Winter Camping Problem #800000000: Pyramid of Poo and Paper

If it can go wrong, we’ve probably experienced it. Check out my other blogs on the trials of winter camper living.

We’re very new to camper living, so we were bound to make newbie mistakes, despite doing research on how to survive winter in a small camper.

The latest issue: The toilet wouldn’t flush away the waste. Turns out after a bit of googling a pyramid of poo and paper had built up in the black water tank because Shane kept the valve open. Ewwwww. Hence, the liquid ran out, and the solids stayed behind. We needed to close the valve, allow liquids and solids to pool. Then open the valve when it got 2/3 full, and all the waste would flow out the sewer hose. Dilution is the solution. #chemistrynerd πŸ™‚

But closing the valves had its own problems. The grey water tank overflowed into the shower basin and soaked the laundry bag filled with dirty clothes. Doing laundry ended up on the to do list early.

We also feared the liquids in the tanks would freeze since we don’t have a heater. That’s why we kept the valve open.

We’ll have to do a balancing act of closing and opening the valves, and hope it’ll work out. We have a few weeks of winter remaining. However, we technically only have one more week in the camper before we take it in for 2-week service on the hot water heater. We’d like hot water thank you very much. It’s annoying to boil water to do dishes. Sometimes I clean the dishes with cold. Means they’re clean but not sanitized.

If a pyramid of poo and paper doesn’t sound gross enough, know we had to use a stick to stir the poo pot. We had to tear down the pyramid. Nasty, right?

Yet, we’ve managed all our winter camping problems successfully and with aplomb. No yelling, no cursing, not even an exasperated sigh. As the saying goes, shit happens. Literally sometimes, especially in a camper with a toilet. And to be punny, you should just go with the flow.

That’s the secret to handling chaos without feeling out of control. Understand problems are merely opportunities for solutions, and Shane and I work very well as a problem-solving team. I think that bodes well for our future marriage. If we can deal with all the crap that’s happened our first winter in a 15-foot camper–more than most couples deal with in 10 years–then we can probably deal with anything not associated with our deal breakers. πŸ™‚

And to enlighten anyone who wonders how we can do this, live like this, because so many have asked us, know being together through the “thick and thin” is better than being apart. We have each other to rely on. Not to mention, it’s clear we don’t need anything else to make us happy as a couple.

Though it would be nice if we had a break from the camper problems. πŸ™‚ Next we’ll complain about living in a hotel for a couple weeks. πŸ˜›

I feel like I’m being watched while I pee.

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