My New RV- Toilet or No Toilet?

You probably know I have already turned ‘minimalist’, but for quite a while now, I have been researching another kind of downsizing. It’s the kind that comes on two or four wheels. Yes, I am talking about my little rolling trailer. At just 160 SF of living space, not to mention about 900 square feet less than my old house, my RV is STILL too large for my little 5’4 frame and my two dogs, who combined, weigh under 10 lbs.

Big Butt Slingshot
Does this angle make my butt look big? Or is my butt just too big? Yeah, I think it’s just too big. But, nice window.

I have gotten rid of much of the clutter I originally started out with. This in turn has shown me how much extra space my RV has now, which is mostly wasted. I have to maintain the extra space, I have to tow the extra space (more gas), maneuver the extra space, and the length sometimes keeps me from being able to get into certain remote or uneven boondocking places. This all adds up to the logic of downsizing my entire setup.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to drive or pull a big class a or a fifth wheel. I like the ease of driving into unfamiliar territory and being able to get around town just as easily as I could if I weren’t pulling anything at all. (Which I can only do half the time in my 24’/truck combo.)

The goal? It keeps changing, but currently, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have a Jeep Wrangler or Rubicon as my pull vehicle. This means SERIOUSLY getting small, as these only have a towing capacity of 3K. 😬 This way I can REALLY have fun and REALLY explore the places less traveled when I am not towing.

Jeep Rubicon
Oooooooh yeah… come to mama. Maybe.

Even my top contender right now, the Tab 400, is too heavy for that setup. I’m not completely sold on that rig yet anyway.

I thought I would share with you the pros and cons of what I have considered so far. Maybe you are thinking of downsizing your RV, too. Oh, I’ll get to the toilet part, too.

Oliver Travel Trailers

First, I liked the idea of an Oliver Travel Trailer because it’s so SOLID. It’s probably the best quality out there of any trailer made. However, looking at it online, I just wasn’t really feeling excited about the design inside. It was too… sterile or something. Sure, it’s much lighter (color) and more modern than the usual horrible interiors of most of today’s AND yesterday’s RV’s. Still, I wasn’t feeling it. I am talking about the Legacy Elite.

Eventually, I got to see one in the flesh- A Legacy Elite II (Too long at 23′, but just wanted to see one in person). Just as I suspected would happen, I just didn’t bond with the thing. It didn’t excite me. Maybe it was TOO technical/electronic/high-tech. I like minimalism and simplicity. This RV felt kind of like the opposite. I also felt disconnected from the outdoors when I was inside of it. Not many windows and the ones it does have are very small. Ick.

I probably am completely wack in my thinking here, but that’s how it is and I can’t change it. Besides, you get what you pay for and in this case, they run around $50K new. Sure, they hold their value, and that would be great if I loved them. I just …don’t. 

Here are my pros and cons of the Oliver travel trailer:

  • Superior build
  • Made of fiberglass. Little to no caulking maintenance necessary
  • Great battery storage compartment
  • Light and modern interior

My cons for the Oliver travel trailer:

  • Sterile, not very fun interior
  • Heavier than I want to go at 3,400- GVWR of 5,000 lbs. Can’t pull with a Jeep Wrangler for damn sure
  • Very expensive
  • So nice, I am afraid I am going to damage or ‘hurt’ it (I can’t have nice things.😂)
  • This is petty, but it’s more likely to get stolen as it has a lot of worth
  • It’s just not ‘me’
  • Windows- small and not many. Feel too enclosed in there

NuCamp Tab 400

This little sucker really excited me when I first heard about it and saw it online. It’s fun, funky, it’s a cute little teardrop, and I just liked it from the start. However, it has a less-than-open floorplan. After seeing and banning the idea of an Oliver, this became my top contender after seeing one in Seattle, Washington. Still, it’s not perfect. I don’t think the perfect rig exists- kind of like a unicorn RV.

One big issue with the Tab 400 for me is the weight, once again. It doesn’t allow for my (current) dream of pulling with a JW. (I’d be really pushing the weight and don’t want to be struggling all the time while towing.) If it weighed something like 1500lbs, I’d be SOLD.

IF I decide against going with the JR, this is likely still my top contender, aside from finding a cuuuuute totally renovated vintage trailer or something.

