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If you were building/ buying a new van how important is....

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  • If you were building/ buying a new van how important is....

    an onboard bathroom?

    I hear all the time from DW that she hates (make that HATES) trying to find a clean public restroom...


    We've got a new extra long wheelbase sprinter in the shop and we are toying with some ideas on how to use the space.

    Eager to hear your thoughts...


    Uncle Dave

  • #2
    Yes! Put one in if it fits. You'll never regret it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would be reluctant to use it unless I had a sure way to dump the tank. Being in business 8 years I have not heard my groomers complain about bathroom breaks. I heard everything else to complain about, but not that.

      If you have the room, Dave, I would do it. Those Sprinters are very long and you should have room to accomodate a potty.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by IrishSetterTom View Post
        I would be reluctant to use it unless I had a sure way to dump the tank. Being in business 8 years I have not heard my groomers complain about bathroom breaks. I heard everything else to complain about, but not that.

        If you have the room, Dave, I would do it. Those Sprinters are very long and you should have room to accomodate a potty.
        LOL- Ill bet you've heard everything in the book.

        The thought was that instead of plumbing for a black tank and dealing with those issues that I would have a porta potty on a slide out rack under the fixed grooming station.
        This way if used, it would just get taken out at the end of the day and dumped.

        You have employees working for you and Im trying to keep my wife happy - and you know what they say - happy wife happy life.

        UD

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        • #5
          I get it. Yeah, sounds like it would be a nice addition to the coach.

          I asked some of my groomers today about it and they all are frequent visitors to Rebel, Arco or 711 gas stations for drink fill-ups and potty breaks. We operate within city limits so there's no problem finding a station and time between appointments. Some say they swing by their own houses if they are passing close by. Some have long term clients (8+ years) and know them well enough to not only use their BR but sit and have a coffee with them if time allows.

          I find my biggest issue is smoking. 4 of 6 of my groomers smoke and the smokers are constantly stopping. I see the GPS tracking for my vans and the smokers are always pulled over for a few minutes to smoke. I do not allow it in the vans while driving and I tell them to not smoke in front of a client's home either.

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting, the bathrooms around the city here are mostly closed and the ones that are open rarely get cleaned and are gross.
            The current setup has a fridge freezer so DW takes all her beverages with her as well as a lunch.

            Typically someone or somebody is late at some point in the day making an actual coffee break a once a year event if that.
            She gets the invites but simply doesn't have time even if she isn't late because somebody blew their schedule, every minute she spends with a client is a minute later she gets home that day.

            I guess smokers somehow find the time for their habit regardless if its your time, client time, or their time, but as long as it all works out then its probably ok. Imagine they still pretty much smell like cigarettes to the client though.

            Using a customer bathroom - well sometimes its ok and sometimes when you gotta go - you gotta go. Having a van filled with windows makes this hard.

            We are focusing on several areas with this current build such as -

            1. Reducing the amount of cleanup time necessary, We are looking at new construction methods and improvements not used before (molded fiberglass components like a boat)

            2. Improve ease of maintenance - we intend to put the genset on a sliding rack so all you need to do is unbolt the exhaust and slide it out for its 1500 hour service

            3. Easier to use - we've analyzed repetitive motion and targeted several upgrades aimed at reducing repetitive daily motion (stay tuned)

            4. Fixing poor decisions made by commercial builders like the use of padded cloth where the floorboard meets the floor better placement of fans with more effective covers , not having the recirculator screen in a cove next to the batteries, using cheap untreated wood where leaks occur.

            5. "Just Enough" solar that the unit if parked outside without power can ultimately charge itself up vs drain down and kill your expensive batteries.

            6. More flexibility in heating the space than just a fuel hungry propane burner.

            and more...

            would love to hear from the peanut gallery any ideas you might have

            Thanks for the feedback !

            UD
            Last edited by Uncle Dave; 01-05-16, 07:53 AM. Reason: tweaks

            Comment


            • #7
              Next time I WILL have a bathroom. I don't like asking customers to use theirs, and around here the gas station bathrooms are HORRIBLE, and then there is fast food places, ugh, but usually better. But I never eat fast food so I don't like feeling like I am using them and at times it would be very obvious I am. We have lots of RV'rs in our area so dumping not a problem.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 1mobilegroomer View Post
                Next time I WILL have a bathroom. I don't like asking customers to use theirs, and around here the gas station bathrooms are HORRIBLE, and then there is fast food places, ugh, but usually better. But I never eat fast food so I don't like feeling like I am using them and at times it would be very obvious I am. We have lots of RV'rs in our area so dumping not a problem.

