RV Living: Let’s Talk Bathrooms

049Our motorhome has a lovely bathroom. It’s beautiful, clean, and fully functional. But, we frequently don’t use it, bypassing it in favor of using the campground bathrooms. Why, you ask? Read on!

The first consideration is that all of the wastewater generated in our bus (sinks, shower, laundry, toilet) goes into holding tanks (gray or black). Most of the time we do have sewer hookups, but we never leave the tank drainage hoses open. That creates problems. Not only does it lead to a build up of solids in the bottom of the tanks, it also leaves openings for undesirable pests to crawl up and take residence. Ewwww, NOT a good idea! So, tank level management is a constant task.

Secondly, what you put in the tanks has to be drained out. The less solid material you put into a tank, the less you have to drain and flush out later. For example, we are careful to scrape food residue off of dishes before washing them. We don’t have an easy method of flushing solids out of our gray water tank, so we try to keep solids out of the tank as much as possible. We DO have a mechanism to flush/wash the black tank (toilet water), but the same logic applies – the less solid material, the less tank washing required. So, without getting graphic, we endeavor to keep “organic solids” out of the black tank. Sorry if that’s TMI! All it takes is a little stroll over to the campground bathroom and it all magically flushes away.

Most RV’s have limited-capacity hot water heaters, making long, hot showers impossible. That’s not the case in our rig. We are equipped with a diesel-fired Aquahot system which provides a virtually unlimited supply of on-demand hot water. You can shower as long as your tank can hold it (which is a long time!). So why do I often shower in the bathhouse? Several reasons: the shower space is usually larger, the water pressure is better, I’m not tying up the shower/toilet area, I don’t have to consider tank levels, and I don’t have to clean it! Our curved shower enclosure is beautiful, but it’s a pain to squee-gee dry after every use. It takes a little preparation and a bit of a walk to the campground shower, but I can stand under the steaming hot water as long as I like and then walk away. It’s just easier!

028Now, I wouldn’t use nasty bathrooms, but the vast majority of bathrooms we’ve encountered are perfectly acceptable. It doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it’s kept clean and well-maintained. It helps that we often stay at higher end RV resorts. In fact, some of the bathrooms have been SUPER nice – nicer than I had in my own home! Two notable examples include the chandelier bathroom in Paso Robles, and the gorgeous spa-like bathroom in Moab. Using those facilities was a true pleasure.

Of course, there are always exceptions. Occasionally the bathrooms just don’t meet my standards. Or the weather sucks. Or it’s the middle of the night. Or someone isn’t feeling well. In those cases, our beautiful bathroom works quite nicely.

2 thoughts on “RV Living: Let’s Talk Bathrooms

  1. Tim Scroggs

    Disagree with you bathroom comments. Having had 2 motorhome and 2 5th wheelers I say use your bathroom. After all you have paid hundreds of thousands to haul that toilet around. They aren’t that tough to keep clean. Keep black water closed until almost full, then close grey water till it gets full that drain black water and follow with gray water drain to flush the system. Never had a problem–Tim & Marilyn Scroggs

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    1. mbnorthrup Post author

      I hear you! But, we are also paying for the use of the campground facilities and some of those are as nice as any home bathroom. I guess it all comes down to personal preference! Happy travels!

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