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 Living on the Road :: Articles :: Getting rid of the poo

There are many arguments for and against the various types of motor home toilets. Cassettes are too small, black water tanks are difficult to empty etc.

We have a black water tank which in turn allowed us to install a marine-style full-size flushing porcelain dunny. With judicious use of public toilets we can go for weeks without having to empty the tank. Eventually however it's got to be done.

It's at this point that non-black water tank owners start talking about the shortage of dump points in Australia and the difficulty in getting the rig to one.

Enter the "wheelie bin", a tank on wheels that I fill from the black water tank and wheel to any toilet to empty. The "decanting" procedure is shown in the photo below.

Once filled, the tank is wheeled to a loo for emptying. This is easy enough but I find the small plastic wheels in this model a bit of a pain if it's a long and/or rough haul to the ablutions.

For this reason I sometimes use my home-made bicycle trailer which, quite by chance, is exactly the right size.

The trailer has 16-inch pneumatic wheels and I can easily wheel the load for hundreds of yards in necessary.

Of course once the job is done I clean the hose, wheelie bin and the unavoidable spillage from the outlet valve. For this purpose I have installed an outside shower near the holding tank.

Things to watch
Some points to watch if you decide to go this way.

  • These wheelie bins are available up to 80 litres in size, but remember you have to lift it up onto the toilet bowl to empty it. Ours is a 40 litre model which usually requires two trips to clear the holding tank.
  • These bins are a fair size so remember to allow for storage in your design.
  • You can pour the contents down any normal toilet which effectively gives you millions of "dump points" around Australia.
  • You should not pour the contents down a toilet connected to a septic tank or the new-style eco loos. Both of these need bacteria to do their business and the chemicals in your loo will kill them off.
  • The wheelie bins connect to your tank with "standard" 3-inch hose and fittings, however I found that there are different standards and even buying fittings and hoses from the same supplier does not guarantee they will match. Ask first.
  • There are different qualities of 3-inch hose, some is quite flimsy and useless. Remember there's quite a lot of weight in the hose as it fills with liquid.
  • Make sure you remove the breather vent before you pour the contents into the bowl, this allows the contents to flow freely because air can enter the bin to replace the liquid leaving. If you remove it during the procedure the resultant gusher will create such a mess that you'll be cleaning it up for the rest of the night. (Don't ask how I know this)

This will never be a fun job but it's not as bad as you may think, for my money the holding tank and wheelie bin system we have is the way to go. So if you are thinking about installing a black water tank but are worried about the availability of dump points consider this setup.

Dump points...who cares?


PS. This "wheely bin" is officially called a Roll Tank 40W by Fiamma, the manufacturers (Part # 02428-01). We purchased ours from Caravan Accessories in Sydney if I remember correctly.

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PO Box 450, Gin Gin, QLD, Australia.