To potti or not to potti??

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 11:20
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Is it really necessary to have a porta potti ?I have never used one .But have wife and son 6years old now and want to go round Oz .Thanks.p.s.any recommendations be good
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Reply By: Jackolux - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:05

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:05
That depends where you are going , where you intend to stay / camp
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Reply By: dean ( SA ) - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:37

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:37
We had one those cheap folding toilet seats and dug a hole underneath it.
AnswerID: 597715

Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 13:39

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 13:39
I'll be blunt and to the point.
If you are going down the track of using a frame with a seat and dig a hole for three people to deal with excrement dig a hole deep enough and burn the toilet paper so when the deposit is dug up by dingoes and foxes etc which allows the used paper to blow about in the wind to decorate wire fences.
There are many rest areas equiped with toilets and public toilets in just about every town.
The porta potti can now be emptied at just about every town in Australia now. Usually there is a hose at the dump points so take some domestos and a brush along.
Look for dump point direction signs as you drive into a town.
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Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 14:32

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 14:32
We own a Thetford but have never used it.

When we do the big lap we might put it in the camper 'just in case' but otherwise there's always somewhere discrete to dig a hole etc.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 19:11

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 19:11
Unfortunately this is no longer the case.Many free camps re already overused & it is just not always practical to be able to take your shovel & walk far enough away from where others camp. No-one wants to camp on top of any number of filled holes.

Different story in mor remote & less used areas.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 14:35

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 14:35
Another option is a folding seat that suspends a bag with absorbent deodorising crystals. Google ezygonow.

The only times I've wanted one was when the trots struck or when in a CP at night, the weather is bad and the loo a long way off. In the bush I dig a hole.
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Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 14:37

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 14:37
Yes, please do use one. A porta pottior other brand is a great idea.

We come across the issue where people do not carry these and end up using the bush around camping areas. A lot don't even bother to dig a hole, and if they do, it's a scratch and as stated above it doesn't take long for the animals to excavate it!.
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Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 19:05

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 19:05
No they aren't really necessary but I would suggest that you get one anyway. Your wife and son will thank you for it especially in the middle of dark, wet nights or in busy campgrounds!
They aren't difficult to empty and there are dump points all over the country. Or, providing you use an environmentally friendly sanitiser/product then you can also dig a deep hole and bury the waste if you can't find a dump point.
Using Happy bowl liners will mean there is minimal cleaning required.
There is a range of different sized ones but with three of you I would think the biggest will be the most practical so you dont have to empty every day.
regards,
Heather
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 19:09

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 19:09
Just watch this and make your mind up . . .

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Follow Up By: Ozi M - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:09

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:09
I have never owned a potti, is it normally like this ?

If not why is this one so bad ?
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Follow Up By: Notso - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:20

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:20
Must have a week stomach!
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:33

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:33
Or a big night and a week stomach !! :D
The girls could have managed the task a lot better from the way they were laughing.
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 13:56

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 13:56
What a bunch of nancys this lot are.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:47

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:47
Get them a job working around a old meat works digester. That will harden them up.
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Follow Up By: Michaeljp - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 22:25

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 22:25
I worked on sewerage treatment plants for 11 years and i can assure you they don't smell as bad as dump points do. Treatment plants have digesters swell, aerobic and anaerobic, nothing compared to dump points.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 06:01

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 06:01
Micheal,

With the digester note 2 things. Old and Meat works.

Have used many, many dump points and I have never had a problem with excessive smell.
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Reply By: LandCoaster - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 19:49

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 19:49
Yes, is it really necessary to have a porta potti because it will make the differance between a
.
holiday or a holeaday and a hollerday... hehehehe
.
also, ask yourself this
How far can I walk,
How deep can I dig,
carting a big packed up number2

also, when looking at portapotties, check the depth of the bowl lest you be draggin' your junk thru the gunk...

be aware - Male Public Toilets are for loitering, not toileting..

omg, i am on fire tonight!... happy easter to all
AnswerID: 597733

Reply By: Member - brucek - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 20:26

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 20:26
We have used a Portaloo on all our trips with a commode frame over the top.
This is essential for my wife but I can tell you it is so good to have the convenience.