Here are my pros for the Tab 400:

  • Small, funky design
  • Fairly light. Just not JW light
  • Comes in a boondocking version
  • Decent sized tanks (30 gallon fresh, grey 18, black 12)
  • Dedicated bed and table areas
  • Much more affordable than an Oliver starting around $32K new
  • Pretty good inside storage
  •  I like the type of windows it has plus the skylight window over the bed
  • I definitely love the modern interior
  • I just get excited when I see one/am in one!
  • Good basement storage for its size
  • Good interior storage

Neutral: Not sure how the Alde heating system works or how much power it requires to run since I boondock full-time.

Here are my cons for the Tab 400:

  • The layout- not very open- would this bother me?
  • The sinks are small, shallow and the faucet is crazy low
  • The bed area- very low ceiling- might bump head getting up/claustrophobic
  • Screen door- The Girls could easily get out if they figure out they can just push on screen and escape. It’s definitely not ‘secure’. Big problem
  • Kind of hard to see out when window screens are deployed

The latest obsession: Vintage Trailers

Sure, the issue here is always going to be- is there wood rot? Will it be breaking all the time? Marshall sure won’t appreciate that when we are caravanning because his ass is going to be the one fixing it! LOL. So, I would want to, ideally, find one that has been totally renovated from the bones out. I DO love the look of many of them, but they have to have a fairly modern interior. None of this all-wood look or keeping the original interior for this Chickadee. Blech!

So ideally, I would get one that has been totally renovated from the bones out. I DO love the look of many of them, but they have to have a fairly modern interior. None of this all-wood look or keeping the original interior for this Chickadee. Blech!

I already knew about Sisters On The Fly and their vintage ad section. But the other day, I ran across a great website that lists redesigned (mostly?) vintage trailers. It’s called LittleVintageTrailer.com. Boy, they have a multitude of cute little rigs! I inquired about this one, little Birdie. It’s not too vintage but lacks storage and confidence for me.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But it’s CUTE, and has a similar layout as the Tab 320’s. It was super light at something like 1.200 lbs. JW pullable by far!

However, the sellers did not do all of the repair, and the whole roof has replaced. There’s only one reason to replace a roof that I can think of. So, are the walls/floor rotted at all? Unknown. Too risky. Also, it lacks a bathroom. Hmmmm, Let’s talk about that.

I Think I Can Live Without A Bathroom! First, Let’s Talk Showers

I know, I know. I must be ‘crazy’. However, as you should already know, I live in very temperate climates and I rarely ever sweat. Also, I am single, so there’s really not much need for a bunch of showering. Just sayin’. But believe me, I DON’T stink!

Most boondockers minimize showering, as long as they stay in temperate places. Or, they ‘navy shower’- washing vital areas with a cloth daily. Also, because I boondock exclusively, I have to conserve my power and water, so I don’t take many showers.

I can sponge bath for that matter. Here are the reasons why I like the idea of not having a shower: No shower means no shower to maintain or fix. No cleaning the shower, no leaks to fix, space is saved, and less water would be used. Washing my hair- that’s the biggest issue I can see. I hope to find an RV with a ‘kitchen’ sink big enough to wash my hair upside down in. Preferably with one of those faucets that has a hose connected that you can pull out and use.

Washing the girls may be harder, but there’s always my ‘kitchen’ sink OR a DIY dogwash in town.

Did someone say 'bath'?
“Did someone say ‘bath’?”

Therefore, most of the time, the bathroom is wasted space besides the 3- 5 times I sit on the toilet per day.

EEW, WTF? No RV Toilet???

If you can’t talk caca, you had better skip over this little discussion. Ok, so yes, I have ‘dreamed’ of living without a toilet for quite a while now.

DEAR GOD WHY??? 

Why? For the sheer simplicity of it. For the personal challenge of seeing how much I really can live without. I’m talking a bucket and a bag, people. Look, these people are doing it. Kind of. You get the jist…

I jest. Where did this ‘see how much I can live without’ thing come from? I think I have always had it, but I followed society into the typical direction. I got caught up in the typical, easy, expensive road of doing what everyone else does with living in a regular house, having all the required things. Including water-wasting toilets. (IMHO)

I remember long ago dreaming of living out of a car just to avoid the extremely high chunk of my paycheck going to either a landlord or the bank. That idea has always pissed me off, working for ‘the man’. Just, houses- WHY so big and WHY so much? Why do houses have to be so damn big and expensive? Anyway…

So now I live in an RV, full-time. Why no toilet? Again- the simplicity. When something breaks, I rarely have the skills or know-how to fix it myself. Then there’s the cost to replace and/or to hire someone to fix it. Well, I can sometimes get around this when I am traveling with Marshall, but that’s beside the point.

