Fixed grey and black water plumbing debacle

Pulling into Cooktown RV stay at the Racecourse, we spy the usual camping sign at the entry, and stop for a look. On it, the conditions specifically mention having a fixed plumbing for your grey and black water system to be allowed to camp, which we don’t have.

Frustrated, we drive through, turn around and head back out again, and you know what? This requirement is a load of bollocks, and if it weren’t for the fact that this site is supposed to be closing next year, I’d do some more digging into what is actually required. Can council override the formal definition of self contained in Australia?

Cooktown RV Rest Area
Fixed plumbed grey and black water? Say what?

Now, if you’ve been following for a while you’d know that we don’t think too highly of the need to collect grey water, but do accept and oblige in the very few places in Australia that make it a requirement. Our real grief though, is the term permanently plumbed.

How many caravans, camper trailers, RV’s and even single vehicle campers do you think would not have permanently plumbed grey and black water? Caravans made years ago never even came with toilets, and what difference is it if they’re permanently plumbed, or portable?

Any logical person would conclude that if you are collecting your grey and black water without spilling anything, its completely and utterly irrelevant.

In actual fact, the Caravanning and Motoring association have a document that explicitly explains what is needed to meet the term ‘self contained’ and it does not specify permanently plumbed anywhere. You can have portable totes, and portable toilets; the premise is simple – you just have to collect it in a way that doesn’t spill dish water and poo water all over the place, so where’s this ‘permanent plumbing’ garbage coming from?

Portable toilet
If you’re collecting your waste, what difference does it make if its got fixed plumbing or not?

Do you really need this?

Now, this is the first time I’ve ever come across the need to have it permanently plumbed. We have read other formats which suggested on board, or mounted inside, and we’ve wondered how that is policed. If we put our porta potti inside, is it then ‘part of the camper’ and compliant? Please; what a load of rubbish.

I’m pleased to report that in 12 months of full time travel around Australia, and months of smaller trips in Western Australia and the NT before this we’ve only come across a tiny handful of sites that require you to collect your grey water, and they are almost exclusively council and shire run rest stops (that we don’t normally use anyway!).

We’ve only stayed in a tiny number of sites that require you to collect greywater, but they are few and far between in the grand scheme of things anyway (and that’s how it should be).

Brown Bay Grey water collection
There are very few camping areas in Australia that mandate the collection of grey water

Collecting black water is not something we’d ever consider taking shortcuts in, and we carry a portable toilet (two actually) all the time. I have no qualms with this, but insisting on a permanently plumbed system just seems ludicrous.

Have you ever had issues with not having a permanently plumbed grey and black water system? What’s your views?

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