There are certain ways to go about doing certain things. Many of those certain things are never taught, much less talked about. One of those is how to Pee and Poop in a skoolie. 💩
We are taught and conditioned to not speak of such things. It’s gross! It’s nasty! Bathroom talk. It’s not a pleasant conversation. Still, it is one of the most common questions we are asked by those considering the skoolie lifestyle.
Once you get it out on the table and talk about it, it’s no different than talking about how to shower or have sex in a skoolie while traveling with kids. Okay, maybe that one is a little more awkward.
We can talk about that at a later time.
We All Do It, But No One Wants To Talk About It
It’s just one of those things that we do that is as natural and normal as sneezing, hiccups, coughing, or farting. Mind you, hiccups are not as gross or offensive as someone breaking wind, but it is still just as natural.
Truth be told, having to go pee is not as uncomfortable to talk about as having to go poop, especially while doing it in a skoolie.
People have the impression and false understanding that going number 2 💩 in a skoolie or van is as gross and as nasty as it gets.
We are here to inform you and educate you that this is not true and is no different than cooking Brussel sprouts or cabbage in your skoolie. In fact, cooking Brussel sprouts or cabbage is far worse. Those smells linger.
If your skoolie toilet is set up properly, anyone who ever enters your school bus should never know there is a bathroom in it.
Why Is It Important To Talk About It?
Talking about taking a pee and poop in a skoolie is important for not only educational purposes but for the misinformation and misunderstanding for those who have never experienced it.
It’s good to know the many options for handling such a basic and natural human function.
Whether you prefer the old-school RV method of utilizing a black tank or the newest and more popular method of using a composting toilet, the reality is you have to choose something.
Knowing what your options are is only half of the race. Knowing the pros and cons of them is what gives you the opportunity to make an informed and educated decision for yourself.
Myths of Pee and Poop In A Skoolie
Peeing and Pooping in your skoolie is no different than peeing or pooping in your home or apartment. Well, other than the fact that you have to physically dispose of it of course.
Many people think that it is automatically going to smell like a public restroom if you pee and poop in your skoolie.
You’d probably be surprised at how little poop smells when it is not introduced to water or mixed with pee.
That being said, you may also be surprised at how rank pee smells, especially when it sits and brews for a while.
Mix pee with poo, and the smell will make your tongue swell and want to throw up.
The trick to keeping your skoolie from smelling like a cheap gas station bathroom, keep the liquids and solids separate.
How To Pee n A Skoolie
We will address the simplest of the two. How to pee in your skoolie. Peeing in a skoolie is as simple as finding a large mouth bottle for guys and a bucket for the ladies.
That is about as basic as it gets, but it is possible. Mind you, this is not a realistic option for long-term living, but in a pinch, it is a possibility.
Long-term solutions for peeing in your skoolie should involve a toilet and a holding tank for your urine.
Port-o-potty or Cassette Toilet
A port-o-potty or composting toilet are two of the most popular solutions.
A port-o-potty or cassette toilet will hold up to 5 gallons of urine before it needs to be dumped. We do not recommend allowing the holding tank to fill up to the limit.
One of the reasons is that is gets too heavy. Pee weighs 8.579 pounds. Slightly heavier than water at 8.33 pounds. So, a 5-gallon holding tank is going to be 42.89 lbs plus the weight of the toilet.
If the weight itself is not enough to persuade you to find a different method of collecting your urine, then dumping it and the smell should.
Urine, piss, pee, tinkle juice smells bad! Really bad!
Composting Toilet with a Urine Diverter
Having a composting toilet with a urine diverter into a jug is another option. The only thing is, that the urine holding tank only collects around one gallon of urine.
Not only are you going to be filling that sucker up and having to find a place to dump it often, you still have to deal with the smell when emptying it.
Urine Diverter to Grey Tank
For us, the best option is to use a urine diverter that empties your urine into your grey water-holding tank. This is the tank that collects your sink and shower water.
The tank, with tank deodorizers, will dilute the urine enough so that it isn’t as potent a urine smell as pure straight urine.