YES, YES, I know about the emptying. It seems from the video that we need to rustle up an bunch of spectators each time, to make it worse.

We use liquid Napisan as the chemical since it is cheaper and available everywhere. I can't compare the smell factors between chemicals, and I haven't had even a discussion about how often it should be emptied. Having said that we really use the park toilets as much as we can, so two weeks un-emptied was not unusual.

One secret is to make sure that any pressure build up is released slowly and controlled to be gas only, and upwind. A explosion is just extra laughs to the spectators.
AnswerID: 597737

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:42

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:42
Good on you Bruce, Its not that hard to empty and maintain is it?? Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 16:19

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 16:19
See main blog for answer
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Reply By: Robyn R4 - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 20:52

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 20:52
My hubby is an ex-shooter ("ex" thanks to Martin Bryant) and has been on remote properties many times, digging a hole when necessary.
He has this (quite reasonable) policy of "I don't want one, and if you want a portable loo, if you use it, you empty it".
Unfortunately I agree with him. It'd be a fantasy world to have me using the portaloo and having him empty it for me!
Why should he?
And honestly, I couldn't face doing the emptying routine!
On our outback travels over the past few years, it's amazing how many rest-stop loos I've found, how many servo loos I've been grateful for...and I've had to dig holes just a few times in very remote spots.
I'm a bit of a girlie-girl and it's probably been good for me to rough it a few times! It's all part of the adventure, in my books!

There's a lot of the "essential stuff" that we're not sure if it's essential in our own travels...so another idea is to try the trip without it. If and when you all decide OMG we HAVE to have one, head for the nearest big town and buy one...
Just a thought...

:)
AnswerID: 597739

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:10

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:10
Thankyou Robyn for a very honest reply


Happy and safe travels

Gazz
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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 00:40

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 00:40
Robyn R4 great stuff.Its funny I remember all we had was army surplus store .Now there are fancy shops for camping and junk mail.Essentials yes operative word.Sometimes get blinded by all the new gadgets and they take up a lot of space.I do not begrudge anyone but camping is camping and reason to do it is get away from home and all the bells and whistles we rely on for life support.I been lucky lived simple life in remote Nepal and also lived with Aboriginal family in Tanami Desert. Essentials water and food and lucky if Ihad a mattress.Maybe I am getting soft in old age.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:31

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:31
They are bulky yes but if you end up at a crowded camp somewhere with one long drop, you will be happy you took one along and they are blessing with kids believe me. You can empty it into the long drop in the quieter part of the day. There are plenty of dump points these days and emptying is not so bad and they rinse easily! We took ours to SA and Kangaroo Island at Xmas, we didn't use it but we had it if we did need it. Buy one and take it, much nicer for your loved ones!! Michael
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Reply By: Derek Jones - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:32

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 22:32
We initially started the 'dig a hole' routine but after finding ourselves on a couple of trips where the ground was extremely hard or very rocky and struggling to find a location to dig a deep enough hole (very deep) we have moved to the 'potti set'.

Our camping style allows us to drop into dump points and empty the loo on a reasonably regular basis. Means the camp site remains clean, there are no holes to be dug and with convenience of a dunny tent the long walk in the night is no longer required.

We have found the biggest odour emitter is urine. Finding space to set up a 'piss pipe' is relatively easy and this extends the duration between potti empties and reduces any odour issues.

PS emptying the potti is a family affair - we all take turns to fill - we all take turns to empty. Seems fair.
AnswerID: 597743

Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 00:24

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 00:24
Having your own toilet will really increase the number of places you can stop, and will be practically essential travelling with your son. Who wants to be woken up to escort him to the toilet block or out into the bush in the middle of the night?

