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Old 12-30-2020, 10:06 PM   #1
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Name: chabang
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Outdoor shower question?

Hi all, For those of you that only have an outdoor shower set-up....do you use it? What did you set up for privacy and do you dispose of the water somewhere or just let it run into the ground? I've been strongly leaning toward a Happier Camper and figured we would just get a popup tent for a luggable loo and outdoor shower. From my research though, it seems that outdoor showers are problematic. Some have said that national parks will not allow you to use them because of grey water run off. I'm really not interested in collecting the water and disposing of it after....seems like a huge pain. So, what do those of you with an outdoor shower option do?
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:36 PM   #2
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Mine is mounted low on the passenger (door) side of the trailer so that we can wash dishes outside under the awning. I also have a suction cup bracket that holds the shower head if I wish to shower outside when boondocking in a remote site, which isn’t often. The one time I used it there were others around so I showered in a bathing suit. If there were no others around, well, I wouldn’t bother with an enclosure. As far as National Parks are concerned, I would much rather stay in campgrounds outside of the park because I do not like having to make reservations months in advance; I don’t want to be on a fixed schedule. And they generally have bathhouses that allow you to take a shower of the non-navy type. Six gallons of hot water do not go far. Therefore, for me, it doesn’t matter what the National Park policy is on outside showers. But if I were to stay in a National Park campground and wanted a shower, I would do the navy thing inside.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:44 PM   #3
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Its grey / gray water

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Originally Posted by chabang View Post
So, what do those of you with an outdoor shower option do?
Some campgrounds call any water that has touched the human body grey water and it cannot be dumped on the ground. (Even Nomadic Fanatic's hot tub.)
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:39 PM   #4
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We have a 13' scamp, no bathroom. We have a shower tent we bought from Walmart. Make sure it is a shower tent as the poles are stronger. We use an item called the Pocket Shower and works really well for us. We do use Biodegradable soap also. We only use when boondooking. Many parks require grey water tanks on trailers or some kind of catchment system. We also use a cleanwaste toilet, that is a bag system. Their bags are kind of spendy, so going forward we will most likely use a biodegradable trash back and an item called Eco Gel.
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:19 AM   #5
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If you can figure out how to get the grey water into it, you could try using something like this to filter the grey water from the shower:

