identical looking Oztrail tent but its enclosed strips were much (very much) stiffer making folding very difficult (for a novice anyway!).

The video referred to above uses the method we use (although we braced the top of the tent on the ground, which wore through the fabric sleeve) but does make it look very easy - much easier than we experienced while we were learning how to do it. The chap also seems to be demonstrating on a tent with very soft, flexible support strips. There are a number of videos on U Tube too. My advice is to do a LOT of practice before you set off on a trip. Doing ten rounds with a toilet tent, trying to fold it while your travelling companions are waiting for you to set out at 8am is not a fun experience!

Having now used ours a number of times I would suggest getting a tent with the biggest footprint and the least amount of slope on the sides, especially if you are a taller or bigger person. We have used ours for both showering and using a portable toilet. You can't put the toilet too close to the wall or the lid will want to close, but unless you do there is not a lot of room with the door closed.

When showering we put a folding chair just outside for our clothes, towels etc. There is no way they would stay dry inside the tent. We use a couple of the jigsaw foam mats inside to stand on. Two layers works well on sandy ground.

The walls get wet inside either from showering or from condensation overnight - not much you can do about that, but although there is a bag to hold the toilet roll, in practice the paper would get petty soggy if you left it there overnight. On a very dewy morning though the first person to use the tent might get an unexpected cold shower from condensation falling from the roof and walls. Maybe give the tent a bit of a shake before entering.

On balance I have been pleased to have the tent and the portable toilet, but just be aware that there are a few tricks to getting the best and most comfortable use out of it.


J and V
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AnswerID: 517803

Follow Up By: Member - phantom - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 09:34

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 09:34
Thanks John & Val and Ossiejs for the info,
Will definitely do a few "erections" before heading off.
We have some of the jigsaw matting to take with us and a cahir outside for the clothes is another good idea, as is giving the tent a shake first thing to get rid of condensation.
Wil l just use the 12V primus , not the shower bag.
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