We have been bush campers and a walk with a shovel was normal. When we got our caravan with a built in toilet it was like entering a whole new world. No longer did we have to choose campsites based on where there was a suitable place to "bush walk". Convenient at night, if unwell, and in wet weather even when in a caravan park or campground with a toilet.
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Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:10

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:10
Take a potti and your whole family will be glad - including you - and you will be doing your bit to keep camp sites clean and attractive! A short walk into concealing bush sounds great in theory but in many places is not practical. The walk can be long, the bush thin, the ground hard and the ants vicious. We have found too many camp sites (including quite isolated ones) fouled by the Just Dig A Hole brigade. These days there are far more people out there camping than there used to be and few want to do the really deep dig and burn routine - especially if they are only staying overnight! Their mess is being strewn everywhere! Emptying a potti is a breeze compared with digging and facilities are easily available. Don't bother carting the expensive and smelly chemicals - No Brand Napisan works fine and is environmentally safe. John and Lynne
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 10:46

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 10:46
John and Lynne, I think you have hit the nail on the head. In the "good old days" you certainly could have a camp with a "bush toilet". There were fewer people around, so finding a private spot that had not been already fouled was easier. With increasing numbers of people travelling a simple shower/toilet tent and a porta potti makes it much easier to find privacy without the need for a hole, and the apparent hassle of disposing of toilet paper so that it doesnt escape to decorate the surrounding area. (I say apparent because with a bit of thought and care its not really difficult). The advent of porta pottis is a bit of camping technology that really is worthwhile. If space is an issue, cull out some of the less useful stuff that we all invariably cart around.
Cheers,
Val.
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Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:42

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:42
Further to my earlier reply..I use Odour b gone tablets which just have to be dropped into the cassette so there is no mixing and you only need to put around a !/2 to a cup of water in with it. I find them really effective in controlling any smells and just had 6 nights away and emptied when i arrived home. With three people using it would obviously fill up more quickly.

I cant really see any issue with emptying it..just hold your breath as you lean over the dump point..for as long as it takes.... and don't wear thongs! (on your feet! lol) Since my husband died recently, I have to empty mine so girls, if the man in your life tells you that if you use it, you have to empty it, show him that you can.
There is a button to press to release pressure build up so make sure you use this when you empty to avoid any splashes.

regards,
Heather

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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:49

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 09:49
Hey Heather one of my jobs was to empty 2 portable toilets for camp of 40 odd people in the outback...good fun ha ha ha ..seems that most people agree should use a p.p. thanks for your input ..
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 11:23

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 11:23
LL,

We've been using the "walk & shovel" toilet system for many years, but after the Boss had a double knee reconstruction, we needed to rethink this old system.

Bought one of those toilet chairs, which are handy for quick road side stops, and later bought an Oztrail porta potti. I used this later purchase at the Big Red Bash last year, and was pleased with the convenience of it, tucked away in a shower tent. The toilet system at BRB was really stretched, and it was comfortable being able to "go" within a few metres of the camp, rather than the long walk to the porta loos, and the even longer wait in line to use them!

The Oztrail potty worked okay, but I found the seat to be too short, and blokes will find they need to rearrange the tackle to avoid any accidents. Went to Ray's in Townsville, and saw that the Thetfords potties are about 50mm longer in the seat, so would be much more comfortable for us blokes, and of course the ladies. Go the Thetford, in biggest capacity you can accommodate.........oh, and a shower tent.

Bob

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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 11:52

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 11:52
I have trouble with my tackle in toilet in house ha ha ha .My wife boughta fancy Dolphin toilet seat what for beats me ...but its smaller than original. .
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Reply By: Member - brucek - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 16:21

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 16:21
Mossvale Michael,

I would call emptying a PP unpleasant and awkward.

Maintenance is just rinse it out with fresh water.
We are leaving on a trip "Around OZ 2016" in three weeks, so for the benefit of this post, and the trip, I just checked it's condition. We left it clean with the Napisan in it about two years ago and it is fine, no smells, but the water is brown. I will do a flush and recharge before we go.