https://www.doityourself.com/stry/bu...y-water-filter

Assuming I can go camping sometime next year, I'm planning to make one with the extra layers of activated charcoal so I can do some testing.
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:48 AM   #6
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In the White Mt. National Forest, in NH, the campgrounds do not want you to wash anything at or near the hand pumps they have around the campgrounds and want you to wash dishes and assumedly yourself at your site, throwing the waste water into the woods. I know of even one of the present hosts that use a portable shower enclosure and just run a hose off a ways into the woods.
Been doing it for years.
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Old 12-31-2020, 05:48 AM   #7
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I'm not aware of any National Park that will let you dump your gray water on the ground. I think most State Parks have similar rules but lots of those have shower houses. Probably even in Forest Service campgrounds, where you can dump your waste in the woods, they wouldn't like you to set the thing up in the actual campsite. Funny story- we had the mixed luck of camping at Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP one year during TX spring break. A bunch of spring breakers decided the dump station was a good place for a shower. A half dozen of them were standing barefoot in the slop pad, spraying each other off with the black tank rinse.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:07 AM   #8
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We used our inside shower one time in the first 3 years of ownership and rarely used the cassette toilet so I removed them. This allowed valuable space to be used for a larger refrigerator and much needed storage. We now pee into a large bottle at night. (My wife uses a gadget she purchased from a catalog company to simplify this) Other accommodations are usually accessible when needed for larger jobs. Our outside shower is sometimes used when boondocking. Generally no one is around to watch, but if they do, who cares? They won't go blind. What are they going to see they never saw before? People just look the other way. Campgrounds have facilities and most campers I know use the campground facilities. I actually know very few campers that use their indoor showers. Condensation and mold is enough of a problem in a trailer without adding to the problem with a shower.
My advice, skip the inside shower and toilet. We purchased our trailer in the spring of 2012 and have now slept in it more than 4 years of nights and have towed it more than 50K miles. We some times stay in one place as long as four months and space is valuable and too much space will never be a problem.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ShelbyM View Post
I'm not aware of any National Park that will let you dump your gray water on the ground. I think most State Parks have similar rules but lots of those have shower houses. Probably even in Forest Service campgrounds, where you can dump your waste in the woods, they wouldn't like you to set the thing up in the actual campsite. Funny story- we had the mixed luck of camping at Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP one year during TX spring break. A bunch of spring breakers decided the dump station was a good place for a shower. A half dozen of them were standing barefoot in the slop pad, spraying each other off with the black tank rinse.
I can understand why you used the rolling on floor laughing your @$$ off emoji, as those of us with more common sense do find humor in what you describe. But should you have? We really need a new emoji that expresses disgust or head shaking at idiocy. After all, these spring breakers are “our future,” though it pains me to admit it. Then again, I would be willing to bet that there are some members on this forum 60 years and older who as children swam in rivers downstream from cities that were dumping raw sewage into the river. I grew up on Plum Island (Massachusetts), a barrier island at the mouth of the Merrimack River. When fishing for flounder near the mouth of the river during an outgoing tide, on occasion though not frequently a clump of human excrement would float by the boat, presumably from the City of Newburyport, just a few miles upstream. While I’m not certain of the actual date, the city built its first wastewater treatment plant in the late 50s/early 60s and the “situation” improved.
I also remember reading an article years ago in a bicycling magazine written by a guy who, when riding on a particularly hot day hit a puddle and the mist cooled him down. He soon came to another so he intentionally hit that one and every other one he encounters. About a mile and a half down the road, he came upon a honey wagon on the side of the road. The driver, tools in hand, was trying to address a very leaky discharge valve.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:57 AM   #10
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
We used our inside shower one time in the first 3 years of ownership and rarely used the cassette toilet so I removed them. This allowed valuable space to be used for a larger refrigerator and much needed storage. We now pee into a large bottle at night. (My wife uses a gadget she purchased from a catalog company to simplify this) Other accommodations are usually accessible when needed for larger jobs. Our outside shower is sometimes used when boondocking. Generally no one is around to watch, but if they do, who cares? They won't go blind. What are they going to see they never saw before? People just look the other way. Campgrounds have facilities and most campers I know use the campground facilities. I actually know very few campers that use their indoor showers. Condensation and mold is enough of a problem in a trailer without adding to the problem with a shower.
My advice, skip the inside shower and toilet. We purchased our trailer in the spring of 2012 and have now slept in it more than 4 years of nights and have towed it more than 50K miles. We some times stay in one place as long as four months and space is valuable and too much space will never be a problem.
We have never used the indoor shower in the 11 years we’ve owned a FG trailer - We have used our outdoor shower for doing dishes , cleaning off the dog and grandkids and for it’s stated purpose
As my buddy often says “ If you haven’t seen it before you won’t know what it is and if you have then what difference does it make .”
