Caravans are private spaces on wheels that you can drive around the entirety of Australia, but despite being so private, they often lack an ensuite. What is an ensuite? It is an onboard washroom containing either a shower or a toilet bowl, or both.
A caravan with an ensuite is often seen as a camping luxury, but the comfort benefits are unparalleled. But would it be worth it for you and your family? Should you spend the money on an ensuite or use the same money to finance your next road trip adventure? Let’s find out.
How Important is It to Have a Caravan With an Ensuite?
A caravan ensuite is not a necessity. Camping sites around the country, along with numerous restrooms along the highways, offer more than sufficient opportunities to freshen up, have a bath, or answer nature’s call. Yet, a caravan ensuite is a terrific investment because of the various benefits it offers, such as.
No Need to Use Public Restrooms
While many restrooms scattered along the highways are clean and hygienic, the same can’t be said for many of them, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. So, having an ensuite aboard your caravan offers an excellent benefit of you not needing to use dirty public restrooms and subject yourself to not only discomfort but also infectious diseases.
This benefit comes with a complimentary benefit—security, especially if you have kids. Using public restrooms in outback gas stations at night can be scary and unsafe. Instead, an ensuite eliminates the need to use public restrooms and makes the entire journey a lot safer for your family.
No Lining Up for Showers
Next, you won’t ever have to line up for using the caravan parks showers. If you love sticking to your schedule and start the journey with the break of dawn, an ensuite is an ideal choice as it gives you the freedom to shower when you want, without waiting on others.
Luxury of Camping
All said and done, an ensuite is just a glamorous investment in your caravan. The safety, easy accessibility, and hygiene all add up to make your ensuite experience a luxury. After all, if you are not comfortable on your journey, you won’t enjoy the trip as much.
Can You Add a Shower to the Caravans?
Adding a shower and toilet to your caravan can be a game-changer! You no longer have to find a nice caravan parkswhere you can take a comfortable shower, or wait in a queue to take a shower. With an ensuite shower, you can take showers as per your timeline, whenever you want and wherever you are.
However, do note that adding a shower to your caravan requires a lot of work, especially carpentry and plumbing. If done correctly, it can make your caravan that much more comfortable. The shower and toilet also add a little weight to your caravan, which is something you need to consider.
How Do Toilets and Showers Work in Caravans?
Toilets and showers in caravans are not much different from those in your home. Caravan showers are connected to a water source, i.e., the water tank on your caravan, from where the water is pumped into the showerhead. From there, the water gets drained into the holding tank via the shower and toilet drain hole.
As for toilets, there are two types of toilets, cassette and gravity flush, but they both work in a similar fashion. The ensuite commode bowls are connected to a water flush system, and the drainpipe contains a valve that closes when the ensuite is not in use to prevent the caravan from stinking up. The drained waste then falls into a holding tank or a cassette tank, and once the tank is full, you have to empty it and discard the waste. Some campers also prefer to use chemicals to dampen the pungent smell and speed up the decomposition process.
Our Guide to Caravan Toilets
As mentioned above, there are two types of caravan toilets, gravity flush and cassette. Here’s our guide to the two types of caravan toilets you can consider.
Gravity Flush Toilet
Gravity flush toilets, or traditional caravan toilets, have been in use in Australia for decades. With a gravity flush toilet, the commode contents are drained directly into a holding tank situated under the caravan’s toilet. The benefits of a traditional ensuite and shower are that it uses less water, is easier to replace, and is quite an affordable modification to your caravan or RV.
However, the downsides are that the flush uses the caravan water supply and dumping the waste holding tank can be an arduous task; additionally, the odours can sometimes be a problem.
Cassette Ensuite Toilet
While gravity flush toilets have been used in RVs worldwide for decades, cassette flushes are modern and have been around for a few decades. Here, a compact commode is installed atop a cassette tank, i.e., a renovate waste tank. So, when the tank is full, all you have to do is remove the cassette tank via the external service port and empty it.
The benefit of installing a cassette toilet and shower is that the holding tank is quick and easy to empty and clean. However, the downside is that the cassette needs to be emptied and cleaned more frequently and can be a bit heavy to carry for some people.
How Often Do You Empty a Caravan Toilet?
The caravan toilets are connected to a holding tank that’s located under it, which collects the waste from the pot. However, it needs to be cleaned and emptied regularly. How often? If you are using a cassette toilet, you need to empty the tank every two days, or even less, depending on how often the ensuite is used. Another thing to remember is that the fuller the tank is, the heavier it gets, which can make the task of emptying it a challenge. As for traditional tanks, you need to clean them when the tank gets close to full capacity. Still, we recommend that you flush the holding tank more frequently as it can heat up drastically in the sun, which can stink up the entire tank quickly.
Upgrading your caravan with an ensuite is a terrific way to induce some luxury and comfort into your camping road trips, so if you are looking to make the upgrade or want to know more about it, give us a call now.