Today was one of those pre-planning days few folks would go to the trouble to do (at least I think most people would not do what I did today). If you have been reading this series, then you know that my Four Corners ride includes me camping the vast majority of the nights of this 5 week tour. I tried to utilize State and National Parks when possible, and 3 of those parks do not have electric service, showers or restrooms.
As you can see in the photo, my camper does not have a bathroom, or any other luxury for that matter, I mean there is a limit to what you can pull behind a motorcycle, even if it is a Gold Wing. But I also don’t want to forego a shower after a long day of riding in 100 plus degree heat, and I dang sure don’t want to have to use the great outdoors for my bathroom, especially if it is in the middle of the night, so it was time to improvise.
I not only needed a way to shower, and hopefully with something other than cold water, but I also needed a porta-potty of some sort. So, the first thing I did was go shopping for the needed components, one being a Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Camp Shower, the other a Luggable Loo Seat Cover that fits on a 5 gallon bucket, along with their double doodie waste bags.
My first challenge was I did not want to just throw the Shower bag over a tree limb that may or may not be available, and then shower out in the open in my birthday suit, but I also did not want to flood the 6′ x 6′ changing room in my camper, plus what would I hang a bag with 5 gallons of water in it from (5 gallons of water weighs 40 pounds)?
There are typical tent poles that support my Camper that I potentially could hang the bag from, but I’m confident they were not designed to hold 40 pounds of water, so I decided I would create a rigid support for the tent poles with one of the telescopic tent poles I use for my front awning, which required me to drill a small hole in the main tent pole. Worked quite well if I do say so myself. The bladder is black on one side, so you fill it with water, then set it in the sun for a few hours, and you have a nice warm shower.
The next challenge was how to keep from flooding my dressing area while I showered, so I also purchased a large inexpensive plastic tote that would also serve at a dry storage compartment for the trailer (there is a large storage area under the tent portion of the camper). I put another 5 gallon bucket in the tote to sit on, and all the water would run down into the tote, and when I was finished, I could just empty the tote (that was my theory anyway).
Well, it all ended up working better than I had anticipated, I decided to test my theory now while I could still make adjustments, so this morning, when I got back from my morning run/walk, I hung the shower bag that had been sitting out in the sun for a few hours inside the dressing area, put all my toiletries within arms reach, and took a shower in my camper in my driveway. I won’t say it was the most comfortable shower I ever took, but it all worked, with just a little water splashing out on the floor of the dressing area, but a quick clean up with an old towel took care of that easily.
Now with my teeth brushed, face shaved, and sweaty body freshly shower, I was ready for the day, but I still needed to deal with the portable potty situation, so I setup my Luggble Loo, and it really looks like it will do the trick if or when I need it, even if I only need it to save me from the mid-night run to the bath house in the campgrounds that have bath facilities.
By the way, I was really surprised at how little water it took to bath this way, when I saw the different sizes, I chose the largest one (5 gallons) thinking even it may not be enough to take care of business (I envisioned myself all lathered up and out of water). I probably only put 4 gallons in the bag, and I would be surprised if I used a gallon of water.