                For this particular build Im going to forgo a black tank and use a porta potty.
                RV dumps are harder to come by in the greater LA area and there is a decent chance it would end up full for a long time = stinky especially when it gets hot which is 3/4 of the year.
                The plumbing and associated venting is also a pain to install- doable but a pain.

                UD

                Comment


                • #9
                  They do make a portable toilet that is two piece. The top is the clean water tank and seat and the bottom is the waste tank and base. You just separate them and carry the bottom portion into a bathroom and empty it. I had to build a second base to raise it up to a more reasonable height. Small closet for it to sit in with enough room to use the toilet. A mirror a vent tp holder a corner shelf to hold an air freshener. It's a old style water closet not rocket science. You do have to keep it emptied and cleaned at the end of each day but you don't need to use it as a first option. Solar powered vents used for marine app place the solar panel on the top of the vent as all inclusive package with a minimal size hole in the roof. Windows can be blocked out the options are two many to mention. Guess it comes down to expense and creativity. As for the rest of the van take your time invest in searching for better materials.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There have only been a couple of times while out grooming that I wished I had, had a way too go to the bathroom. I'm in an enclosed trailer so no room for one. I have thrown around the idea of a bucket toilet for emergency situations. I could use it for diety towels and no one would be the wiser. Lol

                    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think a bathroom would be awesome. I don't use gas station bathrooms, ewww gross. Fast food marginally better, Walmart is always good, or my favorite cause it's always clean, Costco.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Doug View Post
                        They do make a portable toilet that is two piece. The top is the clean water tank and seat and the bottom is the waste tank and base. You just separate them and carry the bottom portion into a bathroom and empty it. I had to build a second base to raise it up to a more reasonable height. Small closet for it to sit in with enough room to use the toilet. A mirror a vent tp holder a corner shelf to hold an air freshener. It's a old style water closet not rocket science. You do have to keep it emptied and cleaned at the end of each day but you don't need to use it as a first option. Solar powered vents used for marine app place the solar panel on the top of the vent as all inclusive package with a minimal size hole in the roof. Windows can be blocked out the options are two many to mention. Guess it comes down to expense and creativity. As for the rest of the van take your time invest in searching for better materials.
                        This van has no windows but will have side facing cameras and 1-2 solatube to let some actual sunlight in.

                        We think we have the material problem solved - we already built this but will just mod it to fit next to the clipper vac in the grooming station - still debating to move this to the back or keep it in the workspace.
                        We needed a solution for our boats as to legally spend the night on powell one must have a port potty with you so we found a way to build them into our deck boat.

                        We built a door systems that is solid smooth, strong as dragon scales and doest rattle and closes securely.

                        We've used two type the 2 piece type you mention, but the gals in our camping group seem to prefer the one piece type that you just pour into the toilet at the end of the day.
                        The latter needs a small pedestal- the whole thing will slide back and forth on a bracket into and out of the workspace.

                        It can be ignored completely and not be in the way, collect hair, or intrude into the workspace - but when you need it.....



                        UD
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Uncle Dave; 01-12-16, 09:48 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I have this for emergency it folds up and has bags that you just throw away,

                          http://www.zoro.com/cleanwaste-porta....ds#imagePopUp

                          I just keep it in a cabinet until needed and no worrying about cleaning out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wbeatty View Post
                            I have this for emergency it folds up and has bags that you just throw away,

                            http://www.zoro.com/cleanwaste-porta....ds#imagePopUp

                            I just keep it in a cabinet until needed and no worrying about cleaning out.
                            Perfect I could just tuck it away in a compartment.

                            at the same time thats not very sealed, and you are going to be cascaded by odor all day if you use it.

                            Im thinking thats a two step deal though (dump the bag in toilet, throw bag in trash)
                            - if you just throw the bag in your trash at home you risk a puncture that would be fun to clean.

                            VS just dump in into the toilet.

                            UD

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                            • #15
                              after you use it once, you tie bag off and put in garbage can and can dispose of later then fold up seat and put back in cabinet. . No issues with odor's

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