One of the best parts of not having a toilet would be that there’s no sewage to have to dump. (I have spilled while dumping at least 3 times. That’s three times too many to have to deal with THAT shit.) So the less I have, the less I have to maintain, the more money I have to spend on adventures v/s stuff.

Fast fact- When you keep your solids and liquids separate, you don’t have ‘sewage’. We create sewage by mixing the two. It’s an extremely disgusting combo, people. 

Anyway, what would my options be aside from a traditional RV toilet? I could buy a composting toilet. And I might. Natures Head sells them for about $1,000, which really tweaks me. I mean, good god, all it is is a container that you put something in like coconut coir or sawdust, and it has a turning tine inside to mix up your caca with the substance. Oh, and it has a lid. That’s it. Plus, it has a separate container for your liquids. (Tee-tee, in case you were wondering.)

Natures Head Composting
Nature’s Head $1000Composting Toilet. Really, $1,000??? 

THAT’S IT! Ugh. $1,000. Well, they have a little fan (would have to be wired to run from my batteries) that you have to use at times, too. So, there’s something else that can break.

A composting toilet is not much different than using a bucket and a bag. You can use a bucket, cover it with a little sawdust when you are done and boom, you’re done. No smell. They even make toilet seats for buckets, WITH a lid! Cost: Maybe $20.

Luggable Loo
Could this be in my future? $20 as opposed to $1000

Gross? To each their own. I am a big girl and I poop. We all do. You look at your poop in the toilet at times, don’t you? So it’s not like you never see it. You still smell it because there is this time period where its coming out of your ass and isn’t in the water yet, so there’s the smell. This is the same thing. It’s just not going into water. It’s going into a bag.  Big whoop.

Ever poo on a hike and bury it? Oh, you’re above that? Then you are reading the wrong blog. This girl is down to earth, this shit doesn’t bother me.

I can make my own composting toilet out of a bucket and bag or I may get a composting toilet. Maybe what I buy will already have a composting toilet. Anyway, this is all undecided, but I thought I would share with you my ideas in the meantime.

What About Going #1?

Well, you know I boondock full-time. This one is easy. For the most part, I will be able to pee in nature. An ‘Earth Pee’ if you will. What about after dark? I may not feel totally comfortable in areas where there are bear and moose. In that case, I can either choose to  go in a container, or outside. Ever heard of a ‘she-pee’? How about a visual for ya?

She Pee.jpg
Too much for you? 😂

They make this and other devices for girls. I can use it to go into a container that I dump once full. This is probably going to be the ‘yukiest’ part of my possible no-toilet adventures, as urine smells pretty bad, and I will have to rinse the she pee after each use. Ick. I’d much rather go outside.

Still, when going outside, there’s always the ‘splash’ issue. If there’s high enough grass, it can work. However, lots of time, like in the desert, there is none. So, the splash effect comes into play. What’s a girl to do?

Still, I don’t have to make any decisions yet. But if you find an amazing totally renovated small vintage trailer out there I may like, please let me know! You can message me here, or on my Rv Chickadee Facebook page. Actually, you can message me on Camp Addict as well.

More Gross Than A Bucket? You Decide.

Oh, hey, let’s not forget to mention this, to me, much more gross scenario- in smaller vans, they make a ‘cassette’ toilet. All you need to know is you pee and poo into a regular looking toilet. It has a very small tank.

You have to PULL THE TANK OUT and DUMP THE TANK BY HAND, like into a toilet or a dump station. THAT is gross… you will see and smell the SEWAGE up close. No thanks. I’m good. Need proof? Here, watch this if you dare.

At least with a regular toilet and holding tank, you don’t have to see the sewage unless it spills. But, you still sure smell it when you dump. Gross.

That’s enough fun for now LOL!  I’ll keep updating on new rigs as I do more research. Right now, I have to go to sleep. It’s 12:20am.

Goodnight!


40 thoughts on “My New RV- Toilet or No Toilet?