We will say that emptying your grey water tanks can be very smelly! Depending on how much food from your dirty dishes you all drain into your grey tank, the odor can vary.
To Poop In A Skoolie 💩
Pooping in your skoolie is a whole other ballgame. Everyone poops. Eventually, you are going to have to poop in a skoolie.
Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way. If you do not set up your toilet in your skoolie properly, and you take a poop, it is going to smell like someone just took a dump 💩, right in the middle of your skoolie.
Again, there are a few options you can incorporate into your bathroom routine.
Here is a piece on The Best Skoolie Bathroom Ideas. Let us know what you think.
Just because you have to poop in a skoolie, doesn't mean it has to smell like you just took a poop in a skoolie.
Cassette or Port-o-potty
Going the cassette toilet or port-o-potty route is an easy option. There really isn’t too bad of a smell from the toilet, but there is most definitely a smell. This is a “solid” option to poop in a skoolie.
We used the Thetford Toilet in our Sprinter conversion. It works great, but there are smells.
Chemicals are needed to cut that smell to a tolerable level. In addition to all of that, that tank is going to fill up much quicker and it is going to smell so bad when you go to dump it.
God forbid you spill some of it while dumping it. 💩💩💩
There is the option of pooping in a bag, and disposing of it and your soiled toilet paper in a bag. This is no different than throwing a dirty diaper into a trashcan or dumpster. As disgusting as it may be, there is nothing legally against it. This is the option we chose to poop in a skoolie.
If you have to hold onto the bags of poop for a while, it can get a little funky smelling.
Drop your poop bags at the closest public trash or dumpster.
The composting toilet is one of the most popular methods for collecting poop while living in a skoolie. This is how most people poop in a skoolie.
With the proper composting medium and a properly connected 12-volt fan, there should be no nasty poop smells in your bus at all. The only thing you are going to smell is maybe an earthy soil kind of smell from the composting medium.
It doesn’t matter if you use coconut husks, sawdust, or cedar shavings your poop is going to dry out and not smell.
As long as you keep the poop dry, it will not smell like poop as you know it. It just smells like dirt. It's a beautiful thing!
That is where the 12-volt fan comes into play and is critical for not having your skoolie smell like a public restroom next to a Taco Bell.
We will say one thing about the Nature’s Head composting toilet. It has an agitator that you occasionally crank to mix the poop and composting material up.
The agitator does get “caked” up with poop as you turn it and agitate it. You will have to scrape that poop off of the agitators. Who wants to do that?
This is the RV method for poop collection and disposal. Very popular in the RV world, but not so much in the skoolie community.
It is the easiest and simplest way to poop in a skoolie or an RV. It is also the costliest and nastiest. If you have never emptied a black tank full of pee and poop, then you have yet to experience a level of nastiness I do not wish on anyone.
If dumping or draining the black tank is no big deal for you, then it is the easiest and most like a residential toilet. You pee and poop and then flush. All the yukky disappears and goes away.
Here is a good example of how not to empty your black tank.
Wrap Up To How To Pee & Poop In A Skoolie
However you choose to pee and poop in a skoolie all comes down to your comfort, budget, and tolerance to see, handle, and dispose of said waste.
The thing is, one of the biggest barriers and obstacles keeping people from wanting to build their own skoolie to live and travel in is the waste we create.
That really is a shame, because peeing and pooping in a skoolie really is no different than peeing or pooping in your home.
There are many different ways to get around pee and poop while living and traveling in a skoolie. One way to someone may be disgusting while for another person it is no big deal at all.
We have used a black tank in a class A RV, and I am here to tell you, that is not something I ever want to do again.
The cassette toilet has been pretty easy. We started off peeing and pooping in it, but then just decided to pee in it. It worked for us.
For our next build, we are leaning towards going back to a self-made composting toilet with the urine diverted to our grey tank.
You do you though! What makes the most sense to you and what you are most comfortable with is what you should build into your skoolie.
If you don’t like it, change it. No big deal. One of the many beauties of building your own skoolie is you can always change it up.
What do you use to pee and poop in a skoolie? How do you like your system?
Leave us a comment, we'd love to connect with you!