Slowcarfasthouse Expose’ – First Installment; bathroom info!

Having the unique opportunity to be interviewed by The Black Dog Chronicles made me think about telling you more about some of our own systems and processes in the van.  Sort of a Slowcarfasthouse Expose’.  So I will develop a few blog postings that reveal a few things about our daily life. If you have specific questions, please send them!

We meet a lot of people on the road.  Some of them have heard of slowcarfasthouse and have questions to ask.  One of the most common is regarding bathroom routines.  Not just toileting, but the process of managing a typical bathroom on the road.  So here is some info about how we take care of that aspect of our lives as full-timers in our VW van.

 We keep our daily grooming products in this repurposed breadbox.  This one was picked up in a thrift shop in Clarkdale, Arizona.  (Thanks Mom)  Mike drilled it from underneath and mounted it to the lip that runs around the former rooftop of the van.  Then he added a steel beam to help support that and the spice cabinet next to it.  The beam is bolted to the refrigerator cabinet.

 medicine cabinet closedmedicine cabinet openbeam to bathroom box

beam to bathroom box 2

This cabinet has a basic set of daily grooming products including hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, face cream, deodorant, q-tips and daily meds.  You may notice in the photos that the handles of the hair and toothbrushes have been cut off to fit better in a small space.

We also have our bathroom bags or dopp kit (Mikes is a basic black bag, mine is a VW van) bathroom bags and towelsfor when we are taking a shower.  These bags contain soaps, shampoos and duplicates of the items in the bathroom box.  This allows us to take advantage of hot showers whenever they are available to us.  There are two kinds of towels stored there- depending on the use.  We usually use the microfiber towels after a shower.  They wipe off the water and dry quickly.  We use the plaid towels (named Rosy and Martyn) after a swim or if we need to cover up while we are wet, such as after a swim or a snorkel.

There are a couple of racks on the pegboard that contain bathroom type items.  One of them has Icelandic Salve (good on cuts and dry skin), bug spray (Coleman Botanicals is gentle and effective on skin) and the other one contains sunscreen, handi-wipes and strong bug spray (which we spray on the screen door rather than our skin).    These are items that we typically need to keep handy, so they ride well in those pegboard baskets that my friend gave to me! (Thank you, Lidora)

other shelf1othershelf2

Additional medicines are in one of the built-in cabinets.  These cabinets were changed slightly when we added the oversized water tank.  medicine cabinetBut this one works perfectly for bottles, jars, packets and creams.  This cabinet contains all the basics for typical ailments, injuries, first aid, eyeglass repair, bug bites, etc.  It also has spares of the basics such as toothpaste, razors, and deodorant.  The brown box in the center is designed as a “grab and go kit” with items that would be useful if we encounter an accident or injured person and wish to give first aid.  The black box contains the homeopathies, oils and creams that Geneva uses in addition to general medicines.  And finally in this cabinet is a pouch filled with dog medicines that can be used in the event of pain, illness and ear infection (common in these hounds).  We call this cabinet “first aid” but it really goes much deeper than that.  You may notice a book that was suggested for travels such as ours.  It is called “Where There Is No Doctor”.  medicine cabinet1It is a really interesting story and the sort of resource that you hope you never need.

And now for the part you have all been waiting for.  How do we handle toileting?  Well, generally we live by the practice of “Go when you can, not when you have to.”  So we use public restrooms at our stops or RV parks.  But when we are beach camping with no services we resort to the poop shovel!  poopshovel2Yep, this is the prized poop shovel.  It hangs on the wire box near the door, right under the toilet paper. poopshovel1 The user wanders back into the bushes, digs an appropriately sized hole and takes care of business.  When the work is finished the hole is covered over and the poop shovel and toilet paper return to their storage location. traveling box set up

Another product that we keep on hand is called Poo Powder.  It comes in a huge tub (ordered online), so we repackaged it into a practical size.  poopowderThis product will solidify human waste for disposal.  This would allow one of us to do our business in a plastic bag, inside of bucket inside the van.  With the addition of Poo Powder the odor is eliminated and the byproduct is a solid that can be sealed and discarded safely.

I hope this little expose’ of van life in the Slowcarfasthouse lifestyle was informative and helpful to you.  Please feel free to send me an email if you have more questions about anything I have covered here.

8 responses to “Slowcarfasthouse Expose’ – First Installment; bathroom info!

  1. Yes, a small trailer and a motorcycle would be great. Just be sure to have title and reg on anything with wheels. And email your contact info, because we will need showers by the time we get to PA!!

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  2. been following your trip, is on my to do list, would like to take a motorcycle w/ me. so we can park for a while & do day trips. is hauling a small trailer a feasible thing ? Thanks for all your cool tips & info, you two stay safe & take care, if your ever in south central Pa.{scotland} you have a place to stay jeff & patti

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  3. Check back through some of the other posts. There is a lot of info about our systems. Also use our resources list to look at containers, storage, etc. Finally…. lets talk by email so I can share tips that are specific to your needs. Thanks for following along!

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  4. Thanks so much for posting this. We are setting off on our own 12-month trip later this year in our ’85 Westy. I’m curious about all aspects of van living! I’d like to hear where you store stuff.

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  5. I have never been big on spending hours in the bathroom. And before departure I trimmed my routines back even further. No need for makeup to look at a windshield all day. And no hair curling or blow drying. This is working out great for the current systems! Thanks for asking.

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  6. The open beach camping has been free. But the RV parks ranged from $10usd to $25usd. I will be doing a blog post on the costs of living in the van in Baja soon. This will be included. Thanks for asking!

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  7. Enjoying your blog. My question is what are the cost of staying on the beaches and other overnight sites.

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  8. I was wondering how you guys handled this kind of thing on the road without a “Bathroom” so to speak. Honestly, how have you guys adjusted to not having a regular bathroom full time? I think that would be the hardest thing for me to adjust to.

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