Vanlife- 5 straightforward methods to cope with waste & water on the highway

Vanlife- 5 straightforward methods to cope with waste & water on the highway

Vanlife- 5 straightforward methods to cope with waste & water on the highway

One of many hardest issues about wild parking or staying off-grid with a motorhome or campervan is understanding methods to discover contemporary, protected consuming water and acceptable gray and black waste disposal factors while you’re on the highway, particularly within the UK which is quite a bit tougher than motorhoming in Europe.

Nonetheless, don’t let the confusion put you off. There are many choices for motorhomes and campervans to securely get rid of waste and get water- which we’re going to share with you right here.

Don’t overlook to seize your free motorhome wild camping checklist here that will help you arrange your van to remain in a single day with out electrical energy or services.

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Motorhome waste and discovering water – what’s the massive deal?

If you happen to do all of your motorhoming on campsites, this would possibly look like a silly query. In any case- it’s straightforward… you simply join your hose to the faucet on the campsite, and empty your gray tank and bathroom cassette into the suitable areas.

And also you’re not improper. However…

My guess is most individuals involved about discovering water and waste disposal while in a motorhome or campervan aren’t planning on staying on campsites- or no less than not ones with services. In actual fact, there’s likelihood that you just’re planning on staying off-grid together with your van, having fun with a spot of motorhome wild camping and customarily need to be as far-off from campsites as potential.

With that in thoughts, let’s get began.

Motorhome wild tenting guides for the UK & Europe

Motorhome wild parking guide

Motorhome Waste Disposal

Earlier than we get began, let’s speak concerning the various kinds of waste. Gray waste is bathe and sink soiled water and black waste is rest room waste.

In most locations, you’ll be able to’t get rid of them in the identical place. Gray water goes down a drain and black waste goes right into a chemical rest room disposal level. It’s essential to know that distinction earlier than we go on to the various kinds of waste disposal factors.

Watch the video

Desire to look at as a substitute of learn? Right here’s the video concerning the info on this submit. Nonetheless, since filming we now have added in additional particulars and data that will help you, so that you would possibly need to give this submit a skim too.

Coping with Motorhome waste and water whereas touring

We hope you discovered the video helpful. If you happen to did, we’d adore it if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with ideas for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.


The place to seek out Motorhome waste disposal factors

Let’s begin with the apparent one- for those who want contemporary consuming water and a protected place to get rid of gray and black waste, the most effective place to go is a correct motorhome campsite.

I do know, I do know- we’ve already talked about that you just’re attempting to keep away from these- however they are surely the most effective place to go to for motorhome services.

Normally, we begin our motorhoming holidays with an empty van, because the van is saved in storage and we’re unable to refill with contemporary water there. For that cause, we attempt to guide our first night time of any journey right into a campsite. We additionally do the identical on the final night- so we are able to empty the gray and black waste correctly and drain any remaining contemporary water which could nonetheless be within the tanks.

After all, in the summertime you principally doubtless have to guide up upfront to be able to get an area, but when you recognize when your journey will begin, it’s simpler to know the place you’ll be able to keep.

And, for those who’re planning to remain on campsites with waste disposal services and water to your complete journey, then it’s easy- you simply use these.

However what if you wish to keep away from campsites?

How do you discover water and waste disposal for the remainder of your time on the highway for those who don’t need to keep in a single day on a campsite?? Properly, there are a number of choices. You’re both:

  • Go to a campsite and pay to make use of their companies
  • Local people factors – like neighborhood facilities and automotive parks (some are beginning to present motorhome service factors for a small price)
  • In Europe, use a motorhome aire or service level
  • Use public services (not beneficial however helpful in a pinch)

Paying for campsite services

Within the UK, the place there isn’t a big community of aires and motorhomers aren’t as effectively catered for, we nonetheless advocate utilizing campsite services as usually as potential.

Many campsites will can help you pay a small price (someplace between £5-£10) to be able to refill your contemporary water tank, empty gray waste and your rest room cassette.

We now have discovered higher success with this by both utilizing campsites which overtly say they permit this (look on their web sites) or utilizing smaller, unbiased campsites. Anybody working a web site from a farm or discipline as an unbiased enterprise are more likely to permit a ‘pit cease’.

You possibly can cellphone upfront (beneficial for those who’re a bigger automobile or tow a trailer with your motorhome like we do) however we’ve had higher success by simply turning up and asking politely to pay for utilizing their companies.

TOP TIP: Do NOT flip up at a motorhome membership campsite (like a CMC or CCC web site) on a Friday or Sunday throughout summer season or faculty holidays. They are going to be WAY too busy to cope with you and are more likely to say no.


Europe aires & service factors

In case you are motorhoming in Europe, life is quite a bit simpler! In addition to aires (study how to find aires and overnight parking in Europe), there are additionally a system of motorhome service factors, usually at service areas on motorways.

To make use of these, you simply want to tug up, pay the price (often 1 or 2€) and empty waste/ get contemporary water. Straightforward peezy.

So, when all of the above fails, let’s focus on public companies.


Gray Waste Water Disposal within the UK

For gray wastewater, there are methods to get rid of it correctly with no campsite. The UK, like most of Europe, has separate methods in place for rain water and gray water. Subsequently, most roadside drains are for rainwater solely.

