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Old 12-14-2023, 04:41 PM   #1
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Using outdoor shower while boondocking to extend gray tank use

Getting ready to take my January trip to the SW desert. Expect to be totally off-grid for 2-3 weeks. Wondering how many who boondock with self contained trailers (vs. tent' van, car' camping) and use the outdoor shower with shower tent?

I recall that over the last several years I've seen more and more of these "small phone booth sized" tents but mostly for those without "indoor plumbing".

Am considering using one this trip as it could eliminate my need to haul waste water away, just making one trip for fresh water using a 30 gallon bladder. I can easily stretch my black tank use over 3-weeks, it's just gray water capacity that's wanting.

As I see it, using the outdoor shower tent with outside shower on trailer I can both have more showers and far less gray water to deal with. Just sink water and that's minimal as I use disposable plates/eating utensils.

Anyone else do this?
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:21 PM   #2
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We always set up our outdoor shower and use these tiles from IKEA as a base to keep the feet out of the sand or dirt


I have wanted to get a little changing tent and put a command hook on the outside wall of the trailer to hold the shower head, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:24 PM   #3
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Whats the difference between using your outdoor shower and just dumping your grey tank on the ground? I believe that outdoor showers should only be used for quick rinse offs before you go inside and properly bathe.
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:35 PM   #4
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Some people take offence to trickling the grey - I personally do it whenever it's appropriate (site slope and proximity to neighbouring sites) as I don't dump food scraps in my sink so it's clean-ish dishwater and shower water. can get stinky in the heat sometimes, but to your point it's generally clean.
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:37 PM   #5
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Whats the difference between using your outdoor shower and just dumping your grey tank on the ground? I believe that outdoor showers should only be used for quick rinse offs before you go inside and properly bathe.
Only perception.

That said gray water tanks include water from dishwashing that can contain food matter that many consider as nasty as what's in the black tank.

Also, lots of regulations re: dumping gray water but few that I know of against just showering.

As for "properly bathing" can't see much difference between showering outside in a tent (or even just nude if brave enough) and inside in a shower stall that fills a gray tank. Same water, same soap, and same amount of time if it's a "navy shower".

Now if one has 100 gallon FW tank and 100 gallon gray tank, that's a lot different than my 30 gallon tanks.
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:42 PM   #6
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I have 2 grey tanks, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. Any food particles and such would be limited to the kitchen tank while the bathroom tank only contains shower and hand washing water from the bathroom sink. Would you consider it ok if I just dumped my bathroom grey tank on the ground? What if you were the one occupying my site after I leave?
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:46 PM   #7
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I have 2 grey tanks, one of the kitchen and one for the bathroom. Any food particles and such would be limited to the kitchen tank while the bathroom tank only contains shower and hand washing water from the bathroom sink. Would you consider it ok if I just dumped my bathroom grey tank on the ground? What if you were the one occupying my site after I leave?
If you were camping where I camp I'd probably not even notice an hour after you'd left. Water soaks in almost instantly and area is dry shortly afterwards.

Like I said in first post "I camp in the desert".
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:47 PM   #8
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use a hose and run it into the woods.
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:48 PM   #9
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Then why not just shower inside and let your grey just pour out onto the ground?
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:49 PM   #10
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use a hose and run it into the woods.
How many wooded areas does one ever encounter in a desert?
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Old 12-14-2023, 05:56 PM   #11
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while the bathroom tank only contains shower and hand washing water from the bathroom sink. Would you consider it ok if I just dumped my bathroom grey tank on the ground? What if you were the one occupying my site after I leave?
It would depend on the site. We've camped on private property where they actually want us to use our grey bathroom water to water their trees using https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T102...mUVEALw_wcBone one of these and a garden hose to reach the trees.

Whether it's appropriate to take an outside shower is going to depend on the site. Some campsites won't tolerate any water because it may erode the base of the site. On clay soil, you're going to be standing in a mud pudde.
It's going to be a judgement call, but I do like the tile idea.
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Old 12-14-2023, 06:02 PM   #12
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Virginia: "Please dump it here"

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It would depend on the site. We've camped on private property where they actually want us to use our grey bathroom water to water their trees using https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T102...mUVEALw_wcBone one of these and a garden hose to reach the trees.

Whether it's appropriate to take an outside shower is going to depend on the site. Some campsites won't tolerate any water because it may erode the base of the site. On clay soil, you're going to be standing in a mud pudde.
It's going to be a judgement call, but I do like the tile idea.
This Virginia rest stop actually has a sign by the RV parking that says something like "Please dump gray water here."
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Old 12-14-2023, 06:28 PM   #13
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I came from the backpacking/camping world. In a campground, we wash the dishes and throw the dishwater on the bushes. If I were boondocking in the same campsite in my trailer, what is the issue dumping my grey tank (same water)?

I see now in the state parks that they are putting in dump sites around the campground for tenters to dump their dirty water.
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Old 12-14-2023, 07:43 PM   #14
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Depends

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I came from the backpacking/camping world. In a campground, we wash the dishes and throw the dishwater on the bushes. If I were boondocking in the same campsite in my trailer, what is the issue dumping my grey tank (same water)?
Depends. In state parks with lots of space, no problem. In KOAs where the trailer takes more than 50% of the site (You're right on top of your neighbor), dumping water can be perceived as a hostile action as it flows onto their sites.
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Old 12-14-2023, 08:00 PM   #15
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Depends. In state parks with lots of space, no problem. In KOAs where the trailer takes more than 50% of the site (You're right on top of your neighbor), dumping water can be perceived as a hostile action as it flows onto their sites.
I was kind of hoping that putting "boondocking" in the thread title would keep the responses focused on camping in unimproved areas like forests and deserts.

Not "dry camping" in public or private parks that don't have hookups.
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Old 12-14-2023, 08:47 PM   #16
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One possible difference between showering outside and dumping grey. The stagnant water in the tank has a chance to grow bacteria. Showering outside the only bacteria would be from the fresh water or you skin and it will be there anyway.

I have no idea if this would actually be a concern or not
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Old 12-14-2023, 09:07 PM   #17
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I take showers right on my deck at home. I have a black pole looking solar shower I use in the summers. I can say with certainty that a little bit of soapy water hurts nothing. Nothing beats an outdoor shower, sun on your hide, birds singing, neighbors screaming....just kidding, I make sure the neighbors aren't in view.


Mike, this bamboo 'mat' to stand on showering is great. I stand mine up on edge to let it dry so it doesn't get moldy.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


PS, yes, I did read that you are in remote boondocking areas. Reading is fundamental. RIF!
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Old 12-14-2023, 10:29 PM   #18
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As stated before the grey water in the tank that sits for a few days with coffee food bits milk or whatever else was dumped down the sink. Tends to smell and cab be unpleasant, but a shower or the old wash bucket dumping is perfectly legit. Might be great for dry spots the sand or dirt can be a great filter of the unwanted.
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Old 12-15-2023, 12:00 AM   #19
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No food bits in the gray tank if you use the outside shower hose to wash your few dishes.
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Old 12-15-2023, 11:40 AM   #20
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Yes. I use solar showers often. I have never used the shower in my Forest River ultra light. I do some swimming in summer. I use showers in campgrounds that have them. I have paid a few bucks to take a shower in a motel.

In the remote desert grey water from a solar shower is of little consequence. There is no need for a tent.
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