If you’re uncomfortable talking about poop, stop reading right now. This post is going to get down and dirty.
I once did an entire 10-minute speech on toilets. Yeah, I was a weird kid. Complete with hand-drawn diagrams, my speech elicited either heaps of laughter or angry scowls. Judges thought is was either hilariously brilliant or unbelievably distasteful, and I fear this post will elicit the same extreme 50/50 reaction. You can take your chances, I’m obviously taking mine.
When Jef and I first started flirting with the idea of living in a house on wheels, we speculated about every aspect of daily life. After several hours of pondering the how-tos, we realized that our biggest issue with mobile living was the bathroom problem. We figured that if we could find a comfortable solution to that, then we could probably live in an RV. We talked at length about the pros and cons of black water tanks, composting toilets, and the bucket method.
Black water tanks didn’t sound very fun to deal with. What if the tank leaks? What if it overflows? How big of a pain is dumping it? How much will it cost to dump it? What if the hose leaks while we’re dumping the tank? The horror! We decided that black water tanks are more hassle than they’re worth.
Composting toilets seemed somewhat suitable, but there were too many unanswered questions. How does one install a composting toilet? Where can one dump the compost? Poop takes a few days to turn into compost, so does that mean I can’t poop for a few days before emptying the holding tank? That didn’t sound appealing at all.
The bucket method sounded caveman-ish, but simple and clean. All you need is a bucket, a Luggable Loo, some bags, and some sort of absorbent material. It’s hard to get any simpler than that. No hoses, no plumbing, no compost, no holding tanks, and no electricity. While it sounded like the most primitive solution, it also sounded like the cleanest and simplest solution. The practicality of this idea was a winner, but could we wrap our heads around it?
At this point, the decision to become van dwellers hinged entirely on whether or not we could fathom pooping in a bucket. As such, we bought the necessary equipment to conduct an experiment. Yep, the toilet was our first house-on-wheels-related purchase.
Without getting too detailed, I’m happy to report that the bucket method works just fine. It works so well for me that I’d be pretty happy to replace all the toilets in my house with buckets. Although, to be fair, having to plunge a severely clogged toilet once a month will drive a person to do some crazy things.
So there you have it, the bucket is our intended solution to the bathroom problem. I’m sure that there’s some sort of social stigma associated with pooping in a bucket, and that’s why it seemed so questionable to me in the first place. But having tried it a few times, I can’t even remember why I thought it was so weird. I’m sure someone will remind me.