If you happen to’re fortunate sufficient to discover a gray water drain, you’ll be able to simply pull your motorhome up excessive and open the waste (gray, NOT BLACK.) Most aires and approved motorhome parking places have gray water drains (though they don’t all the time say.)

Alternatively, for those who’re parked up someplace, you should use a plastic container just like the beneath ones, which may then be carried to the suitable disposal level or drain. 

The place to seek out gray waste and bathroom disposal factors within the UK

Here’s a fantastic map from Campra (Marketing campaign for Actual Aires within the UK) which exhibits aires and disposal factors across the UK.

There are a number of locations within the Lake District which have been arrange for waste disposal- here’s where to find them (thanks Paul for the hyperlink)

Gray water and bathroom waste disposal factors in Scotland

Here’s a great map from CAMPA (NOT the identical as Campra above) exhibiting waste disposal factors and campsites in Scotland which let you use their companies for a price.

Can you set gray waste down a ‘regular’ highway drain?

It is a difficult one. My politically appropriate reply is not any, as a result of then it doesn’t return into the correct system for remedy. Having stated that, it’s not unlawful to clean your automotive within the street- and that’s cleaning soap and filth too.

My trustworthy reply is, in a pinch, it’s higher to empty right into a drain than all around the highway. Clearly, utilizing correct campsite services is the best choice. Attempt to use washing up liquid which is form to the atmosphere (like those beneath) for those who assume you would possibly do that sooner or later.

Additionally, attempt to wipe down plates/ cooking pans to take away fats and meals earlier than you wash up (that is good follow anyway so your tank doesn’t odor/ pipes don’t get clogged.) And PLEASE don’t simply open the outlet as you’re driving alongside, even when it’s raining.

Additionally, some smaller campsites ask motorhomers to make use of their gray water on the hedgerows, particularly in summer season. Solely do that if requested/ clear indicators.


Emptying motorhome campervan toilet cassette in the UK
Emptying motorhome campervan rest room cassette within the UK

Black waste/ rest room cassette disposal for vanlife

Public toilets- don’t use busy ones just like the M6 companies or beachfront ones. Discover a quiet village or distant bathroom. There’s a web site and app known as Toilet Map which will help you discover locations.

Additionally, don’t tip all of it out at once- you’ll block the bathroom. Little then flush. Clear up

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure that the bathroom you might be emptying into isn’t on a septic tank/ fosse. Whether it is, and you employ ‘regular’ rest room fluids, you’ll kill all of the micro organism.

Once more, if that is doubtless (for those who’re motorhoming in France for instance), use fosse-friendly fluid in your rest room cassette. We use a product known as Solbio organic toilet fluid, which is pure and doesn’t comprise dangerous chemical substances. It’s additionally protected to be disposed of in septic tanks or fosse, that means we now have extra choices to get rid of our rest room responsibly.

How you can make your motorhome rest room last more between emptying

To make rest room go for longer between discharges, some individuals use a pee bottle, however you want somewhat liquid in there in any other case it’s going to all stick as an enormous lump.

What we favor to do as a substitute is to not put rest room paper into the bathroom. As a substitute, we use a plastic bag, like a nappy bag for all used paper, which may then be disposed of safely in a bin. 

Some individuals discover this bizarre, however we needed to do it for years on the boat so it’s fairly. Kemal for us and does cease the bathroom getting so full, so quick.

Additionally, you do NOT have to pay for costly motorhome rest room paper. Severely, simply get a budget stuff from any grocery store so it dissolves simply. However for those who’re going to place it right into a bag, you should purchase no matter model you want! However for those who’re wanting an ecofriendly possibility, we now have beneficial some beneath.

Another choice for ‘sticky’ rest room paper is to not use plenty of water to flush the paper down- that simply fills up the cassette. As a substitute, you should use a twig bottle (or previous Domestos bottle with the jet spout) for focused stress to flush it down and clear marks on the bowl with little or no water use. (Thanks Bob for the tip.)

While we’re on the topic, please, fairly please, don’t empty the cassette in conjunction with the highway, or right into a hedge, or the forest. It’s inflicting chaos in widespread areas and locations like Portugal have been destroyed by this, so please do assist shield our nation by disposing of waste hygenically. 


Discovering contemporary consuming water whereas travelling

As for getting water, you used to have the ability to get water from garages and repair stations, however a lot of these have gone now. Some individuals counsel utilizing graveyards however personally that doesn’t sit effectively for us.

If you happen to’re a canal boat proprietor, you may need a key which provides you entry to services- some locations have these close to sufficient to a parking lot for hoses to succeed in. Once more, we use campsites and solely drink water from the lifesaver jerrycan we stock onboard (HIGHLY advocate this for those who journey quite a bit.)


I hope that helped reply your questions. I’d love to listen to what you do- be happy to share your ideas. And if you recognize of any campsites which can allow you to use their services for a price, please do drop the main points beneath so others can profit.

Need extra ideas for motorhoming?

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Vanlife- 5 easy ways to deal with waste & water on the road
5 easy ways to deal with water and waste disposal while campervanning

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