We have the PP on the passenger side of the car so that if we need to do an emergency stop (We've had some), we just open both doors grab the PP and chuck a rug screen over the doors. No time for the commode frame.
AnswerID: 597772

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:42

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:42
Bruce, a few years back I was pulled up in a roadworks line in very open country (can't remember where). Lady in her sixties got out of a vehicle and had to go in front of a lot of people. Hell I felt sorry for her but in the end her embarrassment would be short lived, as I guess no one knew her.

Porta potties rule.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 20:28

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 20:28
Bruce, I find emptying it is no way as bad as the inconvenience of not having one. But everyone is different, leaving the bush clean and with plenty of dump points along the way, its a no brainer!! Have a safe trip and enjoy! Michael
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Reply By: Steve - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:47

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:47
Another fan of the Potti. We dug a hole years ago but with the amount of vanners/campers on the road these days it is not only a hassle to dig a deep hole but finding a place that hasn't already been used is easier said than done - and some areas are disgusting. We have actually taken it to the next level and bought a 2nd potti of the same model and just carry the bottom (receiving half) section as a back-up so that if we are struggling to empty the potti, we have a plan B and the full one can go in a bin liner until we find somewhere and we use the 2nd receptacle. Only happened once but it's nice to know we have the option and they are fairly bulky (if you call 400mmx350mmx200mm bulky) but weigh next to nothing. Easy and handy - and if you've changed a nappy before you'll be able to handle the trauma of emptying.....and definitely use home brand napisan instead of those awful chemicals that come with the brand. Hardly any smell at all.
AnswerID: 597773

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:55

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 17:55
Used a shovel for most of the 40 years we've been camping, but there are so many people out there free camping now, that the backup of a $150 portapotti is a good idea these days.
Too much toilet paper confetti out there - unless you bury and burn, but burning your toilet paper might be a fire risk in some places.
The thetford chemicals cost $2 each time you empty - small price in my opinion - the green ones are "environmentally friendly and slightly smelly and the blue ones make you an environmental vandal but more pristine!!
Just buy one and take it if you're doing the big lap.
AnswerID: 597774

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 23:23

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 23:23
Go really environmentally friendly and your hip pocket will reward you Phil.Toilet Chemicals Blog

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 23:29

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 23:29
Haha funny you say that - my wife and I went to woolies today and walked past the Napisan section and bought a tub of the homebranded one. About time we tried it out.
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Reply By: Member - Trevor_H - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 20:48

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 20:48
As per the more recent posts, just buy one and take it with you. We did the Big Lap (some of it anyway) with a Hard Floor Camper in 2014 and it made life so much easier. Easy to carry on top of the camper and just put it inside at night. (Wife used a bowl for the urine and that saved a lot of emptying).
At Ningaloo Station we had to show the PP or hire one from them, current trend we found.
Not sure how you would dig a hole on the Gibb....none of the wis-bangs come with a shovel anyway, as evidenced from the mess.
AnswerID: 597781

Reply By: Robyn R4 - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 22:04

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 22:04
Very valid arguments for having one.
Must admit that we usually camp where there's a loo (whether it be a caravan park or outback property or rest stop or whatever) and have only had to stop in remote places a few times (ie remote from facilities!).
Yep, there are many places I've been that I couldn't imagine getting a shovel to break the surface!!
There's a popular camp spot across the creek from my home (we have blind rangers here who don't see the constant stream of illegal campers!!). Many people stop for the day and just as many do overnighters. There are no facilities and hubby says it's a bit of a streamer effect with toilet paper.
Maybe one day my bladder will weaken (or my knees) and I will have to join the club!
:)
AnswerID: 597784

Reply By: gbc - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 05:59

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 05:59
There are places where having one is compulsory. And there will be more in the future. Various zones on Fraser require them now.
AnswerID: 597789

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 11:59

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 11:59
Gbc thanks is there a list somewhere cheers
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Follow Up By: gbc - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 14:11

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 14:11
On the booking map for the various zones for Fraser there was a footnote if I recall?
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Reply By: 2000 Red Rodeo - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 17:55

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 17:55
39 comments about porta potties.
It's got to be said we here at exploroz know how to talk crap!
:-)
AnswerID: 597801

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