We’ve noticed a growing misconception of van life over the last 4 years. The association between camper vans and houses is popularizing – however erroneous that idea is. Camper vans are vans to use when camping. They provide (essentially) the same benefits as a tent: shelter, privacy, and freedom. You can enjoy tents in campgrounds and you can go into the wilderness. Campervans offer more flexibility. But in the end, camper vans have their limitations.
The van life is not a fancy RV with plumbing and a massage chair, nor is it always glamourous. It is about finding ways to meet your needs from what is available locally. In response to COVID-19, New Age Travel and Services worked to make these camping cars as self-contained as possible. We care for the safety of our clients. As a result, we began including free items for our clients to stay safe - like a camping toilet and a portable shower. After all, those are essential to any trip. Just keep in mind, campervans are a glamourous form of camping or “glamping”. Campervans are not yachts or Class A motorhomes.
It brings us great joy to introduce to you the portable shower and camping toilet. We provide these free with every campervan rental for your safety and convenience.
Let’s face it, the wilderness is a dirty place and it doesn’t wash away on its own. Whether hiking a rocky mountain or strolling the prettiest lakes in Alberta, we all need a shower at some point. In 2020, both national and provincial campgrounds closed their showers. Banff National Park recently announced that its showers will be open for 2021. One thing our time in the wilderness has taught us, though, is that it never hurts to be prepared. For this reason, we will continue to include a battery-operated shower with every campervan rental.
The apparatus is simple. It has 3 parts: a shower faucet, a hose, and a vacuum. The battery-powered vacuum pumps water up the hose and out the faucet. To operate the battery-powered shower, you fill a tub with hot water and plop the vacuum in.
5 litres of warm water are enough for the two of us; though, we have become efficient at backcountry showering. We boil 1.5 litres of water and mix in 3.5 litres at room temperature. We've dropped the vacuum straight in the Waterton National Park lake on a hot day. And in the winter, we love the First Class Explorer’s built-in shower stall.
Below are a couple of best practices for using portable showers in campgrounds:
Only run a portable shower if no public showers are available. If the campground offers public showers, utilize them.
Jasper National Park: Wapiti and Whistlers Campgrounds provide showers.
Banff National Park: Tunnel Mountain Campgrounds, Two Jack Lakeside Campgrounds, Johnston Canyon and Lake Louise Campgrounds have showers.
If public showers are not open, collect the dirty water and empty it in a toilet. This protects the environment and prevents the potential for attracting wildlife.
In the past, Starbucks was our favourite morning pit stop – a little coffee, some breakfast and a bathroom break. Sadly, circumstances are different and Starbucks bathrooms are closed. The same for our other go-to public toilets. With the uncertainty surrounding washrooms, providing a camping toilet with every campervan rental seemed obvious. She’s nothing fancy - but when you need a private place to do your business, this throne is readily available.
You can also take advantage of nature’s bathroom: a bush. Just remember to scoop the poop up and include the soil around it. The bacteria present in human poop is a contaminant. Scoop it up or bury it at least 50 meters or 200 feet from water, a trail or your campsite.
To use the toilet, we line the bucket with a compostable bag. It serves as a protective liner. Then, we put a bottle or second bag at the base for “collection”. When the bottle is full, dump the contents in an outhouse or public bathroom. And at the end of the trip, discard the bottle. If you get nervous about the smell, we also provide Downy Unstoppable smell booster beads. They dissolve in the bucket and waft a pleasant smell.
Another tip: Toss the toilet paper in the garbage (and not in the bottle). This makes dumping much easier.
We’ve seen uncomfortable faces when discussing the glamourous toilet. As with the portable shower, the camping toilet is mostly the backup option. After your road trip, you might be surprised to discover having a toilet in the campervan has many advantages. For example, when you want to stay warm inside the camper instead of walking in the cold to a smelly outhouse.
One final note on washrooms for 2021: same as all indoor facilities wear a non-medical facemask when using the washroom.
Check For Campground Updates Before You Go
But renters should check the campground’s official COVID-19 response pages before their trip:
Camping this 2021 campingseason is going to be a blast! Campgrounds will be a highly sought-after getaway option for many Canadians.
Rent a campervan from New Age Travel and Services to safely get away from the daily grind. With a portable shower and a camping toilet, we can sufficiently cover your basic needs. And at no extra expense! These items are free with every campervan rental.
If a camper van rental and road trip in the Canadian Rocky Mountains interest you, please contact New Age Travel and Services. We love the #vanlife and want to share its ad-VAN-tages with the world! For any other inquiries regarding campervan rentals contact us directly. For any looking at Southern Alberta Road Trips, we would love to be your guides!