    1. Yes, I really like the wrap around window it has and the compactness of it. I haven’t been in one yet, so it’s not crossed off the list as of yet! Just, haven’t come across one I can get in yet. Thanks for reminding me of this one. 😁

      Like

  1. Love your blogs, especially this one. I haven’t settled on a small trailer and the toilet issue does concern me so I look forward to seeing how you solve this. As for small RVs, I really like the ones at http://runawaycampers.com/ because they are light and the price point is perfect, but I haven’t seen them in person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Vepo! Woah. I have told myself that I at least want to be able to stand up in my rig so on rainy days, well, I can stand up when cooped inside. Also, although I chase the weather, more often than not I end up working inside because outside is either still too hot, cold, windy, or buggy. So I haven’t considered this option so far, but hell ueah THAT would be living minimally! My friend Becky of http://www.interstellarorchard.com is about to downsize to a similar model. We both have a very similar drive to go as minimal as possible, she moreso than me as of this point. She did a great job of mulling over small trailer options here:

      http://www.interstellarorchard.com/2017/11/03/the-emotional-side-of-rv-selection-and-more-on-hiker-trailer/

      You may like the read as much as I did and find it helpful. Good luck with your pick! It’s exciting, eh? 😁

      Like

  2. Kelly,
    Check out the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Tows 7k lb, can go almost anywhere the Jeep does and has a seriously deep aftermarket, though not as big as the Jeep.
    The Chevrolet Colorado Z71 can tow 7700 and can even be had with a diesel engine that includes a standard trailer brake, tow/hau mode and even an exhaust brake. It’s not as capable off road, though.
    Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is similar.

    Any of those would give you the little extra towing you might want when you find the right trailer for you and wouldn’t drive like a Wrangler day to day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the usual great info! I have it in my head that I want my entire system to be as small as possible, so I’m tying to lean away from a truck. I did test drive the Colorado about a month ago. It didn’t really ‘speak’ to me. Also, I couldn’t even get the seat far enough forward for my short little legs to reach quite right or for me to be able to reach the stereo controls, etc without leaning. That’s a biggie in my book. But if I did go with a truck likely I’d get another Tundra. Toyota is just so reliable. So what would you say is a negative in driving a wrangler all the time? I drove one a month ago and really liked it. 🤷‍♀️

      Like

      1. Having had multiple Jeeps over the years I wold shy away from them if you want reliability over the long haul… They are fun but expensive and break a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was towing a 16’ Scamp with a 4Runner and realized I hated towing and the inability to pull in everywhere I wanted to due to the length. I had a wet bath and hardly used it because it wasn’t shower enough for me and ended up doing the GI bath with excellent results. I decided on a long tall Promaster van (yet to be outfitted), but I did get a lugable loo and use pine pellets ($7 for 40lbs at the feed store!) no smell. Now I’m debating if I really need running water. Cleaning dishes with vinegar works really well! I want minimal moving parts to watch over caz the less stuff there is to take care of, the more freedom I’ll have. Have fun researching ur new abode! You’ll know it when u feel it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re my kind of gal, Rita!! The less moving parts, the better. Totally agree. Simplicity. It’s beautiful. Heck I’ve considered the running water thing as well, But have not mowed it over very much. Sort of decided that because of dishes, I would need it. But, you’re making me rethink this part. 😁

      Like

  4. The Fit Rv did a great review of composting toilets on their youtube channel. I just want to know what party game is being played in that gif, it looks hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I’ve seen their review. I definitely don’t eat that much so I think I’m good to go lol! Don’t know the name but it sure looks easy to play and copy! Adults should play more. 😁

      Like

  5. When my daughter and I went on our tent camping trip last May to Zion NP and Pink Coral Sand Dunes, I brought my Luggaloo (serious eye roll from daughter). It sure came in handy during the night but after four days of tenting it I couldn’t wait to get back to my RV and all its conveniences. No way I’d ever consider giving up my porta-potty. Fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ingrid- yeah, I THINK I’ll be good with the bucket deal, but you never know till you try, right? I might not like it at all. At least it was there for you on your trip! Yeah- tenting- full time- would NOT be for me! 😂

      Like

  6. Hi Kelly, love your post! Dumping poo is definitely my least fav part of RVing, especially the accidental spills..yuck! We love our Fiberglass 19’ Escape.we pull with a Toyota Tacoma. The longest stay has only been 2 months dry camping but we think we could handle fulltimng in warmer climates, and not drive each other crazy! Escapes are 7’ wide and lightweight so easy to pull. They also make a 17’ model. We are considering pulling with a Toyota Highlander, when Tacoma needs retiring.
    Another RV to consider is the 17’ Bigfoot – heavier tho but a quality built fibreglass. Happy hunting – the search is part of the fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had heard of these RVs before but totally forgot about them. 😁I just watched a video on one, and I definitely like it! Might be a little heavy for my “big” goals of getting super light and small, but I do like the trailer. Thanks for the tip!!! I love my Toyota Tacoma, by the way, I just need it to be 4wd!! And yes, I love the search!