If we’re camping on some remote piece of public or private land with no one within a 20 mile radius , I see no sense in erecting a shower house to the God of false modesty .
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:47 AM   #11
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^^^That's a good point. Anywhere you could legally use a shower enclosure, you probably don't need one. No way I'm giving up my indoor toilet to pee in a bottle, though. I'll do that on a bike tour but I'm not dragging a trailer around w/o that convenience.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:09 AM   #12
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^^^That's a good point. Anywhere you could legally use a shower enclosure, you probably don't need one. No way I'm giving up my indoor toilet to pee in a bottle, though. I'll do that on a bike tour but I'm not dragging a trailer around w/o that convenience.
Would you be ok with using a portable toilet (e.g. Lugaloo or something like that)? Or do you feel the trailer needs to come with interior toilet to be worth it to you? I think I'd be fine with a portable toilet but I'm starting to wonder if the Happier Camper is geared toward weekend campers mostly who don't care about inside toilet/shower. But I want a trailer that I can use year round up to a couple of weeks at a time. Trying to decide if this will end up being something I wish I had. The 1000$ add on portable toilet that HC offers is a way too expensive for me.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:27 AM   #13
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A lot of folks here like portable or composting toilets. Personally I prefer one with a black water holding tank that I can dump along with the gray. Either way is better than no toilet, especially now. That said, I'm a germophobe. Plus, if I never again have to sit in a public stall next to Bubba grunting and stinking, with his morning coffee resting on the floor, I won't miss it. I'd give up the A/C or cooktop before the indoor plumbing. I can usually tolerate campground showers, so my feelings may not be entirely rational. If you are looking in the 13' range, check what you get with Scamp or Casita (if you can find one.) As you say, HCs are nice but spare. And pricey....
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
Some campgrounds call any water that has touched the human body grey water and it cannot be dumped on the ground. (Even Nomadic Fanatic's hot tub.)
So hypothetically, if I go swimming /wading in a pond or lake , then after I am finished swimming all the water in the lake needs to be drained ,disposed of properly and properly treated ?
I have never understood why dumping gray / shower water on the ground is an environmental disaster but dumping herbicides , pesticides , road salt , chemical fertilizers and deicing chemicals is okay even encouraged
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:49 AM   #15
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I have never understood why dumping gray / shower water on the ground is an environmental disaster but dumping herbicides , pesticides , road salt , chemical fertilizers and deicing chemicals is okay even encouraged
It isn't an environmental disaster if one person does it, the problem is when you have a whole bunch of people doing it then it becomes an environmental disaster. Many small ponds here have so many new houses on them that have septic and fertilized lawns that they have algal blooms every year. The lake I used to swim in at day camp when I was a kid gets shut down at least once a year.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:46 AM   #16
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We have only RV’d maybe 350 to 450 nights, usually 3 to five months at a time. We have always had an indoor bathroom and shower in our trailers, and always will. That said we have never used same. In the boonies we shower outside, in campsites we use what’s available. We use handiwipes between times, and as needed. On the road we use whatever is available, such as pit toilets, gas station, rest stops, etc, and if need be the degradable baggies. Even at night, when every noise is a big hairy critter waiting just for my wife...
Word of caution: over use of handiwipes(augmented) with witch hazel, or something similar, can lead to itching and changes a healthy biome. Better to use Johnson baby shampoo, thoroughly rinse, and even more thoroughly dry, using a hair dryer on low when possible; as recommended by my doctor...
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:46 AM   #17
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The lake I used to swim in at day camp when I was a kid gets shut down at least once a year.
I was a counselor/life guard/swim instructor for a couple of summers at Camp Takodah near Keene. Late 1960s. Quite an experience for a kid from South Georgia!! The lake was so cold at the beginning of Summer, we had to beg and bribe the kids to get them to go in. Of course we had to go first.... Sleeping under a blanket in June Thanks for stirring up some good memories of NH!
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:10 AM   #18
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Several years ago I camped in an Ohio state park where within each campsite there was a large metal ring set in the ground, accompanied by a sign reading something like "please dump your gray water here". I assume they moved the rings around the sites occasionally. I've heard that some campgrounds out West promote that also but haven't run across any yet.

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Old 12-31-2020, 12:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ShelbyM View Post
I'm not aware of any National Park that will let you dump your gray water on the ground. I think most State Parks have similar rules but lots of those have shower houses. Probably even in Forest Service campgrounds, where you can dump your waste in the woods, they wouldn't like you to set the thing up in the actual campsite. Funny story- we had the mixed luck of camping at Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP one year during TX spring break. A bunch of spring breakers decided the dump station was a good place for a shower. A half dozen of them were standing barefoot in the slop pad, spraying each other off with the black tank rinse.
This is not a National Park it is a National Forest.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:34 PM   #20
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^^^ Yes. I was responding to OP who mentioned National Parks.
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