Could these ideas solve the self-contained camping conundrum?

Published: January 13, 2022

Grey nomad Yvonne P gives her take on the hot topic of ‘self-contained only’ camping … and how the issues surrounding it can be resolved

Not everyone has the means to buy flash self-contained motorhomes, but there are still ways that we can all have a better camping experience.

Everyone who goes camping must have seen the toilet paper, and often what’s under it, lying around everywhere! This is what happens when campers do not have their own facilities and none are provided.

Very few, it seems, dig a hole.

If camping, or even at a rest stop, if there are no toilets, where are people going to go?

Se;f-contained camping options

Nothing is more off-putting than camping near this in otherwise gorgeous spots. I bit the bullet and installed everything needed in my short wheel based camper … shower, cassette toilet, and fixed holding tank.

I had to sacrifice other useful room to do so but, now, I am fully self-contained so no problems for me. Perhaps what is needed is for all camping areas and campgrounds to try to educate people on how to comply so that everyone is happy.

Many campers from overseas or newbies, have perhaps not realised how to overcome these problems. Portable toilets and portable grey water tanks are not that expensive and seal until they can be emptied.

There are many maps now that show dump points all around Australia. This way you should be able to comply with all the rest of the self-contained rules. I don’t think showers should be compulsory if you do not have one installed.

People in that situation can wait for their next caravan park or pay at a pub for a shower. There shouldn’t then be a need to exclude anyone who wants to camp somewhere on the basis of not having a shower.

Maybe there should be signs on entry to campsites saying something along the lines of: This camp area has no toilets or water. To stay here you need:

  • Your own cassette toilet or Porta Potti. Empty only in dump points.
  • To have installed a fixed grey water holding tank, or portable holding tank if you use water. Empty only in dump points.
  • If rubbish bins are full, please take your rubbish to next empty bin.
  • Here is a list of nearest camp sites if needed with toilets: North [. . . . . .] South [. . . . . .]
  • Nearest dump points to empty your toilet and grey water: North [. . . . . .] South [. . . . . .]

– What do you think?- Is this a sensible way to approach the self-contained ‘situation’? Comment below.

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Gerard Searl
5 months ago

Totally agree, have been confronted with this issue many times .we use a porta potti and only empty at dump points, our grey water from the van is collected in 20ldrums and empty at designated dump points also .our vehicle is technically not self contained, but we leave no footprint. We have not been allowed to stay in self contained camps at numerous times. I think the definition of self contained should include people like us.Thanks .

Malcolm Nelson Jeffries
5 months ago
Reply to  Gerard Searl

put a small tank fitted to your vehicle for grey water and a tap so it can be diverted to the tank or out the pipe to the ground if allowed even a 10 litre tank will still comply and add a bracket to the porta loo so it can be screwed down or held with a butterfly nut you are then fully self contained


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