      Like

  7. I used a bucket for a while, with a snap on seat/lid, and a female urinal. I had to concentrate to get all my pee out before I poo’d, it’s all a matter of focus. I used coco coir, no bag, and mixed with a metal potato masher, the kind like a big squiggle not the kind with holes. I might try again without mixing since I see people talking about that. I had a separate trash for my toilet paper, but maybe I could just put that in the bucket? I found moisture build up inside the bucket was an issue, so I put the bucket out sometimes with the lid open to dry out. (I lived in the desert then, and in a sticks n bricks, I was trying out the bucket as “research” for being on the road one of these days.) I’d take a cheap bucket set up over any of the composting toilets any day, just to save space and have more flexibility inside, plus the amount of money they want just for the “normalness” of the way a toilet looks is insane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I TOTALLY feel you on your last couple of comments about ‘fitting in’ and he expense. I still don’t know what route I’ll choose, but I thinkEven the adventure of doing a bucket is intriguing enough to try it. The simplicity intrigues me and draws man. And yes, the flexibility. I wouldn’t have to dedicate one spot to a toilet. 👏🏻 Question- does any of the caca get stuck to the sides of the bucket when you don’t use a bag? I would imagine it would have to, and that something I don’t want to have to deal with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Welllll, I wouldn’t say it was stuck per se, tho the sides were dirty, the same as it would be if damp dirt had been in the bucket. It certainly didn’t look like poop, it looked like coco coir. Still tho, NO smell since I stirred it and let it dry. When I tried not mixing (briefly) and/or not letting it dry outside, the moisture build up did start causing some sort of odor, not poop exactly, but stronger than “earthy” and not pleasant but not gross. When I dumped it into a bag to put it in the trash, it was pretty dry and I didn’t have to scrape it much with the potato masher. It was really not gross at all. I would do it again. (There may be something a little strange about mixing your poop, you have to look at it then, but I already look at mine so I know what’s going on. That maybe TMI, but I like to be aware. I look at my dogs’ poop and pee too, I want to make sure everyone’s normal.) I think mixing lets you use the bucket longer before dumping, and letting it dry is KEY. My costs were $3 bucket at home depot, $15 lid/seat amazon, $12 potato masher amazon, $11 brick of coco coir home depot. I had to buy a 3 pack of coco coir to get free shipping to my house, since they didn’t have it at the store, so I paid $33 for 3 bricks. I already had a plastic tub in which to store the coco coir that I broke into pieces, really it’s more like pulverizing into the tiniest pieces you can, I had to use a screw driver to break small pieces off then crush further with my hands.
        PS I am rescued.agirlandherdogs in instagram

        Liked by 1 person

  8. What about a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4 wheel drive? I have one, a 6 cylinder, tow my small trailer and go off road with it. It will tow 6200 lbs. The 8 cylinder will tow 7200 lbs. It’s a way more comfortable ride than a Wrangler. It will fully adjust to your small size (I’m 5’2”). I know Marshall has one, but I heard his is not 4 wheel drive, so if not, you can’t judge based on a 2 wheel drive. A Grand Cherokee is a fully capable off road vehicle that I think will meet your needs. A Rubicon is better suited to rock crawling, but I don’t get the impression that is what you are planning.
    I think the bucket idea is great. I have a house and dump my trailer tanks in my septic when I get home. If I had to dump at dump stations, I would convert to a bucket just to avoid this. I use unscented cat litter for my cats litter box, there is no odor at all. Only disadvantage I can think of for the bucket system is that cat litter is heavier than the other materials you’ve mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Marshall has a Jeep grand Cherokee. It’s a runner up, for sure. But yes, I would get it with four-wheel-drive. I’m betting my ideas will change over time as far as what I want to get and I appreciate the input. I’m in major research mode! The Jeep gc would be way more practical. Thanks again for the advice!!

      Like

What's your opinion? Share with me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s